While clearly shot on a shoestring budget, and a bit too leisurely-paced for their brief running times, I think these compare rather favorably to the Tarzan films that Sol Lesser was producing at the same time; they're clearly cheaper, but not much cheaper than the Lex Barker Tarzan entries. Johnny Sheffield, while still decidedly boy-ish of face, has a remarkably impressive adult physique worthy of a jungle man, and appears to be doing a surprising number of his own stunts.
In these first four films - Bomba The Jungle Boy, Bomba On Panther Island, Lost Volcano, and The Hidden City - there's a reasonable variety to the storylines, even if they do manage to include almost every convention (or cliché) of the jungle adventure film - and we wouldn't want it any other way. (Haven't seen anyone trapped in quicksand yet, though.)
I'm definitely looking forward to spinning the last couple films in Volume One, and hope that Volume Two will be coming soon.
I've never seen any of the Bomba films, but I love old Hollywood backlot jungle adventures, and look forward to checking these out. This first volume contains six features: Bomba The Jungle Boy, Bomba on Panther Island, The Lost Volcano, The Hidden City, The Lion Hunters, and Elephant Stampede. With luck, I'll be reviewing these for my DVD Late Show site.
PulpFest 2012 will begin on Thursday evening, August 9th, with a salute to the 100th anniversary of Tarzan. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ world-renowned character was introduced to the public in the novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety in the October 1912 issue of Munsey’s The All-Story. Friday will bring a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Burroughs’ first novel, “Under the Moons of Mars,” the tale that introduced John Carter to lovers of adventure and interplanetary fiction. On Saturday, PulpFest turns to Robert E. Howard’s Conan of Cimmeria, who turns eighty in December.
Early indications are that we will surpass last year’s show both in our number of registrations and rooms booked at the hotel. So this year’s con will be our biggest and best yet. We are still receiving registrations every day, many from people who have never attended PulpFest before. If you’ve been thinking about attending, but still haven’t pulled the trigger, you probably should call the hotel and make your reservation immediately. You can do so by calling 1-888-421-1442 or 1-614-463-1234 or by clicking our link to the Hyatt Regency Columbus on our home page under “Book a Room.” Please be sure to mention PulpFest when placing your reservation.
The Hyatt Regency is located at 350 North High Street in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The hotel is south of I-670, just 15-20 minutes from Columbus International Airport. In the heart of the active Arena District, the Hyatt Regency is just a few minutes’ walk from the trendy Short North Arts District. There are shops and restaurants galore right outside the hotel’s entrance.
From 4 PM to 11 PM on Thursday, the dealers’ room will be open for exhibitors to set up their displays. During set-up, dealers are asked to arrange their displays and, upon completion, cover them up and then depart the room. No buying, selling, or trading will be permitted during Thursday’s set-up. Dealers should please refrain from all such activity.
At this point, we urge all of our dealers to take full advantage of our generous load-in and set-up period. After all, this is our first year in a new location, and while uploading and transporting your goods should be much easier–there’s a side entrance to the hotel for loading and we have been granted exclusive use of a freight elevator–there is bound to be a certain amount of disorientation as folks negotiate their way around the Hyatt for the first time. We feel very strongly that attendees have every right to expect a fully-set-up hucksters room as soon as the convention opens on Friday, which is why PulpFest has always offered a lengthy load-in period on Thursday from 4 – 11 PM. We welcome your cooperation in this aspect of the show.
Early registration for the general membership will also take place on Thursday, beginning at 6 PM at a location to be determined. All members, dealers included, can pick up their registration packets at this time. For those of you who have not yet registered for PulpFest, Thursday evening will be an ideal time to do so. Three-day memberships will be available for $35. Single day memberships costing $15 per day will also be available. Please visit our Registration page for further details.
The dealers’ room will open to all members on Friday, August 10th at 9 AM and remain open until 5 PM. It will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and from 9 AM to 2 PM on Sunday. Dealers will be allowed to enter the room approximately 15 minutes prior to opening in order to prepare their displays.
There will be programming on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings and several presentations during the Friday and Saturday afternoon. Please visit our Programming page for further details.
All PulpFest attendees will be able to submit material for inclusion in the Saturday Night Auction. For additional information, please visit our Auctions page under “Programming” or contact Barry Traylor via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, due to the substantial amount of material submitted by Al Tonik, we will have to place limits on the number of lots offered by each consignee. The sooner you submit your consignment, the more likely that it will be including in our auction.
For those attendees who would like to ship their purchases to their homes, PulpFest 2012 has arranged for a local UPS provider to be available at the hotel on Sunday, August 12th, starting at 12:00 PM. Further information is available on our FAQ page.
The entire PulpFest 2012 organizing committee–Mike Chomko, Jack Cullers, Ed Hulse, and Barry Traylor–is looking forward to seeing you all in just a few days. Have a safe trip to Columbus.
In October of 1912, not long after introducing John Carter of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs created Tarzan of the Apes, the original twentieth century superhero. The singular creation of a then-fledgling author, Tarzan was a savage yet principled character that went on to strike a chord in generations of readers of every age, race, and nationality. He wasn’t an alien from another world, nor did he acquire any special powers or magic in his relentless fight to protect the African jungle and its inhabitants. But he was indeed a superhero.
Almost immediately after his introduction, Tarzan became a cultural phenomenon, spawning a trademark that spread throughout multiple media and business outlets: on film by 1918, as a comic by 1929, on radio by 1932, and as the century progressed, in television, gaming, merchandising, animation, the Internet, and soon after the century turned, a Broadway musical. Burroughs’ character somehow possesses a strange plasticity that allows him to be put into countless, even contradictory, kinds of stories. In short, way back in 1912 when he first came into the public eye through The All-Story, Tarzan became the first of a generation of multimedia superstars. One hundred years later, the name “Tarzan” still conjures instant recognition for millions of people across the globe.
On Thursday, August 9th, please join PulpFest in welcoming Henry G. Franke, III, editor of The Burroughs Bulletin and treasurer of The Burroughs Bibliophiles as he presents Tarzan: Hero for the Ages, a look at the multimedia character created by the wonderfully imaginative Edgar Rice Burroughs.
In 1934, after years of unsatisfactory dealings with Hollywood studios, Edgar Rice Burroughs entered into partnership with an old friend to produce motion pictures adapted from his novels and characters. Late that year, the ill-fated Burroughs-Tarzan Enterprises sent an expedition to Guatemala to film a 12-chapter serial titled The New Adventures of Tarzan. This complicated undertaking proved to be a bigger adventure than anything the serial’s scriptwriters had concocted. At various points during the production, cast and crew ran out of food, water, and money. Severe weather, logistical problems, and countless illnesses beset the entire unit.
Former Olympic athlete Herman Brix, making his starring debut as Tarzan, gave an exclusive interview to Blood ‘n’ Thunder editor Ed Hulse in 2002. The actor’s insights, combined with Ed’s own research, laid several myths to bed while adding important details to the extraordinarily rich history of ERB’s involvement with The New Adventures of Tarzan.
On Thursday, August 9th, at 11 PM, Ed will offer his insights into the history of ERB’s involvement with the 1934 film serial. Following the presentation, PulpFest will run the 72-minute cutdown of the chapter play, released simultaneously under the same title, The New Adventures of Tarzan, for theaters that did not book serials. A question and answer session will end the night.
Unlike the Barker films, most of which were new to me whole or in part, I'm more familiar with most of the Scott Ape Man movies. I taped many of them off of AMC back in the 90s, when that was still a "classic movie" channel. My favorites are the last two films that Scott starred in (and the first two produced by Sy Weintraub), 1959's Tarzan's Greatest Adventure (with Anthony Quayle & Sean Connery among the villains) and 1960's Tarzan The Magnificent (with Jock Mahoney and John Carradine as the bad guys). Unlike most of the Tarzan movies up to that point (specifically excluding MGM's first two films with Weismuller in the role), these last two Gordon Scott vehicles were written for adults and were shot, in large part, on location in Africa. Scott plays the Lord Of The Jungle role with intelligence and a no-nonsense, moral conviction/ badass attitude that works astoundingly well, and Cheetah is all but absent from both of these installments, so there's none of the usual pandering chimpanzee antics.
They're terrific, grown-up adventure films, and I'm grateful to have widescreen copies in my DVD collection at last. My only disappointment is that the bean counters at Warners didn't authorize digital restorations of the movies; they all looked pretty beat-up. I wish these short-sighted, short-term profit-motivated corporations realized the inherent artistic and historical value of these films (and genre movies, in general) and invested in prolonging the existence of these pop culture artifacts. The restorations would pay for themselves over time.
Anyway, I'm pretty much where I want to be now, as far as my Tarzan DVD collection goes. I still have a few titles to get (the last two Mike Henry films and a couple of the early silents, for example), but I'll pick them up eventually....
My favorite Tarzan films still tend to be the ones produced by Sy Weintraub in the late 50s/60s (specifically Tarzan's Greatest Adventure, Tarzan the Magnificent, Tarzan And The Valley Of Gold), but these are a lot of fun, too, and I'm thrilled to finally have them in my library.
J. Allen St. John, the most famous illustrator of the works Edgar Rice Burroughs, will be the subject of a talk by David Saunders, the leading expert on pulp art and author of numerous articles on pulp artists for Illustration Magazine. He has also written book-length studies of his father, illustrator Norman Saunders, and H. J. Ward, best known for cover art for the Spicy pulps.
St. John was born in 1872 and was inspired at an early age to study art. His first published works appeared in The New York Herald in 1898. Not long after settling in Chicago in 1912, he began to work as a commercial artist for a number of Midwest publishers of books, newspapers and magazines. One of these was A. C. McClurg, the publisher of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novels in book form. In 1915, he illustrated The Return of Tarzan, the first of many ERB novels for which the artist would become renowned.
On Friday, August 10th, David Saunders will present many glorious examples of St. John’s finest works as well as behind-the-scene photos of the artist, his studio, his art school, and his private club, as well as rare sketches of familiar masterpieces to better appreciate his working methods.
In addition to his work in pulp art history, David is an accomplished artist whose works are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and many other public venues. He also created the Munsey, more formally known as The Rusty Hevelin Service Award, presented annually at PulpFest.
The J. Allen St. John painting above was commissioned by Stanleigh Vinson in 1954 and inspired by the book jacket for Tarzan and the Golden Lion, published by A. C. McClurg.