Tarzan swings into Pulp and Paper con
Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1934.
Windy City Pulp and
Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard
April 27-29; Noon-midnight Friday, 9 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
Admission is $35 for the run of the show, $25 daily Friday and Saturday, and $15 Sunday. Fee includes
access to all convention events and souvenir program book containing pulp articles and reprints
(888) 627-9031 or visit windycitypulpandpaper.com for details
Updated: April 17, 2012 8:09PM
1912 was a very good year for fledgling pulp novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs, who saw his first two creations, Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars, passionately embraced by the readers of All Story Magazine.
And, of course, though Burroughs himself might be a bit surprised to know it, his creations are still going strong a century later, as evidenced by this year’s mega-budget Disney adventure “John Carter.” While the film fizzled in the States, its international reception has been welcoming, and possibly strong enough to merit a sequel, after home video sales are tallied.
All of which underscores the significance of pulp-fiction grand master Burroughs being honored on the centenary of his first publications April 27-29 at the 12th annual Windy City Pulp and Paper convention in Lombard.
“The impact of Edgar Rice Burroughs on popular culture isn’t easy to measure, but it’s certainly huge,” said Doug Ellis of Barrington Hills, a co-producer of the Pulp and Paper fest.
Ellis traces his own infatuation with the pulps back to his teen years in the ’70s, reading reprints of works by authors such as Burroughs and Dashiell Hammett, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, and H.P. Lovecraft from antique magazines such as All Story, Spicy Detective, Black Mask and Weird Tales. “George Lucas and James Cameron have both gone on record saying they were inspired by Burroughs and Cameron has been quoted somewhere saying ‘Avatar’ was his attempt to do a Burroughs movie,” he said.
“When you think of all the various stories that derive in some sense from his fiction, from “Superman” comics to “Star Wars,” it’s clear (Burroughs) has been a powerful influence in many different areas. As a matter of fact, Carl Sagan said in his autobiography that he was inspired to become an astronomer after reading the ‘John Carter’ books, lying awake at night, staring at Mars and dreaming of being carried away there like Carter was.”
In addition to the usual attractions of pulp-art displays, auctions of rare pulp-culture artifacts and the wares of more than a hundred dealers offering pulp-fiction collectibles for sale, this years Windy City Pulp convention features panel discussions on the importance of Burroughs in pop culture and a film festival including rare Burroughs-derived cinematic treasures.
John Carter (for the
uninitiated, a Civil War veteran magically transported to the Red Planet for spectacular adventures augmented by super powers conveyed by his new environs), for whatever reason, is a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to going Hollywood. Tarzan, however, made the transition to the silver screen as early as 1918 and has been swinging in style ever since.
Seldom-seen King of the Jungle cinema on display at the event includes that very first “Tarzan of the Apes,” starring Elmo Lincoln (plus a companion-piece 2011 documentary on that production), sample chapters from the 1920 serial “The Son of Tarzan,” the complete 1929 serial “Tarzan the Tiger,” the 1933 feature “Tarzan the Fearless” starring Buster “Flash Gordon” Crabbe, the 1935 feature “Tarzan and the Green Goddess” (cut down from a serial produced by Burroughs), and the 1934 classic “Tarzan and His Mate,” starring Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan.