Bill Hillman's
Volume 035

For Information on all the ERB authors see
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R Encyclopedia: Authors Section

The Illustrator and the Author
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The question of the value of illustrations appears to be wide open. I like them. But that may be accounted for by the statement of a certain English reviewer that I have the mind of a child of six.

My stories have been illustrated in magazine, newspaper and book publication for the past fifteen years. Some of the illustrations have been excellent, and some gosh awful. With a single exception, J. Allen St. John has illustrated all my books. I had nothing to do with the choosing of him or the subjects of his illustrations, yet I have been almost uniformly pleased with his work, which I have always felt has added considerably to whatever success I have had.

It would be unfair, it seems to me, to compare the work of the magazine illustrators with that of St. John, since it is doubtful that they have the same opportunity to study the text that he has, there being nothing available for them but the original manuscript, and it is quite unbelievable that the magazine editor would turn this over for any length of time to the illustrator; while St. John has access to the story in magazine form, with the result that St. John's work really illustrates my stories. In fact, he visualizes scenes and characters precisely as I have, and often with market improvement.

His visualization of some of the nightmare creatures of my imagination is truly remarkable. There have been occasions when he has not had enough legs on some of them, but I would be the last to blame him, as I can never remember their full anatomical equipment myself, and am compelled to keep a little reference book to guide me each time one of them re-enters the story.

Possibly I am particularly sensitive to illustrations, but I have seen some that detracted considerably from the charm of a story, and I believe that if they cannot be absolutely correct and well done, they should not be used at all. Most of my material is particularly well adapted to illustration, since the costumes, and lack of them, will be as timely ten years from now as they are today, and in books that have been taken up by children, this is important, since the childish mind, as I know from experience, is considerably influenced by illustrations, and is not particulary intrigued by those of a former generation of wearing apparel.

Where the fault lies in improper illustration of a story, I do not know. Of course, sometimes it might lie in the art editor's choice of an artist, or again, in an artist's failure to get into the spirit of the story.

I have in mind a case in point where a very famous wild-animal artist [Charles Livingstone Bull - Tarzan the Untamed in Red Book, 1919] undertook to illlustrate a series of magazine Tarzan stories. His animals were all fashion plates, but he struck the final blow by putting whiskers on Tarzan! I had never talked with this man, but I imagined the reason he fell down so lamentably on this series of illustrations was due to his not caring for the stories he was illustrating, and if this was true, the fault was primarily the art editor's, since he should have assured himself that, whoever was the artist he commissioned, he should be first of all interested in the principal character and the story.

Two successful publishers have told me that illustrations throughout the text add nothing to the sales value of a novel, but all seem to be unanimous in the opinion that a striking jacket illustration has tremendous sales value. For this reason, presumably, my books are now illustrated [1924-26] with a single frontispiece, the cover illlustration being a reproduction of this in colors.

I have never found that the climax of any of my stories has been anticipated by the illustrator, and I believe that this is due more to the intelligence of the illustrator than to that of the editor, since editorial chapter titlers seem inclined to take all the kick out of the chapters by telling the whole story in titles.

The only illustration that ever really annoyed me was the whiskered Tarzan, but that was years ago, before book reviewers, librarians and highbrows had calloused me against petty annoyances.

Some of the magazine covers that I have had have been tremendously effective. Others have not, but I am in no position to know what effect these have had upon the sale of the magazines or the success of the story in magazine form.

If I were going to offer any suggestions to illustrators or art editors, it would be that if a story is worth illustrating, it is worth illustrating well, and that when a decision has been reached as to the character or episode to be illustrated, that the author's suggestions be invited, to the end that the artist may profit by the considerable thought which the author must have given to the visualization of characters and episodes in his story.

I may illustrate this by referring to the magazine cover illustration of a recent Indian story of mine [Paul Stahr's cover for the April 16, 1927 issue of "Argosy All-Story Weekly," which featured THE WAR CHIEF.] It is the story of an Apache Indian and in the text I describe in detail the costume worn by Apaches on the war path and when actually in battle. The illustration in question is effective, but it is not a picture of an Apache, -- but, as my son would aptly remark, "Who cares, and what of it?"

                ---ERB "The Authors' League Bulletin", October 1927.

Sample Art and Publishin Information is featured at:
ERB C.H.A.S.E.R. Encyclopedia
See the ERB Illustrated Bibliography at


          Tarzan of the Apes                                  1914

           The Return of Tarzan (jacket only)        1915

            The Return of Tarzan (interior only)      1915
            The Beasts of Tarzan                              1916
            The Son of Tarzan                                   1917

            A Princess of Mars                                  1917
            The Gods of Mars                                    1918

              Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar               1918
               Jungle Tales of Tarzan                           1919
               The Warlord of Mars                              1919
               Tarzan the Untamed                                1920
               Thuvia, Maid of Mars (interior only)     1920

               Thuvia, Maid of Mars (jacket only)        1920


                Tarzan the Terrible                                  1921
                The Mucker                                              1921
                 At the Earth's Core                                 1922
                 The Chessmen of Mars                           1922
                 Tarzan and the Golden Lion                    1923

                 The Girl from Hollywood (Macaulay)     1923

                  Pellucidar                                                  1923
                  The Land that Time Forgot                      1924
                  Tarzan and the Ant Men                          1924
                  The Cave Girl                                           1925

                   The Bandit of Hell's Bend                       1925

                   The Eternal Lover                                    1925
                   The Moon Maid                                        1926
                   The Mad King                                           1926
                   The Outlaw of Torn                                   1927

                    The War Chief                                           1927

                    The Tarzan Twins (Volland)                      1927

                    The Master Mind of Mars                       1928
                    Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle                       1928
                    The Monster Men                                    1929


                    Tarzan and the Lost Empire                       1929

                    Tanar of Pellucidar                                      1930

                    Tarzan at the Earth's Core                          1930

                    A Fighting Man of Mars                              1931


                    Tarzan the Invincible                                     1931
                    Jungle Girl                                                      1932
                    Tarzan Triumphant                                         1932
                    Apache Devil                                                  1933

                    Tarzan and the City of Gold                           1933
                    Pirates of Venus                                              1934
                    Tarzan and the Lion Man                               1934
                    Lost on Venus                                                 1935
                    Tarzan and the Leopard Man                        1935
                    Swords of Mars                                              1936
                    Tarzan's Quest                                                1936

                     Tarzan and the Tarzan Twins
                           with Jad-bal-ja the Golden Lion               1936

                     The Oakdale Affair and the Rider                     1937
                     Back to the Stone Age                                      1937
                     The Lad and the Lion                                         1938
                     Tarzan and the Forbidden City                          1938
                     Carson of Venus                                                1939
                     Official Guide of the Tarzan Clans of America  1939
                     Tarzan the Magnificent                                    1939
                     Synthetic Men of Mars                                     1940
                     The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County            1940
                     Land of Terror                                                 1944
                     Escape on Venus                                                1946
                     Tarzan and "The Foreign Legion"                        1947
                      Llana of Gathol                                                 1948


                      Beyond Thirty and The Man-Eater                   1957

                      Savage Pellucidar
                          (illustrated with 1942 magazine sketches)     1963

Some of the multitude of book illustrators: in first editions, re-issues, paper-backs, juveniles, etc.:



HAL FOSTER 1929-37
REX MAXON 1929-47
DAN BARRY 1947-49
RUSS MANNING - 1967-1979
GIL KANE 1979-81
MIKE GRELL 1981-83

Harold Foster
Harold R. Foster was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 18, 1892. In his teens he worked at a variety of jobs including prize fighting and prospecting for gold. He discovered a lode but had it taken away from him by a band of thieves, after which he abandoned the job. He rode a bicycle 1000 miles from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Chicago in 1921 to enroll in the Chicago ArtInstitute, later doing additional studies at the National Academy of Design & the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

He became an illustrator in the middle twenties doing magazine illustration as well as advertising posters. Some of his work at theis time appeared on the covers of PopularMechanics.

While in Chicago, Foster also became an assistant to J. Allen St. John, one of the top illustrators of the time. St.John was the artist whose work was most closely associated with Edgar Rice Burrough's "Tarzan", and in 1928 when Joseph Neebe acquired the rights to produce a Tarzan comic strip, he went to St.John's studio to persuade him to draw the strip. St. John refused, but Neebe reportedly spotted Foster, who he had previously worked withand signed him to illustrate only the first episode in the first few months of 1929 at which point he went back to advertising illustration.

It is interesting to note that the first Tarzan daily strip appeared on the same day that Dick Calkin's first Buck Rogers daily strip appeared, January 7, 1929.

However, the Neebe office was not altogether happy with Foster's replacement (Rex Maxon) and in 1931 lured Foster back to draw the newly syndicated Sunday page Tarzan beginning in September 1931.

Foster's "Tarzan" was one of the most beautifully drawn strips and became an immediatesmash. Foster's artistic style was copied by many at the time. But in 1936 he began to tire of illustrating the droll scripts he had to work with and his fertile imagination began to swirl with new ideas, so in February 1937 his "Prince Valiant" premiered.

He was far enough ahead with his Tarzan pages that his last Tarzan did not appear until May1, eleven weeks after Prince Valiant began to appear in the same papers.

Prince Valiant, along with Alex Raymond's "Flash Gordon" were the premier adventure strips of their time and these two artists are responsible for inspiring generations of artists including Lou Fine, Frank Frazetta, Al Williamson, Wayne Boring (who assisted  Foster from 1966-69) and Mark Shultz among scores of others.  His Prince Valiant is revered in the annals of comic art and hisoriginals are highly prized works of art.

His virtuosity with pen and brush techniques made each page an amazing conglomeration of lines. His dry brush style was an inspiration to the young Alex Raymond before the first Flash Gordon page was a spark in Raymond's imagination. Foster's use of dialogue also took on a unique form. His text was not to explainthe story as much as to compliment the artistic visuals. It is known that Foster took some sixty hours weekly to produce each Sunday episode (there was never a daily), and he never included a local that he had not personally visited for thematic accuracy.

In 1971 he drew his last Prince Valiant Sunday page, handing over the artistic chores to John Cullen Murphy. He had illustrated 1789 Prince Valiant pages. He made appearances at many comic book conventions and was a fan favorite for years. He died in 1981.

John Coleman Burroughs (Please refer to ERB's Kids
Perhaps it would be of interest to elucidate on the "John Carter of Mars" comic strip panels drawn by my husband, John Coleman Burroughs, in 1942. My facial features were drawn and I posed in a swim suit and Martian harness for the body proportions and positions. Never has it been known that I also drew all of the backgrounds and buildings, did all of the coloring and all of the lettering, and very much enjoyed the project. My love to all.

              --- "Dejah Thoris" (Jane Ralston Burroughs) Irvine, California

Burne Hogarth -- December 25, 1911 - January 28, 1996

 Burne Hogarth, world-famous cartoonist, illustrator and art historian, is considered one of the titans of comic art, having achieved universal acclaim for his illustrations of the Sunday newspaper feature, Tarzan. As guest of honor at the comics arts festival in Angouleme, France, last January, he received an unprecedented standing ovation and was about to return to his home in Los Angeles when he died in Paris on January 28, 1996.

 Burne was born in Chicago in 1911. He received his first artistic inspiration from his cabinetmaker father, and his art education at the Art Institute of Chicago. His diversified professional career embraced nearly three quarters of a century as author, art educator, fine artist, illustrator and comic artist. Burne taught for the WPA Arts Project from 1933 to 1935 and founded the Academy of Newspaper Art in Manhattan in 1944. In 1937 he made comics history when he was chosen by Hal Foster to replace him in the drawing of the Tarzan strip. Drawing the strip until 1952, his unique and innovative contribution was endowing the comic book page with a profound sense of movement and dynamism while retaining the values of formal illustration. Burne was the first adventure strip artist to design the comics page as a harmonious whole and to see relationships between each panel and composition within panels. After leaving the strip, he published Tarzan of The Apes and Jungle Tales of Tarzan in book form.

 "Years after he abandoned the comics," wrote Walter J. Miller, Professor of Contemporary  Literature at NYU, "the culture historians at last 'discovered' him. They hailed him as one of the  great iconographers of our age, the 'Michelangelo of the comic strip'." On three continents, Burne  is recognized as a founding father of a new form of sequential art, Pictorial Fiction. Miller  continues, "Hogarth has long been famous for realizing the impossible in this medium. His Sunday  strips often achieved...a genuine brooding, tragic depth."

 In 1950 Burne cofounded New York's prestigious School of Visual Arts where his lecture  demonstrations of anatomy and drawing provided the material for his many books: Dynamic  Anatomy, Drawing the Human Head, Dynamic Figure Drawing, Drawing Dynamic Hands,  Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery, Dynamic Light and Shade and The Arcane Eye of Hogarth. His  books are known to art students around the world.

 From 1970 until he moved to Los Angeles in 1981, Burne taught anatomy at Parsons School of  Design in New York City. From 1983 until his death, he taught analytic figure drawing at the Art  Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Ramone Munoz, Foundation Chair at Art  Center wrote, "He was revered as a legend by his students and colleagues alike for his  professionalism, vitality and inspirational teaching style."

 A past president of the National Cartoonist Society, member of the Board of Governors, he  earned the NCS silver plaque for best illustration and advertising in 1974, '75 and '76. He was also  named Artist of the Year in 1975 at the Pavilion of Humor in Montreal, Canada. In 1986 he  received the lifetime Caran D'Ache award in Lucca, Italy and in 1988 was awarded the Lauriers  D'Or (Golden Laurels) by the C.E.S.A.R. Art Society in Paris. In May 1989, he was awarded the Premio Especial by the 7th International Salon of Humor in Barcelona. His cartoons, drawings,  prints, and paintings have been exhibited in one-man and group shows all over the world. Among  his proudest honors was an exhibition of his work at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs of the Louvre in Paris.

 While Burne was living in New York with his first wife Rhoda, his son Michael was born. From  1962 until his move to California in 1981, Burne lived in Pleasantville, New York in Westchester  County with his second wife Connie and his sons Richard and Ross.  Michael, Richard, Ross, Stephanie, Kris, Pam and Connie Hogarth; Rhoda Ratzkoff; Perez,  Honore, Bernard and Rosalie Zagorin; Ellen Shepard and Sylvia Marks

Crandall's work in the forties was legendary. He was thought to be so good that, when drawing  BLACKHAWK, his editor finally asked him not to bring his work in during business hours; it disrupted the office too much while everyone there gathered around to admire it.  He also did a lot of good work for EC in the early fifties, primarily in their crime and SF comics.

It is rumoured that he had a bad drinking problem that gradually erased his talent and when he bottomed out, he was out of art altogether, working as a low paid security guard. 

Frank Frazetta was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1928. As early as age three he was drawing & at eight he is reported to have been selling his work! He later went to the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1944, at the tender age of 16, his first professional comic work appeared in Tally Ho comics, under his mentor John Giunta. This job would lead to others & for several years he illustrated funny animals for text stories in Coo Coo & Happy comics.

He illustrated eight "Shining Knight" stories at DC which are highly acclaimed & also did stories for "Heroic Comics", including a one page anti drug story which was used repeatedly for several years.

During this time he met & befriended Al Williamson & Roy Krenkel, two of comics' greatest talents. Each was inspired & influenced by the other, but Al & Frank were taught much by Roy & would later profess a great profit from his genius.

Frank worked for numerous companies including Standard, Lev Gleason, & at Toby with Al Williamson, and later at M.E. where he drew "White Indian" & his own creation "Thun'da" .

Thun'da, actually a derivation of Edgar Rice Burrough's "Tarzan" was a great achievement by any standards & Frank's talent glowed like a supernova with this effort.

During this time he also worked for Bill Gaines at EC Comics, and it is here that he did a number of classic stories & covers, almost entirely in collaboration with Williamson & Krenkel. One effort entitled "50 Girls 50" is hailed as one of the greatest stories of all time, and another story, "Squeeze Play" is a fabulous "Shock Suspenstory".

He contributed to the Buck Rogers mythos by illustrating 7 covers for the Famous Funnies comic in the early fifties. Among these seven covers are some of the most respected comic book covers ever created. Kinetic, visceral works; these pieces jump off the books & drill into your gut with their emotional & angry action scenes.

In 1952, Frank created his famous comic strip "Johnny Comet," later "Ace McCoy".  Lasting for one & one half years, it was a finely drawn & brilliantly conceived strip about a race car driver; his girl, the gorgeous Jean & his friends, Mom & Pop Bottle.  Unfortunately the scripting by Peter DePaolo was not on a par with the art & after an initial period of success, the strip was dropped in 1953.

Also in 1952 he went to work for Al Capp assisting on the "Lil Abner" strip. Staying with Capp until about 1960 or so, Frank quit after Capp informed him that his salary would be cut -after Frank had re-located to be closer to Capp's studio!

After leaving Abner he toiled for paperback publishers doing interior illustrations (these books are highly sought after & command high prices), and then wound up at Warren Publications where a number of the EC artists had gathered to work on Creepy, Eerie, Blazing Combat & Vampirella.

Frank's assignments where mostly cover paintings & these works are some of the most memorable pieces of the baby boomer generation.

"Egyption Princess" (Eerie #23), "Sorcerer" (Eerie #2), "Wolfman" (Creepy #5), "Sea Monster" (Eerie #3) and scores of others, each is a masterpiece. While at Warren he also drew a "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" page & another famous story (possibly his best comic story ever) "Werewolf", the story of a crazed "wolf-hunter" who is himself the hunted. These five pages are a momentous achievement for the comic medium.

He was commissioned by Canaveral Press & Doubleday Books to do illustrations for E.R. Burroughs stories which naturally included the Tarzan & Mars series' and he also did a number of ERB covers & interiors for the entire spectrum of Burroughs stories for Ace Books. Some are great, others are less so. He admittedly did three covers in one weekend to meet a deadline after putting the assignment aside for almost three months. Two of these are rather dull Frazetta compositions, but one of them - "Tarzan & the Jewels of Opar" is an outstanding work of art.

A very prolific artist, Frank has been one of the most influential & therefore one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Frank is certain to have carved his niche in the history of American Art.

As a postcript, Frank this year has had two debilitating strokes, which have severely incapacitated him. Our wishes are with Frank for his return to good health.

Vallejo was born in Lima. His father was a wealthy lawyer. He became interested in the arts at an early age and studied violin for seven years. He later took an introductory course for medical school - the anatomy studies would serve him well in his future career as an artist. He then enrolled in applied graphics at the National School of Fine Arts, Peru. He turned down an offer to study in Florence but refused to go to Europe --  instead he went to New York where he struggled to make a living and to learn English.

Six months went by, and he had already been working at the New York Headquarters of the company, where he met his wife, Doris. It took him two years to turn his back to the office and become a free-lancing graphic artist. He struggled for eight years learning the hard game played by publishers and the press. It taught him a lot, and he learned how to vary styles rapidly, meet overnight deadlines and to work quickly. It was the publisher Marvel Comics who took notice of his placards and greeting cards first. A year later he was working for the even more famous Ballantine Books. Gradually he was being recognized in the industry for his remarkable work in SF/Fantasy and ERB covers. Today he is the uncrowned king of this genre.

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