Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan #62 (November 1954)

It was a cold, mid-western night in November 1954 and Jimmy was snuggled up in his bed, his blankets pulled to his chin to keep out the chill. He had just finished his homework and was looking for something to do before he went to sleep.

As he lay in bed, he reached for the comic book he had hidden under his bed earlier in the evening. It was his beloved Tarzan comic book, the one with the Tarzan vs. lion painting on the cover.

Jimmy’s eyes lit up as he gazed at the comic book and settled back against his pillows. He opened the cover and began to read, his eyes scanning the colorful panels as Tarzan battled fierce lions and saved Jane from danger.

As the night wore on, Jimmy was completely absorbed in the story, lost in the world of adventure and excitement the comic book provided. He forgot all about the cold and the darkness outside, engrossed in the thrilling tale of the jungle hero.

Dust-jacket illustration of Tarzan of the Apes (1912)

Tarzan is a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, an American writer. He first appeared in the 1912 novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” and has since become a cultural icon, appearing in numerous books, movies, and other media.

Tarzan is a man who was raised by apes in the African jungle after being orphaned as a baby. He is known for his incredible strength, agility, and intelligence, as well as his deep connection to the natural world. He uses his skills and abilities to protect the animals and people of the jungle, and often clashes with humans who seek to exploit the natural resources of his home.

Tarzan was a popular character in comic books, even literary great Ray Bradbury is included among its readers as attested by his personal 1966 letter “It is an old artform which I have loved since I as a boy collected Buck Rogers and Tarzan comics.” 

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan #60 (September 1954)

Several different publishers produced Tarzan comics over the years. Dell Comics was the most prolific of these publishers. The first Tarzan self-titled comic book series published by Dell was “Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan” which ran for 131 issues from 1948 to 1962. This series occasionally featured artwork by Moe Gollub, who was a body builder, wrestler and an expert when it came to drawing and painting muscle patterns on humans. The stories in this series were based on the Tarzan novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and followed Tarzan as he fought against villains and protected the animals and people of the jungle. 

The series was preceded by several one-shot Tarzan comic books as part of the Four Color series that alternated numerous other popular characters of the era such as The Lone Ranger, Zorro, Dick Tracy, Roy Rogers, etc.

Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan in Tarzan’s Secret Treasure (1941)

The series continued under the Gold Key publishing brand as Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes until February 1972, ending with issue #206.

Eventually, Jimmy’s eyelids grew heavy and he drifted off to sleep, the comic book still clutched in his hand. As he dreamed, he was transported to the lush green forests of Africa, swinging through the trees with Tarzan by his side.

When he woke up the next morning, the well worn comic was still next to him and the adventures of Tarzan still fresh in his mind. Jimmy knew that he would always treasure that cold, mid-western night in November 1954, when he had lost himself in the thrilling world of Tarzan.