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The Ultimate Burroughs Fan Magazine

    The legacy of Vernell Coriell, founder of The Burroughs Bulletin and the Burroughs Bibliophiles, will be treasured and studied for a very long time to come.
    I met him three times, in 1969, 1977, and 1978 at the respective World Science Fiction Conventions. He was affable, entertaining, and enlightening, someone it was a pleasure to be around. He was also prolific. I will leave to others the task of publishing a complete index of Vern's publications; however, I suspect that he has left us no single greater legacy than issue twelve of The Burroughs Bulletin. In some ways this may well be the best Burroughs fanzine ever published.
    It was published in 1956--late (of course--Vern was always late) by at least six years--and was the first Bulletin to appear after ERB's death. Boasting forty-eight pages of articles and reprints, it was at the time the largest and most comprehensive effort ever made to supply biographical and bibliographical information for the Burroughs fan.
    (My copy was acquired much later, as part of the reprint of the first twelve issues that Coriell issued in 1963. And that, too, was quite a package for the young Burroughs fan!)
    Just scanning the contents brings back memories. The lead article, "Edgar Rice Burroughs--Panthan" is by Joe McCarthy, a staff writer for the Fargo Forum; it relates wartime experiences the author shared with ERB. "The Master of Other Worlds" by Samuel A. Peeples (the Sam Peeples of Hollywood fame), depicts the departed ERB entering a Valhalla peopled by his many characters. In "The Golden Age and the Brass" Philip Jose Farmer shares his boyhood love of Burroughs; and in "Tarzan of the Apes" Russ Manning (long before he got his opportunity to draw Tarzan for the comic books or newspaper strip) gives us a full page rendition of his ape-man--excellent work, too.
    There are also articles by ERB regulars Darrell C. Richardson, John Harwood, Thomas S. Gardner, Allan Howard, Stanleigh B. Vinson, and Maurice B. Gardner.
    That issue is packed not only with articles, reminiscences, clippings, art work (including Hannes Bok's rendition of "Tarzan and Jane"), but also lengthy checklists of everything from ERB's original magazine publications to Big Little Books and premiums. 
    Fascinating tidbits abound, presenting an intriguing record of the time: "The death of Edgar Rice Burroughs caused more comment on the newscasts of radio than any other person since the death of FDR," Thomas S. Gardner tells us in "Project Burroughs." "Sometimes as much as one third of the time was given to ERB."
    Gardner goes on to relate what was known at the time concerning ERB's unpublished works. How sad that today, thirty years later, so many of these still remain unpublished!
    Letters of tribute include those from Ray Bradbury, Lex Barker, Elmo Lincoln, Bruce Bennett, Johnny Weissmuller, Gene Pollar, Buster Crabbe, Howard Browne, and J. Allen St. John.
    In "The Perfect Guest," Oliver R. Franklin, Lt. Col. USAF (Retired) shares his experiences with ERB in the South Pacific. It is in this issue, too, in "A Visit to Tarzana," that Vern relates his final (only?) meeting with Burroughs--a fascinating and moving commentary. And to top it all off there's "What Makes Tarzan Act that Way," a nonfiction piece by Edgar Rice Burroughs himself.
    A compelling publication, and a fitting memorial to its editor and publisher, Vernell Coriell. Thank you, Vern. We'll miss you.
--March 19, 1987
 

 
 

Edgar Rice Burroughs'
Martian Series

#1. A Princess of Mars  (1917)
#2. The Gods of Mars  (1918)
#3. The Warlord of Mars  (1919)
#4. Thuvia, Maid of Mars  (1920)
#5. The Chessmen of Mars  (1922)
#6. The Master Mind of Mars  (1928)
#7. A Fighting Man of Mars  (1931)
#8. Swords of Mars  (1936)
#9. Synthetic Men of Mars  (1940)
#10. Llana of Gathol  (1948)
#11. John Carter of Mars  (1964)

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Copyright © 1999 Patrick H. Adkins. All rights reserved.