Edgar, “John Mars” and “Tarzan” Too: ECOF 2017’s Dallas Debut

| June 11, 2017 | Reply

In the year 1912, pulp fiction fan and one-time pencil-sharpener wholesaler, Edgar Rice Burroughs, became a writer in his spare time and created two of the world’s most iconic characters, space explorer “John Carter” and “John Clayton,” better known as the jungle-dwelling adventurer called Tarzan. Before his death in 1950, the Chicago native published over 80 novels and remains one of America’s most influential novelists.

      Although fans of Burroughs’ books have continuously celebrated his works in literary conventions across the nation, none have met in North Texas until now; Thursday’s Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship Convention, also known as ECOF 2017, touches down in Irving for a three day event featuring ERB-related memorabilia, one-of-a-kind rarities, Tarzan film screenings, author workshops and new Tarzan novels, author workshops and the appearance of Joe R. Lansdale, a Texan and fellow novelist who also carries a connection to the Burroughs’ legacy.  

       Excited about ECOF’s Dallas-area debut, sponsor and ERB enthusiast, Jim Goodwin, spoke recently by phone about the what fans can expect, which new Tarzan books are available and why Burroughs is such an enduring favorite;
What finally brought ECOF to the metroplex?

“There have been prior ECOF groups that met in South Texas and in College Station, but in 2013, during a ‘DumDum’ meeting in the University of Louisville, KY’s ERB library [‘dum-dum’ was a Burroughs’ Tarzan-based ape language term for ‘gathering’], myself, Frank Granger and a couple of other Texans decided to create an ERB ‘Bibliophile’ [group] in North Texas. The Facebook group was created in 2015 and we earned the approval from ERB’s Board of Directors last year. Everything was finalized last January, so it’s quite a process.”

What can ERB fans expect from next week’s ECOF?

“In addition to the ‘huckster room,’ where various website members and collectors can sell their reprints, dust covers and other items, there will be a tour of the Lone Star Comic Warehouse and ECOF will host author discussion groups; Jake Sanders, will be presenting his new novel, Tarzan and the Cannibal King and then there’s Thomas Zachek, he’ll host a chat about his book, The Tarzan Trilogy. Robert Zeuschner recently wrote Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Bibliography, which is over 600 pages long and lists the ‘first editions,’ the magazine entries, paperbacks and so on. Joe Lukes compiled 2004’s Edgar Rice Burroughs Bibliography of “pre-war” Grosset & Dunlap Editions 1918-1941, that publishing company was the largest one reprinting Burroughs’ works up through the 1970s.”

Texas native Joe R. Lansdale will also be speaking throughout ECOF as well, how does he fit in with Burroughs?

“Back in the 60s, ERB Inc. got into the safe and found several unpublished manuscripts. Most were published, but one was a fragment of only about 30-odd pages long. They commissioned Lansdale to finish the story. Tarzan—The Lost Adventure was published in 1995 and that’s his connection to ‘ERBdom.’”

As a self-confessed “ERB Bibliophile,” why is Edgar Rice Burroughs such a favorite of yours?

“From the Tarzan novels to the John Carter of Mars collections, his Pellucidar books and others, ERB’s adventures put the characters in crazy situations and he gets them out of trouble in his plots with the most fascinating ways. Other types of entertainment exist, but Burroughs created great escapist fiction. That’s what ECOF is all about; spreading the word and to promote the writings of ERB for current and future readers.”

Info: June 8-11, 9am-9pm (registration closed, walk-ins welcomed, $15 entrance fee per day )
ECOF – 2017 will be held at the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) Airport North Marriott,
8440 Freeport Pkwy, Irving, Texas 75038.  972-929-8800


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