You can now ditch those Italian-language editions of Russ Manning’s Tarzan strip you’ve been holding onto (unless you can speak Italian, of course) because, as we hinted recently, we’re reprinting the complete Manning Tarzan newspaper strips — in a 4-volume set in English — starting in May.
In 1967 Manning was selected by the Burroughs estate to take over the strip and bring it back to the original Burroughs vision. With assists by Bill Stout, Mike Royer, and Dave Stevens, Manning created 26 original Sunday storylines and 7 daily sagas. The action took place from Pal-ul-don to Opar and Pellucidar and beyond.
We’re reproducing the dailies from ERB’s own pristine set of syndicate proofs. The interesting thing about Manning daily proofs is that they can be found in three versions, according to our pal and all-around strip expert Rick Norwood (who publishes the fine Comics Revue). As Rick explains, the strip was first run in newspapers using proofs shot from the original art; you can recognize these because the strips contain the original publication date as well as the strip number. Subsequent printings used “proofs” that were copied –and not too well — from the first-run proofs. In the third go-round, the reproduction deteriorated even further. You can recognize the second- and third-run proofs by their lack of a date, and the addition of extra legal lines obscuring the art. The first run proofs are also larger.
Here’s an example of a second-run proof (on top) and the first-run proof we’re using (click on it for a larger view):
Amazing difference, eh? Russ Manning deserves no less.
The Sundays will be reproduced from ERB’s file copies of tearsheets, filled in with scans providing by Tarzan collectors. The first three volumes chronologically collect the dailies (in front) and color Sundays (in back) from 1967 to 1974, while the fourth book will collect the remaining Sunday strips, which Manning continued until 1979. Henry Franke of The Burroughs Bibliophilesis serving as a contributing editor and is providing a scholarly essay on the strip. Bill Stout has written a marvelous introduction about Russ Manning the man.
For those who enjoy such details, here’s the breakdown for the first volume:
Tarzan, Jad-Ben-Otho — Dec. 11, 1967 – Oct. 5, 1968 ~ Strips 8857 – 9114
Tarzan and the Renegade — Oct. 7, 1968 – Oct. 18, 1969 ~ Strips: 9115-9438
Tarzan Returns to the Land of the Ant Men — Jan. 14, 1968 – June 16, 1968 ~ Strips: 1923-1945
Tarzan and the Return of Dagga Ramba — June 23, 1968 – Jan 5, 1969 ~ Strips: 1946-197
Tarzan: Korak and the Elephant Girls — Jan 12, 1969 – May 11, 1969 ~ Strips: 1975-1992