Tarzan of the Apes (by Edgar
The most popular adventure hero of modern time!
ow do I love TARZAN
OF THE APES as illustrated by Harold Foster in the midst of my tenth year
in 1930? Let me count the ways.
|| Number one: Hiperventilation.
Picture Saturday nights during the long warm summers of that year when I geared-on my
roller skates and ordered my dog, Pete, to pull me downtown in Waukegan, there to buy
ice cream and a copyof the Chicago weekend paper in which TARZAN was mauled by apes,
lions, leopards and Watusis and emerged bleeding but triumphant.
Lying on the parlor floor, after my Saturday night bath, eating my
ice cream, I drank in the even more delicious drawings of Mr. Foster
who led me week after week through adventures with even graeater beasts,
the dinosaurs, winding up in the greatest collision: Tarzan and a
lost Egyptian civization! My God, what more could one ask?
A bath, a dog, ice cream and Tarzan!
It went on for years that way. Over those years I collected every
single colored Sunday panel of Harold Foster's. I still have them,
put away in an abandoned clothes-closet here at home. I scan them
once or twice every year and find my old love. Nothing has changed.
They are still terrific. I know them as old friends who changed my
life when I began writing at twelve.
When I was 27 and published my first book I wrote a love letter to
Harold Foster to thank him for causing Tarzan to leap off the Sunday
page. He wrote me back and sent me two immense original Sunday illustrations
of PRINCE VALIANT.
What a reward for my love!
And what reward this is, to be asked to stand up front here and speak
my enthusiasm for all those young years when Harold Foster's Apeman
made me want to live forever.
Can you possiblyimagine the happiness I know in this hour, when the ten year old boy in me
is jumping up and down, mad and glad for this encounter with something that has never grown
old but remains forever fresh and new? Can you hear me, over and above that young boy's yells?
- Ray Bradburry, August 20, 1992