Getting through the Land of Terror!

[dropcap]Having[/dropcap] finally determined, to everyone’s satisfaction, what the title lettering on the Grosset & Dunlap edition will look like, I’m ready to finish up the dust-jackets and bookmarks for the new Jim Gerlach ERB Books/ERB, Inc. publications of LAND OF TERROR.

I still have to finish the Smilodon head silhouette and the layout for the spine binding stamp that will also be used on the slipcases.

These two editions, the ERB, Inc. and the Grosset & Dunlap, will be valuable for their use of the John Coleman Burroughs chapter head-pieces (see above) drawn for the first edition but never published. Why they were not used in 1944 we will probably never know. Perhaps, as Bob Zeuschner suggests, it was a war-time cost-cutting decision about the expense of the line cuts needed. However, there are large spaces below the chapter numbers in the 1944 first edition where the drawings could have easily been inserted. The layout looks very much as though it had been planned to have the head-pieces. Though there are 28 chapters in the book, there are only 27 head-piece drawings. The first picture depicts an incident which begins in chapter 2, on page 16, and culminates on page 18 when a canoe full of large, bearded men hurl torches with thick, resinous smoke at David Innes and his companions as they try to navigate a Pellucidarian river.

Though there is space for it under the chapter 1 numeral, there doesn’t appear to be a head-piece for the opening chapter. But then, the first chapter is really more of an introduction rather than a story chapter anyway. There is a full-page illustration that was obviously planned as a frontispiece facing the title page, but that was not used either.

All of these drawings were printed for the first time in David Innes of Pellucidar published by Vern Coriell’s House of Greystoke in 1968 for The Burroughs Bibliophiles. You can see that they were intended as line cuts by JCB’s use of Craftint Doubletone board with its tell-tale cross-hatching. This was the same shading method used by many comic strip artists of the era, particularly Roy Crane and his assistant Leslie Turner on “Wash Tubbs” and “Buz Sawyer.” Check out Guy Lawley’s Legion of Andy blog: https://legionofandy.com/2016/08/26/ben-day-dots-part-8-1930s-to-1950s-the-golden-age-of-comics/ for a wonderfully detailed explanation of how comics were produced, “back in the day.”

The other things that make these reprints worthwhile are the colored versions of Roy Krenkel’s illustrations from the Canaveral edition of 1963, the Frank Frazetta covers from the Ace paperbacks of 1964 and 1973, art from Joe Jusko, and two manuscript pages in Burroughs’ own handwriting.

The original JCB painting for the first edition has been re-photographed by Rob Greer and I’ve done some reconstruction work to fill in the art that was covered by the matting that surrounds it in its present frame. That’s going to go on the ERB, Inc. edition, of course. I had to digitally cut out all the title lettering from the original dust-jacket so it could be placed over the newly photographed art. We made a few changes to the positions of certain elements on the front cover and spine to make them read a bit better. In those ways this jacket is sharper than the original.

The G&D edition features a beautiful new wraparound painting by Bob Eggleton for a cover that will knock your socks off. We’re putting title lettering on it in a style that refers back to the original JCB edition, sort of “closing the circle” so to speak.

You can order these new editions at https://www.erbbooks.com/store/c4/LAND_OF_TERROR_LIMITED_EDITIONS.html

Thanks for sticking with Recoverings and bringing your friends in on the “likes.” Even if you’re not collecting Edgar Rice Burroughs first edition books, you should take a look at the art prints I’ve produced from the dust-jacket art. My restoration of the J. Allen St. John painting for “Tarzan at the Earth’s Core” is a closeup look at one of his best cover paintings. Go to https://www.recoverings.com/artprints.html and click on number 4.

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