Tarzan is a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who is better known as a heroic adventurer of the wild. Friends with the most wild and dangerous animals inhabiting the African Jungle, Tarzan has been a rather unseemly hero. However, the popularity of Tarzan evidences the fact that he can certainly be counted amongst some of the most loved fictional characters of all times. Interestingly, it is the only character to have made appearance in all forms of media. Radio shows, movies, novels, comics, and small screen; he has made his presence felt everywhere. This article dwells on the fascinating history of Tarzan. Read on to know how he reached the dizzying heights of success.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Tarzan
Tarzan made his debut in a pulp fiction magazine, All Story, in 1912. The character was the hero of a novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It instantly became a huge hit, which encouraged Burroughs to write a sequel to the novel.However, the Tarzan sequel was rejected by the editor of All Story.After courting many rejections, Burroughs finally found a small book publisher, A.C. McClurg & Co in Chicago, who published the book. By June 1914, the book was on sale and gained immense popularity in a short span of time.
The rising fame of Tarzan drew Hollywood interest towards this hero in the wild. The first film on Tarzan hit the theatres on January 1918. This silent film was shot in Morgan City, Louisiana. The film turned out to be a money churner at the box office (it is one of the earliest movies to have earned a million). While the initial movies made on Tarzan were silent, soon a film series with Tarzan talking and romancing his love interest was introduced, with Johnny Weissmüller living the character of Tarzan on screen. Later, James Pierce grabbed the leading role.
In 1929, the first comic strip on Tarzan was published. The strip was released for over a period of ten weeks and these strips were later compiled into the first Tarzan comic book to hit the stands. During the 1930’s, several radio shows on the wild hero were on air. Pre-recorded elaborate sound effects were used to make Tarzan and his adventures appear more realistic. One 15-minute Tarzan show ran for two years on Radio and by the time it ended, another show was underway. Tarzan had scaled great heights by now.
Even as Tarzan’s popularity fell for a while during the 1940’s and 1950’s, with the character fading into obscurity, the 1960’s saw a revival of love for this mighty hero and some more movies themed on his adventures were made. Tarzan also made it to the small screen in 1966. Another feather in his cap was added when Disney animated him in a movie in 1999. It has been almost 100 years now since the Lord of the Jungle was introduced to the world, but his fame does not seem to subside. At present, there are many Tarzan novels in print and the legend of Tarzan continues to enthrall people.