Josh Wilding Reviews: TARZAN THE CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

On sale now from Titan Books, Scott Tracy Griffin's Tarzan The Centennial Celebration looks at one hundred years of Tarzan in the only official commemorative illustrated history of the worldwide phenomenon. Hit the jump to read my verdict!

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By Josh Wilding - 11/22/2012
With Tarzan heading back to the big screen in 2014 from director David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), now really is the perfect time for a book like Titan Books' Tarzan The Centennial Celebration to be released. The beautifully presented 320-page hardcover shines the spotlight on just about everything and anything you could possibly want to know about the iconic Edgar Rice Burroughs creation as the Lord of the Jungle turns 100 this year. This is an incredibly in-depth and revealing publication, and while I'm no Tarzan expert, it's hard to imagine a single area that the book fails to cover. From his creation to later appearances in comics, novels, musicals, movies and more, this stunning collection delves into the world of this character which author Scott Tracy Griffin (a renowned expert on all things Burroughs) is clearly very, VERY passionate about.

Despite being packed full of lavish images, the Tarzan The Centennial Celebration manages to avoid the pitfalls of similar releases (glorified picture books basically) and crams in a lot of genuinely very interesting information. Griffin finds the perfect balance of both, meaning it never gets bogged down in too much information OR feels like too light of a read. In terms of what you can expect, the book features many of Burroughs' original notes, as well as stunning artwork from the various comics and novels which have been released over the years. There's also plenty of stills from the various small and big screen adaptations, many of which are printed here for the first time. Of course, Tarzan wouldn't be Tarzan without his supporting characters, and the likes of Jane and Cheetah all get their chance to shine as well. Topped off with a look at collectibles, conventions, authorised sequels and more (not to mention a brilliant foreword from big screen Tarzan Ron Ely), there's no doubting the fact that this is a must-have for any fan of Tarzan.






Celebrating one hundred years of Tarzan, Titan Books presents the only official commemorative illustrated history of this worldwide phenomenon. To celebrate the Lord of the Jungle’s 100th birthday, internationally-acclaimed Edgar Rice Burroughs expert Scott Tracy Griffin presents the ultimate review of a century of Tarzan. Lavishly illustrated and with fascinating insight into every element of Burroughs’ extraordinary legacy – from his first writings to the latest stage musical – this is a visual treasure trove of classic comic strip, cover art, movie stills, and rare ephemera. From the first publication of the smash hit Tarzan of the Apes, Burroughs’ ape man captured the hearts and the imaginations of adults and children across the globe, whether by written word, moving image, comic strip or radio. Each of the 24 original novels and the many varied appearances on stage, screen and in print receive a detailed commentary, illustrated with some of the most evocative and beautiful artworks, illustrations and photographs, many rarely seen in print before. With features on Korak, Jane, Tantor and Cheetah, plus their innumerable friends, foes and exotic adventures, this is an amazing collection of all things Tarzan and a vital addition to any Tarzan-lover’s library.


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8 Comments
HellsHammer - 11/22/2012, 1:51 PM
Not really a Tarzan guy but cool I guess...
sameoldthing - 11/22/2012, 2:19 PM
Read that Alexander Skarsgaard is going to play Tarzan in upcoming film...hope its good!
CBMSTAR - 11/22/2012, 6:25 PM
It is great news to hear about the upcoming "TARZAN" movie as well as the 100 celebration. The best two Tarzan movies ever filmed was with Johnny Weismuller; TARZAN THE APE MAN & TARZAN & HIS MATE. If they can come close to those two(use of CGI, etc.) then they will have a blockbuster on their hands. We need a good live action TARZAN and maybe the start of a great franchise(ala JAMES BOND).
DioFoRio - 11/22/2012, 9:24 PM
greystoke son
niknik - 11/22/2012, 9:34 PM
Nice choice for the feature art. I have that print signed by Neal. Always been one of my favorites. He, Hal Foster, and Burne Hogarth are hands down the best artists to ever draw the Lord of the Jungle.


and yeah, Maureen Sullivan in Tarzan and His Mate was hot as hell. Get the version with the restored footage of her "skinny dip".

CBMSTAR - 11/23/2012, 1:25 AM
Niknik, i first saw Maureen O Sullivan,s "skinny dip" uncensored on tv and had to pick my jaw up off the floor as well as put my eyes back in my head! Greystoke was a good Tarzan film as well, but I prefer the Johnny Weismuller Tarzan over it. Everyone has the favorites of course but the first two Weismuller film raised the bar really high. It,s time for a really GOOD movie about the Lord of the Jungle!
sameoldthing - 11/23/2012, 9:24 AM
That Neal Adams art is awesome,i remember seeing those on some novel covers in the library & just had to get 'em.

In his prime,Neal Adams was like a mix of Frank Frazetta & Alex Ross on his cover work.
His interior comic pages brought so much realism that guys like Bryan Hitch must have been inspired by.

Always wondered about Tarzan's hygiene...dude must have nasty teeth & bad body odor.
CBMSTAR - 12/11/2012, 7:57 PM
Remember, Tarzan ate jungle fruit (among other things that the apes ate which Im not going into) which helped his teeth and breath. He learned how to harvest natural herbs for medicine and healing. As far as hygiene, he swam in jungle rivers and lagoons (and took on crocodiles!)so I would think he would be an all- around healthy physical specimen. Bottom line is he is what Edgar Rice Burroughs created him to be; a fictional character known and loved the world over.

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