Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan has always interested me; however, I have not had the opportunity to get invested in the world’s mythology. Now, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fabled ape-man, Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, written by Scott Tracy Griffin, has been released by Titan Books. This stunning book chronicles the history of Tarzan and his creator. Whether you are an expert who cannot get enough or a novice like myself looking for a gateway into a new world, this book provides you with everything you are looking for.
Griffin frames the history of the character and Burroughs by the books themselves. Each book has a separate section devoted to it. Each section includes a summary of the book, Burroughs’ inspiration for it, and details on the adaptations inspired by it. The summaries are enough to excite a hunger for the stories, but brief enough that they do not spoil things for new readers.
This book also takes time to explore the paraphernalia that the source material has inspired. Tarzan has been adapted to comics, movies, television shows, and even theater. The large format of the book is great for showcasing the art by comic book legends such as Frank Frazetta and Neal Adams. When presenting the film and television adaptions, Griffin not only gives a synopsis of each, but also discusses behind-the-scenes information such as casting choices and the politics of making a film during the golden age of Hollywood.
Among all of the other fascinating things in this book, there are several gems that stand out above the rest. A two-page map of Africa illustrates iconic locations from the books. If you find linguistics more interesting than geography, there is a guide for speaking the fictitious ape language. The book even includes sketches and notes from Burroughs himself.
Taran: The Centennial Celebration is now available for sale on the Titan Books website.