I have, over the years, received offers to join this exclusive group of Edgar Rice Burroughs fans in a publishing venture—that turned 36 years old this year (2019). Tempted! Sadly, real life (and ability to finance same) prevents such. When Scott Tracy Griffin—current editor, now out-going—asked about a guest article I got on that like white-on-rice!
Bucket List -1
On the Outside Looking In
David Bruce Bozarth
"Tangor" on the lists...
Copyright © 2019
Appeared in ERBAPA #140
First appeared in the 36th anniversary issue of ERBAPA #140 as a guest article. The text herein is the same as the original. For this web version at Tangor Responds links to active content by ERBAPA authors who have shared some of their past "APA" submissions published at erblist.com and the ERBmania! columns is included.
There is no order to those ERBAPA authors included, and I suspect I might have missed a few. For omissions or errors, of course, contact tangor at erblist.com. :)
I have been using electronic communication since the late 1980s hoping to find fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, first via BBS and later the Internet. It was really difficult to find Edgar Rice Burroughs fans even though I was the local hub for FidoNet for five years, which did have a few ERB fans across the world...
In fact, for the longest time I thought I was the only ERB fan, other than my younger brother who was just as nutty about the OB as I. We had great fun amusing ourselves from 1963 until now-ish. He's in assisted living and our visits are infrequent. I am going blind by inches and do not drive, so that close love of talking about ERB has diminished. 'Nuff of me...
What happened in 1996 was the creation by myself and Bruce Salen—who was once known as Tan Hadron on the lists—an email reply "thing" which, through interested efforts by Steve Armstrong (the original tarzan.com owner eventually turned over to ERB, Inc.) which grew and grew and grew and grew and I eventually located the necessary software, set up the hardware, and hosted the listserve out of my own pocket because I was SO AMAZED there were Burroughs fans out there and they wanted to talk to me and the buds!
How freakin' cool?
Met a zillion guys and gals equally touched with the ERB madness and that opened my horizons immensely.
All the things I had missed.
Yes, I had the films (either seen or collected on VHS), the comics—James and I had collected them back when they were a dime, the books ... the paperback versions, though I did find a Return McClurg in a trash and treasure near my 1959 home and bought it for 25 cents. Same place I bought a Maxfield Parish "Dinkybird" original print in frame under glass for 75 cents. James and I were collectors, even at a very early age!
As erb-list grew in members and diversity of posting I discovered other aspects which provided more fun, more games, more people!
And one of those was learning about ERBAPA.
On erb-list, early on, were posts by other fans of topics already discussed in something called Edgar Rice Burroughs Amateur Publishing Association (ERBAPA).
"What's that?" I asked.
And was educated. A group of 36 who sent 50 copies of their work to an editor who then collated, bound, and mailed a periodical 4 times per year to each of the members based on a two page minimum, no max. These APA members also PAID to PLAY with a membership fee, primarily dedicated to covering the editor's costs of collating, binding, and mailing the resulting letter-sized critter, generally comb bound with heavy covers illustrated by great ERB art, either local grown or shared by some famous artists along the way.
And then I read some of the articles that were published. How? Pat Adkins was an early erb-list member. He shared some of his APA articles via the listserve. Later had a column at erblist.com and then asked Tangor how he could do his own website. Done. And then a few others began to "re-publish" their APA stuff as well. Spreading the wealth of knowledge contained in this limited distribution periodical. I, of course, drank it all in and wondered what OTHER secrets might be found—if only one could see what had been published!
Over the many years since I have had wonderful friends in ERB fandom send me things—among which were a number of ERBAPAs. Each volume received was read, page by page and I noted the scholarship, care, detail, and outright fun by the many authors. The immense variety of viewpoints contained startled me. These were folks who loved Burroughs from so many diverse and intriguing viewpoints! A few were a bit lame, mundane, general rah-rah stuff, but even in those presentations were some nuggets of insight that brought smiles or a "why didn't I see that?".
Over the years with erblist.com, and erb-list the listserve, I have become acquainted with, and friends of, ERBAPA editors and members. These are among my treasured memories and I have been enriched by having met them via their works, their participation on the web (through erblist.com) and experienced many hours of reading enjoyment as well as having viewpoints which can be both challenged and absorbed and as a result, became a fan of ERBAPA, even though I am not a member of the "association."
A few of the ERBAPA authors have become erblist.com / erb-list participants! Among those: Huck Huckenpohler, Pat Adkins, John Martin, Ken Webber, Scott Tracy Griffin and I suspect a few others who didn't reveal their ERBAPA history...
Their ERBAPA "reprints" live at erblist.com. If I leave any others out as I race to write this "guest insert" for the anniversary ERBAPA under Scott Tracy Griffin's final year as OE, my apologies.
What is most obvious, these many years later, is that what started 36 years ago has aged beautifully, has concentrated the "shock and awe" of ERB through at least two generations, and just happens to be an all round good thing. Something to be proud of. Something to treasure. Something to continue into new generations.
ERBAPA, the "mystery mag" is reaching a milestone year. I thank Scott Tracy Griffin, current Official Editor, for the invitation to submit a guest article.
I know most of what I have written sounds like tooting my own horn, but along the way ERBAPA made MY Burroughs fan experience that much richer—and what I do world wide is just that much sweeter, better, and VALID as Edgar Rice Burroughs information because a few ERBAPA authors shared their content, their knowledge, and their love of an American iconic author who, to this day, continues to excite and inspire new products. Not a shabby thing, considering Burroughs died in 1950!
All of this happens because the members of ERBAPA are true fans, pony up and do the work, then print out of their own pocket the pages to be thumbed and ALSO pay to have the thing mailed out! Amazing bunch of folks who want to share what they feel, view, and research with others.
Long may ERBAPA LIVE!
David Bruce Bozarth, erblist.com
I was asked, over the years, to submit some of my graphic work for an ERBAPA cover. I did a couple. Here's one...
Note: erblist.com and erb-list are copyright by David Bruce Bozarth. One is a website, the other is a listserve (post once, delivered to many). Open to the public. see: http://erblist.com/erblist/erblistw.shtml