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What Might Have Been – Tarzan


Today’s Sunday Tarzan comic strip was the last by Gray Morrow (originally dated August 19, 2001).

A bit over 18 years on the Sunday strip, at the end Morrow had to increasingly rely on assistants due to a progressive affliction with Parkinson’s Disease. If ERB Inc./Andrews McMeel continue with the original run, we will see 39 weeks of Alex Simmons and Eric Battle Tarzan Sundays before the strip ended original material.

During the strip’s Sunday run there were a dozen artists, and far more ghost and assistant artists. Add in the dailies and the numbers run into scores. Of course there were a number of artists that submitted samples hoping to get the prestigious assignment.


At one point major E. R. Burroughs fan, and artist to boot, Dave Hoover worked up some impressive try-out strips. Check out more Dave Hoover ERB art at his gallery.



Also undated, but possibly circa the 1960s, is a week’s worth of daily Tarzans by J. David McFarland.

J. D. McFarland, unsuccessful with Tarzan, would try to get other original and adapted strips syndicated. Some got as far as signed with syndicates, but I don’t think any got into newspapers. (Drifting into Never Was Comic Strip territory here.)



Illustrator and comic book artist Ronn Sutton drew a couple Tarzan Sunday samples.

Source for these strips say they were recently produced in June 2016.



Famed comic artist Alex Nino auditioned for Russ Manning when Manning was in control of Tarzan. Apparently Nino did get some work out of it. My notebook says Nino inked a few Tarzan Sundays ca. early 1970, Allan Holtz says around 1982.

The lush jungle landscape puts me in mind of the Hogarth Tarzan books of the 1970s.



In 1964-65 Charlton Comics published an unauthorized Tarzan comic book.

Around that same time Joe Gill and Sam Glanzman, the writer and artist of the comic book, tried their hand on a Tarzan comic strip. According to Glanzman:

”The newspaper thing was something that never gelled. done for Charlton. I think Joe Gill wrote it.”

Larry Shell is the source, and he has more information.


So what are the chances ERB Inc. and Andrews McMeel will put out the last 39 weeks of the original run as reruns and then start producing new Sunday Strips?








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