Every year around the end of October my friend, Rick Loomis, who is he head buffalo of Flying Buffalo, Inc., a small gaming company based in Scottsdale, Arizona (and publisher of my Tunnels and Trolls game) attends the Games and Toys Fair in Essen, Germany. He always brings a few goodies back, so this year, I thought to ask him if he would look for some European Tarzan comics. I showed him what not to get; namely the European translation of American comics, and hoped for the best. Of all my literary heroes, Tarzan is the greatest and oldest.
And I got my wish. Rick’s Dutch host (Rick stayed with a fan/friend in the Netherlands and drove back and forth to Essen each day) had an old Tarzan comic that he gave to Rick for me. And it looks like this:
Tarzan finds medieval soldiers in the middle of the jungle
The comic is from 1979. The artist has a style similar to Russ Manning’s Tarzan, but just a little less clean-cut. The book has 48 pages, about double the size of a normal comic, and contains 3 separate, independent stories. The language is Dutch, which may be my favorite European language. Dutch is a cross between English and German, and one can almost read it without help of dictionary, especially if one knows a little German, which I do because I took a year of it in college some 48 years ago. The cover story is called “Ontmoeting met het verleden” which means Encounter with the Past. With Google translation easily available online, I don’t have to guess at the meaning of unfamiliar words like verleden.
The great thing about comics is that one can pretty much tell what’s going on even if one doesn’t understand the words.
The second story is called De reuze-vogels. Try to guess what it’s about from this page that I scanned.
Can you read it? Even without a dictionary I can tell that the last panel says “The plants and flowers are greater (maybe larger) than I have ever seen.” Vogel is clearly eagle in this story–not such a big difference between our english word and the Dutch in this case. I don’t know what reuze means. I’m guessing “giant” or maybe royal. Let’s see what Google tells me. (Ken changes browser windows to check a meaning.) Yes, reuze means giant, and I was right the first time. Grin. It was not a hard deduction to make, but it’s always edifying to be right about such things. And vogel is bird instead of eagle, a fact I sort of vaguely knew, but I wonder why the scripter used that word since they are clearly drawn as eagles.
The comic has a lot of text in it, and that means I can pick up a lot of Dutch vocabulary by simply reading it with a little help from my Google translation page. It will take a couple of hours to get through this book, but I’m looking forward to it. (I’ve only had it for a day now, and haven’t found time to read the whole thing yet.)
And here’s the back cover. It looks like a preview of the next issue, due in 14 days. Dang! The sixties and seventies must have been a great time for Tarzan fans in the Netherlands, and perhaps all of Europe, with almost 50 pages of new story appearing every two weeks. It says “Radioactive rays in the jungle? Also read the following-exciting number. . . about 14 days.
My thanks to Rick Loomis and his host Jan for getting me this minor treasure from the past. I’m definitely enjoying it, and wish I had more.
If you have any Tarzan comics (or any other real comics–not just translations of our American stuff) from other countries, why not mention them here? Personally, I think this would be a great way to teach foreign languages–bring on the comics from the countries whose language you want to learn. I’d be happy to see more Tarzan from any other country in the world.
I spent the weekend of August 9-12 in Toronto at the second OSRcon, organized by Chris Cunnington and sponsored (sort of) by Trollhalla member Carter Soles. It’s a small gaming con with an attendance of less than 100 people, but they flew me in and gave me a hotel room to be Guest of Honor, and I was very happy to go. I’ve never been to Toronto before. It’s a lovely megalopolis–a strange mixture of old and new side by side. The old stuff is all bricks and granite; the new stuff is all steel and glass.
It was all role-playing gaming. In the two days of the Con, I never saw s single board game or card game being played. I brought a few decks of Magic along, just in case there was nothing to do, and I needed a pickup game, but I don’t think anyone else at the Con even had a deck with them.
I brought my camera too, and I took some pictures. The order in which I took the pix is pretty much a chronological record of what I did at the Con. So let me start putting them up. One thing I have to say. Although I don’t take the best pictures, I like the ones I take better than I like the ones taken of me. I kinda hate how old and silly I look. In my mind I’m Harrison Ford. In reality I’m Don Rickles. Sheesh!
This is a very poorly organized and constructed blog, but I wanted something online before I head to GenCon for a week. This is the rough first draft of the adventure. I’ll polish it up and make it prettier when I return from GenCon in a week or so.
Some people say, if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Talking about this blog, I say, like Nike, Just Do It. This one isn’t done well, but it’s here as a record of my travels and good times. Ken St. Andre is no perfectionist.
I’m in a food court at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on my way to Toronto. I had to spend several hours there between flights. The architecture was bizarre. Dallas is so big that you have to ride a train between terminals.
The escalators are huge at Dallas. I spent a lot of time on this trip looking up.
Here’s a shot of that train I was talking about.
My flight was late. Here I’m in Toronto. These three came and got me at the airport. From left to right: Brendan, Chris, Carter. To meet them I think I had to walk a mile through the airport from where the plane landed, and go through Customs, all at 2 o’clock in the morning. Such are the adventures of my life.
Friday morning, I walked past this bizarre building. It is the Robarts Library of the University of Toronto. My path to the Con from my hotel took me right through the heart of the campus.
The little black thing in the center of the photo is one of the evil black squirrels of Toronto. It was the most ferocious wildlife I saw (not counting Man) on this trip.
Toronto seems to be full of these ancient Gothic towers. I took this shot at sunset walking back to the hotel. Should have gotten more pix from Friday, but my batteries were dying.
I ate most of my meals at the Fox and Fiddle restaurant and bar. It’s a very lively place inside at night–the karaoke there is excruciating.
Looking down Bloor Street on a wet Saturday morning. I managed to get more batteries for my camers. Thanks, Brendan!
Looking the other way on Bloor Street. It rained a lot in Toronto while I was there. I didn’t care. I was having a ball.
The strangest building on Bloor Street–the Royal Ontario Museum (the Rom). I thought it looked like Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
The angular part of the museum was a post-modern addition to the original grey brick construction. Apparently the main attraction inside was Dinosaurs.
It appears that I didn’t actually photograph much of the gaming convention itself. I was far more interested in the library and the displays they had upstairs. Really, I did spend most of 2 days in the dungeon playing games, but when the camera came out, it was books and bizarre sights I chose to photograph. Other photographers were there, and perhaps I can insert some of their pix into my own.
Big little books featuring Tarzan of the Apes.
My favorite pulp magazine of all time was Planet Stories. I used to own some of them. This is Planet #1–Golden Amazons of Mars. What were they thinking?
The Dragon Queen of Jupiter, a Leigh Brackett story I’d never heard of before. Oh, I so wanted to take the mag out of its cellophane wrapper and read those old stories.
Tarzan in Blue Book magazine. and Tanar of the Earth’s Core. I love pulp science fiction magazines, and I got to see some great old covers in the Merrill collection.
First editions on display in the Osborne collection of the Toronto Public Library. The theme was insects in Children’s Literature.
Painted walls of Toronto. I don’t have any idea why this magnificient scene of birds and a rhino was on the wall of a cheap diner not far from the library.
Griffin-guarded entrance to the Toronto Public Library where the Con was held on Saturday around 2 p.m.
From the edge of the lobby, you can just see the skeleton of a gigantic dinosaur. The head is at the left.
Looking into the museum. Top right corner is dinosaur neck and head. I was trying to photograph something smaller and bizarre in the center but people walked into the path of my photo. Grrrr! It’s what happens when you’re too far away from the target.
I got into the lobby of the ROM. This little dinosaur skeleton was there to greet me, or perhaps to eat me.
On Sunday morning I found a troll–a great black stone troll on the street across from my hotel. He was apparentlhy sad to see me go.
Here I am at the Toronto airport saying goodbye to my friends Carter & Brendan. My bags are on my shoulder and in my hand, and there are 9 hours of air travel ahead of me.
My adventures weren’t quite over. The airport was confusing, and I wound up at the wrong gate, and after hours of waiting I hear an intercom announcement that’s last call for my flight at a different gate. I have shoes off and coins on the ground as I was figuring out what to do with my Canadian change. I gathered my things and ran through the airport, shoes untied, bags half open and made it to my gate, last person to board. On the run, the battery of my phone jounced out and so did a paperback book and sci-fi magazine. They found the reading material, and I got it back on the plane, but the battery was lost. Oh well. One pays for one’s pleasures, and it was a small price–that along with a sore backside from 6 hours in a plane and another 3 waiting in airports–for the most fun weekend I’ve had in years.
If you’ve ever been to Toronto or attended a really small gaming convention that was all role-playing, go ahead and leave a message?