Volume 0348

Pellucidar Gallery II
Inner Earth Sketches

John Coleman Burroughs ERB DJ

David Innes of Pellucidar by John Coleman Burroughs & ERB is a 32-page comic strip adaptation of ERB's At the Earth's Core.  The first 12 pages originally appeared in Hi-Spot Comics, No. 2, Nov., 1940 published by The Hawley Publications, Inc., Redding Ridge, Connecticut. It was the final 12 pages of the 64 page issue. All 32 pages, plus related sketches were eventually published in 1968 by Greystoke Press in a 56-page booklet.
Dave Innes of Pellucidar in the Comics
Source Not Known

By late 1939, with both TARZAN and JOHN CARTER OF MARS earning royalties from comic books, the next natural Burroughs series to adapt to the comics would be his Pellucidar stories. Burroughs suggested to Western Printing (Whitman’s publishing arm in Racine) that John Coleman Burroughs be retained to do the artwork for a DAVE INNES OF PELLUCIDAR feature which would run regularly in one of their monthly comic books.

Possibly as a test, it was decided to have John Coleman Burroughs write and draw a 20-page story to be featured as part of a one-shot comic...but the one-shot comic never materialized and instead the first 12 pages of this 20-page story were published in an obscure, badly-distributed comic book called HI-SPOT #2 (November, 1940). Because of the understandably poor sales, there was never another issue of HI-SPOT comics, and the 12 pages of DAVE INNES OF PELLUCIDAR in this issue were the only ones ever published in the medium of the comics.

Following the appearance of these pages in HI-SPOT #2, Western asked John Coleman Burroughs to write and draw two six-page stories of DAVE INNES OF PELLUCIDAR, which would be worked into one of their comic books, possibly SUPER comics. These twelve pages of artwork were done and are presented here, along with the final eight pages of the original 20-page story. (The original artwork for the first 12 pages of the first story was destroyed long ago by Western).

In early 1940, Dell Publishing wanted to create an image as a reliable publisher of wholesome comics for children. They especially wanted to push their funny animal comics… the Disney comics, Walt Kelly comics, etc... and did not want to be in the superhero business in competition with all the other comic book publishers. The Burroughs comics, TARZAN, JOHN CARTER OF MARS, and DAVE INNES OF PELLUCIDAR, were all of the type they wanted to phase out in favor of more in the Disney-type comics which nobody could object to.

By early 1941 the decision had been made that DAVE INNES OF PELLUCIDAR would not be continued and that JOHN CARTER OF MARS would be discontinued from THE FUNNIES, and in August of 1941 CRACKAJACK comics (also from Western Printing) dropped the TARZAN daily strips they had been reprinting. By the end of 1941 all ERB features had been dropped by Western, but of course United Features was still reprinting TARZAN Sunday pages in SPARKLER and TIP TOP comics.

There is a natural redundancy in these pages as presented here because the eight pages (the end of the 20-page story which did not appear in HI-SPOT #2) had never appeared and the two new stories had to include an introductory synopsis of how Dave Innes got to Pellucidar. John Coleman Burroughs simply retold the beginning of the story and in several cases he used complete panels from his previous unpublished pages.

~ Thanks Nanette


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