Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: Tarzan the Centennial Celebration!

James Bond. Batman. They’re both pretty awesome. But what about some love for king jungle-rumbler Tarzan? The guy is now officially 100 years old and he was RAISED BY APES! How awesome is that?! I love these inspirational tales of orphans done good.

To celebrate, our friends at Titan Books have released a fittingly MAMMOTH book, Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration, that covers all of Tarzan’s book, comic, film, TV and merchandise appearances over the last 100 years. I personally love it because it is filled with beautifully epic paintings of Tarzan absolutely belting the crap out of all kind of animals. And dinosaurs! Beat your chest in celebration!

Take that, stupid lion!
To learn more about this vine-swinging vigilante... join me after the jump!

I’m not kidding when I say this book is big. It arrived in a massive blue sack, so big that for a brief moment I assumed that someone had posted me a pony. But no, it turned out to be a large, lavishly produced hardcover tribute to Edgar Rice Burrough’s famous jungle king who made his first appearance in a magazine in 1912.

If you're anything like me then Tarzan probably hasn’t featured too prominently on your radar in recent years, but it’s truly fascinating to discover just how many incarnations there have actually been throughout the hundred year span. He’s always been present in some form or another and this giant book appears to cover absolutely everything. (Except for that notorious Disney action figure with the extremely suspicious “vine-swinging” action feature). For example, I had no idea that so many actors had portrayed Tarzan on film, especially in ye olden days of black and white. To prove this fact, there's an awesome array of photographs of shirtless men holding hands with chimpanzees which should serve to raise a smile.

But mostly I’m in this for the incredible classic art. Full pages have been devoted to vivid, visceral paintings of Tarzan impaling lions and punching prehistoria!

You're dead meat you dumb pterodactyl!
I'll teach you not to strangle that ape before I do!
I adore pulp art so that alone is enough of a recommend. Plus there's quite a few examples of classic Tarzan comic strips so there's plenty to dig into. You could spend a huge amount of time browsing through the various sections, enjoying the insane imagery and absorbing amazing facts. Titan have done a stunning job with this one. It grabs my attention just as an admirer of old school art and literature, so if you're a full-blown Tarzan fan then this would be absolutely unmissable. You'd be backflipping out of trees and right-hooking animals!

You can find out more about Tarzan The Centennial Celebration here at Titan’s official site.

1 comment:

  1. ALL NEW!!! If you love Tarzan, you'll adore Scott Tracy Griffin's beautifully illustrated and informative coffee table book, 'Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration.' And I think this video interview with the author is the perfect accompaniment! Enjoy and share where you can! Thanks!