|Dark Horse presents
an all-new tale by the Master of Adventure himself, Edgar Rice Burroughs!
Written before the twin blockbusters of A Princess of Mars and Tarzan
of the Apes, Minidoka is a whimsical fantasy in the tradition of Jonathan
Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Illustrated by comics legend Michael
Wm. Kaluta, and featuring a never-before-published cover painting by
Allen St. John, this fractured fairy tale for children of all ages
is sure to become a highly sought-after collectible!
Fairy Tale for Every Child, Even Those of us Who Are Adults:
What kind of a word is that, you say? Then you stop and think, "Oh, Edgar
Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and John Carter. It's a made up word!"
WRONG. Minidoka is a small town (or was, I don't know if it is still there)
in Idaho where Mr. Burroughs worked in one of his many failed careers as
a gold miner (1901 to 1904) with his brother at the Yale Dredging Company.
It didn't pan out, pardon the pun, and the world is much more richer for
the failed attempt.
has never been accused of being a literary genius, although his stories
have reached every corner of the world, his books are published in over
sixty different languages (not counting dialects), his tales have been
the basis for dozens of films, TV series, animations and comics. What Mr.
Burroughs was gifted with was the art of storytelling and that trait has
made him a legend.
937th Earl of One Mile Series M is a story that sprung from that ability.
No one knows for certain when this wonderful tale was created, perhaps
it was one of the series of bedtime stories Burroughs told his children
each night. All of them created on the spot as he paced the hall of their
small home and spoke in a loud voice so that all in the house could hear.
What ever occurred, Burroughs liked this particular story so much that
he committed it to paper. Of a sorts, at least. He used the backs of old
letterheads from the mining company, photo bills from Pocatello and letterheads
of the American Genealogical Society to compose this story. None of the
hand written manuscript is dated, nor was it discovered until 1955, five
years after his death, in his personal belongings. The paper the story
was written on gives proof that this is Burroughs first ever written work,
never before seen by another beside himself until after he had died and
never published until today. This makes that story almost a century old!
tale is very strange, not at all like his works that were published in
his lifetime. This is a children's story, it is written with the intention
of being read aloud to children and has all the classic elements of fairy
tales. Horrible monsters, magic spells, beautiful damsels to rescue and
battles to be fought, all of these are in there along with a never before
seen look at the man's sense of humor.
story itself is quite captivating, even if it is a bit difficult to read
for an adult. I dare say that I will be hard pressed to pronounce some
of the words that Burroughs has created for this story, but many of the
characters and creatures are quite endearing. I really liked the hoobody
and hookidooki. The hoobody reminded me of one of the mythical creatures
of my people, the Apache, (perhaps that's where he got the idea) and the
hookidooki was just plain fun to read about even if it was a villain.
setting for the story is Idaho of a million or more years in the past,
but with European type kingdoms all based as the origin of Irish names.
Very interesting concept and for the life of me I can't determine why he
took that tact in the story. But it matters not, as the tale is fantastic.
aspects of his published works can be seen in this story. The way his heroes
act and react is based on this tale. Many animals and places for completely
unrelated stories are mentioned here as something else. It is almost as
if he created an entire universe from the seeds that he planted for himself
in this story to his children.
is something else that is very special about this book. The cover art is
a painting by J. Allen St. John that has never been published before. Who
is St. John, you ask? This is the man that made every single cover painting
for Burroughs books starting in 1915 with The Son of Tarzan and ending
in 1942 with The Tiger Girl (I have copies of all of these). The painting
was made over 50 years ago when an art director told St. John that it was
impossible for an artist to do an illustration using all known mediums
that were known at the time. St. John went to his loft and created a drawing
he titled Minidoka by those exact means just to prove the man wrong. This
cover is the first printing of that painting.
book is a mere 63 pages long with about 15 of those pages being lavishly
drawn full page illustrations. Each page also has drawings around the edges
that have to do with what the story is talking about at the time.
book is published by Dark Horse Comics and is available now at all book
stores. You will more than likely have to special order it, because it
is a limited edition print. The price is ... well worth it. I can hardly
wait until it is mass produced so that I can get a reading copy to give
my children when they are old enough. Get one of these first prints while
they are still out there. You will never regret it.
L Black Bear, Austin, Texas