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Wednesday, Sep 27, 2023

Will Tarzan Still Swing In Valley?

Tarzan was seven years old in 1919 when his jungle cry first rang out – in the San Fernando Valley. That’s when his creator, Chicago author Edgar Rice Burroughs, bought a ranch in the area that he named Tarzana, giving rise to the community of the same name. Tarzan was later filmed swinging in the trees of Chatsworth, North Hollywood and Simi Valley for several movie adaptations of the book series. And nearly 100 years later the author’s estate, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., still headquartered in Tarzana, continues to make money off the world’s most famous jungle resident, partnering with the likes of Burbank’s Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All that history has now been captured by Scott Tracy Griffin, who has written a holiday coffee table book commemorating the character’s rise to fame and his many ties to the Valley. “Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration” hit shelves on Nov. 20 with the cooperation of Burroughs’ estate. The 320-page book, which retails for $39.95, features historical photographs, reprinted film posters, movie stills and assorted trivia. Jim Sullos, president of the estate, said it started considering authors for an anniversary book about two years ago, and found Griffin to be the best fit. “We always wanted to do a Tarzan centennial major publication,” Sullos said. “(Griffin) became aware of our interest in it and said, ‘Well what about considering me?’” Griffin, 47, has written for several film magazines and appeared in documentaries about Tarzan. He started reading Burroughs when he was nine and called the project a labor of love. “I’ve been a lifelong fan. The book was sort of a dream come true,” said the Santa Monica resident. “I believe my depth of knowledge and history with the franchise is what won them over.” – Bailey Brewer

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