Tuesday, October 19, 2010

John R. Neill & Jan of the Jungle

Many readers of this blog are also fans of John R. Neill's beautiful illustrations - and many collect his non-Oz illustration work as well. But one of the more unusual Neill illustrated titles is the 1966 Ace Books rack-size paperback edition of Otis Adelbert Kline's Jan of the Jungle.

When collecting Neill illustrated books one doesn't usually think of  looking in rack-size paperbacks dating from the mid-1960s. So what's going on?

Well, Neill did a lot of illustration work for Argosy magazine. And in 1931 Neill illustrated Jan of the Jungle for Argosy. Ace Books, an inexpensive science fiction publisher simply reissued the novel and used a couple of Neill's illustrations. Neill did many other illustrations for the Argosy version of the story.

There is no mention of Neill being the illustrator except that Neill's signature appears beneath the illustration on the title page. The other Neill illustration in the book is on 43 showing Jan riding a sea serpent. There is one other illustration in the book (on page 5) which is not by Neill.

This book actually belongs to my partner, Eric, who has read it and says its a very decent Tarzan-esque novel. Indeed, Kline is considered by many to be the greatest of the Edgar Rice Burroughs imitators. Two of Kline's most respected books are The Swordsman of Mars and The Planet of Peril.

Below you can see a more detailed scan of the illustration from the title page.


Anonymous said...

CONGRATS you got to your 100th post maybe in your next post you should celebrate it and make another tiger tune

Bill Campbell said...

How funny - I certainly wouldn't expect to find a Neill piece there!

Ozmahime said...

Swordsman of Mars so not only did this guy imitate Tarzan but also John Carter of Mars as well? How strange. Or were they unauthorized sequels?

Still kinda cool

Tommy Kovac said...

I wanna see the sea serpent illustration! I loves me some John R. Neill.

John R Bedell said...

Mr Kline is best known now for this ‘apocryphal literary feud’ with Burroughs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otis_Adelbert_Kline?wprov=sfti1