Tarzan in the City of Gold

tarzan in the city of gold cover titan books burne hogarth
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10

Classic Tarzan art and stories that helped shape the character

Format not meant to be read in bulk, racist portrayals due to changes in culture

Book Info

Book Title:  Tarzan in the City of Gold

Publisher:  Titan Books

Writer:  Don Garden

Artist:  Burne Hogarth

Release Date:  April 2014


Get swinging!

Tarzan is King of the Jungle, but he is also prone to adventure!  Be it defending a hidden city from invaders, protecting the settlers from natives, uncovering a Chinese civilization in the jungle, being mistaken for the Missing Link, or battling warrior women, Tarzan uses his brains and brawn to triumph!

Written by Don Garden, Tarzan in the City of Gold begins Burne Hogarth’s legendary run as artist for the newspaper serial and the first volume in Titan’s attempt to reprint all of Hogarth’s comic strip library.  The oversized book is full color and contains the finish of “Tarzan in the City of Gold” and the complete runs of “Tarzan and the Boers—Part 1”, “Tarzan and the Chinese”, “Tarzan and the Pygmies”, “Tarzan and the Amazons”, and “Tarzan and the Boers—Part II” which ran from May 9, 1937 to April 28, 1940.

I grew up with Tarzan and images of Tarzan, and it is hard to imagine that when this story was released, the character of Tarzan was only twenty-five years old.  Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912 and published in book form in 1914, Tarzan of the Apes created a modern folk hero.  The character of Tarzan evolved over time but early versions of the character from these novels and strips like this collection helped craft an icon.

As revealed in the beginning of the book, Burne Hogarth had a lot to live up to.  He followed the critically acclaimed Hal Foster who left the series to focus on Prince Valiant and many felt that Burne couldn’t match Foster.  Burne instead turned Tarzan into his own and really brought style and class to the character.  It really is the Tarzan you imagine and remember.


Hogarth’s first story from May 9, 1937

The book does have some writing problems going for it in that, these are serialized stories that were meant to be read daily in the paper.  The stories call upon the reader for the most part to remember “when we last left Tarzan” with little refreshers, but the fact that each day is a page long story leaves it quite stuttered.  It isn’t really something that is necessarily something you can sit down and read at great lengths without seeing repetition and pacing issues.

There is also the general underlying Tarzan problem (and a problem of many comics, novels, and films of the time) of the xenophobic approach to foreigners.  The portrayals of the natives are often racist and Tarzan also encounters other cultures which seem like bad stereotypes at points.  It was the culture and acceptable at the time but might be hard for some modern readers to enjoy…and as bad as some of the portrayals are, Tarzan isn’t the worst offender in this category.

Tarzan in the City of Gold is worth checking out if you are a fan of the classic character or you enjoy old newspaper strips.  Older readers might enjoy the flashback of going back to the day when you anxiously awaited to see what the characters of your daily papers were doing, and younger readers can see how papers have changed over the years.  The collection looks great and probably is better than some of the original quality, so for Tarzan buffs, it is a must!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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