The   TARZAN fan magazine THE Burroughs Bulletin had republished an article by me  which was  originally the introduction to the Hebrew book TARZAN IN THE HOLLY LAND.

A much longer and academic version of this article written with Alon Rabb will be published at 2012 the centennial Tarzan year at a academic collection of articles about Tarzan around the world.

And here is another article from that issue in which the editor Frank reviewing a very interesting article about Tarzan in the Arabic lands. To Franke article there add additional info about the subject by Eli Eshed.

A Review of James R. Nesteby’s “Tarzan of Arabia”


Henry G. Franke III

Published in the Burroughs Bulletin

No 84 fall 2010

In 1981, the Journal of Popular Culture published James R. Nesteby’s article, “Tarzan of Arabia: American Popular Culture Permeates Yemen.”1 Nesteby’s basic thesis was that “the importation of American popular culture into Yemen is superimposing an instant culture upon the traditional culture” (p 44), and he used Tarzan as an “important representative of this instant imported culture.” (p 39) Even though Nesteby presented Western pop culture and specifically Tarzan in a particularly negative light, he listed a variety of ways that products featuring the ape-man reached Yemenis, including pastiches created and published in Arab countries. He also suggested some reasons why Tarzan had a broad appeal in Arab nations, up to the time of the appearance of his article 30 years ago.

Nesteby reported the results of surveys and interviews at the time which gave specific examples of how Tarzan could be found in Yemen, from Korean chewing gum and newspaper comic strips to plastic figurines and Viewmaster film cards, but stated, “Perhaps the greatest impact Tarzan is having on Yemen is through Arabic-language series put out by three publishers in Damascus, Syria, and in Beirut, Lebanon.” One of the two Beirut series was in comic book format. The other Beirut series, which had sixteen issues at the time of Nesteby’s article, was in story form and included two Tarzan stories in each issue, with no illustrations. The Damascus series, which had twenty issues at the time, also consisted of print stories, along with occasional line drawings. Nesteby reported that some of the Arabic stories in the various series “follow Burroughs quite closely, but others are only derivatives of the original character.” All three series featured colorful covers. “Only in the illustrated Beirut series is Burroughs mentioned as the creator of Tarzan. For the Damascus series, numbers 12 and 14 are credited to Faris Dhaher, professor in the Academy of Sciences in Beirut.”2 In Yemen, the comics and booklets from these series were sold by sidewalk vendors and in kiosks, sidewalk bookshops, and newsstands. (p 42)

Tarzan Arabic Comics Book Beirut Lebanon Bissat Reh # 2

While Nesteby focused on the widespread infusion of Western popular culture in Yemen in the ;ate 1970s and into 1981, with Tarzan as a touchstone, he also reported that in the 1930s Tarzan stories (presumably translations of ERB’s original novels) which were published in Lebanon made their way to South Yemen. These were in small magazine-like format on poor-quality paper, pages alternating between printed text and drawings. They were published in weekly issues that serialized the stories chapter by chapter. (p 42)

The character retained a cultural awareness in Yemen ever since, certainly helped by the regular appearance of American and Indian Tarzan films through the years, so that the surge in interest in Tarzan in the 1970s (that infusion of “instant culture”) was really not all that new a phenomenon. Nesteby described the character of Tarzan as negative to Arabs and Arab culture, yet pointed out that many Arabs identified with Tarzan through the influence of the movies. Nesteby highlighted the idea of “cultured colorlisation” of Third World cinema-goers by Western films that espoused Western white middle-class values.3 Nesteby suggested that viewers would identify with the heroes of these motion pictures, even though they in no way resembled them: “[This could be] directed at blacks in America who identified with Tarzan instead of the blacks in Tarzan films; similarly, American Indians would often identify with cowboy heroes like John Wayne instead of with the villainous Indian renegades.” (p 43)

But Nesteby also suggested longstanding cultural values and traditions as major reasons why Arabic peoples had found Tarzan appealing since his appearance in Arabia in the 1930s. “Certainly the mythical aspects of Tarzan are as powerful in Arabia – strategically located between Tarzan’s jungle homes in Africa and India – as they are in the Midwest in the United States. For many Americans, Tarzan’s appeal comes from his being protector and disseminator of conservative American values. This appeal for Yemenis, however, is founded in Arabian traditions: feral human stories like Ibn-Sina’s Salaman and Absal, for example, and Tufail’s (or Thofail’s) twelfth-century tale, Hayy Ibn Yaqzan. Yaqzan was nursed by a doe just as Tarzan was nursed by an ape. Tarzan-like feats and prowess are also present in Arabian heroes like the superstitious Saif Ben zi Ya Jan and the real folk hero of both desert and mountain, Antar.” (pp 39-40) Nesteby also noted that there were many imitators of Tarzan seen in the Arab world, such as the foreign import Akim, “a Tarzan-like figure in French-language hardbound classics.” (p 44)

Nesteby made it clear that he saw the character and stories of Tarzan of the Apes “cast in the role of cultural imperialist. The major influence of the media projecting Tarzan’s image is on the children,” though adults were also indoctrinated. (p 43) He suggested that Tarzan’s influence, like other aspects of Western popular culture introduced during an “era of rapid cultural modernization in Yemen,” negatively refashioned minds and undermined Yemini traditional values. Ironically, Nesteby claimed that “Tarzan stands against progress and modernization” (p 39), even though Tarzan was presented throughout the article as a prime example of modern American culture invading Yemen.

But perhaps most interesting is Nesteby’s ambivalence toward Tarzan. He regularly derides the connotation of Tarzan not only from the perspective of modern times, but also from the view of Arab and black peoples, yet he also clearly knows Burroughs’ Tarzan well and displays some level of personal interest, seeming to decry how Tarzan tales were sometimes presented in less than high-quality venues. Tarzan, it seems, captures the imagination and stays in the memory of even those who intellectually object to the character.


1. Published in the Summer 1981 issue (Vol XV, Issue 1), pp 39-45. Nesteby had also authored the article, “The Tenuous Vine of Tarzan of the Apes,” in the Spring 1980 issue of the Journal of Popular Culture (Vol XIII, Issue 3), pp 483-7, concerning the precedence for the idea of Tarzan of the Apes. At the time, Nesteby was Lecturer in British and American Literature at Sana’a University, founded in 1970 in what is now the capital of the Republic of Yemen; it remains the primary university in that country.

2. Eli Eshed, a researcher of Israeli popular culture who has written extensively on the popularity of Tarzan in Palestine and Israel, contradicts this entry on Dhaher. Eshed has reported that Dhaher actually wrote the Beirut, Lebanon prose series and not the Damascus, Syria stories. Instead, Eshed identified Rabki Camal as the author of the Damascus series. In the 1960s Camal was a Syrian announcer on the Voice of Damascus, broadcast in Hebrew, presenting “savage propaganda against Israel.” Camal learned Hebrew in Jerusalem in his youth during the pre-Israel period, and there met members of the Canaanite movement, including Yesayau Levit. Levit would later write Tarzan stories for the Israeli publisher Karnaf. So both Camal and Levit wrote Tarzan stories to supplement their incomes, though with decidedly different slants in the character. (http://www.erbzine.com/mag9/0991.com)

3. Nesteby refers (p 43) to a Reuters article, “Third World Looks for a New Screen Image,” which appeared on p 6 of the 30 November 1978 issue of the Saudi Gazette. This article mentions “colored colorlisation” as a term used by a Hamadi Essid of Tunisia, who claimed that, because of this phenomenon, “the bedouin or the black finds it easier to identify with John Wayne than an Arab or a black whom he resembles.”

This article was published in issue #84 (New Series) of “The Burroughs Bulletin” (Fall 2010).

© 2010 Henry G. Franke III

Tarzan Arabic Comics Book Beirut Lebanon Color # 64


by Eli Eshed

At the same time that stories appeared in which Tarzan was killing Egyptian agents and Saudi slavers and Arabs in general, at every possible place in Africa, there were , similar unauthorized series in Arabic lands Syria and Lebanon and in which Tarzan's foes were Jewish . In Arabic lands Tarzan was as popular as he was in Israel. The first original Tarzan stories appeared as illustrated serials in Lebanon back at the '30s, just at the same time when the Efroni stories appeared at Palestine. Similar stories later appeared in Beirut in at least 2 more Tarzan series, one of them of comics stories from which there appeared at least 13 issues, and at least 16 issues of a second of set of stories (two stories in each issue) written by Faris Daher a professor in the academy of sciences in Beirut . At Damascus there appeared another series with at least 20 issues. The writer is particularly interesting

. His name was Rabki Camal and he was know to Israeli radio listeners at the '60s as the Syrian announcer on the Voice of Damascus, which was in Hebrew. He was well known for his savage propaganda against Israel . In his youth Camal learned Hebrew in Jerusalem, and it was there he met (before the creation of Israel) the people of the Canaanite Movement in whose ideas he was interested for a time, attending some of their meetings. He had met several of the people who would later write Tarzan stories for Karnaf, such Yesayau Levit. By some strange coincidence, when Camal become the voice of Damascus expert for Israel affairs because of his knowledge of Hebrew, Levit served as as the Israeli army and radio expert for Arabic affairs because of his expertise in Arabic. And both of then wrote Tarzan stories to supplement their incomes . It is likely that Camal the expert for Israeli affairs knew very well the Israeli Tarzan and perhaps read some of them. It is possible that he wrote his Tarzan stories as a counter propaganda to the Israeli stories in which Tarzan helps Zionism . In those stories Tarzan was presented as fighting the evil Jews and their attempt to achieve world domination, and helps the Palestinians. Needless to say this is all without the knowledge of Burroughs estate as well . Those stories were very successful and were bought all over the Arab world from Egypt to Yemen, giving the Arab readers the good patriotic feeling that Tarzan is on their side against Israel . All That sucsess didn't helped Camal though, who was accused in one of the Syrian political upheavals as being "pro Israeli" and was put to death .

See more about Tarzan in the middle east

Tarzan in the holly land

דוגלאס אדאמס, "מדריך הטרמפיסט לגלקסיה " ואני

לרגל פרסום מהדורה חדשה  בעברית של סדרת "מדריך הטרמפיסט לגלקסיה "מתי שמואלוף פירסם רשימה בנושא זה שבה אני מרואיין .

והנה הרשימה של שמואלוף:

ספר המשך ל"המדריך לטרמפיסט לגלקסיה"

בשורה משמחת ביותר למעריצי הסופר דאגלאס אדמס. בשבוע הבא יראו אור מחדש בהוצאת כתר חמשת ספרי סדרת המדע הבדיוני הפופולרית שלו: "המדריך לטרמפיסט לגלקסיה" סדרה שהפכה לרב מכר ספרותי עולמי שאין לו תקדים. אדמס (שנפטר בשנת 2001) יצר בשנת 1978 סדרה של תסכיתי רדיו שכללו עשרים פרקים ששודרו ברשת הרדיו של ה-BBC. במקור אדמס כתב מערכונים לחבורת הקומיקאים של "מונטי פייטון" אך אף אחד לא התעניין ברעיון שלו ליצור סדרת מדע בדיוני קומי. אך דווקא ברדיו הבריטי מצאו את רעיונותיו כמעניינים ביותר.

סדרת הספרים שיצאה בעקבות תסכיתי הרדיו הפכו את אדמס לסופר נודע בכל רחבי העולם ודורות שלמים של קוראים גדלו על הבדיחות והרעיונות המהפכניים שלו. בין השנים 2004 ו-2005 שידר ה-BBC תסכיתים חדשים שהיו מבוססים על שלושת הספרים האחרונים של הסידרה. אדמס נתן את ברכתו לעבודה על העיבוד.

כאמור תצא מהדורה המחודשת שתצא בהוצאת כתר. המדורה תכלול תכלול גם הקדמה שכתב אדמס וגם ספר חדש "ועוד משהו" שנעשה באישור אלמנתו של אמס ונכתב על ידי אואן קולפר. את הספרים תירגם עמנואל לוטם.

אלי אשד, מרצה, חוקר תרבות שהתמחה בספרותו של אדמס ודוקטורנט לספרות עברית באוניברסיטת ב"ש מברך ואומר: "אני שמח שאדמס מעורר עניין". ומוסיף: "זה מראה שהוא הפך להיות סוג של קלאסיקה. בוודאי שלא נס ליחם של ספריו הראשונים." אשד טוען כי יצירת אדמס פותחת את הראש שלנו לאפשרויות חדשות.   לדעתו, הספרים האחרונים מהווים נפילה קשה והוא אינו מאמין כי יסריטו או יהפכו אותם לתסכיתים. אשד שם דגש דווקא על החשיבות בהחזרת תסכיתי הרדיו גם לימינו, כצורת אמנות שיכולה גם להכיל יצירות ספרותיות חדשות ולא רק קלאסיקה. הספר השלישי של אדמס, מוסיף אשד, הוא עדיין טוב, עדכני, מצחיק אבל אינו מצליח להשתוות לספר הראשון והשני הפופולאריים. אלו שאחריו לא עומדים ברמה של הראשונים מוסיף אשד.

יאיר רוה, מבקר הקולנוע של פנאי פלוס ובעל הבלוג "סינמסקופ" אומר כי: "יש כמה ספרים שכל פעם שאני פותח אותם וקורא משפט אקראי, זה עדיין נוגע לחיים שלי בצורה מאוד עמוקה – והספרים הם הגמרא וספריו של אדמס". רוה רואה ביצירתו של אדמס כרחבה וכזאת שמכילה כל נושא אפשרי. רוה מהלל את החשיבה האירונית של אדמס המתבטאת ביצירתו וגורמת לך: "להסתכל מנקודת מבט הפוכה ולא צפוייה. נקודה שפותחת את העיניים.". רוה מאפיין את אדמס גם כסופר מד"ב, כסאטריקן, אך גם כאחד מהוגי הדעות המשובחים שקמו במאה העשרים. רוה שפגש את אדמס מספר שהוא אחד הסופרים הגבוהים שפגש.  רוה רואה באמנות התסכיתים כחלק ממסורת חיה של העם הבריטי. לא במקרה הסידרה שהחלה כתסכית, הפכה למשחק מחשב באטארי ורק אח"כ הפכה

מרב מלודי, יוצרת ועורכת כתב "misuse" חושבת שאדמס מבריק ומצחיק "אני גיליתי אותו בתיכון בטעות, והיה כל כך מצחיק שהספרנית העיפה אותי מהספרייה". מלודי מוסיפה כי, בספר האחרון יש אנקדוטות קטנות וסופר חיוניות לחיינו, ושמופיעות כמשמעותיות בסיטואציות שונות בחיים. בהרבה מובנים הוא נתן צורת אירגון לאירועים השונים הקורים בחיים שלי. גם הדור החדש יהנה מהספר הזה.

מלודי רואה את היצירה של אדמס כמו ספר אגדות שמצד אחד הוא פילוסופי ומראה עוד פן של הסתכלות על החיים ומצד שני הוא נרטיב מצחיק, טוב וחכם.

הספר הכי אהוב על מלודי הוא "סלמון הספק" הכולל סיפור קצר ומבריק על שני אנשים שיושבים בתחנת רכבת. האחד קונה עוגיות ועיתון. והוא מספר שבא בחור צעיר שפשוט לוקח לו את העוגיות מהשקית והוא לא מגיב על זה, מרוב נימוס. וכל אחד לוקח עוגיה ועושה פרצוף לשני ואוכל את העוגייה בתגרות. ואז שהצעיר קם, אז הוא מגלה שהשקית הייתה באמת שייכת לצעיר ולא לו, כי שלו התחבאה מאחורי העיתונים. והפאנץ' אומר כי שיש בעולם בחור שמסתובב עם אותו סיפור בדיוק רק בלי הפאנץ' ליין.

זאת הגירסא המלאה של הדברים שהתפרסמו בקצרה בתרבות ישראל היום, 26.7.2011

ראו גם

אלי אשד על דוגלאס אדמס

מדריך הטרמפיסט בגלקסיה בעולם הרדיו והטלוויזיה

הבהאים-איום או תקווה ?


לפני כמה ימים הוזמנתי להצטלם לתוכנית של העיתונאי בן כספית שאמורה להיות משודרת בטלוויזיה הלימודית .זוהי סדרת תוכניות שעוסקת בקונספירציות ובתוכנית הספציפית הזאת הוזמנתי לדבר על האמונה הבהאית הדת המונתאיסטית הרביעית בגודלה בעולם שמרכזה העולמי נמצא בעיר חיפה במקדש במפורסם שהפך זה מכבר לסמל הידוע ביותר של העיר חיפה ולעסוק בשאלה האם יש קונספירציה כלשהיא מאחורי האמונה הבהאית ? האם היא ( כמו כמה אמונות אחרות ) מהווה איום על שלום העולם ועל שלומו של עם ישראל ? ועל שלומה של מדינת ישראל ?

והנה תקציר הרעיון שקיימו עימי בן כספית ותחקירן של התוכנית לגבי הבהאים.


הבהאים -סכנה או תקווה ?



Tarzan in Israel

by Eli Eshed 1

Published in the Burroughs Bulletin

No 84 fall 2010

THE Burroughs Bulletin had republished this article of mine originally the introduction to the Hebrew book TARZAN IN THE HOLLY LAND.

A much longer and academic version of this article written with Alon Rabb will be published at 2012 the centennial Tarzan year at a academic collection of articles about Tarzan around the world.


Tarzan in Israel

by Eli Eshed

Published in the Burroughs Bulletin

No 84 fall 2010

While not remembered by many today, the fictional character Tarzan was extraordinarily popular in Israel beginning in the 1930s and lasting into the 1970s. The peak of Tarzan’s popularity in Israel was between 1954 and 1964, with a particularly extreme mania in 1960 to 1962. The public demand for Tarzan stories would result in the publication of over 1000 unauthorized pastiches.

There were various interpretations of the character over the years, driven in part by cultural and religious movements in Israel and pre-Israel Palestine, which at times made Tarzan a symbol of their particular beliefs. One very unique reason for Tarzan’s popularity beginning in the 1930s was the widespread belief that athlete and Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller was Jewish (a belief still held today), and a worthy role model for Israeli children and adults.

In the 1930s, the Zionist movement was searching for a suitable role model of a “new” strong Jew close to nature. Weissmuller’s image appeared on Zionist propaganda posters as the face of the ideal Israeli sabra,2 and various teachers and youth movement guides presented Tarzan specifically as played by Weissmuller as a way to encourage children to enjoy the strenuous life of the outdoors. Weissmuller’s characterization as a strong nature lover who relied on few words greatly influenced the behavior of many sabras who tried to emulate him.

The result of the great popularity of the Weissmuller movies and image was the publication of Burroughs’ Tarzan novels translated into Hebrew at the end of the 1930s and early 1940s. The books were immediately very popular, and other novels by Burroughs in the Pellucidar and Venus series were also translated, but they were never as popular as Tarzan, for whom Israelis felt a special bond as an “honorary Jew.” Fighting and taming savage natives and evil Arabs in Africa were seen as clearly parallel to their own experiences in “wild” Palestine. [An independent Israel was announced on 14 May 1948, and the United Nations accepted the state as a member on 11 May 1949). The stories of Tarzan even inspired great interest about Africa in children and adults.

As his popularity continued to increase in the 1940s and 1950s, author and playwright Yigal Mosinzon wrote what would become Israel’s most famous adventure series for children, with the purpose of countering Tarzan’s “damaging” influence on Israel’s children, not only according to the author, but to the characters in these stories. The Chasamba stories featured a group of heroic children who sometimes stated that it was better for the nation if Israeli youth would read their adventures rather than those of Tarzan!

But all of this was for naught. The translated Tarzan novels remained extremely popular. The demand for new stories was so great that enterprising Hebrew publishers began to create their own, and these were immediately very popular, as well, boosting Tarzan’s iconic status in Israel to a peak between 1954 and 1964


Yet these were not the first original Hebrew stories featuring Tarzan. As far back as 1939, writer David Karsik (using the female pseudonym Sulamit Efroni) produced a number of Tarzan tales that were part of an extensive series about a brother and sister exploring Africa.

But the Tarzan pastiche boom in Israel began in 1953. One company, Defus M.L.N., established imprints using the names of jungle animals, such as Karnaf (rhinoceros), Namer (leopard), and Bardalas (panther). Defus, along with a growing number of other publishers, eventually published hundreds of original Tarzan stories, usually put out weekly in issues of 32 pages.

Karnaf was both the first and most prolific of these publishers, creating the longest running series, which numbered some 500 titles. They published another 165 titles under other shadow imprints, totaling seven series of Tarzan stories.

The symbol of the CANAANITES "" movement

The creator and editor of the first series, Aharon Amir, has since become one of the most celebrated editors and translators in Israel. He was a member of a very unique and influential literary and cultural movement called the Canaanites, which included writers, poets, and artists who believed that in Israel there should arise a completely different type of secular Jew, a “Hebrew” who would be a return to the strong pre-monotheistic people of the far past of Israel. This would be as different as possible from the “weak” religious Jews of the diaspora, and would be close to the land and to nature, and as far from religion as possible. The influence of the Canaanites is still felt in Israel today in anti-religious circles.

The Karnaf Tarzan pastiches were mostly written by people from the Canaanite movement. One of them was Amos Keinan, today a well-known writer and journalist. Others included Yesayau Levit and Chaim Gibori. They all wrote under the pen name “Yovav,” chosen by Amir as the embodiment of Hebrew nativism. Their interpretation of the Tarzan character was a person full of vitality, close to nature and animals, and free of over-intellectualism. When Amir left Karnaf, the character of Tarzan was changed somewhat to a person who was literary – he had many books in his jungle home and could even speak Latin. This version resembled Gordon Scott in his later Tarzan films more than Weissmuller.

טרזן ונחשי היהלומים 16 עמודים

In later years the quality of the Karnaf stories dropped sharply. Many of them were exact plagiarisms of westerns and detective stories, with the original name of the hero simply changed to Tarzan. But at their height, the Karnaf series was enormously successful, and soon other publishers decided to compete with Karnaf with their own pastiches.

Aphil edition ~ Miron Uriel writer: circa 1961 TARZAN NEGED FRANKENSTEIN (TARZAN VS. FRANKENSTEIN ) First part of a multi-issue story of war with the artifical man ~ (debut of word android in Hebrew)

n76 TARZAN VEMILCHEMET AROBOTIM (TARZAN  AND THE WAR OF THE ROBOTS) Two issues of  many of a against army of robots from mars which destroys most of the big cities of the world.




HAPIL Edition circa 1962 by Miron Uriel: n69 ~ TARZAN POGESH ET FLASH GORDON ( TARZAN MEETS FLASH GORDON)  Pt. 1: fighting on the moon with invaders from Jupiter.

The best of the competitors was Hapil, published by Ezra Narkis. Nearly 200 issues were written by Miron Uriel (who at the same time wrote westerns and stories featuring the American comic book superhero, Captain Marvel). Uriel’s tales were perhaps some of the best Israeli Tarzan stories, far longer than usual, typically requiring two or three issues to complete. Many of them were true horror stories in which Tarzan fought living mummies, Frankenstein monsters, Count Dracula, and even a mad murderer reminiscent of Hannibal Lekter. Hapil also created a serial form that required multiple issues to run a story, in one case 30 issues for a single serial story. They also ran two series about the adventures of Tarzan’s son, Bo



APHIL circa 1962: n80 ~ Tarzan beikvot haozar hagadol (Tarzan on the trail of the big treasure) ~ 2 part story by Miron Uriel in which Tarzan meets Captain Marvel for the first time

Other publishers included Ramdor, which published a series of 32 issues between 1965 and 1969, most under the pen name I Held, used by several writers. Their best feature were the covers, often reproducing Manning and Marsh art, but also presenting original work by Asher Dickstein, considered the best of the Tarzan illustrators.




Altogether, more than 1000 issues in some 18 series were published by at least 10 rival publishers. Competition was so great that unauthorized publisher Karnaf brought a lawsuit against Hapil to force them to cease publishing their Tarzan books on the grounds that Karnaf had been putting them out first. The courts, however, permitted Hapil to continue. The intellectual property rights of ERB, Inc. were ignored altogether all those years, and it would seem that the corporation was unaware of any of the unauthorized publishing endeavors that went on for decades.

Meanwhile, Tarzan had become a national obsession. Tarzan was part of the culture, referenced in many jokes, popular songs, and caricatures. Karnaf organized events where fans would go to the woods to live like Tarzan. A series of books was even published by Karnaf that featured the adventures of Tarzan fans. These books served as a counter to Mosinzon’s Chasamba series, which were attacking the Tarzan stories and their readers. Karnaf’s tales explained that children who read Tarzan were better and had greater adventures than those who didn’t read Tarzan or read only Chasamba. A favorite subject of Israeli humorists and comedians was Tarzan living in provincial Israel and struggling with the hazards of bureaucratic red tape.

While the vast majority of Tarzan pastiches were published in magazine format, there were hardcover children’s editions, written by a number of well-known authors. “The Young Detectives and Tarzan Attack Solomon Gulf” was produced by Shraga Gafni, an extremely prolific children’s writer using the pen name Avner Carmeli, and who created Israel’s most famous child hero, Dani Din, in a series that is still running today. Gafni was also a member of the Canaanite movement. “Tarzan and the Atom Mystery” first appeared in a children’s magazine, and then in book form. This story was by Pinchas Sade, under the pen name Yariv Amazya. Sade was one of Israel’s most famous writers and poets.

Many of the earlier Tarzan pastiches were adaptations of the Dell Comics stories written by Gaylord DuBois, with Argos the giant eagle a particular favorite, but soon were entirely original. Except in just one or two cases, ERB’s own stories never inspired the Hebrew derivatives, even though many of his original novels were well-known. The only character that survived from Burroughs’ mythos was Jane, but she was treated as a minor character. On the other hand, characters like Cheeta and especially Boy from the American movies were prominently featured. In fact, Boy starred in two of his own series by Hapil.

As noted, the characterization of Tarzan had evolved over the years. Used first as a symbol of the religious Zionist movement decades earlier, he had become an icon of the secular Canaanite movement, and this is how he was presented in most of the stories in the 1950s to 1970s.

Interestingly, the theme of at least a quarter of the Tarzan stories in Israel was science fictional. Tarzan fought many, many invasions from space, and even received a knighthood from the British queen for stopping one such invasion. Several times he traveled to other planets, sometimes finding that the inhabitants were already familiar with him since they were readers of his sundry adventures. He also traveled in time both to the far past and the distant future, anticipating by many years the novels of Philip José Farmer about a similar time-traveling Tarzan.

In many of the Israeli stories, Tarzan was presented as a super agent akin to the American “X-Files” TV character Fox Mulder, the world's number one expert on monsters and aliens. It was Tarzan upon whom the government always called when the world faced insurmountable dangers, such as an indestructible mummy, gigantic ants, a murderous Godzilla, living skeletons, or an army of Draculas. All these and much more were presented as the daily routine for Tarzan. These were perhaps the first true original SF stories written in Israel, and for years the one accepted outlet for such imaginative fiction in a genre otherwise frowned upon in the nation.

there were some Tarzan stories in which his desire was to help the Israeli government. One story had him aiding illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine at the time of the British mandate, and for which he was thrown into prison by his fellow Britishers. On another occasion he singlehandedly broke the Egyptian blockade against Israel at Suez, killing many Egyptian soldiers in the bargain. At other times he stopped various Nazi-aided Egyptian schemes to conquer Africa and the world.

Yet other tales had Tarzan regularly aiding British imperialism against the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya, and French imperialism against Algeria and Vietnam. But he also helped black freedom fighters against Spanish and Portuguese imperialism. He also dealt with the changing situation in Africa and the emergence of new black government, particularly in Congo and Kenya – one story had him the personal friend of the Kenyan leader, Jomo Kenyata. Tarzan even helped the Dalia Lama against the Chinese, and personally destroyed the despotic Trujillo government in the Dominican Republic.

Some of the Israeli Tarzan stories described his meetings with other well-known fictional characters, including Count Dracula, Doctor Fu Manchu, Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, Flash Gordon, and Captain Marvel. He even encountered characters which were themselves originally imitations of Tarzan in print or on film, such as the lion boy Kaspa, the jungle girl Sheena, and the Indian jungle man Zimbo, the latter having appeared in a series of Indian jungle movies.

Ironically, during this same period of heightened popularity of Tarzan in Israel, he was just as popular in the Arab world. The original Tarzan novels first appeared as illustrated serials in Lebanon in the 1930s, even as the Hebrew translations were being published in Palestine. While Tarzan pastiches were on the rise in Israel, similar unauthorized stories in Arabic were being issued in Syria and Lebanon, but in these Tarzan was fighting the evil Jews and their attempt to achieve world domination. Why the stories were also so popular in Arab countries is an interesting question. The original stories by Burroughs definitely included anti-Arab stereotypes. But, then, there were some not-very-nice Jewish stereotypes, as well. A 1981 article by James R. Nesteby, “Tarzan of Arabia,” published in the Journal of Popular Culture (Vol 15, No 1) described the great popularity of Tarzan in Yemen at the time, but also touched on the Tarzan pastiches published in Syria and Lebanon, which were popular throughout the Arab world.


The great popularity of a secular Tarzan in Israel prompted some to find a religious Zionist counter, and one who was Israeli. One such character, called “Dan-Tarzan,” appeared in a series of his own in 1960-61. This series was written by Amnon Shepak and later the religious journalist Zeev Galili. Galili had read the Karnaf stories and was angered by their “leftist-Canaanite” nature, and so wanted to see stories that relayed a rightist nationalistic message

. Dan-Tarzan was an Israeli boy who crashlanded in the African Jungle, where he was reared by the granddaughter of Kala the she-ape, who had raised Tarzan. Dan-Tarzan becomes a new Tarzan (who according to these stories “died many years ago”) and eventually comes to Israel, where he is enlisted as a Mossad agent. He even catches Adolf Eichmann and brings him to Israel! – a story which engendered many comments in the Israeli newspapers at the time. In a sequel, Dan-Tarzan catches Eichmann once again after the Nazi criminal escapes his prison to Egypt. Other stories in this series were just as fantastic as in the Israeli Tarzan series, describing Dan-Tarzan’s voyages to another planet, his war on space invaders, his finding a lost city of ancient Hebrew warriors at the Dead Sea, and so on.

Why was Tarzan such an inspiration to the early state of Israel? In Israel at the time, there was a great interest in the continent of Africa, as Israel was trying to forge relationships with newly independent and emerging nations by forming diplomatic contacts, by sending teachers and doctors, and by other means. In some way the original eleven Tarzan stories and the character both symbolized and nurtured this interest in Africa, even though the Africa in Burroughs’ original stories was mostly colonial and ruled by the British. However, later stories presented Tarzan as helping the black freedom fighters in places like Biafra, a nation which Israel had helped a great deal in real life. In some way many Israelis identified themselves with Tarzan: the civilized man who brings culture and freedom to the savages and along the way stops various schemes of evil Nazis and Arabs.

On the other hand, Tarzan became, in Israel, the kind of fantastic character caught up in all kinds of science-fictional situations which had no relation to the original character and novels. These stories became the channel for the growing interest in Israel for science fiction tales. Because SF as a genre that was frowned upon as too frivolous, the Tarzan stories were almost the only outlet for that kind of imaginative entertainment.

But by the 1970s the popularity of Tarzan had declined. The books that appeared were mostly translations of American newspaper strips and comic book stories by Russ Manning, John Celardo, and Bob Lubbers, as well as reprints of Burroughs’ novels. New prose pastiches were no longer printed, although there was an aborted try at reprinting old Karnaf stories. Done without Karnaf’s permission, this effort was stopped by court decision. Ironically, these were the worst of Karnaf’s work, plagiarizing westerns and detective stories and using a trademarked character. Then the comic book stories ceased in the 1980s.

There was one nostalgic effort to reprint some of the better Karnaf stories in 1988, but despite Karnaf’s approval and much publicity they didn’t sell. The stories didn’t interest the new generation. And doubtless ERB, Inc. was still unaware of these unauthorized tales.

Yet the character of Tarzan was not forgotten. When Weissmuller’s health went into decline in the 1980s, there was new interest in him in Israel. The newspapers wrote of him wistfully as a symbol of a period that had passed by. Probably no other American actor’s decline received as much attention as that of the former Tarzan actor. His death prompted critical works, stories, and poems based on the theme of the fall of the once great Tarzan/Weissmuller, a message about the corresponding fall of the once dominant Israeli sabra culture, of which Weissmuller was one of its ultimate symbols.

While popular culture in Israel has largely left Tarzan behind, as the nation fought a series of major wars with its enemies and dealt with modern realities since the 1967 Six-Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War, he has not been completely forgotten. One legacy of the unique bond that had existed between the Israeli people and the fictional character is the single greatest set of Tarzan pastiches, authorized or not, ever seen in any country.


1. © 2010 Eli Eshed. This article is derived from a 1999 online essay, “Tarzan in Israel,” by Eli Eshed (http://www.violetbooks.com/tarzan-israel.html), and the follow-on extended introduction in English for a special limited edition of Eshed’s Tarzan in the Holy Land: The Adventures of Tarzan in Israel (otherwise written in Hebrew); the version in this Bulletin is used by permission. Mr. Eshed is a researcher of Israeli popular culture who has focused on the Israeli pulp magazines and paperbacks of the 1950s and 1960s. Besides his study of Tarzan publications in Israel, in 2002 he published From Tarzan to Zbeng, about the pulp literature of Israel, which earned him the title of “Writer of the Year” from Maariv, one of the leading newspapers in Israel. Featured in the book is a very long chapter about Tarzan in Israel, which is abundantly illustrated with art from Hebrew editions. His 1999 online essay not only morphed into an introduction for Tarzan in the Holy Land, but continued to evolve into this chapter for From Tarzan to Zbeng. One version of the expanded presentation is posted on ERBzine at http://www.erbzine.com/mag9/0991.com.

2. The term sabra is normally used to describe a Jewish person born in Israeli territory, but it was also applied by the Zionist movement to celebrate the “New Jew” which the movement espoused.

3. Jessica Amanda Salmonson, under her Violet Books imprint, published in 2000 the very limited special-edition of Mr. Eshed’s Tarzan in the Holy Land: The Adventures of Tarzan in Israel. Ms. Salmonson has commented about this “thoroughly mutual use of Tarzan for opposed political expression among Israelites and Syrians.” She suggests that, “Even the obsession with alien invasion from outer space is easily read as an allegory [in Israel] for the fear of Moslem opposition and terrorism, striving toward the destruction of ‘the world’ symbolized by a young and vital Israel. There is nothing surprising in Syrians using the same character to stand against what was, from their point of view, a Jewish desire to destroy Islamic Palestine.” (http://www.violetbooks.com/tarzan-israel.html)



"קווין קומיקס " קומיקס בעברית משנות השמונים

"קווין קומיקס" הייתה הוצאת  קומיקס שפעלה בישראל בשנות השמונים והוציאה סדרות קומיקסים מתורגמות מאנגלית לעברית בצבעים מלאים .

הסדרות שהיא הוציאה "כללו את "מסע בין כוכבים " "מלחמת הכוכבים " " סופרמן " " באטמאן "| ספיידר מאן "ו"הענק הירוק.

והנה כתבה מקיפה על הוצאה נשכחת זאת שכוללת ראיון מקיף עימי.

להלן הקטעים עימי :

"…קווין קומיקס נכנסה לשוק לאחר שני עשורים בהם הקומיקס בישראל תפס תאוצה.
מ.מזרחי הייתה להוצאה המובילה בתחום בזכות הצלחתה עם "זאגור", ""טקס", "פופי" ועוד. במקביל, סדרות קומיקס מקוריות הובאו בהרחבה במוספי הילדים השונים, כגון "הארץ שלנו" ו-"דבר לילדים". במגזין "בוקי", שראה אור בין 1967-1970, הוקדש חלק נכבד לתרגום גיבורי-על אמריקניים רבים, שחלקם הופיע מאוחר יותר גם בחוברות קווין קומיקס. פניתי ל-אלי אשד, מחבר הספר "מטרזן ועד זבנג: הסיפור של הספרות הפופולרית העברית", ו-עופר ברנשטיין, אספן וחוקר קומיקס, בשאלה: מה אפיין את קווין קומיקס?

אשד טוען:"קודם כל, הצבעוניות. עד אז, תרגומי הקומיקס לעברית היו, כמעט תמיד, בשחור-לבן. מבחינת הכותרים והפורמט, קווין קומיקס הציגו, לראשונה, בעברית את מלחמת הכוכבים ו-מסע בין כוכבים כחוברות קומיקס, ולא כספרים או כסיפור בהמשכים." ברנשטיין מוסיף:"קווין קומיקס היו קרובים בפורמט למקובל בחו"ל אך מבחינת התוכן, היה בלגן אחד גדול. למיטב הבנתי, בחוברות ה-סופרמן שהוציאו לקחו סיפורים מ-"Action Comics", מ-"Super Boy" וכל מיני דברים שנפלו עליהם."  


.."וקל לקבוע שהגימור הסופי של חוברות קווין קומיקס לא השביע רצון, לעתים, גם בפרמטרים אחרים. בין הטעויות הנפוצות ביותר שהתגלו בין הדפים היו בלוני טקסט ריקים ואותיות הכתובות בהיפוך. בכל זאת, יש מקום לתהות האם מוצר מוקפד יותר היה משנה את גורלה של קווין קומיקס. ההוצאה נסמכה, כמעט לחלוטין, על עולמם של גיבורי העל. אמנם, רובם כבר היו מוכרים בישראל בזכות עיבודים קולנועיים וטלוויזיונים שונים. אך האם קסמם וכוחם אכן מסוגלים היו לפעול גם על הקורא המקומי בשנות השמונים או שמא מדובר בהימור הנידון מראש לכשלון?

אשד:"הטענה ש-סופרמן לא מתאים למנטליות הישראלית היא שטויות במיץ עגבניות. היו לנו [ בספרות הישראלית ] גיבורי-על אבל לא בקומיקס. דנידין הוא גיבור-על, עפ"י כל הגדרה. גם חסמב"ה- בתור ילדים שעושים דברים שמבוגרים לא יכולים ומתעסקים בבעיות חובקות עולם וסכנות רציניות, כמו טרוריסטים המאיימים על בטחון המדינה. במובן זה, הם היו קרובים יותר ל-The Avengers מאשר ל-השביעייה הסודית. אני חושב שכן היה שוק לכך אבל אולי לא מספיק כסף לפרסום."

סיפורה של הוצאת "קווין קומיקס

חלק ב'

כוכב הנפילים

האם היו האלים המוצגים במיתולוגיות של שומר בבל ומצרים העתיקה חייזרים מכוכב לכת אחר במערכת השמש ? כוכב לכת ששמו הוא ניבירו ?
לדעת זכריה סיטשין עיתונאי ישראלי שהיגר לארה"ב והיה אחד האנשים המועטים בעולם שידעו לקרוא שומרית בצורה שוטפת התשובה היא חיובית.

הוא כתב סדרת ספרים בנושא שתיארו את ההיסטוריה של אותם חייזרים "האנונקים "שהפכו לרבי מכר ענקיים.מאות אלפים ומליונים קיבלו את רעיונותיו .ואנשים אחרים פיתחו את רעיונותיו בספרים משלהם .ובינהם גם הישראלי בן עמי לבבי.הם שימשו מקור השראה לסרטים לרומנים ולסדרת טלוויזיה המצליחה "סטאר גייט" .


אולם על שתי שאלות לא נתן סיטשין תשובה ברורה ויש עליהם חילוקי דעות : האם היה יהווה האל התנ"כי אחד מהחייזרים האלו ?

ומתי בדיוק הם אמורים לחזור ?



שאלה שנעשית לאחרונה חשובה מאוד מאחר שיש הטוענים שכוכב הלכת ניבירו אמור להתקרב שוב לכדור הארץ בשנת 2012.

עוד על כך ראו :

כוכב הנפילים  חלק א'

כוכב הנפילים :חלק ב'

שירים מכוכב הלכת ניבירו מאת דיאנה מן

דמות הטייס בקומיקס


איך מוצגים הטייסים בקומיקס העולמי והעברי ? האם הם בכלל מוצגים בקומיקס העברי ?  אלו הן שאלות  שכתב בטאון חיל האוויר יונתן מרוז עוסק בה במאמר שבו הוא מראיין אותי בנושא .

והנה מאמרו בנושא לרגל 35 שנה למבצע אנטבה

דמות הטייס בקומיקס העברי והעולמי

ג'קי ירחי באנטבה

לרגל מלאת שלושים וחמש שנה למבצע אנטבה  הנה רשימה על אלבום קומיקס חדש של האמן ג'קי ירחי המתאר את פירטי השתלשלות המבצע .

מבצע כדור הרעם :מבצע אנטבה על פי ג'קי ירחי

תיק שרי פיירשטיין -חוקרת קבלה מסתורית והמוזה של פנחס שדה

היה היתה בירושלים חוקרת קבלה צעירה ויפה בשם שרי פיירשטיין.היא עסקה בעבודת המאסטר שלה בתורת הנפש בקבלת האר"י.בעבודת הדוקטוראט שלה היא עסקה בתורת המשיחיות אצל האר"י. מוריה  ציפו ממנה לגדולות ונצורות.אבל עבודה זאת לא הושלמה ולאיזה מסקנות היגיעה שם איננו יודעים שכן יום אחד בשנת 1979 היא עלתה למגדל בירושלים והשליכה את עצמה למטה.

הסופר  המיסטי פנחס שדה שהיה מאוהב בשרי פיירשטיין והיא שימשה כמקור השראה ליצירתו לדמות של "אביגיל " בספרו של שדה "על מצבו של האדם " טען לימים שאותה שרי פייר שטיין התאבדה בגללו וכתב עליה כמה שירים. עם זאת  מהות קשריה עימו הם עניין שנוי מאוד במחלוקת .

גם אהוד בן עזר כתב עליה ,וגם אלישע פורת.וגם אחרים שהתרשמו ממנה.


להלן באתר "יקום תרבות " שני חלקי פרוייקט על חייה ומותה של שרי פיירשטיין שמנסבים לפענח במשהו את הצופן של חייה ומותה המסתוריים .

החלק הראשון הוא סיפור המבוסס על פרשת התאבדותה .

והחלק השני הוא מאמר על חייה מאת אהוד בן עזר שהכיר אותה.

ואליהם מצורפים שירים של אבלין כץ ידידה ושל פנחס שדה .

תיק שרי פיירשטיין החלק הראשון

תיק שרי פיירשטיין החלק השני


שבעים הפנים של בוב דילן

כולם יודעים שהוא נולד כיהודי, כולם יודעים שהוא התנצר.כולם מתווכחים האם הוא באמת שב ליהדות. אבל ישנן גם טענות מפתיעות בדבר אמונה דתית אחרת שהוא משתייך אליה.
בוב דילן האיש ועשרות האגדות מגיע לישראל.
האם הפעם הוא יהיה מוכן לפתור סוף סוף את אחת התעלומות הדתיות –תרבותיות הגדולות של ימינו ?

בוב דילן :יהודי ,נוצרי  או שבתאי ? ואולי אף לא אחד מכל אלו ?

ראו :

שבעים הפנים של בוב דילן

illustration of Bob Dylan



קבל כל פוסט חדש ישירות לתיבת הדואר הנכנס.

הצטרפו אל 490 שכבר עוקבים אחריו