30-Day Drawing Challenge: Day 13


The challenge gets into the swing of things!

See the blog Expatriatism for a list of the other worthy participants, including my artist niece, and links to their daily drawings.


Day 13: Our assignment was to draw our Favorite Mythical Creature.

Okay, I realize that for some of you, Tarzan is not a “mythical creature.” You might say he’s a fictional character. But for my generation of little boys, growing up in the late 50s and early 60s, Tarzan was of mythical proportions.

He embodied manhood, man-vs-nature, man-vs-bad guys, man-gets-girl. Forget James Bond. Tarzan was what we wanted to be. We read Tarzan. We watched Tarzan. We played Tarzan. We waited in the ER to get broken arms set because we fell out of trees (well, I escaped that one, but just barely.)

I read ALL the Tarzan books (I found the movies and TV shows cheesy). I read all the rest of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books about Mars, the Moon, etc. Young boy fantasy run wild. I read them under the covers by flashlight to avoid Mom’s “It’s way past your bedtime, young man!” Once you started a book, you had to finish it that same day, ya know?

I found the language learning in the Tarzan books fascinating, and I learned the whole “anthropoid ape” language, not unlike Trekkies learning Vulcan or Klingon today, I suppose. Only as I grew up and really learned several languages and worked as a language learning consultant did I realize that E. R. Burroughs was a little off base there.

My picture here shows the more salient image of Tarzan swinging by vines (that’s not in the books… he was a branch swinger, just like an ape), because it was easier to draw.

Now I want to write my own novels that get read, even after bedtime. And it’s funny that after all those Tarzan books, I wound up learning languages and working in a jungle, after all.

Never quite killed a lion with a hunting knife, though.

(Hey, anybody know what “Tarzan” meant in the apes’ language?)

About Bill Davis

Writer, speaker and translation and language learning consultant. I write technical articles, poetry and humor, and I am working on my first novel which is set on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
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One Response to 30-Day Drawing Challenge: Day 13

  1. Shelly says:

    I am learning so much about you, Bill! I love Tarzan… you did a great job of creating his manly physique with just a few strokes of your pen.

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