King Kong vs Tarzan

The Ultimate Rumble in the Jungle

king kong vs tarzan

(March 8, 2016 – Tarzana, CA) In 1935, King Kong’s creator, Merian C. Cooper, was seeking a vehicle by which to keep his greatest creation alive.

Kong was dead. Skull Island had sunk at the end of Son of Kong. But Cooper was undeterred. Harkening back to a pre-King Kong project when he tried and failed to obtain film rights to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, the celebrated filmmaker conceived a Technicolor prequel he called Tarzan Vs. King Kong. A prequel to King Kong, it brought the Ape Man to Skull Island to confront the mighty Kong.

Alas for Cooper and the rest of us, he failed to secure the rights to both properties, and so the project perished.

But it was not forgotten. Periodically, attempts to place those two classic jungle characters in the same story were floated, but nothing ever worked out. Until now.

Altus Press, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and DeVito ArtWorks LLC, are proud to announce their version of this long-deferred dream project.

King Kong Vs. Tarzan is neither a prequel nor a sequel to any movie, but instead reveals an untold story only hinted at in the published Kong mythology, and never suspected: The incredible tale of the voyage of the tramp steamer Wanderer as she conveyed the chained Eighth Wonder of the World from his Skull Island home to the bright lights of New York City, and to Kong’s eventual downfall.

This is a voyage of over 13,000 miles, during which the aging tramp steamer must circumnavigate the continent of Africa, home of Tarzan of the Apes, yet keep Kong alive, fed and under control.

When the ship is forced to make landfall, Kong escapes his chains, and roams the unfamiliar African jungle, seeking a way home. Summoned by reports of a giant gorilla larger than any ever seen, Tarzan of the Apes investigates this incredible marauder, setting the stage for the greatest battle royale ever recorded. King Kong Vs. the Lord of the Jungle! The Dark Continent isn’t big enough for both of them….

Prolific adventure novelist Will Murray, who recently revived Tarzan in Return to Pal-ul-don, and previously pitted King Kong against pulp superhero Doc Savage in his acclaimed 2013 epic, Skull Island, is the writer of this monumental project.

tarzan return

The idea came to me one September weekend in 2014,” he says. “It was Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 139th birthday anniversary. Previously Joe DeVito and I had entertained the possibility of sending Tarzan to Skull Island, but the premise didn’t sufficiently appeal to me. Instinctively, I felt the need for a stronger story, so I put the notion aside until that fateful weekend. It hit me then that no one had ever told the story of Kong’s perilous transit across two mighty oceans. Here, I realized, would be an opportunity to unleash King Kong on the Dark Continent, and show him facing new and different challenges–-not the least of which would be the legendary Ape Man himself, Tarzan.

Instead of a sequel or a prequel, we have something new: an interquel, an interlude set within the original King Kong narrative. The beauty of King Kong Vs. Tarzan is it not only hurls those epic characters against one another, but allows us to include the original cast of characters from the original 1932 novel––Carl Denham, Jack Driscoll and Ann Darrow.”

Cover artist/author Joe DeVito writes: “Well over twenty years ago, when I created my original Skull Island property in words and pictures with the full cooperation of the Cooper Estate, I believe it was the first such detailed prequel/sequel expansion ever of the original King Kong mythos. Ultimately, Skull Island was fused with the Cooper Estate’s original King Kong storyline and King Kong of Skull Island was formed to create the ultimate Kong zeitgeist. In addition to so much more, it is ideal for just these kinds of ‘What if?’ explorations.

doc savage skull island

Will and I had a great adventure on a similar endeavor, Doc Savage: Skull Island. This Kong/Tarzan encounter, which draws timeline, details and characters from both the King Kong of Skull Island and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan oeuvres, promises to be an adventure yarn of appropriately epic proportions. As Will weaves his tale, I look forward to creating the art that will illustrate the story. Along the way we will continue to exchange exciting ideas and details, particularly as they pertain to King Kong and Skull Island, to craft a final book that seeks to explore the exotic, unexpected twists and turns that such a unique adventure offers.”

Jim Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc, says of the project, “When Will and Joe first approached me at the 2015 Dum Dum Meeting about a King Kong vs. Tarzan novel, my first instinct was that these two should eventually become fast friends. I didn’t know that’s exactly what Will had in mind, so I was all for it. Two literary legends finally meeting. This tale will be both robust and historic.”

Publisher Matt Moring adds, “This historic epic is a saga that Altus Press is pleased to be able to publish. And it’s none too soon: after all, this story’s a scant 80 years in the making!

King Kong Vs. Tarzan is scheduled for a Summer, 2016 release, timed to coincide with the promising and much-anticipated new Warner Bros. Legend of Tarzan film, and will be issued in trade paperback, ebook and hardcover editions.

Best Regards,

Joe DeVito

and the The Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Team


ABOUT Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Founded in 1923 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, as one of the first authors to incorporate himself, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. holds numerous trademarks and the rights to all literary works of the author still protected by copyright, including stories of Tarzan of the Apes and John Carter of Mars. The company has overseen every adaptation of his literary works in film, television, radio, publishing, theatrical stage productions, licensing and merchandising. The company is still a very active enterprise and manages and licenses the vast archive of Mr. Burroughs’ literary works, fictional characters and corresponding artworks that have grown for over a century. The company continues to be owned by the Burroughs family and remains headquartered in Tarzana, California, the town named after the Tarzana Ranch Mr. Burroughs purchased there in 1918 which led to the town’s future development.

ABOUT DeVito ArtWorks, LLC
DeVito ArtWorks, LLC is the home of King Kong of Skull Island, which encompasses both the original King Kong story of Merian C. Cooper’s King Kong and its seamless prequel and sequel expansion in Skull Island and The History of Skull Island, created by Joe DeVito. King Kong of Skull Island is the original, comprehensive King Kong Universe, uniquely endorsed and authorized with the name of Kong’s creator, Merian C. Cooper. DeVito ArtWorks, LLC and its representatives control the exclusive rights to develop and market King Kong of Skull Island, along with all it’s derivative works, in all media formats. Please visit and

ABOUT Altus Press
Altus Press is the world’s largest publisher of pulp fiction. In addition, for several years, Altus Press has published licensed material featuring classic characters such as Doc Savage, Tarzan, and The Shadow for new stories. Altus Press is also the exclusive licensee of the vast intellectual property holdings of Popular Publications, Inc., and The Frank A. Munsey Company, comprising an estimated 30,000 individual pulp stories from the 1920s-70s.
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New Comic Launch – Tarzan of the Apes, A Classic Adaptation

“I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other.” With that opening line, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story of an orphaned baby raised by apes in equatorial Africa created a cultural phenomenon over 100 years ago. Today, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. launches a new online comic strip to commemorate this classic story.

True to the book, the new TARZAN OF THE APES comic strip will be a classic adaptation of this universally known story of survival, self-reliance, romance and freedom from societal norms. Written by Roy Thomas, drawn by Pablo Marcos with coloring by Oscar Gonzalez, this strip will intrigue you.

In the novel, John Clayton was born in the western coastal jungles of equatorial Africa to a marooned couple from England, John Clayton Sr. [Lord Greystoke] and Alice Rutherford Clayton [Lady Greystoke]. After his parent’s death (Lord Greystoke is killed by the savage king-ape Kerchak) baby John is adopted by Kala, the fierce she-ape, who names him “TARZAN” meaning “white skin” in ape language. Raised to manhood by Kala who loved him dearly, baby TARZAN remains ignorant of his human heritage.

Tarzan of the Apes
See the new strip…

Deep in the wild African jungle, TARZAN learns survival secrets: how to talk with animals, swing through the trees, and fight against the powerful predators surrounding him. TARZAN grows to the strength and courage of his fellow apes. In time, his human intelligence promised TARZAN the kingship of the tribe. And, after a fight to the death with the king-ape Kerchak, TARZAN truly became Lord of the Jungle and King of the Apes.

Eventually, outsiders finally penetrate the jungle, bringing with them the wantonness of “civilized” greed and lust – but also the first white woman Tarzan had ever seen. Suddenly, Tarzan must choose between two worlds. Later, when asked how he came to be in this savage jungle, Tarzan replied, “I was born there. My mother was an ape, and of course she couldn’t tell me much about it. I never knew who my father was.”

Adventure and discovery await! View and read free samples at and then subscribe for just $1.99 per month to have access to all these fabulous new weekly comic strips of adventure and romance – all in vivid color by some of the grandmasters of comic strip production.

TARZAN OF THE APES (TM) by Roy Thomas and Tom Grindberg
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN (TM) by Roy Thomas and Tom Grindberg
CARSON OF VENUS (TM) by Martin Powell, Thomas Floyd, and Diana Leto
THE ETERNAL SAVAGE (TM) by Martin Powell and Steven E. Gordon
THE WAR CHIEF(TM) by Martin Powell and Nik Poliwko
THE CAVE GIRL (TM) by Martin Powell and Diana Leto (A Bi-Weekly)
PELLUCIDAR (TM) by Chuck Dixion and Tom Lyle


New Comic Strip Launch – The War Chief

THE WAR CHIEF is a realistic historical novel about life and death on an Apache reservation during the final days of the Apache Wars. Decades before the movie Dances With Wolves, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ great respect for the West and his compassion for the exploitative treatment of the Native Americans at the hands of the pin-dah-lickoyee (white eyes) caused him to write a story that is an honest and sympathetic portrait of native life that does credit to both the Natives and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

The story revolves around Shoz-Dijiji a.k.a. Black Bear, son of Geronimo and once known as Andy MacDuff. Adopted by Geronimo as a baby, Shoz-Dijiji is Apache in everything but blood. His life gets complicated when he is influenced by his attraction to Wichita Billings, the daughter of a wealthy white rancher.

War Chief Announcement

See the new strip…

Mr. Burroughs lived among the Apaches while in the US Army in 1897 while Stationed at Fort Grant in the Arizona desert. Burroughs penned a novel in vivid, realistic detail about day-to-day life on the Apache reservation. His Novel is high-level adventure during the Old West written by one who saw it with his own eyes.

Only $1.99 a month brings this western adventure and three other online weekly strips [Tarzan, Carson of Venus and Eternal Savage] onto your screen. Don’t miss a week of it! Subscribe today!


Martin Powell, a professional writer since 1986, has written hundreds of stories in numerous genres for such Disney, Marvel, DC, and Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics and others. Nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award for his work with Sherlock Holmes, he has written for some of the most popular characters in the industry, including Superman, Batman, Popeye the Sailor, Tarzan of the Apes. He is currently the author of the online weekly comic strips Carson of Venus and The Eternal Savage for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Martin has authored many children’s books, and is co-creator of the acclaimed Halloween Legion, with illustrator Diana Leto. Martin’s The Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan won the coveted Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Best Graphic Novel of 2010.


Nik Poliwko is primarily a comic book artist and illustrator, who has also worked in computer animation and on television productions. His resume includes storyboarding for the original “Batman: The Animated Series” through Lightbox Studios in Toronto, as well as creating computer graphics for various TV series and movies, such as NBC’s “Shattered Promises.” Nik was also writer and artist of the official “Bob & Doug McKenzie” daily newspaper strip, based on the “Great White North” segment from the NBC series “SCTV”, and produced the book “Strange Brew”, a tie-in with the popular MGM cult movie “The Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew.” In comics Nik has created material for a variety of publishers, including AC Comics, Monsterverse, Moonstone and Vortex among others, and has illustrated “Tarzan and the Native Boy” which appears in the “Jungle Tales of Tarzan” graphic novel from Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics.