The 1978 Tarzan Calendar

Illustrator: Boris Vallejo
Size: 13 x 12 (33 x 30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0-345-27250-1
Published: 1977
  1978 Tarzan CalendarCover: Untitled

In 1975 Del Rey/Ballantine Books realised that the copyright on Edgar Rice Burroughs' works was about to expire and they made a decision to publish much of his work including all 24 of the Tarzan novels. Boris had recently been discovered by Lester del Rey and so it was no surprise that he was asked to paint all the covers. However, he had received large amounts of work from the Del Rey group so it was presumably due to pressure of work that the commission was later reduced to just 12 paintings. The first six covers had been delivered in 1976 but he had yet to start work on the remaing six when, in 1977, Ballantine Books decided to publish a 1978 Tarzan calendar based on all 12 paintings. The deadline was such that Boris had to complete the six remaining paintings plus two others, for the calendar's centrepiece and cover, in the space of a month (March 1977.) You may think that producing eight paintings in just 31 days is phenominal but, due to another deadline, Boris had to produce another painting too – that's right, nine paintings, with no reduction in quality, in one month! It is a feat that Boris has no wish to repeat.

The calendar was in the usual format with the painting on the first page and the relevant month on the page below. The whole of each painting was used so it was necessary to use wide borders on either side to allow for their vertical format. The whole calendar was sealed in a corrugated card box, which bore a copy of the cover painting, suitable for mailing. I have not included a picture of the box - it's rough texture, brown colour and uneven surface did not allow for good quality printing of the picture.

There were apparently problems during the production process which resulted in the calendar being published rather late in 1977 hence sales were poorer than had been anticipated. Although good quantities of the calendar were sold it was still being offered for sale in mid 1978. Even today, it is still possible to buy brand new, unopened, calendars at a premium price. (I got mine for about half price by choosing an auction that ended in the middle of the American night.)

Tarzan and the Madman, Boris VallejoJanuary
Tarzan and the Madman
Tarzan the Untamed, Boris VallejoFebruary
Tarzan the Untamed
Tarzan and the Forbidden City, Boris VallejoMarch
Tarzan and the Forbidden City
Tarzan and the Lost Empire, Boris VallejoApril
Tarzan and the Lost Empire
Tarzan the Magnificent, Boris VallejoMay
Tarzan the Magnificent
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, Boris VallejoJune
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle
Tarzan and La at the City of Opar, Boris VallejoCentrepiece
Tarzan and La at the City of Opar
Tarzan and the Castaways, Boris VallejoJuly
Tarzan and the Castaways
Tarzan and the Ant Men, Boris VallejoAugust
Tarzan and the Ant Men
Tarzan's Quest, Boris VallejoSeptember
Tarzan's Quest
Tarzan the Terrible, Boris VallejoOctober
Tarzan the Terrible
Tarzan and the Foreign Legion, Boris VallejoNovember
Tarzan and the Foreign Legion
Tarzan and the Golden Lion, Boris VallejoDecember
Tarzan and the Golden Lion

Page last updated: 2022-04-09