Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tik-Tok

Tik-Tok of Oz marks the end of what I'd call the lavish Oz books - after this title, the books fell into a regular pattern with no new surprises like stamped covers, metallic inks or color throughout. This was the last Oz book to have a cover plate from a finished John R. Neill watercolor, and the last to have color endpapers. Apparently, Reilly & Britton had intended this title to have another wrap-around dustjacket, as the artwork for that survives, but this was dropped in favor of repeating the cover plate - I'd assume it was a less expensive alternative.

This book has the famous color endpapers featuring a map of Oz in front, and a map of the lands surrounding Oz in the back. Many inconsistencies have been found with these maps, not least of which are the reversal of east and west on the compass points. This has lead to a lot of discussion as to what Baum may have intended with his various fantasies.

I've always been intrigued by the 3rd state of Tik-Tok from 1918 - in this volume, the endpaper maps are printed in green rather than full color. That's the last time they are used in the book. I've never quite understood why the maps were dropped - once color endpapers were no longer in use, they could easily have been printed in black & white.


Much of the artwork for this book survives - in fact, I think Patchwork Girl and Tik-Tok are the two Baum books with the most Neill artwork around.

3 comments:

Jim Meadows said...

Bill, the copy of "Tik-Tok of Oz" that I grew up with does not contain the Oz map endpapers. Instead, the endpapers feature a lineup of familiar Oz characters as drawn by John R. Neill. It is, a gather, a much later edition, perhaps from the 1930s. The first Oz books I saw were second-hand copies my mother had bought in the 1950s, making up for her original Oz books which HER mother had disposed of.

"Tik-Tok of Oz" was also the first Oz book I read on my own as a child, and one of my favorites at the time. Loved that dragon! Now as an adult, I' struck by the book's commercial underpnnings. That is, the book's plot line closely mimics "Ozma of Oz", with Tik-Tok and the Nome King in the same places, Betsy Bobbin standing in for Dorothy, and the search for the Shaggy Man's brother taking the place of the search for the lost royal family of Ev (it was Ev, wasn't it?). In the book's introduction, Baum carefully points out that "Tik Tok of Oz" is NOT like the musical of similar name --- what he doesn't mention is how close it hews to the musical's source material, namely "Ozma of Oz".

These are things I only notice as an adult. Thankfully, as a child, I took the Oz books at face value.

Bill Campbell said...

That's interesting about the endpapers - I know that for a while some of the books seemed to be given miscellaneous endpapers from other titles - I'm most familiar with copies of Road to Oz with endpapers from Giant Horse of Oz, with various characters chasing hoops.

Your comments on Tik-Tok as a book are very true - but like you, I never really noticed the similarities between titles as a kid!

kidlitltd said...

The "hybrid" Reilly Britton/Lee state, in a mint green binding also has the green map endpapers. The hybrids are fairly difficult to find, especially (like all early "Oz" books) in collectible condition. The few I've seen with dj's have had Reilly & Britton on the dj's spine. As the 1918 change gets closer, the hybrids become more difficult to find. Obviously, by "Tin Woodman", the change halted the hybrids, as the Reilly & Lee issue is identical to the earlier R&B, save binding color (light blue), title page, and spine imprint. Probably old sheets were used like the "Tin Woodman", with only a new R&L casing