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

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Del Rey Royal Book

In 1985, Del Rey began to publish the first paperback editions of the Oz books by Ruth Plumly Thompson. These titles had all been out of print since the 1960's. Once again, Michael Herring created new cover designs for the titles, which were released at the pace of a couple titles a year.

Herring took inspiration from John R. Neill's characters, but worked them into a scene Neill never illustrated. The Scarecrow is based on an image from The Scarecrow of Oz, while the Wogglebug is taken from an illustration in Royal Book.
Here we see Professor Wogglebug challenging the Scarecrow to prove his lineage and earn a place in the Royal Book of Oz.

These new printings of the Thompson books were larger than the Baum titles, and taller than standard trade paperbacks.


Bell-Snickle said...

Just curious, where did you get all of these Del Ray cover artwork from?

Bill Campbell said...

I ran across them online a couple years ago at a gallery called Graphic Collectibles. At one point the gallery had the entire set, but some were already gone when I found them. Over the next couple years I worked on buying what I could - I figured it was an opportunity I wouldn't have again.

Bell-Snickle said...

Nice! You did the smart thing. Those are some beautiful one-of-a-kind gems you have. And from what you've posted, a lot of the paintings are more successful in their original form than they appeared on the actual paperbacks.

Thanks for sharing them, and the rest of your collection, with us.