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

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Del Rey Gnome King

I think this painting for The Gnome King of Oz is my favorite of the cover paintings done by Michael Herring for the Del Rey Oz books. There is something about the color and simplicity of the image that I really like. The Gnome King is shown soaring through the sky to the Emerald City, wearing a Flying Cloak of Invisibility (take that, Harry Potter!). The city is seen beneath the flying gnome, and the yellow hills in the background indicate that we must be gazing toward the Winkie country - originally in the west, but I don't recall at this point in the series if it was still in the west or had moved to the east. As I've mentioned before, compass points and countries have a way of shifting on maps of Oz.

John R. Neill did a drawing of this same incident for the original book. The image is very similar, but I do like the huge cloud Herring has placed behind the king. The Emerald City itself is adapted from the Neill illustration used on the original endpapers of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.

As with all the Thompson covers, this image was cropped for use on the published book, losing much of the landscape and sky. On these editions the printed cover images do extend over the spine of the book, which accounts for some of the extra finished area in the paintings.

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