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

Saturday, July 19, 2008

High Boy

For The Giant Horse of Oz, John R. Neill created page-and -a-half chapter title drawings. The gap in the middle of the drawing was to allow for the binding of the book, as the image appeared over two pages. This drawing is from chapter 13, and also has a blue watercolor wash to indicate areas where half-tone shading would be added. There is a lighter and a darker blue - for lighter and darker grey. It's not clear whether this color was added by Neill or by Reilly & Lee staff , but it's probably the latter.

I don't care much for the half tones - they add depth, but I think they tend to muddy the images, and would rather see the illustrations without the grey haze. This technique was used in a number of the Oz titles during this time period.

The drawing shows Trot, the Scarecrow and Benny (a living stone statue) gazing up through the legs of High Boy, the Giant Horse - a horse with telescopic legs. This is the only Neill drawing I have of the Scarecrow, and he's looking rather apprehensive!


David M said...

Very interesting. I, too, have one of these GIANT HORSE chapter title drawings but mine has only one shade of blue on it and in the published book only one shade of zip-a-tone.

I kinda of think Neill might well have done the color wash - I'm not convinced R&L had much of a staff for that sort of thing and it would have taken Neill mere moments to add the wash. I'm guessing it's Neill's idea, too. R&L were cheap-skates and would probably have just printed whatever Neill submitted. Just a thought.

Bill Campbell said...

I've heard theories in both directions, but I suppose there's no real way of knowing at this point. I'd prefer to think that Neill added the color!