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

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Del Rey Speedy

Michael Herring created a somewhat macabre painting for the cover of the Del Rey edition of Speedy in Oz. Of course, that's not too difficult when one of the main characters is a living dinosaur skeleton! Here we see Terrybubble the dinosaur floating through the air, with Speedy and Gureeda tucked inside his rib cage.

I also have a preliminary sketch for this piece. The image is basically identical, except that the dinosaur bones are brown rather than white - probably a truer depiction, but the white bones do brighten things up a bit! The background hills have also grown, against a more dramatic sky.

John R. Neill also drew this incident as a chapter title. His Terrybubble looks a bit more flexible, but Speedy and Gureeda are difficult to distinguish.

This is the last of the Herring paintings I have. He painted one more, for The Wishing Horse of Oz, but the Del Rey series ended at that point. I've heard rumors of possible sketches for further titles, but I've had no luck in finding whether these exist.

9 comments:

Freddy Fogarty said...

I'm sad thats the last of the del rey paintings - i've loved seeing the original paintings as I loved the covers when i was a kid just starting to read the Oz books. Looking forward to future posts.

Anonymous said...

Michael Herring wrote to Fred Meyer that he never even did thumbnails unless he was contracted to do so -- so I suppose there is nothing from him post-WISHING HORSE.

Bell-Snickle said...

I think this is my favorite of the Del Rey covers ("Gnome King" is probably second). It really represented the book well while at the same time giving it more of a SciFi look.

Bill Campbell said...

It makes perfect sense that work would not be done without a contract. The Del Rey series ended somewhat unexpectedly with Wishing Horse, and I didn't know if Herring might originally have been contracted to do all of the Thompson titles.

Bastian said...

Thank you so much for your blog series on the Del Rey covers. I grew up on these covers and they still enchant me to this day (I dream every couple years or so that I find a copy of Ozoplaning or Captain Salt or such as a Del Rey edition at a book store or library, haha). You're so lucky to have purchased the original art! I wish poster-sized prints could be made of the covers.

Bill Campbell said...

These are colorful and fun pieces, but I also think they're important in terms of Oz history. These were used to introduce the Thompson Oz titles to a whole new generation of readers, and I think there are many people who will always associate these images with those books.

icysugarspike said...

Is there any way you can re-post these at a higher resolution? I'd be most grateful. I've loved these covers for years!

Bill Campbell said...

I'm afraid most of the photos I have of these pieces are low resolution - I've been intending to re-photograph them for a couple years but just haven't gotten to it. Hopefully I will before too much longer!

icysugarspike said...

Until then, I wait with great anticipation! Thanks.