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

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rachel Cosgrove

By the time Hidden Valley of Oz was published in 1951, the Oz books had been around for 50 years. This title introduced both a new Oz author, Rachel Cosgrove, and a new illustrator, Dirk Gringhuis.












I can't say I'm fond of Dirk's illustrations - for me, they lack the fanciful charm that was always present in the work of John R. Neill, even on his off days. They do give the book a very contemporary 1950's feeling, and this was the start of a time period when Reilly & Lee made several attempts to update the Oz books, with new covers and new illustrations. Eventually, they reverted to the originals.

For many years this was the only Oz book published by Rachel Cosgrove, but in 1993 the International Wizard of Oz Club published her second Oz title, The Wicked Witch of Oz. This was illustrated by Eric Shanower. Hungry Tiger Press has also published several short Oz pieces by Cosgrove.

6 comments:

  1. I bought this book as a kid, either ordering it through a bookstore, or spying it on a shelf. Either way, I think I got a first printing --- was there ever a second. I was not terribly fond of this book, compared to the Baum and Thompson volumes. The oversized white rat Percy the Personality Kid was about as well-regarded by me as some folks today regard Jar-Jar Binks in the Star Wars movies.

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  2. In 1991, the Internation Wizard of Oz Club published a second edition.

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  3. I know Dirk did one picture of the Cowardly Lion where his face looks much more human than feline, which I didn't care for.

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  4. Interesting - I took a quick look through the book at the illustrations of the lion, but didn't notice one that seemed particularly human. But they are uneven, and some look more cat-like than others.

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  5. It's the picture on p. 124 I was thinking of. I'm not sure why, but the face kind of looks more like a guy in lion makeup than that of an actual lion. Or maybe it's just his weird expression that bothers me.

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  6. I see what you mean - I think it's something about the eyes. At any rate, it certainly doesn't have the personality of the lion that John R. Neill drew!

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