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

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oz Color

Later printings of The Wizard of Oz saw more than just changes in color plates; the color printing used throughout the text was also affected. A prime example can be seen in these two images.

The first is from an early Bobbs-Merrill printing, and the second is from a later Donohue printing. The Bobbs-Merrill pages are printed in a darker green ink than was originally used, making the text more difficult to read — but at least the entire image is there.

Donohue was a cheaper reprint house that leased the plates for the book, and turned out less expensive editions. One of their ways of saving money was to minimize the use of color throughout the book — one of the most unique features of the original edition! By dropping the green out of this text illustration, the image no longer makes any sense. Personally, I think they were cheating their customers; perhaps they should have been prevented from turning out such unattractive editions of this book!


Bell-Snickle said...

Great topic! Have there been any articles from the Oz club that cover this? It's too bad that the "Baum Bugle" isn't printed will full color pages as this and your last post would make for the basis of a great article.

Bill Campbell said...

I don't know if there have been any specific articles about it, but I'm sure it's been mentioned over the years. Bibliographia Oziana does call out some of these differences, but they aren't illustrated.

Anonymous said...

I think there was a BUGLE article that showed a Donahue printing with a picture of the Soldier with the Green Wiskers without his whiskers!