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

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Road to Oz

I've mentioned in the past that one of the things I'd love to have is a piece of original John R. Neill artwork from The Road to Oz. This title contains some of Neill's most fanciful drawings - though I do think many of the drawings in Dorothy and the Wizard and Emerald City are equally ornate. Since there were no color plates in The Road to Oz, Neill had an excellent opportunity to show his skill with full page pen & ink illustrations.

Surprisingly, the opportunity arose recently and I now have the original art for the half-title page from this book. It features one of Neill's elfish little men, possibly a Crooked Knook, this one clutching some root vegetables and pointing the way, with the book title beneath the image. It's certainly not the most elaborate of the Road drawings, but I do like that it seems to tell it's own little story!

In the book, the picture was printed with the same border that was used on many of the full page illustrations. There is no border to this drawing, but there is a note in the left bottom corner instructing the printer to add the border. I always enjoy running across production details like that.


J. L. Bell said...

Some of Neill’s Oz illustrations have been found to be redrawn or repurposed images he published elsewhere. This one always struck me as being outside the scope and mood of The Road to Oz. But it appears there’s no indication that Neill drew it for another job first. And of course there is that handwritten title.

Bill Campbell said...

That's true, there are a number of re-purposed drawings throughout the Oz series. Obviously this one was used in the book, but that's no guarantee that the main image was specifically drawn for this title - the fact that there's nothing specifically Ozzy about it points in that direction. But as you say, there's no specific indication of it being drawn for something else - it's just one of those little mysteries!

Bell-Snickle said...

WOW! Love the detail in the close up shot on the face!

Scott C said...

Wow. You can't beet that.

Bill Campbell said...

...groan....yes, I was glad to see it turnip.