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

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I'm afraid I've been neglecting my blog entries, but it's been a hectic few weeks here. We've been moving our studio to a new location after being settled for 20 years, and I've spent more time transporting boxes and painting than anything else!

In 1961, Dick Martin illustrated adaptations of the first 4 Oz books for Reilly & Lee. I have three of these, but I'm missing The Wizard of Oz which seems to be the hardest to find. I've always had mixed feelings toward Martin's work, but these books are energetic and a lot of fun.

The illustration on the right shows Ozma entering the Nome King's ornament room, and is a good example of the colorful style used by the artist. The array of knick-knacks is amusing, and Ozma herself is wearing a slightly bizarre martial cockade of a headdress, very different from what is usually seen. These books were adapted by Jean Kellogg, who also adapted several of L. Frank Baum's Queer Visitors From the Marvelous Land of Oz comic pages for the book The Visitors From Oz. This was published in 1964 with Dick Martin illustrations as well.

I was struck by a drawing in Ozma of Oz of the Scarecrow egging the Nome King. It could be coinci- dental, but the overall layout of the illustration really calls to my mind the unused Dale Ulrey drawing for the same scene. I can't help wondering if Dick Martin was familiar with that piece - considering his connections with Reilly & Lee and the Oz enthusiasts of the time, it would be very possible.


Bell-Snickle said...

I have the "Ozma" adaptation and I agree it's really nicely done. I'm still looking for a copy of "Dorothy & the Wizard." I really want to see what Martin did with it!

Bill Campbell said...

I seem to remember reading that Dick Martin produced the illustrations for Dorothy and the Wizard very quickly,( like in a day), to meet a deadline. I think I may have read that in a Baum Bugle article. I find his drawings interesting, as he produced everything for 4 color separation printing - meaning he made a drawing for the blank ink, one for the red ink, one for the blue ink and one for the yellow ink. Printing has changed a lot since then!