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

Saturday, October 31, 2009


The Marvel Comics edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been high on the New York Times list of graphic novel bestsellers for a few weeks now. The adaption by Eric Shanower, drawn by Skottie Young, is very enjoyable, including many incidents from the original book that would be unfamiliar to fans who only know the MGM film.

The original artwork for this series of graphic novels has been available for sale online for a while, and I finally purchased a couple pieces. With so many pages available, I couldn't decide what I wanted - but as the pages I was interested in kept disappearing, I had to make a decision! In the end, I chose two pieces that deal with the Wicked Witch of the West.

The artwork by Skottie Young is very fun, and takes a fresh approach to the characters. On the original art, the initial sketching is done with blue pencil, which adds nice movement and shading to the finished piece. (See comments below concerning the blue "pencil"). It's also fascinating to see the choices made by the artist as to which lines to ink or ignore. The drawing on the left shows the Witch wearing the Golden Cap and summoning the Winged Monkeys.

There's quite a contrast between the drawing, and the printed image which has been colored. The color adds a lot of depth and atmosphere to the scene, but after seeing the original, I think a lot of Young's lovely line work gets lost.

The second drawing shows the events leading to the melting of the witch. Both drawings have a nice darkness to them, in contrast to some of the lighter, cheerier images in other parts of the story. But I have to admit, I can't help thinking of Sam Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes when I look at Dorothy's face in the final panel!


bombshellcat said...

I got my hardcover copy of this comic, in full, a couple of weeks ago and was greeted by a lovely surprise: it would appear that the same crew is making a comic of "The Marvelous Land of Oz"! Did you know that? I did not, but the designs for Kip and Jack made an appearance at the end of my book and I am looking forward to it.

It is very cool to see the line work for these pages, thank you for sharing!

Bill Campbell said...

The Marvel version of Marvelous Land of Oz has started, and I'm looking forward to seeing the results. If all goes well, more titles might also be forthcoming!

ericshanower said...

The blue pencil on Skottie's pages isn't really pencil. He does the "pencils" on a Syntique and prints out them out in blue, then inks traditionally.

Bill Campbell said...

I'm always amazed at how far ahead of me technology has sped, and how ignorant I am as to its uses! After reading Eric's comment and looking at the artwork, it becomes obvious that the blue lines aren't traditionally drawn in - the tone is far too even.