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

Friday, January 29, 2010

Puppets in Oz

While poking around on my computer the other night, I ran across a web page (here) with this photo of characters from a 1950's puppet adaptation of The Land Of Oz. These puppets were designed by Burr Tillstrom, the creator of Kukla, Fran and Ollie.

In March, 1950, Billboard magazine ran a small article stating that Tillstrom had started production on a new half-hour series called The Wonderful Land of Oz.

There's a mention of the project in April, and another in May stating that there was a successful audition of the series held at NBC in Chicago. No further mentions are made, as the project apparently went down the tubes. However, in 2000 the Library of Congress included a May, 1950 airing of Burr Tillstrom's The Wizard of Oz as part of their Oz film series, so that first episode must still exist. It's too bad that the series didn't continue - these puppets look like fun!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lost Countess Falka

Another Rand McNally book from 1896 with a W. W. Denslow cover is Lost Countess Falka by Richard Henry Savage. Denslow created covers for several books by Savage, one of which I've shown before (In the Shadow of the Pyramids).

I found Shadow of the Pyramids very difficult to read, due to the unrestrained use of exclamation points! I thought this might have been due to poor editing on this book! Looking at Lost Countess, I find it has a similar problem, and just as virulent! It's really hard to read a book written this way!

I've seen another Denslow cover for Lost Countess - this one makes use of the design created in 1898 for Whoso Findeth a Wife, lifting the cover motif from the later book while using the original title lettering. There are a few changes to the image, and the simple cover is printed in a single color without any gilt stamping.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Neill Drawing

After a busy holiday season, complete with travel and a computer meltdown, I'm finally getting back to posting.

Here's a nice John R. Neill drawing, probably published but location unknown. It appears to be a fashionable young man, carrying his traveling bag and perhaps a tennis racket? He might be headed off to college, or maybe returning home to visit. In many ways, he has the appearance of an adult Button-Bright – still traveling and unconcerned about where.

The suitcase makes me think of the black bag of magic tools carried by the Wizard of Oz.