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

Friday, January 21, 2011

John Dough

Here's a copy of John Dough and the Cherub from 1930 or so - the rear dust jacket flap lists Oz titles to Yellow Knight, the Oz book published that year. This must have been one of the final printings of this title by the Reilly & Lee company.

When Reilly & Britton changed to Reilly & Lee in 1919, several of the L. Frank Baum books underwent changes in appearance. In particular, early titles that originally had stamped covers were changed to paper labels. The Patchwork Girl was one exception - although it too was changed in the 1930's. In some cases, this required a bit of re-thinking on the publisher's part.

For John Dough, the original cover design (shown above right) was used, but it was changed to a full color paper label pasted to the front of the book, instead of a 3 color stamping. The design from the spine of the book was used on the spine of the jacket but only printed in black; this raises the problem of John's disappearing bow tie! I would have thought, considering that the cover was now full color, the spine could have been colored as well!

This past Christmas I did get around to making some John Dough gingerbread cookies. Unfortunately, I couldn't lay my hands on any Elixir of Life, the special ingredient...


Bell-Snickle said...

Nice! I really enjoy seeing the different varients of some of these titles. And your Reilly & Britton copy is so bright! Most of the copies I've seen show a lot more wear from dirty fingers.

J. L. Bell said...

Something similar happened inside when Reilly & Lee stopped printing the second color for the chapter-opening illustrations. Elements of Neill's art just disappeared or became negative space.

Bill Campbell said...

It's the same as what happened in later printings of Denslow's illustrations in The Wizard of Oz - the sudden disappearance of portions of the images! And I should have mentioned the nice new edition currently available from Hungry Tiger Press, with your introduction and freshly cleaned up black & white illustrations.

The Reilly Britton John Dough is quite bright - I suspect it spent most of its life in a dustjacket, which unfortunately was no longer present when I got the book. The bit of red staining on the corners of the cover make me think it was the secondary jacket, which was printed on red stock - and perhaps it met with an accident involving moisture, which stained the cover.