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

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'll Get You My Pretty!

Just in time for Halloween - here's a tray of Wicked Witch heads in production at the R. John Wright doll company. The cackling must be earsplitting - Dorothy better watch out!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

1901 Advertising

While doing some searching online, I ran across this ad for L. Frank Baum's The Master Key. I thought it was pretty humorous - and found it distinctly odd that it makes no mention of the book's author or publisher. This was in a 1901 newspaper, the Minneapolis Journal - I'm sorry to say McCarthy's Book Store no longer exists on Nicollet Avenue!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Addams in Oz....

Well, not really...but there is a cartoon by Charles Addams from the June 6, 1939 New Yorker magazine that makes me think of Oz. This was prior to the August release date for the MGM film - but could there be a connection?

This electrical creation strikes me as a mix of the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman... maybe with a bit of Tik-Tok tossed in for good measure!

This original artwork is currently available from the Lewis Wayne Gallery on eBay.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I've finally pulled together a Zazzle shop - the OzShop - using the paintings I've been doing based on illustra- tions of Oz characters by John R. Neill. These are featured on typical Zazzle products - mugs, magnets, coasters, etc. A flash panel is installed at the bottom of this page - Take a look!

I'll continue to add new characters. And be sure to let me know if there are combinations or products you'd like to see - the possibilities are fairly endless.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Tik-Tok Man

Here's some more fun, early Oz material, thanks again to the resources of the New York Public Library digital gallery.

While poking around on their site, I ran across these two sheets of photos from The Tik-Tok Man of Oz - contact prints of characters and group shots from the 1913 stage show.
This show was a moderate success, but never made the trip to Broadway - apparently many critics found it to be too derivative of The Wizard of Oz. Still, L. Frank Baum managed to turn it into his 1914 Oz book, and it's fun to see another, live action if you like, take on some of the characters!

I've picked out a few of the photos and enlarged them - the quality isn't the best, but they're still fun to see.

Betsy & her mule, Hank.
Private Files and the Rose Princess - in the show, I believe her name was Ozma, which I've always thought must have been confusing for young fans of the books!

Betsy, Tik-Tok, Polychrome and the Shaggy Man.

A chorus of what appear to be gardeners and roses.

The Nome King and his sprites.

Queen Ann and her army.

Tik-Tok with a chorus of living clocks.

This looks like an act finale, featuring all the main characters! All these photos will enlarge if clicked upon.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Teddy Bear Bread

This weekend I went to a local antique show, and ran across a fun little item - a set of postcards by W.W. Denslow advertising Teddy Bear bread. This set only has 3 cards, which read as a complete series, but there should be a fourth card - the final one which says "I'll Buy It!"  and shows a boy purchasing a loaf from the teddy bear. I'll have to keep an eye out for that one! (See comments below - there's actually a fifth card as well!)

I love the fact that Teddy Bear Bread would be found for sale at "conscientious grocers". This was the time period of the pure food movement, and the Pure Food and Drug Act had been passed in 1906, to control adulterated or mislabeled food. Obviously, this could be turned into a selling point!