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

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crossing the Desert

There are certain Oz illustrations that I find iconic - John R. Neill's illustration for Ozma of Oz, of Ozma crossing the deadly desert with her army, is one of these. Unfortunately, the original artwork by Neill seems to have vanished into the mists of time, like so many other original Oz illustrations. I would love to have been able to see this piece!

 I was fortunate several years ago to acquire Michael Herring's version of the same scene, painted for the cover of the DelRey paperback in 1978. This was closely based on the Neill illustration, with some minor changes. In this case the scene was considered memorable enough to represent the entire book!

 I've just picked up another version, Skottie Young's drawing for the Marvel comic of Ozma of Oz. I've been enjoying the Marvel editions, scripted by Eric Shanower and drawn by Young. I'm not really a comic collector, and I haven't been picking up the individual comic books. Instead, I've been buying the hardcover compilations, so seeing the entire story in a fresh light is a pleasant surprise. In my view, Marvel has managed to do something that Reilly & Lee was always half-heartedly attempting - produce an updated version of the Oz books in a format to appeal to today's young readers!


Bob Atkins said...

Bill, you've probably answered this a thousand times, and I'm sorry if you're repeated this elsewhere, but do you know who owns the reproduction rights for Neill's Oz work?

Bill Campbell said...

The books and images through Kabumpo in Oz are all public domain at this point, as well as those in the late Thompson books (Ozoplaning, Handy Mandy, Silver Princess, Captain Salt, Wishing Horse). The L. Frank Baum Family Trust owns the rights to the other Thompson titles (Cowardly Lion through Speedy). Rights to unpublished pieces would belong to the Neill family.