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

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Denslow's Christmas Tales

On December 14th, 1902, the New York Herald published four comic pages by W. W. Denslow. These were Denslow's Christmas Tales, and used artwork Denslow was preparing for his series of picture books published in 1903, with additional titles in 1904. I've recently obtained a set of these pages, courtesy of Cindy at Wonderful Books of Oz .

The four stories are told in verse, and Denslow has revised each one from the traditional version, to remove the "horrors" of the original. Hence, Red Riding Hood's wolf is tamed, Humpty Dumpty Jr. is hardboiled to prevent breakage, the Giant becomes a sideshow exhibit, and little Golden Hair becomes housekeeper for the Three Bears and stays with them. The same changes occur in the picture book versions, but the stories are rewritten in prose with additional illustrations. 

The newspaper pages are bright and colorful, and would certainly have caught the eye of a young reader. These were part of a Sunday Christmas Edition supplement - Red Riding Hood was the cover page, Humpty Dumpty and Three Bears were the interior pages 4 and 5, and Jack and the Beanstalk was the final page. Modern newspapers certainly don't compare to this!

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