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

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I first saw this full page drawing from The Road to Oz about a dozen years ago, at the home of an illustration dealer, and was immediately taken by it - as who wouldn't be! I never expected to own it, but about a year and a half ago it became a prize piece in my collection. Here we see Dorothy and her companions - the Shaggy Man (with a donkey head), Button Bright (with a fox head), Polychrome and Toto - captured by the Scoodlers, creatures with two-faced removable heads, who would like nothing better than to make soup out of the travelers!

Many of the surviving original drawings for Road to Oz have sketches on the back of the board, for other drawings in the book. This one is no exception, although it is a small and very sketchy sketch. This is for the scene of the Shaggy Man catching the heads of the Scoodlers and tossing them into a cavern, as he and the others escape. There are also a number of numerical doodles and sums, something else that's not uncommon on John R. Neill art!

The Road to Oz is considered to contain some of Neill's finest and most elaborate work, and it's easy to see why when examining the many whimsical details on the Scoodlers in this drawing. Sadly, much of the crisp line work is lost in reproduction, especially in later printings of the book.


Bell-Snickle said...

So awesome that you own this! As a kid I remember just staring at this illustration and glorying in all the wonderful details. Truly one of the crown jewels of Neill's Oz work.

Bill Campbell said...

I've always thought his black and white work in Dorothy and the Wizard and Emerald City was equally impressive, but as those books had color plates, there weren't as many opportunities for full page black and white drawings. I'm very lucky to have this piece!

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Congratulations! That is an amazing drawing. I'm glad a real Oz fan now has it.