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

Monday, February 26, 2018

A Letter From the Royal Illustrator/Historian

One of the duties of the Royal Historians of Oz was to respond to the many letters they received from their readers. L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson both spent a good deal of time over correspondence, but there don't seem to be many letters surviving from John R. Neill. Of course he only wrote 3 Oz books, but he did illustrate the series over a period of 38 years and must have received fan mail.
Here's a note he wrote prior to publication of his final Oz title for Reilly & Lee, Lucky Bucky in Oz. He compliments the correspondent on having read 32 Oz books, almost the entire series at that time. He also mentions an incident of three deer that ventured up to his back door; he featured a similar subject on his 1942 Christmas card.

Neill was never one to waste paper; the envelope used bears the return address of the International Information Service, in Washington, DC. Neill has added his own return information beneath this official stamp. Thanks to Cindy Ragni at Wonderful Books of Oz for coming up with this little gem.

A fun coincidence is the name of the recipient, Bobby Jones. The hero of the upcoming book was named Bucky Jones!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentines with Billy Bounce

My posts have been few and far between lately, but here's a slightly belated view of a Billy Bounce comic page for Valentine's Day, by W. W. Denslow. This page dates from 1902, and shows some of Denslow's originality in dealing with the layout of the comic for the standard newspaper page. If you click on the image, it will enlarge for reading. And remember - look before you kick!