Friday, September 30, 2011

Good TIMES for Ozma!

I'm happy to report that Eric Shanower and Skottie Young's Ozma of Oz graphic novel from Marvel Comics has just made The New York Times Bestseller list for Graphic Novels (Hardcover).

Click here to see for yourself!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

In the Psych Ward with O. Z. Diggs

No one is perfect - not even the little old Wizard of Oz. If you'd been involved in a kidnapping and coup, hidden all by yourself for decades in the back rooms of a palace, been asked for the impossible by Scarecrows and Lions, fled back to America for a little relaxation and retirement, then all of a sudden your balloon is swallowed by the earth and you're trapped in a land of talking vegetables - and all those piglets! - everyone has a breaking point.

But fear not! Oscar Diggs (the Wizard of Oz himself) has gotten some help over on the Marvel Comics website in Tim Stevens' Psych Ward. Mr. Diggs said it was OK to share this, so go on over and sit in on the next therapy session. Click here

Tim Stevens has seen Dorothy Gale on occasion, and you can read about her session on the couch here.

The first issue of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz went on sale at comic stores yesterday. It's really terrific and may just be the best series yet from Eric Shanower and Skottie Young. And don't forget that the just-released Ozma of Oz hardcover collection is now available at our Hungry Tiger Press on-line store.

All copies of the Marvel Oz books sold thru Hungry Tiger Press will be autographed by writer Eric Shanower!

If you'd like your book personalized, just let us know how you'd like your book signed, and to whom, when you "check out."

Of course we have copies of Marvel's Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz, too! If you'd like them signed just let us know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


These cute little guys from Walt Disney Studio's Return to Oz were produced by Hart รก Hart as part of the Japanese merchandising for the 1985 film. They each stand about four inches high, except for Tik-Tok who clocks in at about three inches. These little guys are not quite as hard to find as the big Return to Oz  "plushies," like the Tik-Tok and Scarecrow I have previously blogged about. But these little guys are still quite uncommon.

They are really well molded and the attention to the costumes for figures so small is striking.  The figures are minimally articulated, too. Their heads rotate and their arms can be posed. The Tin Woodman's legs are articulated as well. Back in the old MySpace days I made an animated GIF of Tik-Tok waving his arms and blinking. You can see it here if you like.

I got my first Tik-Tok and Scarecrow at the Winkie Con in 1987, not too long after the toys were released. I finally found the other two at a Disney Collectibles Convention in one of the Disneyland Hotels in 1989. I had to buy a set of the four to get them. So I had two duplicates. Don't ask! The two extras have been long sold off.

I've always wanted to make a Gump for them to hang out in - perhaps one day I shall!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sis Sez Sunday - 57

I've never quite decided how old Sis is. She most often seems like a young woman, possibly in her late teens - then an episode pops up where she's dancing in gym class and has irritated the P.E. teacher.

How old do you think Sis is supposed to be? Any opinions?

This installment of Marge and Ruth Plumly Thompson's SIS SEZ page first appeared in King Comics, No. 50, in June 1940. If you love Marge's Little Lulu you're sure to get a kick out of Sis!

Please note that if you click on the image it will expand to a full-size version which will make it much easier to read! All of the other blog images will similarly enlarge.

The Un-Curious Cottabus

Well, boys and girls, this round of Oz Connection proved either incredibly boring or so stymied you that you didn't even hazard a guess. I will thank Scott O. for his entry connecting Groucho to Mervyn LeRoy through the film At the Circus (1939), the only answer or guess that was posted. Shall we abandon the silly game in the future or shall the next list of names include the likes of Mickey Carroll, Pink Floyd, and Kristin Chenoweth?

OK, enough grumping from me . . . So what are the Baum or Oz connections for Groucho Marx, John Keats, and Farrah Fawcett-Majors?

Let's begin with Groucho Marx. I am sure there are many ways one could make Oz connections for Groucho via his many films and TV shows, but there is one very strong Oz Connection. In 1960 Groucho was to have starred in an NBC television special of L. Frank Baum's The Magical Monarch of Mo. The teleplay was written specifically for Groucho by novelist and historian Gore Vidal (a long time lover of Oz and Baum himself).

Vidal subtitled the Mo teleplay as "A Fairy Tale for Adults." Alas, the show was never produced, though publicity art and Vidal's script both survive. I assumed Groucho would be pretty easy.

I knew romantic poet John Keats would be a lot harder. The clue is in the name Keats. The poet's great great grandniece was named Emma Keats Speed. In 1896 Miss Speed married a man named Henry Aylett Sampson. He was sports editor for The New York Times, and himself a great great grandson of Patrick Henry. Anyway, Emma Speed Sampson became a writer of children's books, including the continuation of L. Frank Baum's Mary Louise series after Baum's death. The Mary Louise books were all published under Baum's pseudonym, Edith Van Dyne.

I threw in Farrah Fawcett-Majors as a random name. I had no special plan for how to connect her to Oz. Here are a few that come to mind:  The red swimsuit she wore in her best-selling poster from 1976 is now at the Smithsonian near a pair of famous red shoes; she also did a voice in The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (1998), which was written by Oz collector Willard Carroll; but I'm going to play connect the Oz connections and mention that Farrah also played Mary Ann Pringle in the film version of Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge (1970). As you may have heard, Gore Vidal is a Baum enthusiast who published several important essays on Oz in addition to his many novels and histories. He also wrote the teleplay of Baum's Magical Monarch of Mo back in 1960.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dorothy and the MARVELous Wizard in Oz!

If you're ready for an in depth sneak-peek at Marvel Comics' great new adaptation of L. Frank Baum's Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, then head over to Newsarama to read an interview with both Eric Shanower and Skottie Young and check out a preview of the first few pages of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. As a bit of a teaser, here is an advance look at Eric Shanower's "alternate" cover for the first issue.

And don't forget that the just released Ozma of Oz hardcover collection is now available at our Hungry Tiger Press on-line store.

All copies of the Marvel Oz books sold thru Hungry Tiger Press will be autographed by writer Eric Shanower!

If you'd like your book personalized, just let us know how you'd like your book signed, and to whom, when you "check out."

Of course we have copies of Marvel's Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz, too! If you'd like them signed just let us know.

The Troubles of Pop Wombat

This month's free on-line Tiger Tale is L. Frank Baum's The Troubles of Pop Wombat, one of his Animal Fairy Tales from 1905. The story was originally published in the August issue of The Delineator that year and featured quite handsome illustrations by naturalist illustrator Charles Livingston Bull. It's a good story and all of Bull's illustrations are included, too. As always, there's a little bonus from Ruth Plumly Thompson and the Forgetful Poet.

So get a nice cup of tea and settle down with Pop Wombat. Just click here to begin your journey!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Oz Connection

How about we play Oz Connection again!  Perhaps you recall our little game: It's kind of a three-way combination of Ozian lore, Trivial Pursuit, and a pop-culture quiz all rolled into a game approximating the party game called "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." It's an amusing thing to do while driving to an Oz Con. It goes something like this:

One person says, "E. B. White," and then another player must try and link E. B. White to Oz as closely and quickly as possible. While there are probably MANY different routes, the first to pop into my head was: E. B White wrote Charlotte's Web. In the 1973 film version, the voice of the Goose was contributed by Agnes Moorehead, and she played Mombi in the Shirley Temple television production of The Land of Oz. You can check out our previous couple rounds by typing "Oz Connection" into our SEARCH window.

Post your answers in the blog's COMMENTS section - not on Facebook. Just click the "comments" link at the bottom of this post.

I will not publish or post any of the proposed Oz Connection answers until Friday morning. This will give everyone a chance to answer. Remember there is no single answer - there are many different ways you might connect these three to Oz. There is also no prize beyond the fact that it's a great way to show your own obsessive geekiness and superb cultural knowledge! Have fun!

Give me your best Oz Connection for the following three people:

Farrah Fawcett-Majors
Groucho Marx

Monday, September 19, 2011

That Hamilton Woman

When I was in my mid-teens and just starting to seriously build my Oz collection, I went on a jag trying to get as many of my books autographed as possible. A few of the folks I contacted became good friends: Dick Martin, Elosie Jarvis McGraw, Rachel Cosgrove;  and a few politely agreed to autograph books by mail, they signed the books, and that was that: Russell MacFall, Edward Wagenknecht, Donald Wollheim, etc.

I had met Aljean Harmetz the year before her landmark Making of the Wizard of Oz was published, and I got a signed copy from her the next year. But that book also had a foreword by Margaret Hamilton and I really wanted to get the foreword signed, too. So I wrote Hamilton a letter asking if I might send my copy of the book to her for an autograph (with return postage of course) and I didn't hear back . . . and didn't hear back . . . and then finally a letter from Margaret Hamilton! It was postmarked July 28, 1980, seven months after I had first written her.

She wrote in quite a scrawl, up the side of the page and then back across the top where she signed it, "Maggie H." (upside-down above the words New York in her printed address). Here's what she wrote:
Dear Mr. Maxine - I just can't believe it! Dec. '79? Please accept my guiltful!!?! apologies! I hate to have people mail anything you want back! We have lost books mailed - never to turn up. Our NYC mail is the worst in the nation!If you do not care why send it and we'll both pray. If you do care - let me suggest you tape this card with my greetings or a nice smaller one. I would not suggest the U.S. mails, nor trust them. I was so sad not to make the convention - next year I hope! So you do as you wish and I'll do all you ask at this end. Let's hope for good luck!
Very best to you - Maggie H.
PS - Do you know my friends the Hibbens?

Well, as it turned out I received her letter about a week before the 1980 Munchkin Convention for which she was to be a special guest. I took my book with me, and she signed it there, in person. The first thing that struck me was how very tiny she was. True, I was six feet tall, but my mom was 5'- 3" and even she was surprised by how tiny Margaret Hamilton was!  At lunch I was able to sit at her table and I remember looking at her hands, wondering if I could see any scars from her accident while filming in Munchkinland. I couldn't - they just looked like spotty old lady hands.

Somehow no one much discussed The Wizard of Oz. The main story I recall Hamilton telling at the lunch table involved a film called These Three (1936), the first film version of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour, in which they turned the child's lie about lesbianism into a lie about heterosexual adultery. It's actually a good film, despite the meddling.

There is a scene where the child, played by Bonita Granville, admits the lie after it has destroyed three lives, and Margaret Hamilton (playing a maid) has to slap Granville very hard. They shot the scene several times, Hamilton kept pulling back on the slap, and Granville wasn't making the slap believable with her acting. Finally, director William Wyler had had enough, and he got rather angry. They were wasting time, money, and film. He told Hamilton to really slap her, slap her good, so they could get the shot in the can and move on. As I recall the story, Wyler told Hamilton in private so Granville would react properly. Action! Hamilton hauled back and slapped Bonita Granville hard across the cheek. In the film Granville looks stunned, pauses for a moment, begins to shake slightly, and the tears pour out and she runs up the stairs. It's great! Hamilton was very upset over it. She said after Wyler called cut, she could still see her hand-print on Bonita Granville's face. She went out and bought Bonita a gift. Some Wicked Witch!

I was very glad I got to meet Margaret Hamilton.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm Stuck on THE WIZ

A few months ago ago I got an unusual Oz item. I'm not even sure exactly what it is but you can see it at left.

It's a WIZ stick pin. The design of the logo is clearly based on main title logo from the 1978 film version of The Wiz (see poster below). But what exactly is it? Was it sent to movie theaters for ticket-takers to wear? Was it a prize for some Ozzy contest? Was it perhaps a cast and crew gift?

I tend to think it's the latter, but I have no real evidence for such a claim. I have not been able to find anything on the web about such a pin either.

It is very well made. The little gold plunger is heavy and I have wondered if the pin might actually be gold (I have not had it tested) but the casting of the logo is very detailed and the stick itself is very soft and bendable.

As a Wiz fan I'm quite happy to have it - but I'd be delighted to know more about what it actually is, too!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pinocchio Meets Jenny Jump!

At a recent book show I came across a group of very pretty picture books in dust jackets. What initially caught my eye as I scanned the shelves were the Reilly & Lee imprints on the spines. Reilly & Lee, of course, was the original publisher of the Oz books.

All of the books in question were illustrated by William Donahey, and all but one were his Teenie Weenie books. The non-Teenie Weenie title was Hi! Ho! Pinocchio - The American Boy by Josef Marino (in actuality a pseudonym of Roy Judson Snell who wrote almost two dozen boy's series books for Reilly and Lee under his real name.)

Hi! Ho! Pinocchio, published in 1940, tells of the famed puppet's immigration to America, painting a portrait of the Italian immigrant experience just before World War II. The book actually seemed kind of interesting, but my interest was dampened by the price tag. Before I put the book back on the shelf I flipped thru, looking at all Donahey's illustrations and color plates and finally at the jacket flaps. The back flap was an advertisement for John R. Neill's first Oz book, The Wonder City of Oz, also published in 1940. I didn't particularly recognize the text so I took a photo - but it turns out that it's the same text that's on the front flap of the Wonder City dust jacket. Assuming most of my readers may not have Wonder City in jacket, and they probably don't have plans to rush out and buy a copy of Hi! Ho! Pinocchio's dust jacket either, here is the Wonder City ad for your enjoyment.

The Wonder City of Oz

Life in the Wonder City is as pleasantly Ozish as everything else in Oz. In the first place, the houses are alive and the animals - tiger-lilies, bull-rushes, and horse-chestnuts - grow like plants in gardens, and they talk. And then there's the Turnstyle, where all the royalty - or anyone else in Oz can get clothes. They go through the turnstyle and come out clothed just as they wish by pressing buttons on the arms of the turnstyle. Jenny Jump - she of the two fairy ears, one fairy eye, one fairy foot, and eight fairy fingers - runs the turnstyle.

All sorts of things go on in the Wonder City. The town crier blubbers and weeps because Whistlebreeches, Jenny's errand boy, won't stop whistling so people can hear him cry. And the Wizard makes some very strange changes in Jenny. She and Jack Pumpkinhead are made prisoners behind chocolate bars by chocolate soldiers. Jack Pumpkinhead has a glee club composed of old shoes. All unnecessary squeaks are removed from the shoes and kept in a sound-proof bag. They sing Shoebert, Shoeman, and Golden Slippers.

With such people living there and such things going on all the time you can see that almost anything might happen in the Wonder City. And does. Adventures and magic and lovely, funny people doing funny things - every single page of THE WONDER CITY OF OZ is chock full of them. It's the most exciting, the merriest, the most deliciously astonishing Oz book of them all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Ozma Original

Since everyone is so excited that Marvel Comics' Ozma of Oz is finally out in hardcover, I thought I'd finally share my favorite acquisition from this year's San Diego Comic Con - this page of original Ozma art by Skottie Young.

I really adore this page! I love the long shot of the Nome King's throne room, I love the expressions on Dorothy and Ozma's faces, and I love the panel showing Roquat. He seems so exactly how I always imagine the Nome King - sorta like a manipulative, spoiled, sort of charmingly rotten version of Santa Claus. And there's so much story communicated in these three panels - even with the word balloons missing!

If you don't yet have a copy of the hardcover collection of Ozma of Oz, we have copies (autographed by writer Eric Shanower) available at our on-line store. Click here to check it out!

Sis Sez Sunday - 56

Hats off to Sis for knowing when to walk away!

This installment of Marge and Ruth Plumly Thompson's SIS SEZ page first appeared in King Comics, No. 50, in June 1940. If you love Marge's Little Lulu you're sure to get a kick out of Sis!

Please note that if you click on the image it will expand to a full-size version which will make it much easier to read! All of the other blog images will similarly enlarge.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My, What Big Dice You Have!

One of the great items to add to one's Oz  and Baum collection is a copy of the lovely and rare 1921 Parker Brothers Wonderful Game of Oz.

The game featured a beautifully lithographed game board, six wooden dice that spelled out WIZARD, and four pewter playing pieces in the shapes of Dorothy and her three famous friends.

Well, way back in 1991 when Eric Shanower and I hosted our first Winkie Con we made a copy of the game that could be played by conventioneers. It was created from color photocopies of my game board, we bought reproduction playing pieces, I made the dice, and on the whole it was a grand success. At the con we set up the reproduction game on these large wooden seating benches that are about eight feet square. I joked at the time that I thought it would be super neat if we had a HUGE version of the game that filled the entire eight foot square bench.

Twenty years later, I finally made one.

Click to Enlarge

Below you can see the world's largest Wonderful Game of Oz! I scanned my own game board at very high resolution and blew it up to seven-foot-six by seven-foot-six and had it printed out on weatherproof vinyl.

I ordered a set of the 4" tall pewter Oz figurines from The Soldier Factory. They were the perfect size! I had to make the six wooden WIZARD dice - they are about two inches square.

The original game came with only one rule booklet, but for ease of play I made several copies. Jane Albright kindly supplied me with scans of the original full-color rule booklet cover.

Oz Club President Carrie Hedges (seated) playing The Wonderful Game of Oz.

The game was a big hit! Conventioneers played it during the reception on Friday and during the day on Saturday when they wanted a break from the auction or came back from a swim or a beach side stroll. It will definitely be back next year. So if you'd like to play, start making plans to join us at the 2012 Winkie Con! For more information on attending Winkie Con 2012, you can click here or on the WINKIE CON tab above or subscribe to our Winkie newsletter or find us on Facebook.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Electronic Adventures in Oz

Eric Shanower's Little Adventures in Oz has just been published as an app for iTunes and is ready for download for hours of Ozzy fun on your iPhone, iPad, or on your computer via iTunes. Volume one is available now, volume two will be along soon. This first iTunes release includes The Enchanted Apples of Oz and The Ice King of Oz.

Click here to go to the iTunes app store.

The actual book is available at our on-line store, too. And if you'd like your copy signed, just ask in the "Special Instructions" field when you check out.

So, what better way to keep your favorite Oz graphic novels with you at all times (short of a backpack) than to have them on your iPhone!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's Ozma Time!

I'm delighted to announce that the hardcover collection of Eric Shanower and Skottie Young's Ozma of Oz from Marvel Comics arrived in stores today!

The book has also just been added to our Hungry Tiger Press on-line store!  

All copies sold thru Hungry Tiger Press will be autographed by writer Eric Shanower.

If you'd like your book personalized, just let us know how you'd like your book signed, and to whom, when you "check out."

Of course we have copies of Marvel's Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz, too! If you'd like them signed just let us know.

Please do note that our copies will not ship out to customers until early next week. But if you want a signed one - now's the time to order, since we may have a limited supply for a while.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Pop-Up Sunday

Last night Eric and I watched Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) starring Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch, and Murray Head.

I had somehow always assumed the film was about the infamous massacre in Ireland in 1972 which later inspired the U2 song of the same name. Yet the film predates that tragedy and is instead a domestic drama in which Jackson and Finch are each having a relationship with Murray Head.

The film was enjoyable enough, Murray Head was kinda cute, and the film is set circa 1970, which is one of my favorite modern periods. Anyway, a bit into the film is a scene where Jackson and Head are baby-sitting a bunch of rowdy hippie children. The two are having a conversation when Murray Head picks up one of the kids' books and starts playing with it while he talks to Jackson.

As you may have surmised by now, it is a copy of the 1969 Random House Pop-Up Wizard of Oz! Head primarily looks at the elaborate Emerald City pop-up which came with green glasses.

I've been toying with the idea of starting a series of blog posts on the various Oz pop-up books - perhaps this will push me into it. Oz really is everywhere!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Cat is a Hat!

Time for a sneak peek at Skottie Young's cover for Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz No. 3. Not much else to say except that I can hardly wait! Issue one will hit the stands on September 28th.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bradford Exchange - Off-Color Ozma

I must admit I kind of hate writing these critical reviews of the new Bradford Exchange facsimile Oz books. I so want to be supportive, but each book makes that harder to do.

Some slack could be given to their Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The original is an extremely complex book, and the 1900 method of printing the color plates in Wizard was nearly unique (not that Bradford couldn't have gone to some extra expense and duplicated the original printing technique). My review of The Marvelous Land of Oz can be read here.

Now on to the latest release, Ozma of Oz. When I first opened the book I looked at the endpapers. They seemed decent and indeed they are. They are a little bit grainy - but the color is pretty good. If the entire book were at the level of the endpapers, I doubt I'd be complaining over some visual noise in the scan and printing.

The next picture I closely examined was the frontispiece - one of my favorite images of Ozma ever. I thought it looked really good, the color is smooth! They solved the graininess problem! Then I compared it to my first state copy of Ozma of Oz and I'm pretty sure I know how they did it: Bradford recolored the frontispiece image from scratch. It's the only image in the book where the color is completely smooth, and the "shapes" of the blue in Ozma's gown do not match the shapes in the original color design. It looks good (although Bradford's blue is a little too green) - but it's a fake. If only they'd faked their way through the rest of the book.

The volume is beset with grainy, blobby images. The colors are rather off, too - especially the orangey red. There may be some florescent color in the original 1907 red ink and they simply couldn't capture it with a CMYK scan - but they could have had the printer swap out the magenta for a custom ink if they'd wanted to. Let's start looking at examples. In all the following scans my first state Reilly and Britton Ozma is on the left, the Bradford Exchange version (BE) is on the right.

Click to Enlarge.

This is a typical example of one of the better pages, but there are still problems. The clouds should be white with blue shadows. In BE the clouds are yellowish with blue shadows. Now, sharp eyes might say the original on the right has even yellower clouds. That's true, but that's the color of the paper after 104 years of aging. There is NO color in the "white" areas of the clouds in the original. The problem is that BE is not color-correcting to remove the paper color from the image; they are only cropping out the original paper color in the margins. This leaves "white" areas in the artwork looking kinda yellow, especially in comparison with the garish snow white paper they are using. A clear example of this is the right half of the list of chapters where the "white" box behind Nick Chopper's legs is obviously printed in yellow when compared to the adjacent paper. In the original, the box behind Nick Chopper is not printed in any color, allowing the paper to show. In proper color-correction you need to pick a white area in the artwork and color correct THAT until it's white. This lack of proper color-correction has made virtually all the colors too yellow when compared to the originals. That said, I also think the BE paper is far too white. The original doesn't show any signs of heavy acid content, doesn't appear to have foxed, quite simply I think the original is printed on a buff paper. Many publishers like printing on buff-colored stock; crisp white can hurt one's eyes.

One interesting anomaly appears in the example above. Dorothy's dress is light blue in BE, but it's white in my first state copy. Is this an unreported variant or did BE "correct" it to be blue? Dorothy's dress is blue in most other pictures in the book. I'd be curious to hear if anyone actually has a first state Ozma with Dorothy in blue on page 125.

Click to Enlarge.
I wish the problems were only in the color reproduction, but the grainy blobbiness has spread to the black and white reproduction as well, as a look at the above example shows. There is no excuse for that. A 1200 dpi bitmap tiff scan will print any Oz book line art you like. The original is quite smooth and even. BE is just ugly!

Click to Enlarge.

The chapter title illustrations are the worst defect in the book. All of them are bad. It's by no means perfect in the 1907 printing, but why isn't BE the same? BE is globby and has no subtlety. Consider the example above. In the original, the stripe at the foot of the bed, the breakfast tray, and Dorothy's face are all a lighter pink. BE has given Dorothy a hideous skin disease. 

Click to Enlarge.
Here again the grain and visual noise has overwhelmed the reflection of Langwidere. But BE has done some Photoshop tinkering and recolored the cabinet into a solid blue color. It's inauthentic, but it's prettier than what follows.

Click to Enlarge.

In the 1907 edition this picture of Dorothy is soft and lovely; it almost looks like a pale blue watercolor wash. The BE version looks like an extremely poor color photocopy from about 1975.

Click to Enlarge.
And there's lots more of that throughout the rest of the book as shown above. Why? Isn't anyone looking at the source material and the proofs side by side? 

At first glance the BE cover seems lovely. But compared to the original stamping, the design has lost a great deal of crispness. The elements of BE's spine - title, author, and picture of Ozma - have been shrunk. Also, the debossing pattern is much more elaborate in the original, where all of the black lines are sunk in to the cloth. In BE, the red, yellow, and blue areas are debossed along with the black. Lastly, in the original, the cover inks are glossy. But they aren't in BE.

I would offer one small bit of advice to BE - they need to be using more than one copy to reproduce from. No individual Oz book is without defects and no two copies are truly identical. An illustration that's a bit blurry in one copy may be perfect in another. A plate that's a bit off-register in one may be perfect in the next copy you examine. This lesson really sunk in when I talked with Peter Glassman of Books of Wonder while he was preparing his reprint of Little Wizard Stories of Oz. The original Reilly and Britton printings of that book and the six individual story volumes are all rather clumsily printed. But what's off in one copy is great in another. Peter Glassman borrowed perhaps twenty different copies from collectors in the hopes that he could find at least one good clear image of each page from the two dozen copies he shot negatives from. I loaned him three books from my collection alone. So is the Books of Wonder Little Wizard Stories of Oz a facsimile? It's authentically photographed from original printings - but no single original printing ever had the plates reproduced as "in register" as the Books of Wonder edition did.

Maybe the next book coming from the Bradford Exchange, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, will be fine. The color plates aren't as problematic as Wizard's or Land's, and there aren't as many color illustrations as in Ozma.  But I must admit I have grave worries over the line quality we'll see in The Road to Oz. It's a really hard book to scan on that 1909 pulpy, colored stock.

Dorothy and the Wizard - PREVIEW TIME!

Well, despite a heads up that this PREVIEW would be appearing, the ever resourceful Eric Gjovaag beat me to the punch over on The Wonderful Blog of Oz. It just goes to show how on top of all things Oz he really is!

Anyway ... Wow! Here's the first preview of Eric Shanower and Skottie Young's incredible new adaptation of L. Frank Baum's fourth Oz book Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. From what I've seen and heard from Eric and Skottie I think this may just be the best of their adaptations yet!

You can see the cover and several more pages by clicking here.