Last week we pieced together The Patchwork Girl of Oz, so this week we've little choice but to to wind up Tik-Tok of Oz. This is actually the first hardcover "white edition" that I ever read. I already owned the ten Rand McNally "white edition" paperbacks then available, but I had never actually seen one of the hardcovers until I found a copy of Tik-Tok at the Albuquerque Public Library. I checked it out and devoured it. I remember reading Baum's letter to the readers and wondering what the heck The Tik-Tok Man of Oz was - and I was really surprised at the wraparound cover design. And that unusual feature of this "white edition" gets us firmly into today's blog.
The cover of Tik-Tok is one of Dick Martin's greatest finds and best choices. It is based on an original drawing by John R. Neill that was meant for the dust jacket of the first edition in 1914. For some reason it was not used, and Dick probably found the artwork in Reilly and Lee's files in the early 1960s. It was first published as the cover of the Christmas 1961 issue of The International Wizard of Oz Club's journal The Baum Bugle.
It would have been such a great dust jacket back in 1914! In any case, it finally joined the text it was meant for in 1964. It is too bad it throws off the uniformity of the full "white edition" series by lacking a spine vignette and having the wagon and harness wrap around the spine - but who cares, it's a grand image! Since I knew Dick Martin had access to the original line art, I was surprised to notice that he redrew the faces of Betsy, Polychrome, Ozga, and Queen Ann.
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Also note that one can only see Neill's original spine lettering on the Bugle cover - Dick redrew it to make it narrower and a tad easier to read, and, of course, to alter the publisher's name.
I thought I'd take a few minutes on this title to discuss the four-color, hand-done, color separation technique that Dick used on these books. There used to be two distinct ways to prepare an image for printing in color. One could do it photographically which required a piece of finished full-color artwork which was then photographed four times using filters to create four separate printing plates: cyan (a light blue), magenta (a vivid pink), yellow, and black (called "k"). This photographic-separation technique was always used for high-quality reproduction, for photographs, fine art books, etc., but many publishers used a cheaper method - they had a graphic artist draw each of the printing plates by hand, using his imagination to "create" a color image. This is what Dick Martin did for the "white editions." Below is an image showing each of the four drawings Dick prepared to print the Tik-Tok cover.
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The black drawing features the main line drawing - essentially Neill's original drawing. The blue drawing shows the grass, fills in some of the clothing, and outlines the title. The red drawing fills in the "Oz" and the title, the plumes on Hank's back, and is lightly shaded in to make Ozga's gown pink. The yellow drawing has lots of solid color, showing the grass again, the wagon, and a base-color for Hank. So you see, the light blue overlaps the yellow to make green grass. When you add the blue and red shading visible in Hank to the heavy yellow of Hank, you get a brownish Hank! First grade color theory at work!
Dick did something a bit unusual. He didn't always use the standard four printing colors. For example, above, he used a bright stop-sign red instead of the usual process-color magenta. The light blue was Dick's choice for all the white editions, though sometimes Reilly & Lee used cyan (which is a bit darker) and makes some printings of the books look a bit odd.
OK, on to Tik-Tok's interior. The ownership page has been omitted in favor of the "Famous Oz Books" ad - but you can see that Dick has reused the upper portion of the image.
The cover of the original edition of Tik-Tok was very striking - perhaps one reason the original dust jacket design was abandoned back in 1914. Dick must have found the cover an appealing image, too, as he traced it and prepared a new frontispiece for the book - and eliminated Tik-tok's gun. Note, too the blue outlining of the title in the original cover design. It is clearly Dick's inspiration for the same thick blue outlining on the "white edition" cover.
There are four copies of the "white edition" of Tik-Tok here in the Tiger Den, yet every copy here lists all forty Oz books on page two. Does anyone out there have a copy listing only Baum's fourteen?
Eventually, Rand McNally did release Tik-Tok in paperback, though I only found it in 1978 just as the paperback rights were being pulled from Rand McNally. It was at the same store on the same visit that I first saw the Glinda paperback, too. Rand McNally never did publish paperbacks of Rinkitink and Lost Princess. Do any of my readers recall exactly when they first saw or purchased a copy of the Rand McNally Tik-Tok or Glinda?
Next week, The Scarecrow of Oz!