Wednesday, February 29, 2012

White Edition Wednesday - MAGIC

Now that The Tin Woodman of Oz is known to be in good working order I think today we shall try to learn a bit about the "white edition" of The Magic of Oz.

The front cover art is quite similar to John R. Neill's original (at right). Dick Martin has modified the "Oz" and other lettering, and added some plant growth behind Dorothy and the Wizard, as well as making more of the magical smoke emanating from the golden bowl on the tripod.

The spine illustration of Loo the Unicorn is loosely based on the drawing of Loo from the chapter heading on page 87, but for the most part this is a wholly new Dick Martin drawing. The back cover, showing the two Li-Mon-Eags, is based on one of Neill's color-plates from the 1919 first edition of Magic. This drawing has been completely redrawn by Martin, which is especially evident in the wings. In many ways I prefer Martin's more vibrant color scheme.

Now, let's open the covers and take a look at the interior of the book.

The "Famous Oz Books" ad (above) is sort of interesting. Dick has cobbled it together using two different portions of the original Tin Woodman of Oz endpapers (seen below).

For a change Dick Martin has retained the original ownership leaf (showing Jack Pumpkinhead), and this is followed by a double page spread showing the original Magic of Oz endpapers from the first edition.

Endpapers from the first edition of THE MAGIC OF OZ
Dick has swapped out the usual Reilly and Lee "lamp" device on the title page with a small lion head borrowed from W. W. Denslow's Cowardly Lion entwined Oz logo from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. After the List of Chapters, Dick has added a nice drawing of the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman from the first edition of Glinda of Oz.

One final added detail is the little vignette of the Woozy rolling a hoop after the synopses of the Oz books at the end of the book.

This is taken from the original endpapers of the first edition of Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Giant Horse of Oz (1928).

Endpapers from THE GIANT HORSE OF OZ

In addition to his fondness for Oz and Baum, Dick Martin also had a fondness for playing cards and magic tricks. So what better way to end this Magic of Oz blog than with a trick photo (from the early 1960s) showing three Dick Martins playing a magical game of cards with each other.

Courtesy of The International Wizard of Oz Club.

Also, at Oz scholar Michael Riley's suggestion, I have added another paragraph to last week's blog on The Tin Woodman of Oz to talk about the Dale Ulrey version. You can revisit that blog by clicking here.

Next week we will journey to the magical Island on Skeezer Lake with Glinda of Oz

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Perhappsy Chaps - 2

Well, it's Sunday, so it's time for another installment of Ruth Plumly Thompson's The Perhappsy Chaps - ever so wonderfully illustrated by Arthur Henderson. Here we go!

Please note that if you click on any of the images they 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, February 25, 2012

Dorothy of Oz - Comics Preview

I thought you might like another sneak-peek at one of Eric Shanower's covers for the Dorothy of Oz prequel comic book series coming this spring from IDW Comics. Here's a link back to an earlier preview, too. Enjoy!

And for all of you in the Bay Area - Eric has a booth at Image Expo in Oakland, California, today and tomorrow (February 25-26, 2012).  He'll be at Booth #49 all weekend with lots of cool books to sell - both Oz and Age of Bronze - click here for details.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Patrick Maund 1955 - 2012

I'm quite saddened to report that the world of Oz and Baum scholarship and The International Wizard of Oz Club have lost a dear friend. Patrick Maund died suddenly after a brief illness on February 22, 2012. He was only fifty-six years old. Patrick is survived by his wife and three children - their loss must be unimaginable.

Patrick Maund (right) in deep Ozzy conversation at a late-night Oz party - mid 1980s.

I became acquainted with Patrick only a couple months after I first joined the International Wizard of Oz Club back in 1977. I was a young teenager and Patrick was twenty-one. I had seen an ad he'd placed in the old Oz Trading Post and sent for his sale list. He was selling off his entire Oz collection - something he deeply came to regret in later years. I don't recall the specifics, but he needed money - perhaps he thought he'd outgrown Oz. We exchanged several long phone calls talking about books, what I might expect at my first Winkie Convention later that month - he was so warm and friendly I felt like we'd been friends for years. His voice on the telephone was deep and rich - a radio announcer's voice - he sounded much more mature than a mere twenty-one. Patrick had made his first (and at that time only) appearance at an Oz convention in 1975 at the Winkie Con in Yosemite, California at the Wawona Hotel. He was nineteen and his mother had made the arrangements. Patrick talked fondly to me of his experience at Winkies and assured me I'd have a great time - though he had not returned to the convention, and as I mentioned, in 1977 he was on his way out of Oz. I bought a couple small things from him (most of his collection was already sold), and then Patrick disappeared.

But he came back! In late 1981 he reemerged into the world of Oz. I think I saw a "want list" he was running in the Oz Trading Post and sent him a letter to say hello and asked where he'd been for the last four years. We immediately began our friendship again and were soon talking on the phone for hours a week. My mom was going crazy with the phone bills I was running up. We talked about our collections, we talked about bibliography, we spent hours discussing odd things like whether Dr. Nikidik and Dr. Pipt were the same person, trying to rationalize exactly what happened with the east/west reversal on the Oz maps. Maps and Ozian geography were deep interests of us both. We could nit-pick the Clubs Oz maps for hours at a time! We even tried to chart orbital patterns for Sky Island to try and explain how it might rotate, spin, or tilt away from the sun so that the Sunrise Tribe, Sunset Tribe, and the Blue Country could all make sense from a scientific point of view. [Blogger's note: this neurosis is spelled G-E-E-K].

Patrick really wanted to go back to an Oz convention, but for some reason the idea terrified him. It seemed to me like he was embarrassed for having left Oz for awhile or not stayed in closer contact with friends he'd made back in 1975. I told him to go and stop worrying. He did. He made a triumphant return to the Winkie Convention in 1982 - alas, I wasn't going west that year so we had yet to meet face-to-face. Well, Patrick fell in love with the Oz Club and the Oz Club fell in love with him. He could hardly wait for another convention! He and a few others began organizing small Oz parties in the San Francisco area, and Patrick decided to journey to the Ozmapolitan Convention in Castle Park, Michigan, in 1983 at least partly so we could meet at long last. It was to be my first time at an Oz Con without my family, so Patrick and I decided to room together.

Patrick Maund (right) with Fred Meyer at the 1983 Ozmapolitan Convention.

It was great to meet Patrick in person, but I was very nervous! I was still deeply closeted, not even out to myself at the time, and, well, frankly Patrick was this somewhat older, extremely hot, beautiful man with a big "clone" mustache, and he was from "San Francisco." Well, it made me very nervous! And to top it all off, Patrick slept in the buff and seemed to have no inhibitions whatsoever, yet I was ... uhm ... inhibited. Of course in hind sight it's silly because I'm the one who turned out to be gay and Patrick was straight as an arrow.

We continued to write and call for the next several years and saw each other at Oz conventions pretty much yearly from then on. Patrick rather quickly built up a new (and very fine) Baum and Oz collection. Slowly our high intensity friendship faded as I got too busy in college and graduate school. And soon he was married and had three children. Time was flying by so quickly!

Sadly Patrick and I hadn't talked much in the last few years - we'd had a bit of a falling out over some trivial bit of Oz Club nonsense. I tried hard to get him to return to the Winkie Convention last year - I knew it was just his sort of convention - but it didn't work out that way.

It is very hard to believe a man with so much energy and life, who loved his family so deeply, could be taken from the world in a wink of the eye. I am only one of many who will greatly miss him.

 Patrick Maund (devoted dad) with the twins in 2007.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

White Edition Wednesday - Tin Woodman

As you may recall, last week we found all there was to know about the "white edition" of Lost Princess, so this week we need to slip some grease to The Tin Woodman of Oz.

I think Dick Martin's new cover for Tin Woodman is quite close in spirit to the original cover by John R. Neill. I prefer Neill's lettering though. Other than the lettering, Dick's changes are minimal: he took the tassels off Woot's shoes, added "blades" of grass to the green band at bottom, and dropped the orange fade.

The spine illustration is pulled from the 1908 Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz endpapers. Dick got a lot of mileage out of those!

The very appealing back cover image showing the tin owl and straw-stuffed bear is adapted from one of the original Tin Woodman color plates.

The illustration for the "Famous Oz Books" ad is very interesting! It is actually a previously unpublished drawing Neill had created for Grampa in Oz (1924), and Dick had found it in the Reilly & Lee files (see below).

A fine Tin Woodman drawn by Neill in 1924 was finally published in the 1964 edition of TIN WOODMAN.

In creating the new fore-matter for the "white edition" Dick omitted two drawings from the 1918 edition - the rather boring ownership leaf and a portrait of Princess Dorothy.

The picture of Princess Dorothy seems a loss, but it would have been facing the title page and it doesn't work as a frontispiece very well. So Dick created a new frontispiece based on another of Neill's color plates from the first edition.

Original 1918 color plate (left) and Dick Martin's redrawn version 1964 (right).

Oz and Baum scholar, Michael Riley, pointed out to me that the "white edition" of Tin Woodman was highly-anticipated in 1965 as it restored John R. Neill's original illustrations. In 1955 Reilly & Lee had replaced Neill's pictures with new drawings by cartoonist Dale Ulrey. You can see quite a few interesting comparisons in this previous blog post.

Eric Shanower and I were discussing "white edition" Wednesday last week and Eric pointed out something I'd never heard anyone else mention. In the list of the forty Oz books in many copies of the "white editions," The Royal Book of Oz is credited to Ruth Plumly Thompson, making the "white editions" the first public acknowledgement by Reilly & Lee that the book was solely Thompson's work. Dick of course had been corresponding with Thompson for years by the time he was designing these books, so I wouldn't be surprised if the credit change was totally Dick's idea. I'm sure Ruth was very pleased!

Ruth Plumly Thompson and Fred Meyer circa mid '60s.

Today's "white edition" Wednesday seems a tad short, but it's been a hectic week. Eric is off to Image Expo in Oakland, California, tomorrow. He'll be there (at Booth # 49) all weekend with lots of cool books to sell - both Oz and Age of Bronze - click here for details. Eric will also be at the Cartoon Art Museum on Thursday, February 23, 2012, to attend the opening reception for the museum's new exhibit Image Comics: A Twentieth Anniversary Celebration. For details click here.

So with the Tin Woodman all lubricated, I think we need to just sit back and wait for next week as we try to break the spell of The Magic of Oz!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Presidents Day!

Celebrate Presidents Day by taking a look at our latest free on-line Tiger Tale - L. Frank Baum's poem "George Washington" originally published in Father Goose: His Book (1899).

There is a lot of great stuff in the Tiger Tales archive. Do take a few minutes and look at our bountiful list of free Ozzy reading by clicking here. And, of course, you can try your mind at finishing the poems of Ruth Plumly Thompson's "Forgetful Poet."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Perhappsy Chaps - 1

Today we start a new Sunday blog feature - a serialization of Ruth Plumly Thompson's first book, The Perhappsy Chaps. This beautiful little book was published by the Volland Company in 1918 - three years before Thompson took over writing the Oz books. The Perhappsy poems had originally been published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger as part of Thompson's "children's page." The poems in the ledger were illustrated in black and white by Arthur Henderson. For the book collection, each of Henderson's images appears in sumptuous full-color. Indeed, the drawings are at least half the charm of the little volume.

One of the benefits of sharing this on the blog is that it allows for sharing it in full-color. So here is the first Perhappsy Poem exactly as it appeared in the 1918 edition of The Perhappsy Chaps

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

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Wonderful Ouija of Oz

Many Oz fans are familiar with the story behind Invisible Inzi of Oz. But just in case you aren't, I'll give you a bit of background.

In 1919, sometime between May and December, a sister and brother, Virginia (age fourteen) and Robert Wauchope (age nine), began playing with their Ouija board. They were also big Oz fans. Well, the Ouija board started dictating an Oz story which Virginia dutifully wrote down  sentence by sentence. There has always been an implication that the story was "dictated" by L. Frank Baum to the children shortly after his death.

In 1923 the children's mother typed up the story from Virginia's penciled manuscript and the kids sent a copy to Baum's widow. Maud Baum responded kindly and suggested the children submit the story to the children's magazine A Child's Garden, which they did. It was accepted for publication and serialized in the magazine from February 1925 through March 1926.

In 1993 the story was reprinted as a stand-alone Oz volume, published by Buckethead Enterprises of Oz, with illustrations by Eric Shanower.

Virginia Wauchope-Bass
Now, I could go on and give you more about Invisible Inzi and the two Wauchope children, but perhaps you'd prefer to hear from Virginia Wauchope in her own words! Well, you can! We have just added a ten minute interview with Virginia Bass to our Emerald City Radio playlist. It will play twice a day, so in the coming week you should have no problem finding a chance to listen in.

I will fill in a couple bits of background information. Robert Wauchope, who became an archeologist, died January 20, 1979. He wrote many books. Invisible Inzi is not usually listed among them - but I guess we don't know for certain exactly who wrote Invisible Inzi.

Virginia Wauchope-Bass died on May 5, 1998. The Robert and Virginia Bass Library and Research Center at the Marion Museum in Marion, South Carolina, was named in honor of Virginia and her husband, Robert Bass.

But now, go tune in to Emerald City Radio and hear a wonderful interview with Virginia that was produced in 1994 by Brazos Arts for WAMU at Texas A & M University. The interviewer is David Frisenhahn.

It's easy to listen to Emerald City Radio on Live365. Just click here to go to Live365 and click "Sign Up" in the upper right hand corner and join for free for access to thousands of internet radio stations. Then "Log In" and make a search for Emerald City Radio. When the Emerald City Radio logo shows up in your search results, just click on the logo to start listening right away! Listening is free.

If you don't want to hear any ads, you can become a Live365 VIP listener. Just click on a VIP link on the Live365 homepage. It costs a few bucks a month to be a Live365 VIP, but as a VIP you can listen to a wider range of internet radio stations and you'll skip the advertisements.

Emerald City Radio allows a limited number of free non-VIP listeners. So in the slim chance you're kicked off the station or can't connect as a free listener, try again later when there may be fewer listeners. Or convert your account to VIP and you'll never have to leave Live365 unless you want to.

So come on and give Emerald City Radio a try. Our current playlist is over 10 1/2 hours long with such a wide variety of Oz songs and music that you're sure to hear some old friends and some new delights.

Emerald City Radio - all great, all Oz - all the time! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

White Edition Wednesday - LOST PRINCESS

In our last installment we sailed the seas with Rinkitink in Oz so this week we must seek out The Lost Princess of Oz.

Dick Martin added lots of little extras to Lost Princess and he pulled them from quite a variety of places so we have a lot to look at beginning with the cover.

The front cover is based on the original cover design by John R. Neill from 1917 (seen at left). Dick has redrawn it a bit, simplifying the Frogman and adjusting the byline lettering. The spine illustration is taken from the spine of the dust jacket of the first edition of The Scarecrow of Oz - which was, incidentally, the first Oz book dust jacket to have a spine vignette printed in full color (seen below right).

Excuse this slight digression, but this reminded me of a famous Dick Martin story: One day Jim Haff (long time Oz Club member and cartographer of the Oz Club's Maps of Oz) was at Dick Martin's home. Jim and Dick were sitting around discussing some obscure Ozian point and Jim asked Dick if he could see a copy of The Scarecrow of Oz to help prove some odd point.

Dick handed Jim a first printing of the book in an immaculate first-state dust jacket. Jim said, "Not that one! I can't look anything up in THAT copy! I just want to see your reading copy."

 "Sorry," said Dick, "that is my reading copy. It's the only copy of the book I own."

Dick Martin had a very fine collection.

The back cover is based one of the original Lost Princess color plates - the one showing the odd people of Thi (seen below). Dick rather radically adapted it, cutting out several of the characters, including the cute baby Thist. The faces and character of the two he kept are quite different from Neill's original. Dick didn't usually alter Neill artwork this heavily.

Let's open up the book and see what changes Dick made to the interior. For the "Famous Oz Book" ad Dick adapted Neill's cover drawing from one of the Little Wizard Series books, Ozma and the Little Wizard (1913), shown below.

And on page four Dick prepared a new drawing of the little brown bear, Corporal Waddle, adapted from another of the original Lost Princess color plates.

Left to Right: Corporal Waddle in 1917 and Corporal Waddle in 1964.
When I was a kid, the most exciting thing to me about this edition of Lost Princess was the Map of the Land of Oz that Dick added to the fore-matter. This was the first Oz map I ever saw.

Map of the Land of Oz from the "white edition" of LOST PRINCESS
I could go on and on about this map, but will save it for our new blog series, Maps of Oz Monday, which will begin in a month or so. Last week I showed you one of the two maps that Reilly & Lee issued in 1968 to publicize the "white editions." Here's the other one adapted from the map above.

1968 Map of the Land of Oz published by Reilly & Lee.

When Dick added the Oz map to Lost Princess he needed to keep it on a spread, so he added four pages to the front matter of the book. The middle spread was, of course, the Oz map. But to fill the other two pages Dick adapted the endpapers of the first edition of Patchwork Girl showing the Tin Woodman riding the Hungry Tiger and the Scarecrow riding the Cowardly Lion.

Dick Martin's adaptation for pages 13 and 16 of LOST PRINCESS.
Below you can see the image as it appeared in the first edition of Patchwork Girl. I'm not sure why Dick used the Tin Woodman picture first - but perhaps he liked the character to be looking into the book instead of out toward the margin.

Endpapers for the first edition of PATCHWORK GIRL
This image was also used in the Little Wizard series (see below). But based on the shadows under the animals, Dick seems to have used the Patchwork Girl version.

Neill's simplified version from LITTLE WIZARD STORIES OF OZ.

One odd pagination note - the first page of text begins on page 17 just like the original edition. But there are  18 pages of fore-matter before that first page of text. Not a big deal - but I noticed the discrepancy when I was checking the page numbers of the newly added Scarecrow and Tin Woodman images.

One final bit to share - Lost Princess was dedicated to L. Frank Baum's granddaughter, Ozma Baum. In 1996 Ozma and Eric and I were all participating in an Oz convention in Louisville, Kentucky, and I brought along my very first copy of Lost Princess, the "white edition," and asked Ozma to sign it for me. She very kindly did so.

It's not every day that you get an Oz book autographed by Ozma herself!

That's it for this week. Next week we'll be sliding some oil to The Tin Woodman of Oz.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sis Sez Sunday - 77

Well, guys, Sis Sez Sunday comes to an end today as this is the last Sis Sez that Ruth Plumly Thompson and Marge wrote.

In the future I might be able to bring you a few more as I am missing several issues of King Comics from my collection. I'll see what I can do.

I think Thompson's verse has been much better in these last few episodes. I suspect that Marge was just getting too busy to illustrate a Thompson short story and draw two Sis Sez pages every month. Marge didn't even finish illustrating all of Thompson's Wizard of Way-Up serialization in King Comics - another artist filled in for a few issues.

So what's going to replace Sis Sez Sunday, you ask? Well, starting next weekend we'll delve into Thompson's The Perhappsy Chaps. The internet should prove an ideal medium for this rare Thompson book as the lovely full-color illustrations are half the fun!

This installment of Marge and Ruth Plumly Thompson's SIS SEZ page first appeared in King Comics, No. 61, in May 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.