Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Kramer!

Today is the birthday of Oz illustrator Frank Kramer who was born November 23, 1905. He would have been 105 today.

Kramer illustrated both of Jack Snow's Oz books, The Magical Mimics in Oz (1946) and The Shaggy Man of Oz (1949), as well as many sci-fi and fantasy stories for magazines such as Unknown Worlds.

I tried to contact Frank Kramer back in the late 1980s in hopes of getting an interview with him. There was a lot of mystery surrounding how he came to illustrate his Oz books - but I must admit I also hoped I might be able to get Kramer to sign a couple books for me. But it didn't work out. Kramer was too ill to communicate with fans by that point. But I did speak briefly with his wife. Kramer died in 1993.

In the last couple years Oz researcher, and former Baum Bugle editor, Atticus Gannaway has filled in many of the holes in Kramer's life and history, for which I am very grateful.

While I never did have the chance to get Frank Kramer to autograph a book for me, I was lucky enough to find a copy of Magical Mimics that he'd autographed for a little girl back in 1946 when the book was new. You can see the inscription below.  Happy Birthday, Mister Kramer!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Has anyone found a photogrpah of Mr. Kramer?