Wednesday, November 23, 2011

White Edition Wednesday - WIZARD

Last week we got an overview of the ever-popular "white editions." Today we begin our look at the books one at a time - beginning, of course, with The Wizard of Oz. This will be the most complicated and lengthiest of these blogs, as this title has more variants and Dick Martin's modifications were much more extreme. The "white edition" shown above was published in 1965. But two other Reilly & Lee editions of Wizard preceded it, and we must pay our respects to them as well.

Martin's jacket for the 1960 Ulrey WIZARD.
The first Reilly & Lee edition of Wizard was published in 1956 and featured new illustrations by cartoonist Dale Ulrey. Her pictures were attractive and were printed in black and red in the early printings. In 1960, soon after Dick Martin started his long association with Reilly & Lee, he drew a new dust jacket design for the Ulrey Wizard. For this 1960 printing, the text illustration colors were modified to help tell the story - just like W. W. Denslow had done in the original 1900 printing. Blue in the Munchkin Country, red in the Poppy Field, green in the Emerald City, etc. I am fairly certain this ink color change to the Ulrey illustrations was done at Dick Martin's urging. I doubt anyone at Reilly & Lee even knew of Denslow's original color scheme. Dick was already a major Baum and Denslow scholar, and tweaking the colors like this is exactly the sort of thing he would have done. I also suspect Dick planted the idea that they needed a totally new edition of Wizard featuring the original Denslow illustrations. And in 1964 a new Denslow illustrated edition was published.

1964 "Poster Cover" edition of THE WIZARD OF OZ

For this first printing of the Denslow edition, Dick Martin prepared a lovely cover based on one of the original advertising posters for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from 1900. Dick also adapted Denslow's 1903 "Poppy Field" endpaper design for the book.

Endpapers of the 1964 Reilly & Lee "Poster Cover" edition of WIZARD

If you compare these to the original 1903 endpapers, which were printed in red and green, you will notice Dick has redrawn the image and extended it at the bottom by almost an inch to accommodate the Reilly & Lee Oz book proportions. The book retained the afterword by Edward Wagenknecht from the 1956 Ulrey edition and got a new foreword which may have been written by Dick Martin:
"W. W. Denslow, the illustrator, was the perfect collaborator for L. Frank Baum. His pictures could no more be separated from the text than Gilbert's words could be taken from Sullivan's music. The same spirit of fun, surprise and mystery held them both in a rare and happy partnership. This sparkling new edition contains all the best of Denslow's illustrations - including many which have not appeared since the original edition of 1900, and several of which have never before been published."

Looking at the chronology of events, it seems likely that it was Reilly & Lee's pleasure in seeing this spiffy new edition that prompted them to ask Dick to redesign all of the Oz books in a new modern format. Alas, he had given this 1964 edition a very unique cover - a style that would be hard to replicate on thirteen additional Baum titles. So Dick copied the style he'd used on Merry Go Round in Oz for the post-Wizard books, and when Wizard needed to be reprinted in 1965 he designed the new "white edition" cover we all know, as seen at the top of this blog post, to replace the "poster edition."

For the most part the interior of the "white edition" is identical to the earlier 1964 "poster edition." But there were a few changes. The illustration color scheme was improved. In the 1964 "poster edition," the first two 32-page gatherings had blue text illustrations. In the 1965 "white edition," the first 16-page gathering has illustrations printed in gray, better suiting the story. The "white edition's" final gathering of 16 pages also changed to illustrations printed in gray and added eight more pages to the end of the book. To fill these extra pages Dick cut the three-page ad [see comments] listing all forty Oz books as well as two illustrations that appeared in the "poster edition." He replaced them with a multi-page ad - featuring the plot synopses of the Baum Oz books from Who's Who in Oz - plus two additional illustrations. Many copies of the "white edition" Wizard have the Kansas illustrations printed in chocolatey brown rather than gray. The brown can be seen in the illustration of Uncle Henry sitting on the stoop further down this blog.

Before we get into looking at how Dick Martin adapted the Denslow illustrations it is well to point out one feature I only recently noticed. The typography of the Denslow edition is that of the Dale Ulrey edition. Dick Martin simply replaced her illustrations with adapted Denslow illustrations

Note that the text, page numbers, and running titles are identical in both editions. Martin has simply adapted two of Denslow's images to replace those of Ulrey. He also deleted the chapter number. In the foreword quoted above it mentions that this edition includes several illustrations which "have never before been published." That refers to these two images:

The image at left was discovered in a 1954 Metropolitan Life Insurance advertisement. In 1964 Dick still believed this was an unknown Denslow illustration. It isn't. It dates from 1954. The Lion (above right) is from Denslow's 1905 "Scarecrow and Tin Man at the Flower Festival in California" comic page.

It must be pointed out that while I am calling these Denslow illustrations, most of them have been heavily adapted and some have been completely redrawn by Dick Martin. He did this both to simplify Denslow's elaborate two color design and to create images the right shape to fit the Ulrey layout. Let's take a look at some examples:

Original Denslow on left - Dick Martin on right. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Above, you can see how Dick modified Denslow's original illustration to serve as a stand-alone full-page drawing. I like that he preserved Denslow's aesthetics by allowing the sunflower to break through the frame. Yet once one realizes these "white edition" images are Dick Martin tracings it's easy to spot his work. In the right hand picture, the simple, cartoony silhouette of Aunt Em doing dishes is much more Martin than Denslow.

Below are several examples of the clever way Dick cobbled together different Denslow illustrations to meet the needs of fitting into the Ulrey edition typesetting.

Original Denslow on left - Dick Martin on right. CLICK TO ENLARGE
You can see that Dick kept the initial S to start the chapter, but he needed to remove the Munchkin hat and some of the wildflowers. However, the raised position of the S created an empty space above the type, so he replaced the original seated Dorothy with a standing Dorothy pulled from the illustration below.

Dick reused the Toto from this picture on the chapter title below. Note, too, that Dick replaced almost all of Denslow's solid blocks of color with zip-a-tone line patterns. The line pattern was easier to print reliably and probably added a subtly modern feel to the book. 

Original Denslow on left - Dick Martin on right. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Many of Denslow's color plate drawings were reproduced fairly accurately, though printed in a single color. However, the other illustrations were almost all Dick Martin tracings. Sometimes Dick's tracings were quite close to Denslow's original lines. At other times Dick's lines couldn't help but display his own style. And a few times Dick made deliberate changes to Denslow's linework.

W. W. Denslow above - Dick Martin below.

This section will be modified as more information on variants comes in

While the 1964 printing of the "poster edition" of Wizard had "poppy field" endpapers, it is probable the earliest printings of the "white edition" also have "poppy field" endpapers. But the vast majority of Wizard "white editions" I have seen have the Road to Oz "crowd of Ozian celebrities" endpapers. (These endpapers were also used in the rest of the "white edition" Oz books.) I'd be most curious to hear what endpapers are in your copies of the Wizard "white edition." If you know when you bought your copy or it has a presentation date, that can be useful information, too. The earliest printings have the front and back cover properly centered. The later printings (probably from the mid-late 1970s) used smaller boards, 6" wide as opposed to the 6 3/8" inches of the earlier printings, as shown below.

Note how the cover on the right is off-center due to the smaller boards.

I have several copies of this book here in the Tiger Den - one of which seems somewhat atypical. I bought it new in 1979 at F. A. O. Schwartz when I was a kid. It has the smaller 6" boards, so the cover doesn't wrap well, but it does have the "poppy field" endpapers printed in black and red and the Kansas illustrations are printed in gray. The smaller board size and known purchase date indicate this is a later printing. So clearly the gray Kansas illustrations and "poppy" endpapers do not automatically indicate an early printing date.

Examples of both the gray and chocolate brown ink colors.

So I'd be most curious if any of you can share info on whether the Kansas scenes in your copy are gray or brown, and if you have Road endpapers or "poppy" endpapers. Also if there are ads in the front or back of the book for either 14 or 40 Oz books. You can leave info in the comments section.

As I mentioned last week twelve of the fourteen "white editions" were also available in paperback form through Rand McNally. Their paperback Wizard printed all of the illustrations in black and white.

That's it for today - next week we'll tackle The Land of Oz!


Jay said...

So it's pretty much fair to say that the Reilly & Lee Wizard had more Dick Martin illustration work than Denslow?

That guy was legendary.

Bill Campbell said...

Fascinating..I remember how stunned I was when I first ran across a "poster cover" Wizard - I had never seen or heard of that version before!

My white copy has the poppy endpapers in black & red, with grey illustrations at beginning and end, and the larger/centered cover. At the rear, I have the Wagenknecht afterward, "The Famous Oz Stories" followed by 2 pages listing the 40 titles, then "The Oz Books" with the 14 synopses of the Baum titles taken from Who's Who. There's no indication of a date on this book - I picked it up used, probably 25 years ago.

David Maxine said...

@Jared - Well Dick Martin traced, modified or prepared each Denslow illustration. I think he did a very good job of preserving Denslow's style or flavor - look at how many WIZARD's use modified Denslow - often very badly - and few people even think about the "white edition"actually being Dick Martin tracings and re-inkings.

David Maxine said...

@ Bill - Thanks for the info. Your copy is a variant I've not seen. The listing of 40 Oz book indicates to me it is probably very early if not a first printing.

Every copy I've seen so far has the Wagenknecht afterword, followed by a two page spread showing on the left-hand page a small illo of the Tin Woodman riding a Winged Monkey, and on the right-hand page has a three paragraph ad describing "The Famous Oz books" Essentially the same text as found in the beginnings of many of the other "white edition" titles.

Id the list of 40 Oz books in your copy the same advert that's in the "poster cover" edition?

Tim Tucker said...

The gray ink definitely predates 1979. The copy in my middle school library had the gray illustrations. I read it around 1977-78, and it wasn't new even then.

David Maxine said...

Thanks Tim - Yes it's becoming quite clear the gray was first. Yet it also seems clear the R&L switched back and forth between the two colors depending on the printing.

I have been modifying the blog post as information comes in this morning.

ericshanower said...

Another detail to point out is that the white edition's covers and spine are Dick Martin illustrations, not Denslow. The front and back covers are based closely on Denslow illustrations, but are not tracings--they're all Dick. The spine illustration is not even based on a Denslow illustration--Dick completely invented it.

Sam said...

While I can't always keep up with or imagine the variations of these particular editions, this was a Great and Fun Blog to read!

Too bad Books of Wonder didn't think to include the "poppy field" endpapers for their 100th Anniversary Edition.

I like the Kansas doorstep "plate" (though I wish the lower let corner retained an extra sunflower or two). And I can see Dick Martin's Munchkins are a bit more "cheek"y than Denslow's.

Can't wait to find out more, Thanks!

Jay said...

When I was in public school (briefly, only through second grade), I went to the school library looking for a copy of "The Wizard of Oz." It was a white edition. Don't recall any of the other Oz books there. The illustrations struck me as looking really weird back then. It was a long time (say... 10 years?) before I realized they were the original illustrations.

Bill Campbell said...

The 2 page ad for the 40 Oz books actually is different in my white copy than in the poster copy - I hadn't noticed. The same illustrations of the Scarecrow on his raft pole and the shining Tin Woodman are used, but the type has been reset.

In the white copy, the numbered list starts with Wizard as opposed to the poster copy where Wizard is listed at the top of the page, but the numbered list starts with Land. Consequently, the numbering of the books is different. Also, in the white copy the author's names are listed above their titles rather than below.

The two page list is followed by a full page drawing of the Lion, taken from the original front endpaper for Wonderful Wizard. After that comes the synopses of the fourteen Baum Oz books, ending with a drawing of the Scarecrow on his pole taken from the cover of the second edition of Wizard.

David Maxine said...

@ Bill - thanks :)

Mike Penick said...

My white edition copy is identical in every way to Bill Campbell's. I believe I got it for Christmas in 1965 (when I was 5), but it could have been 1966.

Scott Olsen said...

My copy, which I got in early 1967, has the poppy endpapers and the gray illustrations. There is a list of the 40 Oz books at the end, and a synopsis of the 14 Baum books.

Hope this helps!

David Maxine said...

It seems pretty clear that Bill's and Mike's, and probably Scott's are first printings. Could one of you email me a scan of the spread listing the 40 books?

Craig Noble said...

I received my white cover WoZ on my 4th birthday, Feb. 13, 1971. Oz was a family tradition, but we didn't have any of the books in my house b/c an uncle had them. Anyway, that day sealed my fate as an Oz fan. I have a framed picture of me as a little boy with sleepy bags under his eyes posing next to the gifts, which also included bubble bath!

Now to the book:

I'm pretty sure my mother bought it at the Walden Books at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, MD. (Certain R&L editions were already becoming difficult to find, so my 1st copy of Land was the Rand McNally paperback, and I had to read Lost Princess after Glinda because the book store had trouble finding a copy to order by a few years later.)

- The Kansas scenes in my copy are gray, not brown.
- My copy has the "poppy" endpapers
- 16-page gatherings
- The boards are 6 3/8" wide, and the illustration is centered properly
- Following the last chapter my copy has: Wagentknecht's 2-page "TO THE READERS OF THIS BOOK w/ pic of tinwoodman on flying monkey on the verso of the2nd page, followed by a one page ad for "The Famous Oz Stories," followed by a two page list of the FF, followed by plot synopses of the first 14, presumably borrowed from Jack Snow's Who's Who. There is one final blank page before the back endpapers.

Other info:

- Bookseller wrote "4.95" in pencil on upper right of FFEP.
- The blank verso of the FFEP has the following inscription: "This book belongs to Craig Noble from Mommy and Daddy on his 4th birthday February 13, 1971."

This has been a fascinating read and exercise. Thanks! And I hope the additional info helps.

ninjakiti said...

(Sorry if this is a double, I had internet issues when I first submitted and I wasn't sure if it went through)

Hello, I stumbled upon your blog after I purchased a white edition of Wizard and found the poppy endcovers and other differences from the one have.

I have a set of 10 of the 14 white editions (short version). Six of them (including Wizard) were purchased by my parents at a garage sale in the 1970's, the others I have purchased in the past few years so I can complete the set. I bought the second copy of Wizard as a gift for my niece.

My poppy-endcover copy is exactly as Bill described above, page for page with the gray illustrations. In addition to that, it is also larger overall than my other version. The cover boards are 9 3/8 x 6 5/8" and the book is 1" thick. There is an inscription for 1966.

Hope this helps!


Sarah Hadley said...

I have two copies. Both have chocolate brown, with the "Road" endpapers and the "Famous Oz Stories" ad followed by the picture of the Lion and the 14 book synopses. (So no hint of "40" in mine at all.) However, one has a properly centered cover illustration, while the other does not (and thus, the shorter boards).