Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Magic of Oz

My little prep paintings of Oz were but a faint echo of the original magical drawings and paintings of John R. Neill. He illustrated the vast majority of the yearly produced Oz books, giving flavor and substance to Baum's and successors' charming stories.

As research for my Oz mural that never was, I read all of Baum's original books and my inner child was thoroughly entertained by his phantasies. There have been many printings, editions and variations over the years, and there is new Oz magic by people like Eric Shanower. But shown here are many of the older covers, demonstrating the beautiful compositions and colors that continue to captivate us after all these years.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I don't think I've ever seen the covers of the Little Wizard Series before, at least in color. As much as I love other versions of Oz- the current Skottie Young comics are wonderful beyond belief- Neill will always be THE Oz artist in my mind. I wish circumstances had let him go back and redraw Wizard; to this day the Denslow art looks off to me. (I think part of the problem there is that until very recently, I never saw the art from Wizard correctly reproduced. The art and story there were designed pretty much from the beginning to work together, and once you start cutting and moving illustrations the story holds up but the art doesn't do nearly as well, in my opinion.)