Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The wizardry of John R. Neill
I have always adored the beautiful and whimsical images of Oz illustrator John R. Neill. Not only are they colorful and quite delightful, but they perfectly compliment the writings of L. Frank Baum. A definite sense of the era from when the stories are based (early 1900s) is evident in the dainty girls, rosy-cheeked boys, and flowing skirts, tassels, and ribbons of many of the characters. Neill definitely had a touch for rendering animals in a sweetly humorous way, and they are major players in the Oz series.
I think my favorite of all time is the sawhorse.
The books are absolutely wonderful, too. Don't think that they're just for kids or young adults. Once I start reading one, I can't put it down til it's finished, and I immediately want to start another. I only read the first two of the fourteen books in the Oz series, and have had trouble since then finding the other twelve books. I'm still looking for a source for the awesome Del Ray series of paperbacks, which feature Neill's fabulous illustrations. And it's been so long since I read the first two books, I've forgotten what I've read. No matter, it'll be fun to read them again.
I plan on getting some colorful Neill prints in the near future, and would love to cover my walls in this happy little world called Oz.