Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oz Story

THE FIRST BOOK I remember being read to me was Tik Tik of Oz. I loved looking at the strange creatures metaphorically brought to life by illustrator John R. Neill. More than any other artist he is responsible for my career as an illustrator. Not all the influence was useful. It was years before I abandoned trying to imitate his elegant style and embraced the rough-hewn look of scratchboard, a style truer to my own personality.

In the Cypher story SubWayward many allusions to The Wizard of Ozare apparent. There are even clock-work creatures similar to Tik Tok. For many reasons SubWayward was the most personally meaningful of all the psychologically charged Cypher stories. It was also the story in which The Subterranean appears for the first time.

With such a background, when the editor of Graphic Classics asked if I would do an L. Frank Baum story, I couldn't say no. The resulting comic, a somewhat obscure story called The Glass Dog, appeared in Graphic Classics Volume 15. Page one is posted below.

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