Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Skottie Young's Oz

I've never read a comics adaption of a book: it seems somehow redundant, even though I really like a whole heap of different comics. Any why should a comic version of a book be any more redundant than a movie adaption? Well, this is an argument with myself to be continued at another time. What I'm getting around to is the wonderful work of comics artist Skottie Young, who for several years has been producing wonderful covers for a series of comic adaptions of Frank Baum's Oz books.

These covers (shown here sans the various corporate logos, barcodes and other elements which usually disfigure comic covers) are really something special: funny, off-kilter, sometimes disturbing, and wonderfully energetic. Click all for much bigger versions.

For The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:









For Ozma of Oz:







From The Marvellous Land of Oz:







And from the current Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz:



And for bonus excellence, have a couple of illustrations he's done for Austen's Sense and Sensibility...



..and Golding's Lord of the Flies.

19 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

When I was young (that would be back in the Sixties) my dad bought me a comic version of the Bible - two volumes, old and new testaments. Inaccuracies aside - there were plenty - it was a good idea if you're into that kind of thing. The same goes for illustrations in books. It's a rarity these days and I think it's such a shame.

Dan said...

Thanks for posting Skottie's work. Funnily enough, I was just thinking about it the other day. He has such a distinctive style at a time when so many mainstream comics look the same. It would be lovely to see him do cover illustrations for novels as well.

John Twipnook said...

Amazing art. Thanks.

LinWash said...

Love those! I have a set of the old Oz books with the John Neill art. A nice change.

Tulkinghorn said...

I'm one of those guys who hates the Densmore illustrations and worships John Neill, who thinks the Oz movie is lame, and who generally gets cranky when any Oz-related material is discussed that isn't directly related to the Baum/Thompson/Neill originals.

For the first time, I'll say: These are wonderful.

Thomas at My Porch said...

I got an iPad yesterday and I am inlove with bright brilliance of the graphics. But I was thinking that a lot of the apps are junk and not really for me. I thought "I wish CCC had an iPad app". I know I can look at your blog on the pad, but I can still fantasize about a special app where I can just page through thousands of interesting book covers.

JRSM said...

Jim: I've read a comic version of Genesis called 'Eden', which I was surprised to see was originally published in some Penthouse magazine--though all of the emphasis on nudity/sex in the garden was explained by the connection.

Dan: That's what grabbed my attention--he really stands out; the closest to his work I can think of is Sam Kieth, but Skottie Young is much more appealing and less murky.

Tulkinghorn: I'm glad they passed the test!

Tulkinghorn: I wish I knew enough about programming to create such an app. 50 Watts (http://50watts.com) probably does that sort of thing, though...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Jonathan Walker said...

Adapting 'literary classics' has, historically, been an important source of income and work for comics artists, I think. There are several distinguished recent examples, the most famous of which is probably the version of 'City of Glass' by Mazzucchelli, et al. But I have also seen excellent comics of 'The Trial' and 'The Master and the Margarita'.

JRSM said...

Good point: 'City of Glass' gets all sorts of great reviews, and I always love seeing visual interpretations of Bulgakov's masterpiece.

Matthew Adams said...

these are great!

JRSM said...

The expressions on the little chicken and the tiny hatted pigs alone are wonderful.

Alan Trotter said...

These really are wonderful.

StuckInABook said...

These are really wonderful! Only yesterday I was investigating the Oz novels, and thinking that I should really read some.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Skottie's covers and artwork are excellent! I really like his loopy illustrations!! Wow!

thatcovergirl said...

I am in loooooove. Thanks for the eye candy. Gorgeous work.

JRSM said...

Thanks for your comments, everybody. I'm glad everyone's as keen on these as me!

LorraineYoungPottery said...

What an imagination. The colors and the caricature with the pen and ink, brilliant. Brings a whole new feeling to the story line and characters. Thanks for sharing!!! Just joined your blog as a follower ;)

Stephe said...

Just saw this note about Skottie's cover art for the Oz books. You know, he also did all the art inside as well. Didn't see it mentioned, thought it should be mentioned. Excellent adaptations.

JRSM said...

Cheers, Stephe and Lorraine!