13 October 2011

Art from Oz

The Australian picture-book artist Ben Wood is aiming to post an Oz illustration every day of this month. Above is his take on Ojo the Lucky, the Munchkin boy at the heart of L. Frank Baum’s The Patchwork Girl of Oz, as well as the Glass Cat. I also particularly like his Cowardly Lion and Wogglebug.

My reading of Ojo is that he’s a bit bipolar. For most of Patchwork Girl, he’s prone to crying jags and complaining about bad luck. In Ojo of Oz (1933), Ruth Plumly Thompson even refers to him at times as “depressed.”

Yet in books where he’s not the star, just one of the crowd, as in Glinda of Oz, Ojo tends to be as chirpy as he appears above. The first mood is a lot easier to make interesting, especially since he also has a habit of overstepping rules that people have specifically warned him about.

In other Oz-art news, Bill Campbell at The Oz Enthusiast has opened a Zazzle store.

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