09 March 2013

Steve Murray Illustrates Everyone in Oz

One of the nice effects of the Oz the Great and Powerful opening is how it’s inspired a lot of Oz art. Up in Canada, the National Post’s Steve Murray took on the monumental task of depicting every character in L. Frank Baum’s fourteen Oz novels. Here’s just a slice of the magnificent result.

The scale might look a little off, but that’s because those big folks in the background at top are giants. They tend to cluster in Baum’s late books.

For the full image, with annotations on each character and a key to which books they first appear in, visit the National Post.


rocketdave said...

Geez, that's impressive. That must have reqired a ton of time and research. It probably would have taken me a solid month to complete a project like that. I think the most people I've ever fit into a single drawing was 27 and that was complicated enough; I might go crazy trying to cram a hundred and seventy-something characters into a single scene. Would I sound hopelessly nit-picky if I said I wish he'd drawn the Neill version of Dorothy rather than the Denslow one? Oh, well. Honestly, I'm mostly just in awe of what a massive undertaking that must have been. Needless to say, it's quite an accomplishment.

J. L. Bell said...

I saw Murray estimate that his research and drawing added up to perhaps 96 hours. Of the 276 characters, he said, the last hundred were the worst. And he set out to draw each as the character originally appeared, which is why he followed Denslow's portrayal of Dorothy and Neill's initial depiction of Ozma as a blonde.

rocketdave said...

Ah, it actually makes a certain amount of sense that he'd want to depict each character as they originally appeared; I felt kind of petty for mentioning it in the first place. I can't emphasize enough how impressed I am by the effort and talent that went into this piece.

Nathan said...

I keep thinking that giant from Rinkitink is the Red Rogue.

J. L. Bell said...

Who I don't imagine as being so big.

But then I forget the Rinkitink giant has red hair: "The giant was unclothed and its limbs were thickly covered with coarse red hair. The round disks of flame were its two eyes and when it opened its mouth to yawn Inga saw that its jaws were wide enough to crush a dozen men between the great rows of teeth."