14 April 2010

Designing the Imaginary Novelization of Oz

Jessica Hische, professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, has posted a blog entry about her students’ responses to an assignment:

Because I only had five weeks with the students, I decided to assign one main project with multiple components — book cover design + endpapers, titlepage, and bookplate for a special edition novelization of The Wizard of Oz.
The results are quite impressive, though I wasn’t the only visitor miffed that the copy for this imaginary book says, “A Novelization of the Original Motion Picture.”

To commenters who pointed out that The Wizard of Oz is already a novel, and that the MGM movie isn’t “original” (there were earlier movie adaptations), Hische explained:
I figured because the course was only 5 weeks, I couldn’t assign the book to read as I would barely get a cover out of them by the end of my time there. I chose something a bit more familiar, with a ton of excellent visual reference.
A lot of the covers do evoke the 1939 look nicely. The jacket studded with candy puzzled me because food is very basic in L. Frank Baum’s book, but then I realized it must refer to the Lollipop Guild. And the overall Technicolor art direction.

The images above were created by Michael Olivo, but I recommend the whole array.

1 comment:

Chaucerian said...

It fascinates me how some of the illustrators went for the purely visual (the lollipops! did they watch the whole movie?, the poppies), some went for the trademark images (the tin woodman) -- and very few were able to work with the sweep of the movie as a whole. My favorite was the one where Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal -- Kansas. How poignant.