Sealed with thanks

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2017 International Wizard of Oz Club support acknowledgement letters are mailing now.

This week I have been sending letters to all the Oz Club’s supporters expressing our thanks for their 2017 contributions. As a not-for-profit educational organization, we are responsible for acknowledging donations, and for getting them mailed this month. Those who itemize deductions on their income taxes can use these letters as receipts.

So your generosity is top of mind to me right now. The support of our Contributing, Sustaining, Patron, and Wizard’s Circle members—collectively nearly one-third of our membership—helps us keep general membership at $30 and children’s memberships at $15. Donations to special funds we have provide things like funding for our annual contests, and support expenses associated with maintaining the Oz Club Collection. We thank a member who donates the entire cost of printing the calendar every year, members who—at their own expense—attend public events to promote Club membership, and members who support Club conventions in countless ways. It’s a humbling to witness your generosity toward our Club.
foldingOzma’s Honor Roll, to be printed in the Winter 2017 Baum Bugle, shares the names of those who contribute through our membership programs. Conventions generally find a way to include heartfelt thanks from a program or podium. As I said to international members I wrote since they might be tax-paying American’s living abroad, our letter of thanks might not be necessary, but it’s simply not possible to thank our supporters too much.

Of course, it’s not a flawless system; if you plan to claim a contribution you made to the Club on your 2017 taxes, and a letter acknowledging your support doesn’t arrive shortly, please drop me a note at Admin@OzClub.org. I’ll be happy to take care of it right away.

Fresh from the press

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The hardback edition of the much anticipated Bibliographia Baumiana.

Riddle me this, fellow collectors:  What book weighs 60 pounds and has 48 color plates?  Give up?  Bibliographia Baumiana!  OK, so actually it’s just printed on 60-pound stock, but at more than 400 pages this marvelous new book-collector’s guide does have some serious heft.  Described by the authors as covering “every known printing of every [Baum] book submitted for publication during his lifetime,” it’s available in hard- and soft-cover editions from the Oz Club; members receive a $10 discount off the list price.  You’ll find actual reviews and reports about it in upcoming issues of the Baum Bugle, but I can’t resist the opportunity share my personal enthusiasm in this blog.

We collectors delight in turning up varied editions of Baum’s many different titles, most of which were reprinted over time in multiple editions. Maybe with color plates. Sometimes with strikingly different binding designs.  Oh, and dust jackets. Determining which came earlier than another is where this book is invaluable. 

Author Bill Thompson with first copies of Bibliographia Baumiana.

Author Bill Thompson with first copies of Bibliographia Baumiana.

Bill Thompson (best known to some of us as the Oz Club’s auctioneer) has contributed bibliographical essays and checklists to The Baum Bugle for years. This book reflects decades of his sleuthing through extensive Baum collections. His co-authors for the new volume are Peter Hanff, one of the Bibliographia Oziana writers, and the late Patrick Maund. They, too, have contributed bibliographic content to the Bugle.  Independently and collaborating the three have amassed an impressive body of research — now available with this publication.

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Detail from an entry for Baum’s The Yellow Hen And Other Stories, sold first as a “Snuggle Tale” then as an “Oz-Man Tale” as Baum’s Oz authorship increased his appeal. It also can be found in L. Frank Baum’s Juvenile Speaker, an anthology of his work first printed in 1910.

If bibliography is a new field to you, you may be thinking, “400 pages? Really?”  Consider this; it’s work that consists of studying books in painstaking detail. Books are compared for changes in type — like typesetting and spelling error corrections, as well as things like the numbers of pages sewn together in a gathering, the weight and finish of paper stock — like the “60-pound acid-free” stock used in this publication — and packaging variants.  Every minute change is a clue that helps specialized researchers like Thompson, Hanff, and Maund define and distinguish one variation of the book from another, place them in sequence, and conclude which should be the more desirable to collectors. 

 John Dough and the Cherub's first edition came with illustrated endpapers, a small design on the back cover, and an essay contest blank young readers could cut out to submit to the publisher.


John Dough and the Cherub’s first edition came with illustrated endpapers, a small design on the back cover, and an essay contest blank young readers could cut out to submit to the publisher.

Destiny

Bibliographia Baumiana uses one of its 48 color plates to share three cover designs for Baum’s Daughters of Destiny. Dust jackets are pictured for many titles — some so scarce even life-long collectors have never seen them.

Thoroughly enjoyable essays introduce each book, too, before the bibliographical details are itemized. So there is plenty of fascinating reading in addition to the identification specific guidelines for serious collectors. 

The Oz Club’s publication, Bibliographia Oziana, has been the go-to book for Oz book collectors since it was published in 1976. For forty years book collectors who seek L. Frank Baum’s other books — his non-Oz titles — have anticipated the day The International Wizard of Oz Club would deliver this companion volume. At last, it’s here.

Purchase Bibliographia Baumiana from the Oz Club here.

Oz art contest for students

Are you – or do you know – a student who creates Oz art?  Our 2018 Baum Bugle editor-in-chief, Sarah Crotzer, has launched a contest to find fresh, new interpretations of Oz characters.  Her goal is to enliven the pages of future Club publications by incorporating emerging artists’ modern, diverse work with the classic illustrations we love.

Student artists: enter your Oz character designs in our contest.

Student artists: enter your Oz character designs in our contest.

Opened Nov. 1, the contest will close Feb. 1. Still plenty of time left to aim for that $150 cash prize!

Judging entries will be Sarah, Eisner award-winning writer/artist Eric Shanower (who knows a thing or two about Oz art), Sarah’s “Burzee” co-host Nick Campbell who is currently working on the relaunch of children’s content for the Oz Club, and me.

Of course, the Oz Club offers annual contests for Oz-specific artwork, fiction and non-fiction writing will be up and running again with prizes awarded this summer, but this contest is something special. Something extra. Something that might just put YOUR art in front of Oz fans everywhere.

For details, see https://ozcontest.wordpress.com/

And if you don’t follow the Burzee blogspace, check it out here: https://burzee.wordpress.com/

On a personal note, I’m particularly pleased by this project because The Oz Gazette, a publication for kids the Oz Club once produced, was my project for many years. Eric was kind enough to let me use his artwork from time to time. And Sarah and Nick met through a pen pal program we offered in its pages!