The Making of an “Extra”

The Baum Bugle is near and dear to my heart—but it has limitations. Color is a big one; there are so many things I wish we could share in color!  It would quadruple the budget to go to a full-color interior, and that’s just not an option for our club.  And long stuff—stories or checklists that would consume a quarter of the entire publication—just isn’t fair to serve up when our membership is so diverse that a majority would have no interest in that particular topic. Club webminister Blair Frodelius added them to the Baum Bugle Extras section of OzClub.org. (If I understood WordPress better, they’d be .html pages, but I’m fumbling along as best I can. Please, bear with me—or better still, volunteer to help us bring the site to the next level!)

With our Winter 2018 issue, editor Sarah Crotzer was much more ambitious. She proposed the terrific idea that we deliver a gallery of Tin Man images created by various illustrators through the years. The Bugle
was celebrating The Tin Woodman of Oz turning 100, so 100 different Tin Men became the goal. I have a conveniently large collection with lots of unusual and international editions that I was happy to photograph. Those made up roughly half of the final selections, bolstered by contributions from other members, including a few books from Sarah’s own collection. She was driven to confirm an illustrator credit and date for any image we used, so that became its own challenge for reprinted books and selections from Russia, Japan, Korea, and China.  

100 Tin Men later, the gallery is live! You can find it at https://tinyurl.com/100tinmen. As a Baum Bugle Extra I’m delighted that we—the Oz Club, not just Sarah and I—have made this fascinating Tin Man revue available. Happy 100th, Nick Chopper!

Have I Mentioned I’m a Collector?

I grew up reading Oz books that we had at home. Once I realized there were more, I began the hunt to complete my set. I could borrow other titles for reading, but I wanted my own.  How could I know I was innocently stepping right into an abyss?

From Oz, to Baum, to Denslow and Neill and Thompson–I was still in high school when my desire to read had somehow morphed into the need to acquire.  After college I met Tod Machin, who had little interest in Oz books at that point, but had the most jaw-dropping, eye-popping collection of vintage dolls and toys and valentines and and and and…   There was a whole world of Oz things to look for that I had been overlooking!

As you can see, it pretty much went to seed from there (there are five cases of books in that back right corner that remain dear to me):

With nearly 50 years of accumulating Oz under my belt, I listened to our Baum Bugle editor Sarah Crotzer, tell me what she had planned for the Winter 2018 issue honoring the 100th publication anniversary of The Tin Woodman of Oz.  I offered to add a collection of Tin Men. Surely will a little digging I could round up one hundred of them.

Clearing a double bookcase  that was only about half-Oz anyway, I began to pull Tin Woodmen from every nook and corner of my Oz collection. Books, figurines, dolls, a chair, a snowboard, a marionette. Muppets, puppets, and wind-up walkers, a Wogglebug Lesson Card and a Tin Grin t-shirt. I wanted the rarer, unusual ones, some common favorites everyone would remember, and important stage/screen appearances.

The shelves filled up and I began to count. How did “too many” happen?  Editing followed–anxiously lamenting each that had to go–to ensure I’d hit exactly one hundred.  That left pouring on lots of light for a photo, reviewing, tweaking so every little Veggie Tale Tin Man could be distinguished, then a little Photoshopping to lessen the appearance of the underside of higher shelves.

Voilà!  The inside back cover of the Winter Bugle was complete!

 

 

 

 

Two More Pages; As Fast As Lightning!

The Winter 2018 Baum Bugle had finally gone to press, four stress-filled months after our most optimistic expectations. Death, birth, illness, images that didn’t arrive and drafts that came well past their due dates—Murphy’s Law had repeatedly triumphed. 

We had put the Bugle to “bed” on Monday and this was Thursday night. With all writing, layout, proofreading, and correcting behind me, I was running errands with my husband. I was, in fact, so far from thinking about the Bugle I wasn’t sure who Sarah was when her voice came through my car’s dashboard. 

Houston, we have a problem. 

The printer had the layout on the press ready to roll the next morning only to discover it was two pages short.  If you aren’t familiar with print production, a sheet of folded paper becomes four pages. There has to be an even multiple of four for a publication to fold correctly. How, you ask, after a dozen proofreaders, could this have gone unnoticed? Well, the inclusion of the kids’ newsletter in the center spread means we have three individual sections of numbered pages; 1-26 before the Gazette, 4 pages of the Gazette, and 27-56 after the Gazette. Shifting pages in the layout back and forth around that center spread had artificially expanded the second half to end on page 56 even though there were only 54 pages. Two pages simply didn’t exist. Sarah and I had both looked at it so many times our brains skipped straight over the omission.  

Never mind how it happened. That wasn’t the problem I faced in the Home Depot parking lot, thinking four castors were my priority. Fixing it—that was the problem. Fixing it and fixing it now. Sarah could either pull two pages or add two pages. She’d found a couple of drastic options like converting separate enclosures into new pages, or simply pushing content back to Spring, but she wanted my thoughts before pulling any triggers.

And so it is that your Baum Bugle now includes an entirely unplanned, two-page spread featuring five distinctive, and thus collectible, copies of The Tin Woodman of Oz.  Sarah, bibliographic reference books at hand, flew through creating copy and editing the table of contents while I pulled the five volumes from my collection and propped them into a photo and created the layout. I was pouring text into columns when it was only half written. Midnight came, midnight passed.

The next morning, the press ran: 56 pages strong.

Ultimately, we had to remove the Gazette and include it as a separate fold-out in your Winter mailing. There was no way to preserve the strict flow of articles on either side of the Gazette and still get the new file to the printer so quickly. But necessity is the mother of invention, and we’re proud that no content was lost. What could be more Ozzy than friends working as a team to beat the odds?