Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thrice Rendered

So, I was asked to contribute to Marcus Mebes' first issue of Oziana after he took over as the new editor. He helped me plot a quick short story about King Bud of Noland and Jinnicky, the Red Jinn of Ev.

The resulting story, Bud and the Red Jinn; or Never (Always) Look A Gift Horse (Goat) in the Mouth, was illustrated by Anna-Maria Cool, who'd done some earlier excellent work in Oz-Story for Hungry Tiger Press and illustrated The Hidden Prince of Oz and Toto of Oz by Gina Wickwar. She'd also done several covers for Marvel's Barbie comic book series, including a Nutcracker-themed issue I'd added to my collection. While I'm thrilled she illustrated my story, the stupor of "YOUR story is accompanied by HER art" has yet to sink in.
Marcus really liked my story introducing a sour Prince Bobo of Boboland, and incorporated the character into his own story for the same issue, thus making the two stories connect. Later, he had the idea of incorporating both stories into the first volume of what would become his Royal Explorers of Oz series. (And no, I did not invent the title.) I obliged.

However, we needed new illustrations for my story. While Marcus paid Anna-Maria a hefty sum for drawing the pictures, he only had permission to use it in Oziana. However, his friend Alejandro Garcia was brought in. Alex turned out a redrawing of Anna-Maria's picture.
While we love Alex's art, for some reason, this just didn't grab us. It was too similar to Anna-Maria's original and Jinnicky's thick legs didn't look right.

What Marcus decided to do was bring in an additional illustrator. This illustrator would properly illustrate the story, while Alex would produce pictures that would be from "Tandy's sketchbook." Since Tandy wasn't present in my little story, we dropped Alex's picture.

The illustrator for the first two books is John Troutman, web cartoonist for the strips Mary Elizabeth's Sock, Lit Brick, Sporkman, and the currently on-hold Delusionary State. This is what John turned out.
To find where to buy copies of Oziana 2008 and the Royal Explorers of Oz series, see this page.


Sam A M said...

I Definitely like Anna-Marie Cool's illustrations the most and Best!

ericshanower said...

Anna did a lot more than a couple Barbie covers. She drew many of the stories for the Barbie series during its run. She's also drawn other stuff for Marvel Comics, including Dr. Strange, Hugga Bunch, and she worked on the Marvel comics adaptation of the Hook movie. And I'm sure I'm forgetting things. She worked on an Elvira comics series (don't remember publisher), and
she's currently drawing a Tooth Fairy series for another publisher I don't recall.

She also designed and drew an elaborate Oz birthday card--a booklet, really--for Hallmark. She was employed at Hallmark for a long while and was the main artist on the Peanuts babies line, among other things.