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Picturing a World

Miereke Nelissen’s Oz

Just as appealing as Miereke Nelissen's animals are her illustrations for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—or more precisely for De tovenaar van Oz. Lisabeth Zwerger's version may have influenced Nelissen. Certainly Zwerger made clear that a modern sensibility can work wonders divorced from more traditional variations on W. W. Denslow's first-edition illustrations (see, for example, those of Scott Gustafson and Michael Hague and 25 more).

What I don't know is, which illustrator would be most helpful to a writer trying to imagine an Oz-influenced story. (Well, obviously, depends on the story and the writer!) Besides straight-up fan fiction set in Oz, other narrative lines are possible. Think of someone who loved the Oz books to the point of obsession, or traded in rare editions. Could an artist be working on an Oz book in graphic novel form?


Jane Yolen wrote a story, "Blown Away," which first appeared in the multi-author Oz Reimagined and then again in her own collection, The Emerald Circus. And we can't forget Gregory Maguire's Wicked
The real question is, What makes some books invite such protean responses?

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