Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Winkie Convention haul

Kent & I went to the Winkie Convention last month, weekend of the 6th, 7th and 8th. Haven’t been to Winkie in years. 12 years. I’ve kept sending in my Oz Club dues. But going to Winkies hadn’t seemed essential. Used to go every summer.

I figured I’d pick up some of the Club publications, save the shipping charges. But I didn’t figure I would buy anything at the auction. The auction takes up most of Saturday afternoon. Was there anything I needed? Not really. I’m not much of a collector anymore. Even though now I can afford most anything I want (a first edition of The Wizard of Oz is not on my list). I recently read L. Frank Baum’s non-Oz fantasy, John Dough and the Cherub, got it via interlibray loan, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. If there’s a copy of John Dough and the Cherub at a decent price, I said to myself, I’ll get it.

And there was a copy on the auction table. The cover image is printed right on the cloth of the binding. The copy I saw recently at a bookstore in Berkeley was badly faded, or perhaps the ink had rubbed off. The copy in the auction was bright. The binding was tight (a repair job?). One of the pages of the illustrated endpapers was missing. But nobody’d penciled (or crayoned) on any of the interior, other than the owner’s name. Edward Eager.

Edward Eager? I said to myself. Author of Half Magic, Magic By the Lake, etc?

I sat through hours of auction, not so bored as I’d expected. Fact is, I’d planned to skip out to the beach (which, at Asilomar, means putting on your long pants and jacket). After occasionally looking at the prices of Oz books in bookstores and on the internet I was startled to see people snapping up bargains at the auction. Of course, these are folks who’ve been collecting for years. Probably they have most everything they want; why bid on it just because it’s cheaper than you’d find elsewhere? After all, if all you wanted was the book it would have been cheaper to pay the premium and not fly yourself out to Monterey for a weekend. When at last the John Dough came up I gave myself a mental budget of $75-100. The auctioneer entertained an opening bid of $15. I raised my auction card. And got the book for $25. The auctioneer made no mention of Edward Eager. I was so surprised to get Dough for $25 I immediately bid on a copy of Patchwork Girl of Oz which I neither wanted nor needed and got that for $50. I had instant buyer’s remorse but shrugged it off. After all, I could say I bought Dough for a reasonable $75 and they threw in a Patchwork Girl.

When I got home checked up on author Edward Eager’s middle name and it matches that written in my new copy of John Dough.

Also bought at auction:

an original illustration by Dick Martin from the Oz Club published Enchanted Island of Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson

Magical Mimics in Oz by Jack Snow

Bought new:

Dorothy, v.1, a graphic novel retelling of The Wizard of Oz starring a punked-out Dorothy, a robot Toto, laser guns, etc. Mark Masterson, one of the creators, gave a presentation.

Annabel, a young adult novel L. Frank Baum published under a pseudonym, this reprint from Hungry Tiger Press

Speedy in Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson, an Oz Club hardcover reprint that includes the original color plates (no sooner did I take this out to show someone than I put a little tear in the dustjacket)

Hidden Valley of Oz by Rachel Cosgrove, an Oz Club paperback reprint

The Scarecrow of Oz, one of Baum’s original Oz books in a Club reprint, my first edition with the color plates

Aunt Jane’s Nieces, a book L. Frank Baum wrote using the pseudonym Edith Van Dyne, Oz Club publication

The Hidden Prince of Oz by Gina Wickwar, an original Oz Club publication

The 2006 issue of the annual Club publication Oziana, which features fan fiction and art … I remember David saying he’d been asked to illustrate a story; I didn’t realize his illustrations would be so extensive & elaborate.

Der Zauberer der Smaragdenstadt, a German translation of the Russian Alexander Volkov’s version of The Wizard of Oz … no, I can’t read German (or Russian) but I love the illustrations by Leonid Vladimirski

When we registered we were handed the following:

Animal Fairy Tales, the only collected edition of L. Frank Baum’s animal tales, published by the Oz Club … as Kent and I both were given a copy he handed me his. (I have since passed one of the copies along to an old Oz friend who didn’t make the convention.)

A tin lunchbox designed by Eric Shanower. Kent says he is going to send his to his sister for her birthday. Which was last month.


J. L. Bell said...

I've been tracking that copy of John Dough since I saw it at a Munchkin Convention a few years ago and couldn't summon the guts to bid all the way to the top. Keep it safe!

I'm glad you liked your brother's illustrations in Oziana 2006. So do I.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I haven't picked up Oziana in years. I should catch up.

You make me curious. What did the John Dough go for at Munchkin?

Now I feel like I have to reread (buy?) all Eager's books.

J. L. Bell said...

I don't remember the price, but if it's the same copy you got a bahhhhgin, as we say in Boston.

The one I recall from the Munchkin auction had a bookplate—a printed label—with Eager's name on the front endpaper. I got the impression from your description that your copy has a signature. So I might be wrong, or there might actually be two separate copies.

I just finished Eager's Knight's Castle myself, and found it highly enjoyable, if lightweight.