You may recall back in my Paul Granger post that I had an edition with his illustrations from 1992 and published in Spain. Well, it turns out there was more to that than initially met the eye. Thanks to a recent eBay purchase, I found some more information that I found pretty interesting.
From 1992 to 1993, Fabbri Publishing of Spain produced a series of 52 Book and Magazine combinations called “Classic Adventures.” There was a new release every two weeks, beginning with The Railway Children and finishing with Anne of Green Gables. Of course, The Wizard of Oz happens to be the 46th title in the series. They retailed for £2.99 at the time and were simultaneously released in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Malta and Singapore.
These sorts of series seem to be fairly common in the UK and Europe, and in fact Fabbri had already issued Wizard in it’s popular “StoryTeller” and “Once Upon a Time” series of books and tapes, and as recently as 2006 as a newspaper giveaway…but for those of us in the US, this was something new to me.
Each Magazine contains a synopsis of the story (in this case told over 8 pages) with illustrations by the cover artist, as well as education articles about the author and other topics related to the story at hand. For Wizard it’s articles about life on the plains, cowboys and tornadoes. The magazine is VERY early 1990s and really takes me back to the school magazines I used to get at the time.
For me, the exciting part was not only finding out the background, but also getting the name of the illustrator for the cover art and the interior art: Ken Laidlaw! I really wish his illustrations were in the full book instead of just the cover, because his work is really very lovely and his use of color is fantastic.
So there we have it! I’d love to know if anyone out there actually got these at the time. If you’re interested, the magazine and book are both still available at the following link:
Until next time!
Garrett of Oz