Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wicked Wizard

I'm very sad that we don't have issue #25 of The Adventures of Peter Wheat to share with you at this time, to keep our sequence complete. I was hoping that the comix elves would have taken pity on us poor mortals and materialized a full set of scans.

But the gatekeeper of the realm, OtherEric, has tracked down a bit of material to keep us informed enough to keep moving ahead.

Take it from here, OtherEric:

For an issue that we don't have, we can actually say a surprisingly large amount about this issue. To quote the long-ago auction listing where we found the two low-res pages we have:

"The Fairy Queen is captured by the Wizard; the story contains a cloak of invisibility, flying boots, shape-changing powder, Ooglie-Booglies (scary Goblins), lions, the Bird of Wonderwood, etc. Walt Kelly pulled out all the stops in this issue which is notable for the unusual, great FULL-PAGE PANEL highlighting Kelly's superb rendition of fairies and trees (he was the master of the latter)."

And from the next issue, #26, we can know the cliffhanger for this issue, that it ends with the Fairy Queen captured by the Wizard and his goblin allies, and Peter is turned into a toad!

Two points of note: the character design changes on the Fairy Queen and Durrock. The theory I've heard is that Kelly didn't have reference for them when he moved onto this issue from the last. The colorist doesn't help matters, but it doesn't hurt too much now and it probably mattered far less back when kids had a month between last issue and this one.

And as I mentioned, Kelly is starting to do different things to play with scale; using a full page panel to show the tree in relation to the small characters. Even in the reduced size or the redrawn-by-somebody-else version from the coloring book, we can see just how gorgeous this page must be. I really hope I (or another scanner) can find this issue sooner rather than later. And how many of you thought my comment about Kelly playing with scale in #25—#29 was a typo, since I said we didn't have that issue? :-)

Above and below, tantalizing low-res glimpses of issue #25

The redrawn-by-somebody-else coloring book page

Thom: It's not too late if someone wants to take pity on us poor mortals and share a set of scans of #25. We have a full week until we're scheduled to show #26, and I would be thrilled to bump that back in order to insert #25.

Anybody? A friend of a friend? Comix elves?

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had an in-road to those comic elves. Here's hoping!