As a lifelong fan of the Oz books written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow and John R. Neill, I'm happy to announce one of my next projects, an all-new Oracle Deck set in the Marvelous Land of Oz. The first few designs are done, and I think that I'm satisfied with the overall look and feel... although that may change! Over the next few months, you can watch the deck grow as I work out the details and post new designs here. Join me on this magical journey down a new length of the Yellow Brick Road!
The first card I completed is OPPOSITION, featuring Denslow's version of the Wicked Witch of the West, facing off with Dorothy and Toto. I love Denslow's version of the witch for being unabashedly Halloweenish in her choice of costume.
The second card is from a chapter heading by John R. Neill. You may be wondering about the symbols and numbers and coloring in the top corners of each card. In the original books by Baum, the land of Oz is divided into four quadrants (the lands of the Munchkins, Quadlings, Winkies and Gillikins) with the Emerald City at their center. This was just too good a correspondence to pass up for an Oracle deck, and so I decided to equate the various counties of Oz with the four elements of nature. Working around the map from the bottom in a clockwise motion, we have:
The Quadlings (Red) as Earth. the Winkies (Yellow) as Air, the Gillikins (Purple is their accepted color, although the map erroneously shows them in Green) as Fire, and the Munchkins (in Blue) as Water. Thus each card is associated with a county and an element, which are identified in the top left corner. The number that I'm putting on each card at the top right has to do with numerological correspondences... all about which I am really just learning. This element may change as I get further into the designs.
The third card is again based on John R. Neill's art, and combines two of his drawings: the figures are from a series of short stories that Baum wrote to be issued as promo books for the Jello company! This one (obviously) is from The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman of Oz... the only one of these short stories that I have in its original edition.
I'm a strong believer that Oracle decks should have negative cards as well as positive ones, and so next we get "Grief," from the same book. The Scarecrow has just lost his friend the Tin Woodman in a rushing river, and his attempts to fish the Tin Man out with a hook and thread have failed. Even the crow is sad.
So -- those are the first four card designs. I hope that you will enjoy seeing them as much as I am enjoying making them. In the end, when I feel that I've completed the deck, it will be available through the Game Crafter for purchase... but for now, that's some time away.
In the meantime, please visit my main page, Duck Soup Productions, or either of my two previous oracle deck projects, The Golliwogg Oracle or Tarot of the Zirkus Mägi. And thanks for visiting here.