Jinnicky the Red Jinn

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Oz character
First appearanceJack Pumpkinhead of Oz (1929)
Last appearanceYankee in Oz (1972)
Created byRuth Plumly Thompson
In-universe information
TitleRed Jinn
OccupationWizard of Ev

The Red Jinn, later known as Jinnicky, is one of Ruth Plumly Thompson's most frequently occurring characters in her Oz books.[1] According to David L. Greene and Dick Martin, he is "the most fondly remembered" of all the characters Thompson created.[2]


He was first introduced in Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz as a mysterious figure who educates Jack Pumpkinhead on the use of the Pirate Sack. Although a detailed description is included in the text, Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz includes no illustrations of the Red Jinn aside from a gruesome color plate that did not appear outside the first edition, in which he has massive piercings.

He was reintroduced, drawn, and given the name Jinnicky in The Purple Prince of Oz; he also appeared in the follow-up, The Silver Princess in Oz. He makes a cameo appearance in The Wishing Horse of Oz, and he is the principal pre-existing character in Thompson's sub-canonical penultimate Oz book, Yankee in Oz. Jack Snow apparently thought the Red Jinn was a separate character, for he considered The Purple Prince of Oz to be Jinnicky's first appearance in Who's Who in Oz, though he did not include a separate Red Jinn entry.

Jinnicky's body is housed inside a large red ginger jar, complete with lid. He speaks in a deep voice. Neill's art originally depicted him with massive piercings, but these were later omitted and are not referred to in the text. His disposition is generally jolly and friendly, and in spite of what modern readers may consider serious character faults, he is popular, well-liked, and treated very sympathetically by his author. His preferred mode of transportation is a flying jinrikisha which is pulled only by magic. He lives in a red glass palace in the northeast[3] of the Land of Ev, attended by his Advizier, Alibabble, and Addie the Adding Adder.

In addition to these, Jinnicky owns a large number of slaves. This contrasts with the jinns of the Arabian Nights, who are usually slaves themselves, such as the one in Aladdin's lamp. All of the slaves that are described are explicitly black people, a point of controversy in modern analyses of Thompson's legacy. The best known of the slaves is Ginger, whose service to a magic dinner bell is an important literary device.

He also makes smaller appearances in The Wishing Horse of Oz and Yankee in Oz (in which Jinnicky is instrumental in liberating the Emerald City palace from the primary antagonist Badmannah the Giant), and is fleetingly referenced in Pirates in Oz and Captain Salt in Oz. Because all of his appearances except Wishing Horse and Silver Princess are protected under U.S. copyright, he does not figure in books by post-Thompson authors, with the notable exception of Lin Carter, whose estate was able to pay to use the character in his novel, The Tired Tailor of Oz (published posthumously in 2001). Jinnicky will enter the public domain on 1 January 2025 when his first novel's copyright expires.

Thompson refers to Jinnicky as "The Wizard of Ev" in The Silver Princess in Oz and Yankee in Oz.

Jack Snow listed Jinnicky in his encyclopedia Who's Who in Oz in 1954. The Jinn is subject of some confusion in this reference book. Snow lists Purple Prince rather than Jack Pumpkinhead as his first appearance, and states that Ginger is the servant of Baron Mogodore, the main antagonist of the earlier novel. In addition, Snow takes Neill's drawing of Jinnicky's barber from Purple Prince and presents it as a portrait of the unrelated Barber of Rash from The Hungry Tiger of Oz, leading to a popular fan theory that Jinnicky gave the unemployed barber a job - something which Thompson never implied.


  1. ^ Jack Snow, Who's Who in Oz, Chicago, Reilly & Lee, 1954; New York, Peter Bedrick Books, 1988; p. 110.
  2. ^ David L. Greene; Dick Martin (1977). The Oz Scrapbook. Random House. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-394-41054-8.
  3. ^ Thompson placed it in northwestern Ev, but she was using a reversed map. Baum was also self-contradictory on which side of Oz Ev was on.