Sunday, March 18, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Story

For the second story of the 1990 edition of Oziana, two of the top talents of Oz fan fiction teamed up for the first time, as Phyllis Ann Karr's tale "The Guardian Dove" featured illustrations by Melody Grandy. So yeah, this one's pretty good! The story opens in the Kalidah Woods where cub Kericot is proving to be an unusual child. She manages to capture a monkey, but instead of eating him, she lets him go. This is witnessed by a dove, who promises to keep her secret and claims that her compassion may help her out some day. As Keri gets older and ventures out into the world with her brother Radicot, she meets other animals, but contrary to a Kalidah's nature, she doesn't eat them, which rubs Radi the wrong way. Finally, they encounter an ond Munchkin woman and her grandson. Her reluctance to eat them causes Keri and Radi to fight, with Keri getting the best of her brother and chasing him off. The old Munchkin turns out to be a witch who enchants Keri, but the dove intervenes and shows her Keri's true nature. Thus, Keri, realizing she can never return to the Kalidah Woods, sets out to wander Oz and discover new things. I'm sorry Keri the Considerate Kalidah never made any more appearances, as she's a good character. I think she deserves a series of adventures. And then there's that dove. Who or what is he? I like to think he's Ugu, but there's no indication here that that's the case.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Today's Oz Political Cartoon

Adam Zyglis at The Buffalo News has this comment on the current state of affairs. I know this isn't the first time we've seen this kind of cartoon, but this is the first one I recall seeing Putin as the lead, and not Trump.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Today's Oz Political Cartoon

Steve Artley has some pointed barbs about our current President. (My wife has an app that replaces images of Trump with pictures of cats. It even works on comics, apparently. Ironically, he's still a cat!)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

This is one of the most unusual and unexpected Oz clues I've ever encountered in all my decades now of watching the show. On the November 28, 2017 show, one of the categories in the Double Jeopardy! round was Literature. You'd think Oz might show up there. But before the contestants ever got to that, they went to Onomatopoeia, where they uncovered this picture and the accompanying clue for $2000:

He's the Clockwork man of the Land of Oz

This was a triple stumper, as nobody even wanted to guess, "Who is Tik-Tok?" But man, I was excited seeing this picture!

This Week's Oz Short Story

The 1990 issue of Oziana uses a theme that was originally intended for the previous issue before it morphed into a celebration of Oz at the movies for the fiftieth anniversary of The Movie. This issue is an all-professionals issue, with every contributor being a noted professional writer or artist. And you don't get any more professional in Oz circles than with a Royal Historian, because "Chapter Three" is by none other than Eloise Jarvis McGraw! It's an excerpt from a story that McGraw never finished (no, this did not become part of The Rundelstone of Oz). Dick Martin was originally scheduled to illustrate it, reuniting the team behind both Merry Go Round in Oz and The Forbidden Fountain of Oz, but Martin died before he could draw anything, so Bill Eubank took on the duties. I wasn't always a fan of Eubank's work, as he tended to draw things too similarly to the original illustrations, but here he does a nice job, notably with Flittermouse. Because this is very much a story about Flittermouse, from Merry Go Round in Oz. He and Fess were planning to go on a trip to the Emerald City to see Robin and Merry, but Fess has to stay behind at the last minute. He encourages Flitter to go on without him, and at first things seem to go well, despite Flitter's fear of taking such a long trip on his own. But a bird traps him and carries him away. Flitter escapes, only to not know where he is, and in the process of figuring things out he's trapped by a butterfly collector! (This is just not Flitter's day!) HE manages to escape again, but the collector's cat decides Flitter looks like a tasty morsel. All looks bad—until the timely appearance of the Hungry Tiger causes the cat to run away! And that's where this chapter ends.

I know Eloise had ideas for other Oz stories, but was never able to do anything with them all before her death in 2000. This excerpt shows she was still thinking (it mentions the kingdom of Bzzzantium, which was apparently encountered in chapters one and two). It would be great if someone could go through her papers (they're at the University of Oregon), find any other parts of this book, and publish what there is, if that's possible.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Today's Oz Comic

Today's edition of CowTown gives us a little middle-of-the-country geography lesson.

Monday, March 05, 2018

The Return of the Continuing Oz Comic!

Poptropica has gotten away from Oz, as the witch's broom has carried them to some sort of desert. But in today's installment, it looks like we may soon have a literal callback to Oz!

Today's Oz Comic

This is not the first time this observation has been made about the winged monkeys, but so far as I know, this is the first time it's appeared in Savage Chickens.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Story

The final story in the 1989 issue of Oziana is one that I've recommended a few times, and even gets mentioned in my FAQ. "Follow the Other Brick Road" by Frederick E. Otto, with illustrations by Robert B. Luehrs, tells a little incident that didn't make it into The Movie. Scared by a living Scarecrow, Dorothy and Toto run back to the Munchkin city, where they are directed to follow the Red Brick Road, seen intertwined with the more famous one. They meet up with a lost baby rhinoceros named Rheeba, and try to find the Wizard Wam. (He may not be the Wizard of Oz, but he's a wizard in Oz, so the logic goes he can help, right?) I'll just add that Wam and Glinda help Rheeba find her mother, and get Dorothy back on track to what she's supposed to do. It's a fun way of incorporating some places and characters mentioned (but not seen) in the books with the events of The Movie in a way that doesn't invalidate either. Hmm, and come to think of it, that could also explain how Judy Garland's hair grew so much between leaving the Munchkins and meeting the Scarecrow!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Today's Oz Political Cartoon

This cartoon by David Fitzsimmons is presented without further commentary, because absolutely none is needed!

Okay, showing some of the other side, this cartoon by Ben Garrison is also presented without further commentary.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

The 2017 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions kicked off in a big way on the November 6, 2017 episode with three previous multiple winners facing off. And sure enough, Oz showed up, too. In the Double Jeopardy! round, the $800 clue in the category Writers Who Self-Published was this:

Buzzy, a nine-time champion, rang in first and correctly responded, "Who is Baum?" (mispronouncing the middle vowel sound as "ow"—Alex corrected it when he confirmed it was "L. Frank Baum", sounding like "bomb"). This was the only Oz clue in the entire tournament, so it's fitting that Buzzy not only won the game, he went on to win the entire tournament!

And in case you're wondering, the book in question is The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows and Interiors, a collection of much of Baum's work in the professional journal he edited, The Show Window. This is a book that's on my bucket list of Oz items to get, but somehow I doubt I'll ever actually be able to afford one unless someone puts out a reprint edition.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Story

A little short one from the 1989 issue of Oziana, and not really even one that fits the issue's theme of Oz movies. This is a version of The Wizard of Oz retold by Roger Phillips, with illustrations by Chris Sterling. Dorothy lives with Uncle Henry, who is a custodian at New York City's biggest magic store. A witch comes in and traps Dorothy in one of the magic cabinets, which then takes her to Oz. She meets the Good Witch of the North and the Munchkins, they send her to the Emerald City—and that's it! I suspect this was the first part of what was going to be a longer work, but for whatever reason this is all that was ever published. It's cute, and Sterling's pictures are great. He gives Dorothy a nice modern spin without looking too much of a particular time.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Today's One-Off Oz Comic

It seems that in today's 1 and Done, they recognize that there are other directions in Oz besides the four cardinal directions. And yes, it's a callback to the movie Fargo, too, doncha know.

Today's Concluding (?) Oz Comic

Today in Poptropica, it appears the kids have left Oz. The only remnant left, then, is the Wicked Witch's broom. So it appears this Ozzy storyline is over. But I'll keep checking in next week, just in case.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Today's One-Off Oz Comic

You would think I'd be citing The Wizrd of Id a lot more on this blog. But despite its name, Oz doesn't show up that often. But today's edition has a nice subtle little nod.

Today's Continuing Oz Comic

Hmm, today's edition of Poptropica is starting to look less like it's about Oz. But they're on the witch's broom, so I'll keep it going for a bit longer, at least. And that island looks like it could be in a weirdly updated version of Mo or Merryland.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Story

The second story from the movie themed 1989 edition of Oziana is "There's No Place Like Oz" by Chuck Sabatos, with illustrations by Eric Shanower, and it's another meta one! Dorothy and Toto go out and visit her old house, when she gets clonked on the head by a window shade and has a weird dream. She wakes up, looks in the mirror, and sees a different person. This version of Dorothy has dark hair, worn in pigtails, and is a little older. She doesn't recognize Aunt Em or Uncle Henry, Toto looks a little different and can't talk, and there are three farmhands working on the farm she's never met before named Huck, Hickory, and Zeke. Then an old lady named Miss Gulch comes cycling up to the farm demanding to take Toto away. Needless to say, Dorothy rebels at this different version of her life, and eventually wakes up in her own room in the Emerald City, surrounded by her friends and family. Needless to say, she's never going to leave Oz again!

As fun as the story is, the real star here is Shanower's illustrations. He uses photos of Judy Garland and the other actors from The Movie and alters them in odd ways to show how the real Dorothy must feel. The final picture, however, is in his traditional Neill-inspired style, evoking the end of The Movie with Dorothy waking in her bed in Kansas, only this is the real Oz equivalent.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Today's Oz Comics

It's a two-fer today:

  • First, the saga continues it Poptropica.
  • Then, over in Luann, it looks like Tiffany may have gone to a "Popular" stage show and picked up a T-shirt. (If I'd seen this one in black and white, I might not have connected this with Oz. But the shirt being green pushes it over the line, in my opinion!)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

When I saw the categories for the Jeopardy! round in the November 2, 2017 game, I thought for sure that there'd be an Oz clue in Literature for the Young. But no, it instead came in Entertainment Tonight Travels Through Time, in which Kevin Frazier and Nancy O'Dell of ET cover historical entertainment stories as if they were on the show today. So, here's their clue for $400, selected by current defending champion Jenny:

As you can see, Jenny got it right. However, she ultimately lost the game in a squeaker and came a close second.