Monday, November 11, 2019

Today's Oz Comic

All I can say to the guy saying the line in today's edition of Junk Drawer is, you think???

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Today's Oz Political Cartoon

Do you think that Andy Marlette is implying that Pete Buttigieg could be a friend of Dorothy? After all, he has brains, heart, and courage, along with other qualities that qualify him for that title.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Home Away from Home

While learning about his new emotions, Dorothy explains to the Tin Woodman what homesickness is, and confesses to missing Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and the farm sometimes. So the guys go to the Wizard, who creates a machine for Dorothy to see her old home in Kansas and feel a little better. But something goes wrong, and starts replacing Oz items with things from Kansas! It even turns the Scarecrow into an ordinary, regular scarecrow, so they can't use his brains. The Wicked Witch tells them that the boundary between worlds is weakening, and the only solution is for Dorothy to go back to Oz for good—and her little dog, too! Of course, the Ruby Slippers have to stay in Oz. The Wizard agrees, so Dorothy decides she has to go. Before she does, however, she zaps herself around Oz saying goodbye to her friends: Patchwork Girl, the Woozy, Ozma, and even Wilhelmina, Frank, and Lyman! (Wilhelmina claims she's not crying, the castle is dusty!) Back in the Emerald City, the Witch says they're running out of time, and Dorothy has to go now, leaving the Ruby Slippers behind. Dorothy can't get them off, however, and when the Witch tries to help, the machine turns her into Miss Gulch, and a Kansas cyclone blows her away! Glinda then enters the picture, and once again tells Dorothy that she's had the power to fix things all along. Dorothy starts saying, "There's no place like home, and there's no place like Oz," while repeatedly clicking the Ruby Slippers. Sure enough, her wishing on the Slippers fixes the tear, repairs the machine, and causes Kansas and Oz to separate again. Dorothy realizes she can be a little homesick, but that's okay, she doesn't need to fix it.

This was a full-blown tug-at-the-heartstrings episode, with a lot of heart and emotion behind it, echoing some of the more emotional moments of The Movie. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry finally get a mention on this show, and the Witch turning into Miss Gulch was a nice touch. It's also an intriguing premise, and I'd like to have seen more of what an Oz/Kansas hybrid would have looked like. And it was easy to figure out what was from Kansas: In another nice touch, they were all in black and white! By it's very nature, this episode felt much closer to The Movie than any other so far.

This Week's Oz Short Story

The final story from Oziana 2006—the "Haunted" themed issue—is "The Axman's Arm" by J. L. Bell, with illustrations by David Lee Ingersoll. Jair and Wenni are two Munchkin kids who, thanks to their mother's job, are often left on their own for days at a time. But they're good kids, even if they dan't want to do all their chores or lessons. But when they find a disembodied arm that likes chopping wood, Jair takes it in and takes care of it. Before long, thanks to the arm's help, all the chopping is done. Jair washes the arm and finds a tattoo on it: Nimmie Amee. Every time they mention Nimmie Amee, the arm gets excited, so Jair decides to help the arm find her. They find Nimmmie's old home in ruins, but also find another disembodied arm, this one holding a sword! Sure enough, the new arm is also looking for her, and the two arms start to fight. Jair breaks them up and takes the axman's arm home, but eventually the soldier's arm finds them and tries to break in. When attempting to stop them fighting, the arms strangle Jair. Only quick thinking from Wenni and the local wildlife prevent the arms from causing even more trouble.

This one starts off amusingly enough—after all, who wouldn't like to have an extra arm around to help with the chores? But things quickly turn dark. After all, it's doubtful an arm on its own has enough wits to reason and understand all that's going on around it. The introduction of the second, rival arm really opens things up. Of course, Jair and Wenni have no way of knowing this, but I'm sure most readers are able to figure out that the arms used to belong to the Tin Woodman and the Tin Soldier! So, that's one little Oz mystery solved.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Today's Oz Comic

Actually, this edition of Working Daze goes back to last week, in the leadup to Halloween, when we were inundated with so many Oz comics at once. So it's no wonder it got lost! Anyway, the comic itself may not be terribly Ozzy, but that guy on the left sure seems to be!

Saturday, November 02, 2019

This Week's Oz Poem

The second item in the 2006 issue of Oziana is a three-part poem, "Rivals", by Adrian Korpel, with illustrations by David Lee Ingersoll. Each part is told from the point of view of one of Dorothy's three friends on her first trip to Oz—and how they see the other two as rivals for Dorothy's affection! It's all very introspective and personal for them, but I think most fans of the Oz books who read this won't buy most of it. There are some indicators that this is based on their famous Movie counterparts anyway, and since that Oz was a dream, we can just not worry about that.

Mention should also be made of the cover, which is unique in the history of Oziana in that it is a photograph. Burlington, Vermont, has several winged monkeys on business rooftops. Photographer Peter Huoppi took a picture of one of them in 2002 when wildfires in Canada darkened the sky and reddened the sun, and obscured the outlines of one of the monkeys. It's an unusual and haunting image, and definitely appropriate for this issue.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Wheeling Tin Man

Playing a game of pogoball, the Tin Man heads out to the yellow brick road to fetch the ball. In the process, one of the Wheelers swerves to avoidhim and breaks a wheel. The Tin Man fixes it with the pogoball, and the Wheeler really likes the new maneuverability. The Wheelers ask him to replace all their wheels, and make the Tin Man one of their own. Dorothy is concerned, however, because the Wheelers go in for dangerous stunts, which are not something Tin Man is known for. Dorothy, Scarecrow, and Lion miss him, but Tin Man is enjoying himself too much to miss them. When Dorothy finds out that Tin Man's initiation to officially become a Wheeler involves a dangerous jump over Emerald Gorge, she Ruby Slippers over there to talk him out of it. Despite all his bravado and bluster, Tin Man finally agrees—but before he can get away, a friendly slap from Lion sends him down the ramp anyway! He doesn't make it across, but does land (relatively) safely in the river, and Dorothy uses the Ruby Slippers to rescue him.

Okay, my big question here is, how can Tin Man fall into the river and not be affected by the water at all? This is the guy who rusts when he cries, and even in the snow. But a plunge in the river, he's fine. Heck, when Dorothy brings him to shore, water doesn't even spill out from his legs. But overall, this was probably just an average episode, with the Tin Man learning he can't really go against his own nature. The Wheelers are still tough but otherwise not terribly offensive, even after they have their wheels replaced by rubber balls.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Today's Other (Final?) Oz Cartoon

Wow, they're still coming in! Political cartoonist Steve Kelley put up this comic today. I'm not sure if it quite counts as a political cartoon, as there are no politicians or contemporary events, and the joke works no matter the news source. But hey, any excuse to get Oz into the newspapers, right?

Today's Oz Comics

And the beat goes on:

  • First, Lola decided on her costume. Good choice!
  • In today's edition of The Argyle Sweater, the proprietor of the local liquor store seems to be driving away business. (I might not have included this one if it weren't for the name of the second product from the right.)
  • And over in Nest Heads, a little costume ambiguity raises its head. (Well that original Iron Man costume could be mistaken for Mr. Chopper, to be honest.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Today's Oz Comic

Whew, it's getting a little more manageable now, with only one, and it's a continuation of the faĆ­-Wookiee costume storyline in Rose Is Rose. fun punchline today, though!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Today's Oz Comics

Good grief, it's becoming a flood!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Today's Oz Comic

All I will say about today's edition of Rose Is Rose is, I think Aunt Betty is actually an Oz fan, because that alleged Wookiee sure looks familiar!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Today's Oz Comics

It's starting to get really crazy with Oz comics! Here are two I would not normally expect:

  • Today in In the Bleachers—a sports comic, and so a place you wouldn't expect Oz to show up—they have a pretty good Oz reference!
  • Not to be outdone, in today's edition of Rubes—a comic where you would be more likely to find Oz references—they actually have a character created by Ruth Plumly Thompson!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Welcome to Oz Mitch

While visiting Munchkinland, a Kansas boy named Mitch ends up in the fountain, having been swept there by a storm. He wants to go home, but Dorothy offers to show him around Oz first. Of course, Frank and Lyman see what's happening and report on the new visitor from Kansas to the Wicked Witch and Wilhelmina. Thinking Dorothy must have brought Mitch to Oz with some powerful magic, Wilhelmina goes out to get him so they can find out what it is. On the tour, Mitch isn't impressed with any of the strange sight, like giant birds, mermaids, singing trees, or even the Woozy, whom Mitch dismisses as just being a huge cat. (The Woozy takes that description personally.) But once Mitch hears there's a Wizard, he gets all excited about magic, so long as he isn't turned into a duck. While waiting to see the Wizard, Wilhelmina finds out Mitch is even more excited about witches, so she offers to take him to her castle. Wilhelmina does some magic for him while the Wicked Witch grills him, but he has no idea how he got to Oz, he just wants Wilhelmina to do more magic for him. Over and over and over, until Wilhelmina is all spelled out! It does no good, Mitch just wants to see even more magic! Wilhelmina eventually turns to someone who can help her get rid of Mitch—Dorothy! Of course she has an idea, which starts with Wilhelmina turning Mitch into a duck! Wilhelmina threatens to keep him forever, so Mitch decides he wants to go home after all. The Wizard, after a few false starts, manages to turn Mitch back into a boy, and uses his new transporter machine to successfully send Mitch home. Wilhelmina, checking to make sure Mitch is gone, vows once again to take the Ruby Slippers from Dorothy—then quietly thanks Dorothy for helping with her problem before flying off.

It's nice to see that Dorothy isn't the only character who comes from outside Oz. Mitch is not quite as nice as Dorothy; he's actually pretty annoying, and I'll bet the good citizens of Kansas won't take too kindly to his hillbilly rube "hyuk hyuk" performance. For me, the star of this episode is Wilhelmina, as she gets to do quite a bit, and she may be seeing Dorothy more as a frenemy than she did before. And Dorothy knows enough psychology to understand exactly how to handle Mitch. This was a fun one, even with the annoyance of Mitch.

This Week's Oz Short Story

By a wild coincidence, with Halloween coming up, the 2006 issue of Oziana is The Haunted Issue, with somewhat more macabre takes on Oz than usual. Case in point, the first story, "The Wailing Witch of Oz" by Daniel Gobble, illustrated by John Mundt, Esq. Dorothy, the Wizard and the Sawhorse head to the tiny town of Bluffburg, in the far northeastern part of the Gillikin Country, just on the edge of the Deadly Desert. They've gotten reports of people falling into the desert, more that seems random. The people of Bluffburg are wary of strangers, however, preferring to deal with issues on their own. But Dorothy and the Wizard slowly manage to win key people over and earn their trust. They learn about Pribyl, a witch who came to town many decades earlier and was accused of kidnapping one of the boys in town for her own nefarious ends. She was driven into the desert, but since then every few years she is heard wailing, and someone then falls off the bluff and into the desert to meet her fate. After some research in the local library, Dorothy and the Wizard find out more about the early years of Bluffburg, not long after Oz was enchanted, and it seems the people of Bluffburg are not quite as innocent as they claim to be. When the latest series of wails causes the Wizard to fall, Dorothy finally climbs down the bluff and finds Pribyl's cave, where her spirit has been trying to reach out to the people of Bluffburg for their help ever since she fell into the desert. Dorothy also finds that the people of Bluffburg and the Wizard have not fallen into the desert, but petrified and embedded into the side of the bluff to preserve them. Now that she finally has someone to talk to, Pribyl shares her story with Dorothy. It seems Pribyl didn't kidnap the boy many years ago, he really did fall into the desert. The townspeople thought she'd lured him there because of the toys they found, but they actually belonged to her own son. Fearing the worst, she put the baby on a doorstep in town just before her fall, and the child was raised by the local librarian. With help from the Sawhorse, several strong ropes, and the muscles of the men of Bluffburg, Dorothy is able to help the petrified people so that Pribyl can disenchant them. Once she knows that her son is well and happy, Pribyl's spirit lets go and moves on.

This is a nicely atmospheric story. Bluffburg is painted in only a few deft strokes as an interesting place, isolated from the rest of Oz with people who have had to become self-reliant, so trust of others does not come easy. That lack of trust, however, proves to be their undoing, as they end up killing an innocent woman in a harsher, earlier time, and don't recognize that she does not hold a grudge and is trying to help them. It takes more outsiders, in the form of Dorothy and the Wizard, to help Bluffburg understand their own failings. But all turns out well in the end. One thing I liked about this story is that the Sawhorse does more than just pull the Red Wagon. He doesn't do much, and he doesn't find anything in his investigations, but just the fact that the Wizard asks him to go out and ask people about what's going on gives the Sawhorse a lot more to do than he does in most books he appears in.

Today's Oz Political Cartoons

Wow, if this witch hunt goes on much longer, everyone in the current administration will have been portrayed as the Wicked Witch of the West! The two latest cases:

With the current woes at the Department of Education, I wonder when Betsy DeVos gets her shot at it?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Today's Oz Comics

And they keep on coming!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Today's Additional Oz Comics

I found one earlier today, but my man in Japan Michael-sensei found three more. That may be a new record for most Oz comics in one day. So let's catch you up!

Today's Oz Comic

This week, Thatababy has been profiling a daily Creature Under the Crib leading up to Halloween. Well, today it's someone near and dear to many fans of the Oz books. Thanks to Paul Trap for bringing attention to L. Frank Baum the books!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Today's Oz Comic

All I will say about today's edition of Birdbrains is, I thought his name was Nick!