Sunday, May 24, 2015

Today's Oz Video Review

Yes, I can do more on this blog than find comics! Things have been hectic lately, however, so I've been putting stuff aside until I can devote b-more time to them (so yes, some comic book overviews, book reviews, and Jeopardy! clues are on the way). But I had a little spare time last night, and thought I'd watch one of my most recent video acquisitions, Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Brick Road. Yes, this is a compilation of two episodes of Strawberry Shortcake's eponymous cartoon series (and this is the 2003 reboot, not the current CGI version of the show). It's a pretty straightforward kiddified adaptation of the book, and kudos to Strawb and her writers for having her read the story from the book, and even giving L. Frank Baum a name check (even correctly pronounced!). Strawb and Pupcake are whisked off to Oz, of course, where they knock the witch out of the shoes and into her dungeon. The story pretty much progresses as normal from there for a while, with Pupcake providing some bridging narration to move things along (hey, it's only a half-hour cartoon). Once they get close to the Emerald City, however, the witch, having gotten out of her dungeon, comes after them, and whisks the crew to an old forest. More adventures, and a clever and original way to defeat the witch before everyone gets back to the Emerald City (which looks really nice and Ozzy, I will add, although with a few too many yellow highlights). Glinda comes in, Strawb clicks her heels, and we're done — with the first half! It turns out there is an original sequel story in here as well, about glowing gemberries that are disappearing. Glinda sends a dragonfly to fetch Strawb and bring her back to Oz to help with the problem.

It's all very cute and girly (the DVD even comes in a bright neon pink case), and it actually has some very positive Girl Power messages. I am, therefore, clearly not the demographic they're marketing this towards! But it was a harmless, fun version of Oz and certainly not the worst way I've spent an hour.

Today's Oz (Well, Maybe Just a Little) Comic

Biographic is a Sunday comic that tells some celebrity's life story. This week, it's about Robert DeNiro. "But Eric," I can already hear you say, "Robert DeNiro has never been in an Oz movie!" Well, no, he hasn't. But Oz does turn up in mysterious places sometimes, as you will see when you read the comic. Go ahead, take a look.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story

Yet again, I have delved into I Should Have Stayed in Oz for our little tale this week, and this is a fun one, because Toto is the narrator of "It's a Dog's Life" by Melyssa Childs-Wiley. First off, best part is, this is clearly based on the book. There are no backhanded references to The Movie or any modern-day anachronisms. A close second best part is that Toto tells a good yarn. As he tells it, Dorothy isn't really the heroine of The Wizard of Oz, he is! Well, if he is telling the whole truth, he may have a point. I was particularly amused by two of Toto's claims: One, that there was no point to the green glasses in the Emerald City, since dog's are color blind anyway. And two, he didn't talk because he didn't know how, but while waiting for Dorothy and the Wizard to make the balloon in the Emerald City, he took lessons from the hounds in the Emerald City stables and was almost ready to talk to Dorothy when they left. That is a good explanation for why he didn't say anything until Tik-Tok of Oz, actually.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Yesterday's Oz Comic

So, that Oz comic yesterday? The creator was not happy with it, so he put a corrected version up on his blog, along with behind-the-scenes details. (Thanks to Michael-sensei for this!)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story

This week I read yet another tale from I Should Have Stayed in Oz, the anthology of stories about what Dorothy did after getting home from Oz. In "A Bad Case of the Munchies" by Susan Satterfield, a now aimless Dorothy, recently graduated from high school and having to deal with being on her own (as Uncle Henry and Aunt Em have now passed away) suddenly meets a Munchkin named Jaq who whisks her back to Oz. It seems that Oz is being overrun by Munchkin zombies, and Glinda (yes, someone finally got her name right!) called her back, not knowing what else to do. Fortunately, this Dorothy seems to be from a later time than both the novel and The Movie, as she has seen all kinds of B movies on television, and knows just how to handle zombies. However, that's only the beginning of Oz's problems! This was a fun one that just zipped along, and really set things up for a whole series of stories in the same vein, if Satterfield wants to write them.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story

It's the weekend at last! Time to indulge in another Oz short story. And yes, this is another one from the anthology I Should Have Stayed in Oz, edited by Selina Rosen. Since this story yet again misspells the good witch's name as Glenda, I suspect this is an editorial decision by Rosen, and not the fault of the writers. So from hereon, I will not fault the writers for this misspelling. Today's story was "Silver Slippers" by vickey malone kennedy (yes, that's how she spells it). This story sees the youngest grandson, John, dealing with his grandmother, Miss Dottie, as she once again looks for the silver slippers. Yes, another story about Dorothy grown up. The nice thing about this story is that, despite how crazy she is seen by others, Dorothy has had a pretty nice, long life. She married well, has a nice large hose and plenty of money, and a large happy family. But she also knows her time is growing short, and she never has forgotten her trip to Oz. Yes, she wants to go back. Ah, but does she? I'll let you read the story and decide for yourself.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story

Yup, despite my busy weekend, I managed to squeeze in reading another story from I Should Have Stayed in Oz. This time it was a very short story (four pages!) by Trina Jacobs entitled, "Even Black Is Bright in Oz". The rest of the stories in this collection have starred Dorothy, but this one is about Toto! The moment he and Dorothy land back in Kansas, he keeps asking her, "When are we going back to Oz?" Of course, she doesn't quite understand him. So he decides to take things into his own paws and figure out how to get there himself. One day, digging in the garden, he find the Silver Shoes...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Today's Oz Comic

I don't think today's Strange Brew is the first time this question has ever been asked. But this may be the first time it's ever been asked in this context.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Today's Oz Comic

There's one really big problem with today's edition of The Argyle Sweater: None of that stuff is steel! It's all tin! But I doubt anybody would buy a workout video called Buns of Tin.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story

Once again, I have dipped into I Should Have Stayed in Oz for my latest story, "Not in Kansas Anymore" by Rhonda Eudaly. In this one, somehow Dorothy's first trip to Oz has made her immortal, so in today's world, she's doing about the only thing she can: Chasing storms in Kansas for a reality television show. Of course, if one of those storms should also happen to take her back to Oz at last, so much the better! I enjoyed this one, even though it was brief (nowhere near as brief as last week's, however), and it even acknowledged the books! Once again, however, this book has made the mistake of calling a certain Good Witch Glenda. This was so brief, however, that I was a lot less annoyed with it than last week.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story

I am, of course, continuing my reading of I Should Have Stayed in Oz, the collection of stories about Dorothy's life after coming back to Kansas. And the second story, "Expecting Oz" by Traci Lewis, really puts the "short" into short story, as it's only four pages long. It seems Aunt Em and Uncle Henry didn't know what to do about Dorothy's sanity after she told all the stories about Oz, so they put her into foster care. She bounced around a few families and ended up a pregnant teenage mother-to-be in a home for wayward girls. But it looks like her unborn baby may be able to help her get back to Oz. This story was okay, and there is a certain logical path to how Dorothy's life unfolds. But this story also makes three major, unforgivably un-Ozzy errors. The least of them is calling Dorothy's stannous friend in Oz the Tin Woodsman. There's no s in there! The second is how Aunt Em and Uncle Henry treated her. They would never do that to her. However, I can at least say, okay, this is an alternative, looking-glass version of Dorothy, so I can at least see it as a storytelling device. But the biggest issue I have is the name for the Good Witch: Lewis calls her Glenda!!! That's not her name!!! It's Glinda! Kudos for not mentioning whether she's the Good Witch of the North or South, however, so it could be either the book or The Movie version of Dorothy.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Latest Oz Short Story Reading

At long last, I've finished my rereading of Our Landlady (although I may indulge in the glossary this summer), which means my weekly Oz short story can now be new ones. I heard about the collection I Should Have Stayed in Oz, edited by Selina Rosen, a while ago in the review of another collection, so I hunted down a used copy. To my surprise, it was autographed by Rosen! Well well! The premise is that, upon returning to Kansas, Dorothy has regrets about coming home. So I jumped in and read the first story last night, "There's No Place Like a Gingham House" by Claudia Christian. Yes, especially for my fellow Babylon 5 fans, that Claudia Christian. She's apparently quite multitalented. Anyway, as for the story, if this is indicative of the whole collection, I think I can safely not recommend this for young, sensitive, or traditional Oz fans. Dorothy is now a senior citizen, making her living as a phone sex operator catering to those who want to talk to a certain famous storybook character. Um, okay, not what I was expecting at all! And I think I'll just end that there.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

The Latest Oz Comic

This month, DC Comics has variant covers based on classic Warner Bros. movie posters. (This is because Warners owns DC. So there's no incentive, or impediment, to use posters from other companies.) Naturally, one of their covers is based on The Wizard of Oz. That would be Supergirl #40, and it's real pretty. Here, take a look for yourself in this side-by-side comparison.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Just a Friendly Reminder About Tomorrow

Tomorrow (well, even today now, as I post this, in some parts of the world) is April Fool's Day. That means you should take any news you see that may be too good to be true with a grain of salt. I don't plan to post tomorrow, as I don't want a repeat of my McDonald's Happy Meal toys news going so viral, it got written up in The Baum Bugle.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Today's Oz Comic

It is, admittedly, not much, but today's TrivQuiz does have a reference to Sean Connery's Ozziest role.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Today's Oz Political Comic

One of my favorite political cartoonists, Tom Toles, visits Oz today. You know, this would answer that question that keeps popping up as to why the Wicked Witch has such a conveniently located bucket of water in the castle.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My Oz Short Story Reading

Despite all appearances to the contrary, I've been doing more about Oz the past few months than just collecting comic strips and Jeopardy! clues. I've also been reading a bunch of Oz (and Ozzish) comic books, and I will probably have to do a major catch-up post on those some time this spring, for example. My new (albeit temporary) job and lots of other things to read recently have pushed the regular Oz reading aside for a while, however, but the one thing I have been able to maintain is reading one Oz short story a week. Right now I'm working my way through Baum's Our Landlady again, reading three columns each weekend. These columns don't really lend themselves well to the sort of critiques I usually do with short stories, being very much products of their time and place, but I thought I'd read them again.

This weekend, however, has been an exception, as there's a new short story available online. "Who Stopped the Rain?" was posted by the author, Nathan M. DeHoff, on the Royal Forums of Oz, and it's a lot of fun. It's especially helpful if you know Thompson's Oz, as it takes place not long after The Giant Horse of Oz. I left a couple other comments on the page itself, so you can see what I think there. Go check it out!