I found this edition of Red and Rover in my local paper today (yes, some of us still get our paper delivered on real paper). As awesome as it is, Brian Bassett got it wrong! That quote is not by L. Frank Baum. It's from the screenplay of The Movie, so it was written by either Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, or Edgar Allan Woolf (or possibly one of the eight other ultimately uncredited screenwriters and retained by the other three), nearly twenty years after Baum died and forty years after the book was published. Sadly, I've seen this and many other lines from The Movie credited to Baum on many online sources. I don't get why this is so hard to check, but nobody seems to want to do it, or care.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Just a heads up, I have three draft blogs that have been sitting here for a long time, I don't know what they are, but I want to get rid of them, so I'm going to publish them. I suspect they're ones I've already published that somehow got stuck in the draft folder as well, so if they look familiar, that may be why. (I'm looking forward to seeing what's in these mystery posts myself!)
There are an awful lot of comic strips out there, and although I read a lot of them, I can't read them all! Good thing my friend Michael-sensei reads an awful lot of them as well and shares his discoveries. His most recent find is this installment of Warped from this past Thursday, in which we see the clash of two classic stories (I think, based on the subject of this blog, you can guess what one of them is).
Friday, June 23, 2017
I was really looking forward to rereading the final story from the 1979 edition of Oziana, "The Real Critics" by Geoffrey L. Gould, just because I remember the premise: The folks in the Emerald City find out that there was a movie made about Dorothy's original trip to Oz, released in 1939. So the Wizard and the Shaggy Man make arrangements to show it to the people who were originally there! (Meta, right?) Since this was right before the howe video revolution started, that involved bringing a film print and projectors to Oz, and generating power. The Wizard comes through on all counts, of course.
And what a way to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of The Movie! (What's scary is that we're now approaching the fortieth anniversary of this story!) The entire story takes place in the few minutes after the final scene is shown, and let's just say it got mixed reactions. Most of the characters were fine with how they were portrayed, even if the movie wasn't particularly accurate. Toto let's his role as the hero go to his head a bit, but the Glass Cat helps keep him in line. The Cowardly Lion, however, gets the worst of it. The Hungry Tiger is especially hard on him, teasing the Lion about how Bert Lahr portrayed him, and the Tiger does not let up! Finally, Dorothy encourages the Lion to tell the Tiger what really happened, and all is good again.
Next week I start wrapping up Oziana's first decade with the 1980 issue. Posting may be a little irregular over the next couple of weeks because of OzCon and other upcoming events, but I think I can maintain my once a week schedule.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
The second story from the 1979 issue of Oziana is "Hank and the Scarecrow of Oz" by Robert R. Pattrick. It's a fun little slice-of-life story in which Hank the Mule, after a conversation with the Scarecrow, decides he needs an education, and so the two of them head out towards the Wogglebug's college. But they get lost along the way, and end up in a very different kind of school, where Hank learns some hard lessons. It's a fun tale, and we definitely see some personal growth in Hank. The two characters also work well together.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
A double dose today—which I may have never discovered, as I completely spaced on reading my comics this morning! Thank goodness for the new Wizard of Oz Comics Facebook group, where I spotted them and realized I still had to read my comics! Anyway...
I know, I know, it has been a very long time since I've run one of these. I Have been busy, but I should be able to start getting caught up soon, and I may very well catch up by the time this year's season of Jeopardy! ends. But thanks to the Stanley Cup causing my local station to juggle their schedule, the DVR I use for my screen grabs didn't record this past Thursday's episode. So, I may as well do this one by hand.
Here's the set-up: In the Double Jeopardy! round, the first category was Prequels and Sequels. Hmm, I thought to myself, that's promising. And sure enough, the third clue uncovered in the round was for $1200, but it was the Daily Double, so defending champion Bala bet $2200. Then Alex read the clue:
Of course he correctly answered, "What is Wicked?" and went from $3800 to $6000. He didn't quite make the game a runaway, but he did win, and went on to play the next day.
THIS POPULAR 1995
IS A PREQUELOF SORTS TO
THE "WIZARD OF OZ"
Wow, have I reached 1979 in my rereading of Oziana already? I guess I have! And the first story is "Journal of a Journey" by Mary Rakestraw. This is a very simple and (mostly) sweet tale of an unnamed Oz fan from Michigan wishing she could go on a walking tour of Oz—and then brought to Oz by Dorothy and the Wizard to do just that! She starts off in the Gillikin country, and has encounters with farmers, animals, and before too long some of the celebrities show up as well. The Shaggy Man takes her on a tour of one of Ozma's storehouses. A couple of winged monkeys take her to spend a night with Glinda. She talks horticulture and pumpkin tarts with Jack Pumpkinhead, and finds Zeb and Jim are caretakers of the Gales' farm when they're off in the Emerald City—where, appropriately, our protagonist unexpectedly finds herself at the end of her journey. There are no high stakes involved in this story, just a chance to see what Oz is really like. And Rakestraw does a very nice, evocative job of creating this version of Oz. It feels very real, and a good place to visit.
To make up for my lack of post last week, I'm also going to delve into the non-story extras in this issue:
- A handsome cover by my friend, the late Rob Roy MacVeigh, which I believe is his first contribution to the magazine.
- A very short poem by Ruth Berman about Gloma, the dark witch of the Winkie woods whom Dorothy met in The Wishing Horse of Oz.
- A quiz by Cathy Provo.
- And on the back cover, a cartoon by Dennis Anfuso entitled, "What If..." and Dorothy telling Aunt Em how lucky it was that she and Toto made it into the cyclone cellar as they watch their house whirl away.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Thursday, June 08, 2017
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Saturday, June 03, 2017
I'm going to have to take a week off here, everybody, as I'm grading finals and preparing my seniors' grades. (Darned real life getting in the way!) But to make up for it, I may very well read two stories some upcoming week.
Friday, June 02, 2017
Two comics presented themselves today that are not particularly Ozzy, but I'm posting them here anyway because of similarities of the lead characters, who may ro may not be the Wicked Witch of the West. submitted for your approval:
- First, The Flying McCoys. This witch sure looks like Margaret Hamilton or Idina Menzel to me. The brooms don't look much like the one used in The Movie or Wicked, but maybe she didn't end up buying any of those seen in this panel.
- Second is today's Rubes. I say this one is not Ozzy, since this witch has a much longer nose and chin, and the white hair just doesn't look right.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The moment I saw the premise of today's edition of Wumo and the first character who was about to pass through, I knew this was going to be an Oz comic. Sure enough, I was proven right as I scanned further to the left. The others in line with him were amusing, too.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Whoops! I completely forgot to post this edition of Bizarro yesterday. Well, in my defense, it was the very first one in my feed, so I went through the rest of them to see if there were more before posting it here, but by the time I was done it had slipped my mind.
Not so much a short story, actually, as an inventory/reaction to the little miscellaneous bits from the 1978 edition of Oziana that make these early issues so much fun.
- A cover of Glinda and friends looking through the Great Book of Records by Bill Eubank.
- Eubank also contributes another in his series of "Oz-E-Gags" (i believe the last in the series). The panel is split in two, with the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion reading Star Wars while R2-D2, C-3PO, and Chewbacca are reading The Wizard of Oz. (Remember, this was 1978, and Star Wars had only been playing in theaters less than a year at that point—but it was still playing in many theaters even that late, that's how big it was back in the day.) The caption says, "It seems that this human meets three weirdos, and goes off to fight the forces of evil — oh, there's a wizard, too." Funnily enough, it's not explicitly stated which half of the panel the caption is referring to.
- Edith Hollister contributes a John R. Neill word find, made up of characters introduced in the three books he wrote. This was the first I'd heard of many of these characters, but based on the pencil markings in this issue, I must have found them all.
- Harry E. Mongold's contribution to this issue is a poem about Coo-Ee-Oh called "How Ducky!" with a very evocative illustration by Dave Billman.
- This is the only issue I can recall of Oziana with an insert: A piece of sheet music called "Scraps, Ditty" where Clara Jean Curzon puts music to one of Scraps' songs from The Patchwork Girl of Oz. Hmm, I've had this nearly forty years but never found someone to play it for me (I'm not musical myself).
- Another picture by Dave Billman, this time of Ozma.
- And a back cover by Lau Shiu Fan illustrating an incident form this issue's story "The Woozy's Tricky Beginning".
Thursday, May 25, 2017
I'll keep today's comment brief: Well no wonder he's called The Born Loser!
And now the special announcement: I've been toying with the idea of starting a Facebook group devoted to Oz comics. Well, with Laura's encouragement and assistance, we've taken the plunge and started it! You can visit it right here. I hope it will be a forum for both new and vintage Wizard of Oz-themed comic strips, panels, pages, books, and editorial cartoons. But don't worry, I'll still pos the new ones here as well.