Saturday, May 26, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

It's been a little while since I've been able to do one of these, but the long holiday weekend and not much else going on means it's time for another look at Oz on America's favorite answer-and-question quiz show. On the January 19, 2018 episode, the final category in the Double Jeopardy! round was Say Uncle, where you name the uncle of the fictional character given. Yes, a little convoluted, but a lot of fun. The final clue, for $2000, was this:

Sarah, the challenger on the right, nervously rang in and responded, "Uncle...the guy!" That was clearly wrong, nobody else tried, so "Who is Uncle Henry?" became a triple stumper. But by ringing in and trying, Sarah may have hit the opposite of my usual theory about the player knowing the Oz clue goes on to win: She didn't know it, so she came in third!

Also today, my Jeopardy! page-a-day desk calendar had this clue, also for $2000, in the category Cotton is King:


The correct response is, of course, "What is gingham?"

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Witch Hunt Continues

More Oz-themed political cartoons about our current president's woes, coming from Chris Britt at Creators Syndicate and Jim Morin at the Miami Herald.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Today's Continuing Oz Comic Saga

The Gray Zone continues its saga about kidnapping the Scarecrow. Since they still appear to be out of order, I'll just put them up here and let you, the reader, figure out what the exact order is. So, here we have the installment from yesterday, May 19, and this is the installment for today, May 20. We'll keep an eye on this and see if there are more in the coming days.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Stories

We wrap up our examination of the 1992 issue of Oziana with a look at all the little extras in the issue, including two very short stories:

  • The cover, by Eric Shanower, shows the Wicked Witch of the East, just seconds before a certain house lands on her. (I saw a varant of this once, with a thought balloon coming out of her head saying, "Oh, $@#%!" Eric may have done that himself!)
  • The editor asks readers to send in a postcard with their answers to a brief survey. (I wonder how many answered? I know I didn't.)
  • It's not labeled as an "Oz-E-Gag", but Bill Eubank contributes a cartoon of Howard Huge (then a mainstay in Parade magazine) reading The Shaggy Man of Oz. One of Howard's humans says to the other, "You'd think he'd be reading 'shaggy dog' stories."
  • "The Journey" is the first of two one-page stories, written by Deborah Holden and illustrated by Maria Brown. This tells the tale of L. Frank Baum crossing the Shifting Sands and coming home to Oz.
  • "Untitled Story", also by Holden and Brown, tells about the final days of Queen Lurline's pregnancy, reflecting on her marriage to the King of Oz and how the immortal community reacted to the news. (Well, it does answer a lot of complicated questions about Ozma's lineage!)
  • Robin Olderman and Fred Meyer contribute a quiz called The Tail End, about that very appendage on many Oz characters. It includes pictures to aid the quizzer.
  • Finally, the back cover features a portrait of Professor Nowitall. There is no credit in the issue, and the only indicator are the artist's initials of SPM on the drawing itself, so I'm not sure who drew it!
Next week, 1993!

This Week's Connected Oz Comics

My man in Japan, Michael-sensei, discovered not one, but two Oz comics over in The Grey Zone this week. So I am going to present them out of order, as they make more sense that way. (As this comic is about aliens, perhaps they have a less linear sense of time than we humans do, which is why these appeared out of order.) First, in the May 18 edition, the Grays kidnap one of Dorothy'- friends. Then, in the May 17 edition, we see the possible aftermath of the next day's kidnapping. So, clear, right?

Yesterday's Same-Themed Oz Political Cartoons

With the one year anniversary of the Mueller investigation earlier this week, you know President Trump would bring up the whole "witch hunt" issue again. And you know that means cartoonists are going to have something to draw about that. Sure enough, both Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Mark Streeter of the Savannah Morning News have Oz-themed cartoons referencing a certain green-skinned character.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Today's Oz Comic

Only two days after our last cartoon, today's edition of Strange Brew has something very similar. I'm also noticing a few other of the many non-Oz comics I read with the some idea. Do you think cartoonists are finally noticing the Internet is a thing, or is it all just wild coincidence?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today's Birthday Oz Comic

Happy L. Frank Baum's birthday, everyone! Were Baumalive today, he'd be 162 years old and probably still knocking on the lid of his coffin, shouting, "Let me out!"

Too soon? Okay, then, let's move on to today's edition of the comic panel 9 to 5 (no relationship to either the movie or this song from the movie or this other song from the same time that had to be renamed in the United States because of the movie and first song mentioned here) and their take on The Wizard of Oz. As a teacher, I've heard more than a handful of students ask the same thing, sadly.

Monday, May 14, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Story

Another one from the 1992 edition of Oziana, "The Woozy's Tale" is written by Gili Bar-Hillel and illustrated by David Maxine. Bored, Dorothy wishes for something to happen, only for the Emerald City to be invaded by bees! All the celebrities hide out in the royal stable, and Ozma, the Wizard, and Glinda try to repel the bees, to no effect. But the Woozy comes to everyone's rescue in the end! Through the course of the story, we also learn about the Woozy's origins and why the phrase "Krizzle-Kroo" makes him so angry. It's a short and sweet story.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Yesterday's Non-Political Oz Cartoon

Just in time for Mother's Day, Peter Evans of the Islander News in Key Biscayne, Florida, gives us this reminder from an Oz character. (Of course, those of you familiar with the character's arc in Wicked, either the book or hit Broadway musical, know that this is not the case.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Today's Not-At-All Political Oz Cartoon

At last, one that's just humorous! Today's Break of Day sees the Wicked Witch of the West going pet shopping. I'll let you click through to find out her reaction.

Today's Oz Political Cartoon

One of my favorite political cartoonists, Tom Toles, interjects a dose of reality into current economic policy.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Today's Oz Political Cartoon

As things start spiraling down the drain for President Trump, Andy Marlette of the Pensacola News Journal comments in the Ozzy way we have all grown to anticipate.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

In the game for January 8, 2018, one of the categories in the Double Jeopardy! round was Broadway Musicals By Numbers, in which the players identify the show in which the named songs appear. It's often good for an Oz clue. Sure enough, for $1200, this clue was revealed:

Brandon, the returning champion, rang in first and, naturally, correctly responded with, "What is The Wiz?" He then went on to win the game and defend his title.

This Week's Oz Short Story

The second story in the 1991 issue of Oziana was "The Tail of the Pink Goat" by Everett Avila with a number of illustrators contributing pictures. It originates in a line from Kabumpo in Oz where Kabumpo promises to tell the tale, but never does. It's a story of an Oz long, long ago, before the witches and the Wizard. The Blue Emperor befriends an outcast pink goat with a rope tail who helps save the future Blue Empress. That's about it! But the presentation is a lot of fun, as it goes into detail about how the story is told as pictures woven into a garment. The text is the interpretation of the garment. No wonder this took eight illustrators!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Story

Wow, 1992 already? This reread of Oziana is starting to zip along pretty well! So, the first story in this issue is "A Christmas Tree for Dorothy" by Jane Albright, with illustrations by Eric Shanower. Dorothy is lamenting to Billina about some of the simple joys of the holidays back in Kansas, not at all like the continuous parties-at-the-drop-of-a-hat in the Emerald City. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman overhear, and decide to recreate an old-fashioned Kansas Christmas tree for her—but this being Oz, it doesn't go quite as imagined! The Sawhorse and Highboy (the title character of The Giant Horse of Oz) get involved, and Dorothy's two old friends end up high in the night sky gathering stars. Once they get back to the Emerald City, they find Santa Claus, having already gotten word of their plan, already at work. All of them work together to finish decorating the tree. Dorothy, once she wakes up, is naturally astonished, but delighted at the surprise. This is a fun little slice-of-Ozian-life story that often works really well in Oziana, and also shows how different Oz is from the Great Outside World. Shanower's illustrations are different from his usual style here, using a technique that could be compared to pointillism, but they are still charming, and add an appropriately dreamlike quality to the art.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Today's Oz Comic

The general reaction online to today's edition of bacön has been, "Ewwww!" I can't say that I blame them!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

OzCon Now Has a Video!

Yes, I really want everyone to know about OzCon International, and so do the people who are putting it on this year. To that end, here's a promotional video!

This will be the con's first time in the Los Angeles area in nearly fifty years, so it should be a good one. For more information, go to, of course!

Today's Oz Editorial Cartoon

Those of us who grew up with Bill Cosby in our lives can, I'm sure, completely understand the feelings expressed in this cartoon by Mark Streeter in the Savannah Morning News. The irony is, Bill Cosby has an Oz connection. He played the Wizard in live-action bumpers and wraparounds for a syndicated showing of Journey Back to Oz in the late '70s. You can even catch a glimpse of him in this video.

Today's Oz Comic

Today in Garfield, Jon revisits his childhood, with less-than-stellar results. (I can relate: I remember watching The Movie a few times, as a kid before I became the seriously addicted Oz fan I am today, and having to go to bed early because the monkeys freaked me out. And back then, I had to wait a whole year to see it again! I got over my pithecophobia before too long, however.)