Ha! I bet you thought the final election results would mean no more political cartoons for a while. Well, that proves to not be the case, as Michael-sensai found a new one by Tim Campbell. Of course, there's only a little bit o Oz in it, but it's fun!
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
The next tale from A New Wonderland was "The Wicked Wizard and the Princess Truella". A princess has a problem, help is sought from the Sorceress Maëtta, and all works out well in the end. Sound familiar? This story does indeed share a few similarities to "Timtom and the Princess Pattycake", Timtom (now a prince at court) even suggests the visit to Maëtta. But in this case it is princess Truella herself seeking help, because a wicked wizard who lives in the far off mountains stole her big toe to be used in a spell. Well, if you need the big toe of a princess, there aren't a lot of other places to get one! After her conference with Maëtta, Truella gets her toe back after undergoing several trials—as if there were ever any doubts. What struck me about this story is how many bits later show up in Oz. Truella, for instance, has a swan she uses to get to Maëtta's palace, a predecessor of Glinda's swan chariot. Truella's trials in the wizard's caverns presage several trips into the Nome King's dominions, particularly Inga and Rinkitink's trials when they are separated in Rinkitink in Oz. The wicked wizard himself is something of a prototype of the Nome King, working by himself in a ruby cavern and not thinking much of other people. All in all, another fun story, but I am a little suspicious of how Maëtta was able to give Truella exactly the right things needed to defeat the wizard.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Sunday, November 20, 2016
This week's selection from A New Wonderland was "How Prince Jollikin Fought the Gigaboo". This is a pretty straightforward little tale of a fantastic beast in the wild hinterlands of Phunnyland who comes to the settled parts of the country and causes chaos. Only Prince Jollikin is brave enough to face him, and he ends up being torn limb from limb, as well as decapitated. Fortunately, the noise scares off the Gigaboo, and dismemberment is nowhere near the problem in Phunnyland as it would be for you and me. As the Prince's body parts get back together, the Gigaboo regains his courage and returns, resulting in a rematch. All turns out well in the end, of course—unless you're an innocent Gigaboo. The Gigaboo reminded me of the Purple Dragon, just following his own nature which, unfortunately, goes against the settled areas of Phunnyland. And Prince Jollikin's problems are an extension of the King losing his head in the collection's first story, only the prince has to deal with losing other body parts as well. So even this early in his writing career Baum was borrowing from himself!
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Sunday, November 13, 2016
I think this week's story, "Timtom and the Princess Pattycake", may be my favorite of the Phunnyland/Mo stories. It's not just a little day-in-the-life piece like many of the stories, but a true epic quest, where the poor but stouthearted Timtom goes on a journey to find the sorceress Maëtta who can cure the terrible temper of the beautiful Princess Pattycake, whom the royal family do not know what to do with. When Timtom first talks to Pattycake and professes his love for her, even as she's yelling horrible things at him you can sense that she knows what's going on, but powerless to do anything about it. Timtom goes in search of the sorceress to help him, and along the way promises various creatures additionall gifts from Maëtta when they help him overcome obstacles. Once Timtom finds Maëtta, she easily grants his requests, but complications ensue on the journey back when he loses the gifts for the animals. Of course, and everyone lives happily ever after (except perhaps for a kindly rabbit), and all works out in the end, but the path is never a straight one!
There is enough going on in this story that it could have easily been expanded to a short novel, and you can really see a lot of what L. Frank Baum would become as a writer. Maëtta is very much the template for Glinda in the Oz books (Glinda was even renamed Maëtta in the stage adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz when it turned out The Woggle-Bug couldn't use any characters in the then-still running play version of The Wizard of Oz), and the scene of Timtom crossing the River of Needles on a spider web is later reused in The Scarecrow of Oz. Animals coming to the hero's aid is also something that frequently happens in Baum's other works.
One thing struck me is Baum's use of people's tempers. In an earlier story, the king lost his temper because it fell out of his pocket. Well, could they do the same with Pattycake, I thought to myself? But I justified it by saying Patty already has her temper, it was just faulty. Losing that temper may not have made a lot of difference, and maybe made things even worse. Alternatively, she may not have even had a temper. If she'd already lost it, and unlike what happened to the king she never recovered it, that would go a long way towards explaining her disposition. Whatever the reason, Maëtta provided a replacement, so she's happy now.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
This is a blog about The Wizard of Oz and all that that encompasses. L. Frank Baum entitled the final chapter of Tik-Tok of Oz, after Betsy Bobbin and Hank the Mule have come to Oz to live permanently, "The Land of Love", with all kinds of examples in it of what makes Oz a land of love, where everyone can be who they are and who they want to be without being judged or ostracized. Now, I do my best to be apolitical on this blog, and the only reason I present political cartoons is if they're about Oz (usually inspired by The Movie). Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (and, if I recall correctly, Bernie Sanders early in the process) have been roasted over the coals, so I hope I have also been balanced. But man, I did not expect that result earlier this week. It looks like almost nobody did. But I think Sean Delonas (he of the rich painted cartoons, with lots of colors and textures and stuff you don't normally see in the newspapers) summed things up pretty well in this cartoon. But man, I wish Hillary were portraying Dorothy and Donald was the one with the dialogue in this one.
Tuesday, November 08, 2016
Monday, November 07, 2016
Yes, I've been a little busy lately, and didn't manage to read a story last week, and almost didn't this week. Only the change off Daylight Saving Time really gave me the time to read one this morning. So, this week's excerpt from A New Wonderland was "The Cast-Iron Man", the story of how jealous King Scowleyow (and with a name like that, you know he must be wicked) created a giant cast-iron man (hence the title) to run rampant over and squash Phunnyland. Of course some clever, if not necessarily logical, thinking saved the day, and Mo. Scowleyow struck me this time as a prototype of the Nome King, in that he has his subjects all working in the mines to extract precious resources. The Cast Iron Man, meanwhile, can be seen as a precursor to Tik-Tok and the Giant with the Hammer in Ozma of Oz.
Sunday, November 06, 2016
Friday, November 04, 2016
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Lower than usual turnout last night, we still have quite a lot of candy left. But the important question is, how many Dorothy's did I get this year? For the first time that I can recall since moving out to this part of the state, none! There was one little lion, but I have no idea if he was cowardly or not.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Wouldn't you know, somebody is dressed as a character from The Wizard of Oz tonight—but I didn't expect to see them in my local paper today! Nevertheless, One Big Happy celebrates the holiday today with some very appropriate costumes. If they come to your door, be sure to give them extra candy (and maybe a dog biscuit)!
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
This one's a stretch, but bear with me. Today's Gasoline Alley doesn't look very Ozzy at first glance, but the name of the lottery game on the ticket in the second panel? Lucky Bucky. The name of the 1942 Oz book, and the final contribution to the series by the Royal Illustrator of Oz, John R. Neill? Lucky Bucky in Oz! I rest my case, this is an Ozzy comic!
Monday, October 24, 2016
The next tale from A New Wonderland was "The Ruby Casket", which I have previously reviewed when I read it last year. I will add that the king deciding to celebrate his birthday three times a year, plus whenever else he thinks to do it, reminds me of how they will celebrate just about anything in the Emerald City. However, that party-at-the-drop-of-a-hat trope I associate more with Ruth Plumly Thompson than L. Frank Baum, which got me to thinking how much more Phunnyland seems more like a place Thompson might write about than what is more associated with L. Frank Baum. Hmm, this may need some further exploration as I read more of this book!
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Thank goodness Red and Rover takes place in the past (likely the early '70s, based on Red's obsession with Marcia Brady), else their costume brainstorms might include Donald and Hillary. Thank goodness they came up with these ones instead, one pair evoking two movie stars who were classic even then.