In yesterday's edition of
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Sunday, April 04, 2021
Wow, we had such a long spell there with so few Oz comics, now they're coming thick and fast. Case in point, today's edition of Bizarro is one of those puzzle versions he does once in a while. I think most of my fellow Oz fans will very quickly get the first one in the third panel!
Saturday, April 03, 2021
Thursday, April 01, 2021
Friday, March 26, 2021
Following the second part of Pharaoh, I delved into Witches, the fourteenth collection of the Fables comic book. And now it's really starting to get Ozzy! Bufkin the flying monkey has a good deal to do, and even gets a chapter named for him in this volume's main storyline, about the latest maneuvering as the Fables face yet another powerful adversary. Bufkin even loses his wings in an accident! But the real star is Ozma, who is now acknowledged as being the little blonde witch in the coven. She's even on the cover. Ozma decides a change in leadership is needed, and moves to remove Frau Totenkinder as head. And Ozma proves to be very good in a leadership role, but that's partly because she knows when to call in help so as to make it look as if she's not involved. There's also a backup story about the problems when goblins try to go against their nature, all because of baseball. The whole series is pretty amazing, but if you only want to read it for the Oz content, and a single winged monkey isn't Ozzy enough, this is the collection you should start with, as Oz gets stamped hard onto the Fables brand here. And Ozma's role only gest bigger after this.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
A two-fer today, but neither one of them is new.
- This political cartoon by Dave Granlund is in response to the recent tornadoes in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.
- And while this vintage edition of The Far Side which ran today is probably not meant to be Ozzy, it could be the Scarecrow at a particular point from The Marvelous Land of Oz.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
First, I'm rereading Pharaoh, Eloise Jarvis McGraw's only adult novel. It's been a while, and forgot just how long it is (over 500 pages)! Plus, my pleasure reading time is limited right now, so I didn't want to spend too long reading it before tackling some lighter, Ozzier fare. Since Pharaoh is divided into four parts, I'd take a break after each part. So, between parts 1 and 2, I reread Thorns and Private Files in Oz by Melody Grandy and Chris Dulabone, since it ties into the Seven Blue Mountains of Oz trilogy I recently wrapped up. Well, the ties are very loose as it turns out, and despite what some told me, Zim Greenleaf does not appear in this book. (It seems it ties into one of the stories in the third Seven Blue Mountains book, Zim Greenleaf of Oz, but I don't recall it now.) It does start off in Oogaboo, as one might expect from the title. Hank the Mule goes up there to visit Files and Ozga, and the three of them set off to explore a forest just south of Oogaboo, where they find a deserted castle overgrown with rosebushes. They find that the surrounding woods do not allow them to leave, and Ozga discovers new powers over plants. Eventually, they discover the with Nevou and why she enchanted everybody in Cerune. It was a pleasant little read, but as you may already be able to tell not terribly memorable (I finished it last weekend, and already most of it has faded.)
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Sunday, March 07, 2021
Thursday, March 04, 2021
Tuesday, March 02, 2021
Okay, more characters from the books they're probably not going to get quite right. This time we'll see about Cap'n Bill, Trot, and Button-Bright. But first, Ozma's magic helps make spring cleaning a lot easier, if slightly more dangerous. (Didn't any of them see "The Sorcerer's Appretice" in Fantasia?) As everyone heads out for a post-tidy picnic, a flying sailboat crashes into the upper tower. The captain? None other than the legendary Bill Wheedles (yay!), a curly-haired boy with two intact legs (huh?). So how did he get there? Flashback to a scene on Sky Island (yay!) where the captains friends and first mates, Trot and Button-Bright (yay), a couple of tiny tots who sound like Dickensian street urchins (huh?) are runnig from the evil Boolooroo (yay—wait, no, that's not a yay!), a big burly fellow in a blue suit. (Huh? Okay, I'll stop with the editorializing now and just get on with it.) But Cap'n Bill is there to rescue them! The Boolooroo wants the secret to the Triple Rainbow, and stops Cap'n Bill and takes the tykes away on a purple dragon. (Yeah, definitely not the same Sky Island as the books. Whoops, sorry.) The Boolooroo orders a pair of raks to deal with Cap'n Bill, but he escapes to his ship, sails off, and vanquishes them. The damage to his ship, however, causes him to crash into Oz—and now we're caught up. Cap'n Bill needs to go back, defeat the Boolooroo, and rescue Trot and Button-Bright, but with a damaged ship and no crew, he has no chance. Of course Doroty and the boys pitch in to do both. One ship repair montage later, and they're heading to Sky Island! More raks attack, but some deft flying and magic cannons deal with them. The Boolooroo, not getting what he wants from the kids, decides to drop them off the edge of the island, where of course they land on the ship and into the Lion's arms. The Boolooroo didn't get what he wanted, so they sail off. Cap'n Bill offers Dorothy and her friends places in his crew, but they decide they'd rather headback to the Emerald City.
One of my all-time favorite scenes in the Oz books is the Crescent Moon flying over Oz in Pirates in Oz, so this reminded me a lot more of Captan Salt than Cap'n Bill. So while I appreciate the set-up of this story, I thought the ending was anticlimactic. There's a lot of saminess to the air battles, and the Boolooroo never gets his comeuppance. Too bad, with a stronger story this would have been much more satisfying.
And with that, we come to the end of the show's second season. There was a third, shorter season, that I hope to get to soon ("soon" being a relative term, seeing how long I keep taking between episodes), but it also has several two-parters, and it kicks off with an epic four-parter, so it may be a challenge to squeeze it all into the rest of my busy life. But I'm also going to try to be more proactive, and see if I can get this series finished within the next few months.
It's been another varied day of Oz comics.
- First up, yesterday's edition of Last Kiss (not discovered until this morning) gets a little wild with the c-Oz-play. (This is probably one to keep away from younger or more sensitive Oz fans.)
- It's not a terribly Ozzy reference, but today in Eek!, Tony Stark does not get called by his superhero name.
- And in today's vintage edition of Nest Heads, we get a comparison between New Year's Eve and The Wizard of Oz.
Sunday, February 28, 2021
I got the new Clover Press edition of The Royal Book of Oz, and decided I wasn't going to wait to read it in its proper place in my reread of the Famous Forty. Since it has new illustrations anyway, I justify it as not being exactly the same. (Don't worry, I'll read it again—the original, this time—when it comes up in order.) I hear there were a few minor textual tweaks to reflect changing attitudes, but I didn't notice anything. The big draw for this edition is the new illustrations by Sara Richard. She has a more modern, colorful, dynamic style that is certainly different, and leaves out a lot of the issues with Neill's originals (she barely shows anything of the Silver Islands, and the only inhabitant she shows is Happy Toko). I suspect, however, that these may not age any better than Neill's. They clearly show who the characters are, however. I was especially amused by Ozma's bangs hanging so far over her face, I was expecting her to sing "Chandelier". At any rate, it's nice to see someone taking Ruth Plumly Thompson seriously as an author, and while I doubt this edition won't make anyone forget about the original, it does make for a nice complement.
Continuing L. Frank Baum's The Little Wizard Stories of Oz, I've come to what is probably the most comic story of the collection, "Tiktok and the Nome King". Needing some replacement parts (so much for his one thousand year warranty), Tik-Tok heads to the Nome Kingdom to acquire them. This was probably not the best idea anyone in Oz has ever had, considering the relationship between Oz and the Nomes. In a fit of temper (not a surprise to anyone), the Nome King breaks Tik-Tok. The Nome King commands Kaliko to throw the pieces away, but Kaliko instead reassembles Tik-Tok, replacing worn springs and cracked cogs as needed. Finally whole again, Tik-Tok wanders in to see the Nome King, who thinks he's seeing a ghost! Chaos ensues, but eventually the now-remorseful Nome King learns the truth, and sends Tik-Tok back to Oz with some jewels to appease Ozma, and vows never to get angry again—unless something annoys him, of course.
It's a fun story, maybe the best in the book, but it may have to be seen as an imaginary story, as the Nome King has never been this cordial to Ozma or her subjects. There's also the matter of timing, as there's very little space between the Nome King's appearances that make sense. (Maybe this was actually Kaliko, soon after he became king in, ironically, Tik-Tok of Oz, and it was Klik, from Rinkitink in Oz, who put Tik-Tok together again.) But just the whole ghost story aspect makes this story a gem, and so I can forgive the odd character juxtaposition.
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Okay, it may not be strictly Ozzy, but if you've read the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (as opposed to watching the movie, where the scene plays very differently), you can pretty easily jump to the conclusion that today's edition of Andertoons may have a certain lion we all know in it.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Today there were not one, not two, but three Oz comics published! So let's not waste any more time!
- Today in The Argyle Sweater, we got a little insight into the Oz characters when they were in middle school. (And naturally Glinda's the teacher!)
- Today in Between Friends, a little insight into some of the issues older women face.
- Today in Heathcliff, America's second favorite orange cat finds himself in a scene from The Wizard of Oz, and for a very good reason.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
I still have a big stack of magazines to get through, and the comics order is supposed to be here soon. But I did manage to slip in one little bit of Oz reading recently, that being The Wonderful Mother of Oz by Sally Roesch Wagner, a publication of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation. I probably don't need to tell most of you that Matilda was L. Frank Baum's mother-in-law, but in cae you didn't know that, this pamphlet talks about them (and Maud Gage Baum, her daughter and his wife, of course). Matilda proved to be a huge influence on Baum, and their relationship was not the stereotypical antagonistic one between a strong woman and her possibly henpecked son-in-law. There's nothing really new or revelatory in here for most Oz readers, but I don't think we're necessarily who this is aimed at anyway. So, a pleasant little non-fiction read, extremely affordable, and if you buy a copy, the proceeds go to a worthy cause as well.
R. J. Matson over at Roll Call has a harsh but pretty accurate cartoon about Mitch McConnell in the wake of our most recent ex-President's second impeachment.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
It's a two-fer, but surprisingly for Valentine's Day, neither one involves the Tin Woodman and his heart.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Well if I'm not going to try to do them weekly anymore I may as well not call it a weekly story, right? Actually, I read "Little Dorothy and Toto" from The Little Wizard Stories of Oz last week, meaning to write this earlier, but life got in the way and it didn't quite happen that way. So I think I am totally justified in nto making this a weekly series (at least officially) anymore. Now, where was I? Oh, yes, the story! The Wizard expresses concerns about Dorothy and Toto wandering off and having adventures on their own, but they do just that and encounter Krinklink, a bully who can change his size to suit his needs and mood. The furniture in his castle is huge, but his bed is tiny, and he kidnaps Dorothy so that she can wash all of his normal-sized dishes. But if she breaks any, he's going to whip her as many times as there are broken pieces. It all goes well at first, and Doroty is careful not to break any. But there are so many that she eventually drops a whole stackful. Whoops. Toto, however, trying to save his mistress, goes over to the shrunken, sleeping Crilklink and tussles with him. Crinklink then reveals himsel to be—the Wizard in disguise! Yes, in an effort to prove to Dorothy how dangerous it is to wander around Oz all by herself, the Wizard disguises himself, captures Dorothy and puts her in danger. Um, what? No wonder Dorothy is so mad at him at the end of this story! But she also knows that she will forgive him…eventually…