Saturday, February 17, 2018

This Week's Oz Short Story

The second story from the movie themed 1989 edition of Oziana is "There's No Place Like Oz" by Chuck Sabatos, with illustrations by Eric Shanower, and it's another meta one! Dorothy and Toto go out and visit her old house, when she gets clonked on the head by a window shade and has a weird dream. She wakes up, looks in the mirror, and sees a different person. This version of Dorothy has dark hair, worn in pigtails, and is a little older. She doesn't recognize Aunt Em or Uncle Henry, Toto looks a little different and can't talk, and there are three farmhands working on the farm she's never met before named Huck, Hickory, and Zeke. Then an old lady named Miss Gulch comes cycling up to the farm demanding to take Toto away. Needless to say, Dorothy rebels at this different version of her life, and eventually wakes up in her own room in the Emerald City, surrounded by her friends and family. Needless to say, she's never going to leave Oz again!

As fun as the story is, the real star here is Shanower's illustrations. He uses photos of Judy Garland and the other actors from The Movie and alters them in odd ways to show how the real Dorothy must feel. The final picture, however, is in his traditional Neill-inspired style, evoking the end of The Movie with Dorothy waking in her bed in Kansas, only this is the real Oz equivalent.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Today's Oz Comics

It's a two-fer today:

  • First, the saga continues it Poptropica.
  • Then, over in Luann, it looks like Tiffany may have gone to a "Popular" stage show and picked up a T-shirt. (If I'd seen this one in black and white, I might not have connected this with Oz. But the shirt being green pushes it over the line, in my opinion!)

Monday, February 12, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

When I saw the categories for the Jeopardy! round in the November 2, 2017 game, I thought for sure that there'd be an Oz clue in Literature for the Young. But no, it instead came in Entertainment Tonight Travels Through Time, in which Kevin Frazier and Nancy O'Dell of ET cover historical entertainment stories as if they were on the show today. So, here's their clue for $400, selected by current defending champion Jenny:

As you can see, Jenny got it right. However, she ultimately lost the game in a squeaker and came a close second.

Today's Continuing Oz Comic

The Oz epic in Poptropica continues!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Today's Oz Comic

We learn in today's edition of Off the Mark that there's more than one way to give a heart to the Tin Man!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

It was quiet on the Oz front on Jeopardy! for a few weeks, but it showed up again in the game for October 27. In the Jeopardy! round, the first category was You Got Some Real Birthstones, Man, this was the $400 clue:

(And here I was thinking that, if Oz would turn up, it would be about May's birthstone, the emerald.) Ashley, the challenger at the center podium, rang in first and correctly responded, "What is ruby?" However, in spite of this correct response, she proved to be an ineffective player, spent much of her time in the red, and finally ended in a distant third.

This Week's Oz Short Story

The first full-blown story in the MGM Movie-themed 1989 issue of Oziana is "Rated 'G' for Glinda" by "Leroy Fleming," which is actually a pseudonym for RobRoy MacVeigh, who also drew the illustrations. This is a simple story of Dorothy visiting Glinda, and in the evening they enjoy some of the versions of the story of Dorothy's first adventure in Oz as told by filmmakers in the Great Outside World. Dorothy wonders why they can't get it right, only to discover that Glinda has been scrambling their brains from the earliest days of film! She did it to help keep Oz a secret. But Dorothy convinces her that now is the time to stop the scrambling and allow a true movie representation of Oz to happen. It's a fun story, and a bit meta in the intersection of Oz and the real world. It's also tinged with a bit of sadness for me, as Rob was a good friend of mine. He had very advanced plans for a big screen animated adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but he died only a few years later. I think this story was his way of explaining just how accurate his movie was going to be.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Today's Continuing Oz Comic

Methinks that the kids in today's Poptropica may be on the edge of fermenting revolt!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Today's Continuing Oz Comic

In today's installment of Poptropica, I think the characters are way overthinking the logic and physics of their situation. But at least the monkeys have an answer to that!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

Again, they didn't waste any time, as only one day after the last clue I gave, and only the third game of the season, this clue turned up for $600 in the category "Wild" Movies (in which each correct response contains the word "wild") in the Jeopardy! round:

This time, defending champion Laura rang in first, but incorrectly responded, "What is Wild Orchid?" Neither challenger tried, so the response "What is Wild at Heart?" became a triple stumper. And in case you're wondering why I'm including this movie in an Oz blof, then you have not seen Wild at Heart, as there are all kinds of Oz allusions in it, culminating in this scene which, sadly, I can't embed (CAUTION: Some strong language—hey, it's from a David Lynch film, what did you expect!)

Laura came close, but ended up losing this game. So getting the vaguely Ozzy clue wrong did not work out in her favor. So far this season, my theory is actually holding up.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Friday, February 02, 2018

This Week's Oz Poem and Ephemera

The 1989 issue of Oziana was the first to have an overall arching theme—but not the one that was originally planned! The editor at the time, the late great Robin Olderman, had one idea in mind (it got pushed back to 1990, so I'll be covering that in a few weeks), but she got so much material related to another theme that she just had to go with it. And why not? The year 1989 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the famous MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz, so the entire issue was devoted to The Movie (and, to a lesser degree, all Oz movies). So, since the first item in the issue is a poem, I thought I'd take the unusual step for this issue of describing the extras and this very short piece first. So, here we go:

  • Olderman's poem pairing "Biozonnet 1"/"Epilogue" recounts a famous incident when little Oz book-loving Robin first saw The Movie, upon one of its revivals, and very loudly told the audience just what they got wrong!
  • My good, dear, late friend, Rob Roy MacVeigh, provides a terrific cover of the Wizard discovering all kinds of Oz films that are now lost, or never came to be. There were alternate takes and cut scenes from The Movie, the complete first reel of the 1914 silent film version of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Frank and Maud Baum's home movies from their trip to Egypt and Europe, and many others. (One of them has now even been found: the color version of Shirley Temple's television adaptation of The Land of Oz. It turns out Temple had it the whole time!)
  • Two of the great Oz quizzers, Susan Hall and Fred Meyer, team up with movie expert John Fricke to write a fiftieth anniversary movie quiz.
Next week, an explanation as to why the movies and other dramatic adaptations of Oz never closely follow the books.

Today's Oz Comic

The Oz storyline Poptropica may be starting to wrap up. Then again, I was fooled last year by the Wizard of Oz storyline in Luann...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Today's Continuing Oz Comic

Yes, we're still in Oz in today's Poptropica. I must admit, that would have made the journey a lot easier if Dorothy could have traveled that way.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oz in Jeopardy!

Yes, I have once again fallen behind on my blogging of Oz references on Jeopardy!, America's favorite answer-and-question quiz show. But I'm at least nowhere as far behind as I got last year, either. So I will try to blog a clue or two a week until I catch up or run out, whichever comes first.
Unlike me, Jeopardy! didn't waste any time getting into Oz during its thirty-fourth (!!!) season, as this clue showed up in only the second game of the season, on September 12, 2017. It was the $800 clue in the category Multiple Roles, Same Film, during the Double Jeopardy! round:

The defending champion, Laura, rang in first and correctly responded, "What is The Wizard of Oz?" She went on to win the game, thus confirming my theory that those who get the Oz clues right go on to win the games (or, conversely, those who get them wrong go on to lose). However, this theory rarely actually works. Hmm, maybe this would be a good time to start actually keeping track, however.

This Week's Oz Short Story

The 1988 issue of Oziana concludes with "A Side View of the Nonestic Islands" by Timothy Perper and Martha Cornog, with an illustration by David Billman. This one is unusual in that it isn't about Oz, directly, but an interesting scientific discovery in our world. Flying over the Pacific, a military scientific expedition tries out a new form of radar, and discovers a previously unknown landmass and several surrounding islands. The largest piece of land includes a fertile region in the midst of a desert, with four colorful triangular regions and a green city in the middle. Needless to say, this shakes things up in the corridors of power, and departments and researchers involved with the arcane and fortean get involved. Fortunately, things resolve themselves and the discovery gets buried, but it could have turned out much, much worse for everyone. This is a clever story, and reading it now with a lot more experience and knowledge under my belt, I can appreciate a lot of the sly references.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Today's Continuing Oz Comic

At last, the third member of our little triumverate arrives in today's Poptropica. Let's see where this goes on Monday!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Today's Oz Comic

Take a look at today's Strange Brew and you get one of the few depictions of the Wicked Witch of the East! It seems she's fallen on hard times, however (or at least a hard house fell on her).

Wednesday, January 24, 2018