Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Lots of catching up to do!

I've been pretty busy of late, but nobody called for me to teach this morning, so here's a chance to play some catch up...by combining two posts in one! First, here's the latest "Where's the Witch?" picture:

Yes, that's the latest issue of Dorothy, the terrific (if a bit...well, grown up) comic book from Illusive Arts. It's a good jumping-on issue, so if you haven't tried it yet, and aren't offended by a modern-day somewhat-Goth/punk Dorothy who talks like a real teenager of today would talk, check this out. If you like their take on Oz, you can then get the previous issues through Illusive Arts, or the trade paperback through my website's bookshop.

Since the folks at Illusive Arts were kind enough to send me a copy to review (which, I might add, was completely unnecessary, as we're already getting it through our local comic shop anyway), I suppose I should say a few words about it. First, we get to see a lot of Catie Fisher, who plays Dorothy, in a nightgown. Nice! Okay, now that that testosterone moment has passed, here are some more serious words: First, we're getting a little more of the background — the parts that didn't come from Baum's original — in the character of General Stern, who has been sent on a mission by the mysterious villainess (Is she the Wicked Witch of the West ratcheted up to 11? It's too early to tell.) to recover Dorothy's necklace. It seems it has some interesting powers that she and we are not aware of yet. Meanwhile, Dorothy has been found by the Munchkinder, healed of her wounds, given a soft but small bed to sleep in, and finally finds out more of what's going on. It seems she's paart of a prophecy. (Uh-oh. Prophecies in literature are rarely good news!) In other words, this is an exposition issue. And as someone (writer Mark Masterson? I can't tell who they are from just the little pictures...) points out on Dorothy's journal, that was deliberate, since this will be the first part of the second trade paperback. But as usual, it's done well, and we get some nice reactions from Dorothy, who doesn't want to be a sorceress or savior or anything like that, she just wants to get out of this madhouse. But she's also come to realize that to get what she wants, she has a lot of stuff to do. So the Munchkins make her a new outfit, and she and the Scarecrow set out on the yellow brick road to see the Wizard at last.

I'm not the biggest fan of alternative takes on Oz — one reason Karyl and I wrote Queen Ann in Oz was to tell a more traditional, Baum-ish story, which we both felt had not been done for some time — but I have an open mind, and have enjoyed some and not others. This take is definitely one of the ones I like. I don't feel that the extras and dark atmosphere have been tacked on just for the sake of shocking the reader or shaking things up, but are actually there to support the story these guys want to tell. The basic blueprint is Baum's, but the creators of this series have veered from that path enough that I can't really tell just where this is going — and that's a good thing.

These guys know their Oz, by the way, as there are references to Gillikins and zosozo, among others, so they're not sticking with just The Wizard of Oz.

And now, for Laura's review:

Is good book!

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