Monday, January 01, 2007

A look back, a look ahead, and a challenge

Welcome to 2007, everybody! I just hope it ends up being a lot better than 2006, which was a real kick-in-the-teeth year for me — except for Oz, of course. Lots of good Oz stuff going on last year. The Oz Club and Hungry Tiger Press reprinted a number of very interesting books, some that haven't been readily available for at least eighty years. In comics, Adventures in Oz reprinted Eric Shanower's best Oz work, Oz: The Manga and Le Magicien d'Oz (now also available in an English version from Image) were both excellent adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Dorothy came out with more issues as well. Oh, yeah, and the very much not for children Lost Girls (I don't have a copy yet, but I should get one soon). In new non-comic books, we got Sherwood Smith's second Oz book, Trouble Under Oz, Jerry Maren's autobiography, and all kinds of self-published things, among others. On DVD, Journey Back to Oz and The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz finally came out. But the highlight for me was definitely, hands down, finally getting to see Wicked, It was a great show, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I plan to see it again next time it's in town. A close second was my brief encounter with Stephen Schwarz and getting his autograph in my copy of Wicked: The Grimmerie.

So what's ahead? Rumor has it that there may finally be a DVD release of The Dreamer of Oz, there may be some interesting Wicked news in a few months, and chapter VII of Dorothy should be out soon. Oh, and we still have the 2006 editions of Oziana and the Club calendar, and two 2006 editions of The Baum Bugle, to look forward to as well. Yes, you read that right, 2006 stuff, even though it's now 2007.

Which brings me to the third part of this note: The Challenge. Today is the fiftieth birthday of the International Wizard of Oz Club. It was started by a fourteen year old Brooklyn boy and had sixteen charter members. There wasn't much to it at first, but the enthusiasm and drive of those early members helped the Club to grow and thrive. Now, however, most of that first generation of Oz Club members are gone, and it's time for the next generation to step up and takes its place in running the Club. The Club relies on volunteers to get so much done, and many people are already helping. I myself write reviews for the Bugle, I'll probably lend a hand to production of Oziana, I'm a moderator on the Club's message board, and I'm currently serving on two committees. But those of us who are working now can't do it all. I hope that those of you who are reading this and are Club members will ask what needs to be done and can find a place to help out. Can you write? The Bugle and Oziana always need contributors, and right now the Bugle even needs assistant editors to help out with some sections. Can you draw? Oziana always needs illustrators, or you could contribute to the calendar. You could serve on a committee, help out at the conventions, help recruit new members at Oz events, host a local Oz party in your area, anything you can think of! The Club is only as strong as those who are working behind the scenes, so the more members can help out, the stronger the Club will be. And if you're not a member yet, I highly recommend it! Find out more about the Club at

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