Friday, March 05, 2010

The latest Oz reading

It's a two-fer, actually. I've just been swamped with a lot of magazines lately, and I'm slowly wading through the pile. Among them are the Winter 2009 issue of The Baum Bugle (which I will write more about soon on my website's news page), and issue #4 of Marvel's adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz. This one is, as you may be able to tell from the cover, mostly about the Tin Woodman and how he gets involved. It starts with Tip, Jack, the Sawhorse, and the Scarecrow arriving at the Tin Woodman's castle, and ends with the arrival of Mr. H. M. Wogglebug, T. E., and his assistance in helpin to repair the Sawhorse's broken leg. We also get a bit of a look at what's happening in the Emerald City, with Jinjur finding she has to kowtow to Mombi. This scene wasn't in the book, but from what I understand, writer Eric Shanower has dipped into some other Baum writings for inspiration in this adaptation, so this could be taken from a scene in The Woggle-Bug (the 1905 play version of the story that utterly failed to woggle, as one critic of the time put it). Artist Skottie Young's version of the Wogglebug is startling and unusual, but it makes sense that he would walk on four legs and use two more as arms. (Hey, he's an insect, of course he has six limbs, despite how John R. Neill originally drew him.)

One question that I often ask myself when I read this story, and it just came up again: Whatever happened to Professor Nowitall, the eminent Oz scholar from whom the Wogglebug learned so much, and caused him to become highly magnified?

4 comments:

Doug Wall said...

The Wogglebug Book mentions the Wogglebug having an extra pair of arms.

ericshanower said...

Yes, the Mombi and Jinjur meeting is from The Wogglebug play. Don't you remember Nadine and David Moyer saying those lines back in '87?

Blair Frodelius said...

The most famous scholar in all of Oz just disappears? Hmmm....

Eric said...

Yes, Doug, and he is also drawn with six limbs in the "Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz" comic page. But with The Marvelous Land of Oz, I'm so used to Neill's portrayal that the difference was quite clear. Also, Skottie Young has him walking on four legs, whereas McDougall and Morgan had him walking on two legs and using the other four as arms.

And no, Eric, I don't recall every single word uttered in that show, but I do remember it. I still say we need a definitive collection of Baum's scripts. And another rendition of The Wogle-Bug at the Winkie Convention some year.