Saturday, October 15, 2011

The latest Oz reading

Not only have I entered into another cycle of Oz reading, but the comics order also arrived — and there are a lot of Oz comics! So, let's jump right in.

  • First, my latest Oz-quisition that I told you about recently, L. Frank Baum's The Uplift of Lucifer. This was, essentially, a skit he wrote for a bunch of buddies in the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which he joined not long after moving to Hollywood in 1911. Within the LAAC, a group of members formed The Uplifters, and they pretty much did whatever they felt like, I gather, including putting on little shows for the rest of the Club. It's a slight little thing, with lots of in-jokes of the times (as this was right before Prohibition, naturally there are quite a few references to the Women's Christian Temperance Union, which was spearheading the campaign, just to give one example), as well as some aimed right at the LAAC and the Uplifters themselves. I don't recommend just anyone hunt this down and read it, but Baum completists will get a kick out of it. I'd love to see this reprinted, with more background about Baum and the Uplifters, and with annotations.
  • Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz #1. It's Eric Shanower and Skottie Young, do I need to say more? This issue covers from Dorothy's arrival at Hugson's Siding to Zeb's and her spotting the Wizard in his balloon over the Mangaboo's glass city. I've heard Eric took a few more liberties with the storyline than usual, and the first big difference shows up here: Dorothy doesn't faint as the buggy is plunging through the hole. That's something that's always bugged me about the book, particularly Zeb not fainting because he's a boy. Sheesh! Oh, and for some odd reason, Eric Shanower's variant cover features Neill's version of Dorothy, not Young's.
  • A new comic series with an Ozzy bent started up, and issues 1 and 2 of Grimm Fairy Tales Presents The Library both arrived in our order. I've read #1 so far, which doesn't have any Oz content, but I gather that changes down the road. Our heroine, Sela, and her younger brother are wandering around a condemned library, when they encounter an old spell book that zaps them into some of the other books. Sounds promising, doesn't it?
  • Fables #109 gets back to what's been happening in Oz, with Jack, the Sawhorse, Bungle, and Blufkin still on the run from the Nome King's troops. It also appears that Ozma will have a hand in deciding who the new North Wind will be!
  • And there was a surprise Oz reference in Young Justince #8, which shows us what Artemis was doing during the team's fight with Amazo in one episode, and how she was recruited to join the team. It seems she's a fan of Alice in Wonderland, and refers to Superboy as the White Rabbit she's following into her version of Wonderland. However, as that leads her into a battle with a bunch of Professor Ivo's flying robot monkeys, she adds, "...maybe I landed in Oz!"

Well, that's about it for now, but I've got at least two more Oz comics and I'm in the middle of two different books right now, so there will be more updates coming soon, I'm sure.

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