Sunday, February 27, 2011

Put the book up on your wall!

I got word from the folks behind a new company, NovelPoster, about what they're doing. They've taken the texts of famous books and rearranged them on a poster in an image that has to do with the book. Pretty neat. And yes, one of them is The Wizard of Oz. I don't recommend trying to actually read the book this way, but it does look pretty cool. They've also arranged some celebrity tweets in the same way. Are you intrigued yet? Then go on over to their page on Kickstarter to see what it's all about.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today's Oz comic

This one is going to take a little set up, so bear with me. In Over the Hedge, Hammy the hyperactive squirrel has started drinking energy drinks. This has caused Hammy to break the chains of causality and bounce around through history. It was bad enough when R. J. and Verne found pictures of Hammy at real-life historical events, but when it turns out that Hammy could break out of reality and into fiction...well, the result is something like this.

Coming soon...The Nome King!

At long last (courtesy of Hungry Tiger Press), we know what Skottie Young's done with the Nome King. This is the cover art to Ozma of Oz #6. Oh, yeah!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Simpsons do Oz again!

Say, did you catch last week's episode of The Simpsons? Yup, another Oz reference! Here, take a look right now (while it's up, which will be for about five more weeks). Pay particular attention to what happens to Marge when she gets out of the car. (That monkey sure looks familiar.) But wait, hold on! Don't stop there, because the iconic music is used for the closing credits. Pretty darned cool!

Today's Classic Oz Comic

From way back in 2005 comes this edition of Irregular Web Comic, which deals with some of the garbage going on in the Kansas school system at the time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Today's Oz comic

You know the old saying about what to do when life hands you lemons? Well, today's Over the Hedge has an extremely interesting alternative answer to that. (But wouldn't Elphaba have to be played by a lime?)

Monday, February 14, 2011

How does the world's smartest man spend Valentine's Day?

Over at The Source, the blog for DC Comics, my friend (and current Action Comics writer) Paul Cornell has a surprisingly Ozzy answer to the above question. So go take a look already.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oz in Jeopardy!

When I saw that the category for Final Jeopardy! on Friday's show was:

...I thought, "Well, okay, maybe, but there were an awful lot of classic films in the 1930s." But when Alex revealed the clue:

...Laura and I started high-fiving even before the famous "think" music started up. Thirty seconds later, the following responses were revealed. First the defending champion, Paul, showed this:

Nope, he couldn't come up with anything. He went in with $5800 and bet $3601, so his final total was $2199. Next was Sarah at the center lectern, and she wrote down:

At least she was in the right year. She started with $8200 and bet it all, so her final score was $0. Finally, Kate, at the right-hand lectern, showed her response:

She already had $9400 going in and bet $7001, so she became the new champion with a total of $16,401. Yet again, it pays to know your Oz.

"Hold on," you may be asking, "who got the Pythagorean Theorem wrong?" What, you mean you don't remember this clip?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The latest Oz comic books

Our monthly comics order came yesterday (delayed due to the snow back east, I gather), and there was a bumper crop of Oz stuff in it. So, let's dive in and take a look, shall we?

  • Ozma of Oz #3. Marvel, Eric Shanower, and Skottie Young are at it again, and as always, it's terrific. One of my favorite tertiary Oz characters, Princess Langwidere's maid Nanda, shows up here, and she has got to have one of the most improbable hairstyles Young has ever put in one of the Oz books — and that's saying something! This issue covers the book from Tik-Tok's fight with the Wheelers to the Ozians arriving in Ev. Great take on Langwidere, too, looking a little more Rubenesque than Neill drew her. Of course Young drew a two-page spread of her heads. How could any illustrator resist that?
  • Oz-Wonderland Kids #1. This appears to be the first issue of a spin-off prequel series from's Oz/Wonderland Chronicles series. Toto chases a familiar-looking White Rabbit down the yellow brick road, so Dorothy goes after him and they end up going through a mirror to Wonderland. So Dorothy meets Alice, they have a little adventure in Wonderland, and then Dorothy and Toto head home. The trouble is, their adventure involves the Wicked Witch of the West (wait, how come she's still around?) and the Queen of Hearts meeting up, comparing notes, and possibly getting ready to make some mischief. Oh, and there's someone behind the scenes who put that mirror there, and is trying manipulate things for his own nefarious reasons. (I have a suspicion I know who it is, but I won't mention it here.) This one is written with kids in mind; it even has puzzles and a coloring page. This is definitely Baum's Oz, with lots of little homages and touches to the original books. There's even a scene of the cards who, while painting the white roses red, spill paint on Dorothy's silver shoes. The omniscient narrator box you get in comic books asks, "Red shoes for Dorothy? Whoever heard of such a thing?" Fortunately, they get cleaned off before Warner Bros. and their lawyers can get involved.
  • Fables #101. This is a book I certainly know about, but have been reluctant to delve into because of the huge backstory. But when I heard that this issue was about Oz, was a good jumping on point, and was illustrated by Eric Shanower, I knew it was time to start. Sure enough, this issue didn't disappoint. Bufkin, the no-longer-winged monkey who I gather is a major player in this title, goes out on a mission that involves climbing a very large tree, which is supposed to take him home. However, he ends up not in Fabletown, but his original home, Oz! Or at least the lunch pail tree in Ev, which is close enough. There, he meets up with three escaped prisoners — Jack Pumpkinhead, the Sawhorse, and the Glass Cat! So Bufkin is now part of the resistance. (Did I mention that part of the premise of Fables is that Oz and many other fairy tale lands were invaded? And that the Nome King has been set up as a puppet ruler? None of that comes out in this book, however.) Of course Eric's art looks great (he did the pencils, and he has the support of some great inkers). Pay attention to the lunch pails in the tree, they will look very familiar to long-time Oz fans.
  • Ozma of Oz #4. Yay, two issues in the box! Ozma meets Langwidere, and gives as good as she gets. Dorothy is rescued! Backstory about the Nome King and what happened to the Royal Family of Ev! Skottie Young illustrates the Hungry Tiger! And everyone sets out to deal with the Nome King. Yup, still good.
  • And a nice little bonus Oz reference, in The All New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #3. Batman and the Flash have to deal with a team-up of the Mad Hatter and the Mirror Master, so with those two, naturally they end up in Wonderland! When they enter, the Flash looks around and says, "Whoa! Looks like we're not in Kansas anymore!" To which Batman replies, "Wrong book. We're not in Oz."

I'll close with a little bit of Oz comics news: Eric Shanower has confirmed that he and Skottie Young are already working on their adaptation of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. Skottie Young illustrating Mangaboos, Gargoyles, and Dragonettes? If I weren't already collecting these books anyway, I'd be there in a heartbeat!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tune up the TV!

It is a very big day for movie fans on Saturday. Particularly, it's a big day on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the absolute best channel for watching movies, particularly anything older than, oh, twenty years or so (although they have a few more current ones as well). In February, they salute the Academy Awards — which makes sense, as the Oscars are handed out at the end of the month. And on Saturday, they salute 1939 — specifically, the Best Picture nominees for that year. "Um," you may be asking, "what does that have to do with Oz, Eric?" I can hear you ask. Oh, come on, you know what one of those nominees is, don't you? No, really, you do. But the rest of the lineup looks pretty darned good, too, and I'm just sorry I don't currently get TCM, because otherwise I would put the five of those I haven't seen on the DVR to record, and probably even pop some popcorn for the double feature of The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind. But enough about me prattling on, go take a look at Mark Evanier's blog and see what he says.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Oh, now THIS is a great idea!

Heidi Jo Gilbert is an animator at Disney. She's had a great idea: do the Wicked movie in animation! And she's done some art and storyboarding to show how it could be done — with an animatic! Go take a look here and here. I wonder if Universal wants to start up an animation unit...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Oz in Jeopardy!

Yup, another one! Not much, admittedly, and not directly Oz-related, but... Well, let me show you the clue first. This is from Friday's show, in the Jeopardy! round, in the category Greens:

Defending champion Fred (who eventually came in second) rang in and correctly responded with, "What is the Emerald City?" So see, it's Ozzy. Seattle was also my hometown for many years, and I remember when they picked "The Emerald City" as its nickname.

Today's Oz comic

Kind of a rerun, in more ways than one. First off this is today's One Big Happy Classics, which means it's run before. And the one little tiny Oz reference is one that's been used in the strip before. See if you can spot the name of the Oz character who gives you money...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Today's Oz-ish comic

It's not much at all, actually, but go take a look at today's edition of Baby Blues. Since L. Frank Baum did coin the word "Munchkin", I think Zoe's name for the pawns makes this one Ozzy. Don't you?