Thursday, December 26, 2013

The latest Oz reading

I'm not back on my regular cycle of Oz reading at the moment, but I recently dipped into my Oz pile for a very good reason, as my Oz reread was scheduled to be Christmas in Oz by Robin Hess. (Full disclosure, Robin is a good friend of mine whom I've known for over thirty years now, and this copy was a gift — or to be more accurate, a prize for winning one of his quizzes at an Oogaboo Rendezvous.) Technically speaking, this isn't quite a reread, as this is a new, revised edition. It's not a huge epic book with lots of danger and enchantments and the like. It's just a nice quiet little slice-of-life-in-Oz book that happens to feature Santa Claus in his efforts to set up an auxiliary workshop in Oz. Chris Pedersen, a girl from Olympia, Washington, finds her way to Oz at the same time (and just wait until you read how and why it happens!) and gets wrapped up in things. Oh, and then there's Lorabie, the Wicked Blue Witch of the East, who isn't quite what she appears to be. This is a satisfying little book that's just perfect for the holiday season, and I really had a great time reading it.

Of course, I also got a big bunch of Oz comics not terribly long ago:

  • Fables #135. Yeah, yeah, Rose Red is still trying to start up her new version of the Knights of the Round Table. But for Oz fans, it's another appearance from Ozma as she is still trying to bring Bigby back to life.
  • Oz #4. Zenescope's miniseries continues with Dorothy using her powers to save Glinda, and then the flying monkeys come and take her to the Wicked Witch. The Witch, naturally, wants the Viridian Scepter for herself, and is using Dorothy to get it.
  • The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #13. The origin story of the winged monkeys continues, including how the Wicked Witch of the West got her hands on the Golden Cap. Meanwhile, Tin Man is still trying to escape from Mombi's cottage, and it seems he may have some unexpected allies.
  • The Steam Engines of Oz #3, wrapping up the first arc. His old friends and Victoria confront the Tin Woodman, and... Well, let's just say that all's well that ends well. However, another four-issue series is set to start soon. (I also got the trade paperback collection of the first series, but I haven't had a chance to read this yet. I gather it has additional material not included in the comic books, however.)
  • And of course, last but far from least, The Emerald City of Oz #4 by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know my love for this book and the rest of Marvel's adaptations, so I won't go into any more detail here. I will just say that this covers Dorothy's visit to Bunnybury (in a lot fewer pages than in Baum, but nothing felt missing), Guph's report to Roquat about just which allies he's recruited to march on the Emerald City, and the party's visits to Rigmarole Town, Flutterbudget Center, the Scarecrow's new house, and the Tin Woodman's castle (yes, those last two were flipped from the order they were encountered in the book). The last two pages show the Tin Woodman delivering the bad news, which will lead to the final, concluding issue next month!
I will have one more out-of-cycle Oz book to read here very soon — but I'll tell you about that later!

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