Saturday, September 05, 2015

Catching Up on Oz Reading

Two more down!

  • Since I decided to reread the FF* during my last round of reading, the next book was then the second Oz book, The Marvelous Land of Oz. Unlike rereading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz earlier this year, I didn't have a lot of new insights in this one. But I definitely saw some of the intended roots of a musical extravaganza peeking through. It's also clear that Baum still had no idea he was going to write a series, as it definitely comes to a conclusion. He even hints that when Jack Pumpkinhead's head finally spoiled, that was it for him. (Anyone familiar with the later books knows how that actually panned out, however.) There were even times I thought about writing an annotated edition of the book. I quickly tamped that idea down, however!
  • I also reread the excellent webcomic Namesake via the first collected volume. The whole concept behind Namesake is a little hard to describe, but essentially all of the great heroes and heroines of fiction are actually people from our world with the same names who get sucked into the stories in a neverending cycle. When the latest Dorothy dies, she's replaced by a young Canadian woman named Emma. Since she's not named Dorothy, it seems something has gone wrong somewhere. Calliope, the organization that is in charge of the Namesakes, has to investigate. Emma, meanwhile, still has to be the latest Dorothy, no matter how reluctantly. This volume covers the first five chapters of the story, and I am really glad that I have volume 2 already to go in the next round of Oz reading.
* For those not already aware of this, FF refers to the Famous Forty, the main Oz canon considered to be official by many older Oz fans because they were all published by Reilly and Lee, and written by L. Frank Baum or under the auspices of his estate. My own personal definition of "FF" goes slightly beyond those forty books, but not by much, and I'll explain why I am reading those books when I get to them.

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