Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Latest Oz Short Story

Yup, as I suspected, I missed last week. Well I was busy. So this week, I dipped back into the 1976 issue of Oziana and read "The Adventure of the Cat That Did Not Meow in the Night" by Eric Shanower and Jay Delkin, illustrated by Melody Grandy. This is a significant story because it is Shanower's first contribution to Oziana, but far from his last. Surprisingly, he didn't illustrate it. (Since he was a teenager at the time, it's possible that his artistic skills hadn't quite developed and matured by that time.) It is also the first appearance in Oziana of the Great Detective, a recurring character who appears in several stories in the '70s and '80s. He is basically Sherlock Holmes in all but name, as Holmes' copyright status was a little vague at the time (and with the way the Doyle estate goes after some who use the character even today, it may still be a bit vague). As this very short story is a mystery, I don't want to give too much away. Let's just say that the seemingly unrelated disappearances of Button-Bright and many small, unremarkable items from Ozma's palace turn out to be tied together after all, and have to deal with the after effects of a well-known incident in Ozian history. The Great Detective is quite good at figuring things out and piecing the clues together, especially why Eureka, acting as a watch cat, didn't alert anyone to the thief's appearance— hence the name of this story.

1 comment:

Glenn Ingersoll said...

Now, I'm sure Eric S can correct me if I've remembered wrong, but I think he told me Jay Delkin asked permission to revise a story Eric had written, a proposal which was likely pretty exciting to a kid, but the result was so little like what Eric wrote Eric no longer considers it his story.