Sunday, September 03, 2017

This Week's Oz Short Story

The 1983 edition of Oziana opens with the story "The Way to the Emerald City", written and illustrated by Melody Grandy. Aleda is a young woman from North Carolina who suffers a mishap while hang gliding, and ends up in a valley in the Winkie Country. Unfortunately, the only inhabitant of that valley is a scared young giant who is afraid of what he calls "little people". With the hang glider broken, however, Aleda isn't going anywhere, so she ends up being imprisoned by the giant, who lives alone and has no friends because his fear of the "little people" keeps him from leaving his valley. Over the course of several weeks, Aleda and the giant (whom Aleda ends up naming Orlando) learn to trust and respect each other. Eventually, Aleda escapes, only to go back and get Orlando and help him escape the prison he's made for himself. Their relationship is really touching, and this may be one of the most satisfyingly realistic Oz stories I've ever read. The ending also hints at further adventures for both Orlando and Aleda, but they were never explored—at least not in the pages of Oziana!

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