Monday, November 18, 2019

This Week's Oz Short Story

By the start of the 21st century, interest in Oziana had waned, and the International Wizard of Oz Club was having problems with it. They had a huge backlog of old issues that nobody was interested in buying, nor was there much interest in putting out new issues. After the 2006 issue, it would be another three years before another issue of this supposedly annual magazine came out. But thanks to a new editor stepping in and going to a print-on-demand model to reduce both inventory and the need for the Club to actually print issues, the next issue was labeled as "No. 37". Fortunately, that's about the only thing that changed, as the contents were still very Ozzy. And the first story in it is "As the Rainbow Follows the Rain" by Jeff Rester, with illustrations by Melody Grandy. On one of her trips to the Earth's surface, Polychrome meets a rain sprite, who is curious about her background. So Polly tells him about her family, including her father, mother, sisters, and brother. Then she has to take off again. It's really just an excuse for one author to give his theory about Polly's background, but it's a charming explanation.

Other highlights of this issue include a wraparound cover by Kevenn T. Smith, and a bonus story, "Monkey Shines" by J. L. Bell, about a flying monkey who comes tho the Emerald City looking for a job, and gets one as the palace's window cleaner. It's presented as a small folded piece of green paper, and as you unfold the paper, the story unfolds as well. It's a charming way to present a story, and the payoff once the whole thing is unfolded is pretty good.

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

"Monkey Shines" is in a comics form independently invented by Kenan Rubenstein and Jon Chad.

It was more of a "mini" than an official part of Oziana, though you're of course welcome to file them together. I distributed it for free at a Winkie Convention, and it never went to Oziana subscribers.