Sunday, March 01, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

After the drama and juggling of the previous few years, things finally settled down again with Oziana for its 2011 issue, as it came out in the year on the cover, and withe a steady, regular editor in Marcus Mébès. Not only that, but the theme issues continued, with this one devoted to possible origins and explanations for odd things in the Oz books. Case in point, this issue's first item, "Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought, Alone" by David Tai, with illustrations by Kimberly McFarland. It's only two pages long, but Tai packs a lot into it, examining how Bungle the Glass Cat could have clear brains at the end of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, only to have her original pink brains back again by the time of The Magic of Oz. What's fascinating is how the entire process is seen through Bungle's point of view. It starts off as a shape poem, where Bungle seems to experience nothing, and then Scraps and the Wizard enter her thought process as the Patchwork Girl argues that that lump of glass isn't the real Bungle any more. (Yeah, I could see that working out exactly like that!) It all ends with Bungle's thoughts back in place as she becomes herself again. It is moving and powerful and shows just how much the new characters from Patchwork Girl shook things up in the Emerald City.

Since it was so short, I'm also going to use this entry to go over the other little extra bits from this issue:

  • A spectacular cover illustration of Glinda by Sam Milazzo.
  • The "Welcome to Oziana 2011!" introductory page is illustrated with a hummingbird by McFarland.
  • Remember LOLcats, before they all became "memes"? Well, there's a Glass LOLcat of Oz in this issue, again illustrated by McFarland. It's a simple portrait of Bungle captioned, "Branes, I has them, u can see them werk". (Hey, it was the early 20-teens...)
  • The back cover is by Luciano Vecchio, and shows Dorothy and Toto along the yellow brick road with a scarecrow coming up. Yeah, a nice little piece of history.

1 comment:

David Tai said...

I suspect you can probably detect that theme with all the Oz Stories I wrote, but
,ost of my stories usually go with 'Ok, what doesn't fit in continuity?' or 'what's missing?' and then 'So what do you do to reconcile this with other things?' And if I remember, the first thing I thought about in this case was 'A Mind Forever Voyaging', that Infocom game, which in turn led to Wordsworth's poem.

The rest of that was basically "Well, Scraps played defense attorney once, Scraps can do it again."

Man, I should totally have asked Kim about having Scraps doing a total Ace Attorney-style OBJECTION! now that I think about it.