Sunday, March 08, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

The second story in the 20110 issue of Oziana is "Blinkie of Oz" by Justice C. S. Fischer, with illustrations by Dennis Anfuso. Yes, it's an origin story for Blinkie, the wicked witch seen in The Scarecrow of Oz—but it turns out that book wasn't the first time we met her! When Dorothy melted the Wicked Witch of the West, she was able to hold her essence together well enough to hide out in the sewers beneath her castle and start pulling herself back together. It wasn't easy, but by the time she pulled it off, she found herself in Jinxland. Changing her name to disguise herself from the Great Book of Records, she quickly established herself in her new home. We see the events of The Scarecrow of Oz from her perspective, and it is noted that the Scarecrow never actually met her in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, so he had no reason to recognize her when he visited Jinxland. But when Dorothy and Ozma come on a state visit, the jig is up, because Dorothy recognizes her right away. So a final fate befalls the witch, which I won't tell you about here in the hopes you will get the issue and read it for yourself.

In my opinion, this was not the most successful of stories. It's straightforward, linear, and by-the-numbers, and didn't really surprise much. But it at least explains why both the Wicked Witch of the West and Blinkie both have only one eye, and it holds together. This story is sparse on dialogue, however, with a lot of third-person narrator exposition. Anyway, this one felt a little flat for me.

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