Sunday, August 23, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

Time was not something I could spare a lot of this weekend, so I skipped the (lengthy!) second story of the 2014 issue of Oziana and went straight for the third, "The New Fellow" by J. L. Bell, with illustrations by David Bishop. It's a short little tale about Kabumpo's first proper visit to the Emerald City, and the reactions of the other animals in the royal stables. This probably takes place not long after Grampa in Oz, as Kabumpo mentions the palace not being there on his first visit to the Emerald City. Anyway, let's just stay he does not make a positive first impression, as he's, well, Kabumpo! He puts on airs and generally looks down on the rest of them, although in a seemingly kindly way with faint praise. He also takes the time to change for dinner, and even sits on th eWoozy, mistaking him for a big blue box. But in the end, a kindly deed shows his true self, and the rest of the animals accept him—begrudgingly, but genuinely—as someone who will likely be visiting frequently. It's a fun little slice-of-life story, as there are no huge stakes, but we get a great character study out of it, especially of Kabumpo's early self.

This was short enough that I can also do a quick survey of some other non-short story items from this issue:

  • The front cover, also by David Bishop, shows Dorothy reading a book on the palace lawn with Ozma, the Cowardly Lion, and some other characters around her.
  • "Theresa's Pink Road" by Theresa McMillan is a poem about the adveture of the author finding her own road on her visit to Oz.
  • And the back cover, also by David Bishop, depicts a scene from a story I haven't talked about yet, so I'll just save that for later!

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

In addition to being a chance to write Kabumpo in all his Thompsonian glory (coming up with those ejaculations!), this story also let me develop my idea of Hank as one of the Emerald City's busiest gossips. Narrative voice inspired by Wodehouse's Mr. Mulliner stories, as I recall.