Tuesday, September 15, 2020

This Week's Oz Short Story

Actually, at the rate I'm going, maybe I should call it "This Month's Oz Short Story". But starting a new job and dealing with minor crises on the home front have made it a challenge to get this one up, even though I read "Rob Zombie in Oz" by Aaron Solomon Adelman, with illustrations by John Troutman, as published in the 2014 issue of Oziana, in plenty of time to write about it last week. This story (which, despite its name, does not feature any heavy metal singers) takes place during Ojo's first trip to the Emerald City in The Patchwork Girl of Oz and, surprisingly, incorporates some of the changes that book went through when it was turned into a movie a year later. A lot of this story centers around Jinjur, former commander of the Army of Revolt, and her decision to blackmail Dr. Pipt's daughter, Jesseva, into becoming a Yookoohoo. (No, really, it makes sense in context.) In the process, Jinjur spills some Powder of Life in an Emerald City graveyard (from before Oz was enchanted), creating a zombie! She has to deal with not only a zombie, but also a vengeful Yookoohoo, and in the end, it doesn't really work out well for Jinjur. We also see a little bit of what happened in the Emerald City while Ojo and his party were out looking for more ingredients.

It's a fun little exercise in melding the events of the book and the movie, and both Jinjur and Jesseva prove to be interesting characters. Despite my odd description of the story, it all flows very logically and sensibly, although maybe not in the way some people would expect. Even Ozma doesn't come off quite as well as one would expect, but it all fits into what we've seen in both the books and the movies.

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