Yeah, only one this week, but it's fun. Take a look at yesterday's edition of Brevity and tell me you wouldn't play that game! (But why limit it to just two of Judy's movies? Why not also A Star Is Born, Summer Stock, In the Good Old Summertime, Words and Music, Easter Parade, or all the other musicals she's done?)
Saturday, May 07, 2022
Yup, it's been another long stretch without many Oz comics, until this week.
Monday, April 11, 2022
Hey, with two today and a little extra time tonight, I thought, why wait for a weekend roundup?
Monday, April 04, 2022
No, really, I have other Ozzy things to talk about. I'm on spring break this week, so I may even get to some of them. But let's get the comics round-up out of the way tonight:
- In political comics, John Darkow had this to say about Clarence and Ginni Thomas and her role in the January 6 coup attempt.
- Poor Nick Chopper, only getting practical birthday presents in this edition of Close to Home.
- Modern technology comes to the rescue in today's edition of Eek!
- And in vintage comics, this extremely early edition showed up today on thefarside.com.
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Another week, another handful of Oz cmoics!
- On Monday, One Big Happy ran this edition involving a beloved Oz character. This is not the firsttime OBH has used this joke, and I think this may even be a rerun.
- On Wednesday, this rather twisted comic appeared in The Argyle Sweater. Well, this could explani why Liir is an orphan in Son of a Witch.
- And finally, on Saturday, the gang heads to a bar in this edition of Half Full. I'm not really sure I get this one, but it may have to do with the Witch's sister ending up in the opposite situation.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
My non-Oz life has been very busy lately, so it is only just now that I have a chance to share some of the latest Oz and Oz-adjacent comicswith you:
- March 7: This edition of TrivQuiz references one of the least adjacent Oz-adjacent movies. (Hey, someone reissue it on blu-ray!)
- March 8: Ukrainian political cartoonist has .
- March 11: Specktickles has an unlikely appearance (in more ways than one) of an Oz character.
- March 14: TrivQuiz is back with a shoutout to a different Oz movie.
- March 15: I'm pretty sure this is a rerun, but the Kansas City-based comic CowTown pokes fun at its place of origin.
- March 15 (again): In a political cartoon, Drew Shenemen has this to nay about Bill Barr, out on his current book tour.
- March 16: Anothre rerun, since they all are now, but Cul de Sac has this Ozzy comment on the current state of the calendar.
Saturday, March 05, 2022
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Monday, February 21, 2022
I know Jack Pumpkinhead doesn't sleep. But if he did, would he do what this guy is doing in today's edition of The Argyle Sweater? When he wakes up, what happens if he puts it in the wrong way around?
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Whoa, it's been how long since I've posted here? Well, I've been busy, and there hasn't been a lot of Ozzy stuff to report—although I do have a stack of Oz reading I should report on soon. But today, for the first time in weeks, an Oz comic has turned up in my comics feed. Too bad it's a rerun! But today's classic Bloom County has Opus remembering an adventure that I'm sure we'd all like to see.
Monday, January 24, 2022
Monday, January 17, 2022
Yeah, I got a bunch, and one is not so recent. So, time to jump in:
- I think I may have posted this installment of TrivQuiz before (since each one is tied to a particular date, it's easy to recycle installments once a year), but despite appearances to the contrary, there is an Oz connection, in the questions at the end. (Contrary to the comment this generated on Focebook, no, Ted Cassidy did not play a Munchkin.)
- Real quick: Eno had that dream again in The Duplex.
- It politics, Dave Whamond gives us the worst possible one-person version of The Wizard of Oz.
- And the very first Oz comic of 2022? It was part of the Sunday omnibus edition of Tundra way back on January 2. Unlike most of the comics I read, Tundra is not available online, at least not for free. So I'm doing the ethically dubious thing by presenting the scan of it here.
To assuage my guilty conscience, I am also providing the link to the Tundra website where you can find out more about the strip, become a Patreon supporter, see some examples, buy books and other merch, and other good stuff. If my showing the strip here can help generate a little income, then I won't feel so bad about posting this.
Monday, January 10, 2022
Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Let's see if I can hit the bottom of this pile today. If not, however, I have a few more days this week.
- Fables, Volume 15: Rose Red by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and other guests artists, colorists, and letterers is, as you can probably guess, the next volume in the Fables comic series. Rose Red is still dealing with her depression after the loss of Boy Blue, but she is forced out of it as more and more Free Fables emigrate to the Farm as Mr. Dark takes a firmer grip on Fabletown in New York City. And a new leader emerges among the witches—Ozma! Yes, we've seen her before, but this is when Ozma truly comes into her own as a character in this series and becomes a formidable force. Also, Snow White and Bigby have to deal with their cubs and their ancestry, while Beauty and the Beast have offspring troubles of their own; they just don't kwon it yet. Thumbelina also gets a story of her own, and the creators answer some reader questions, including one about Bufkin! And this is going to be the last volume of Fables I will be writing about here, as I started collecting individual issues with the next one that comes after this volume, #101. So while I haven't read them all in order, I have now read every issue of the main series in one form or another, along with some of the side issues, miniseries, and the like. At some point, I hope I can do an epic reread of the entire series, but that's a few years off.
- Colorful Corniness in Oz by Marine Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone. I've been collecting and reading the books published by Dulabone ever since he started, and now that he's passed away I am determined to finish the set. Fortunately, I only have two more to go, but this was a recent acquisition. It's a short one, but wow, they didn't spre on the color! All the illustrations (many are photographs) and even a lot of the text are in full color, fitting this tale of colors and the search for different varieties of corn. Like a lot of books written or published by Dulabone, it may not be particularly memorable, but it is a lot of fun and very Ozzy.
- From the same team comes my next book, Havenly Dreams Beneath Oz, illustrated by Dennis Anfuso. This was a fortunate get for me, as I was comparing my list of books I owned with the website's list of books that had been published, and noticed I'd missed this one. Needless to say, I sent off for it right away. Only a few weeks after the book arrived, word got out about Chris Dulabone's death. Much of this stor involves Goblin Grotto, a land underneath Oz, and the goblins who live there. Our main character is Raspberry Surely, a red goblin who doesn't receive a lot of love from the rest of her family. She sets out to find a better life for herself, something more like what she reads about in the Oz books. Yes, after many adventures, she makes it to Oz, meets some of the celebrities, and returns to a better life with a found family in Goblin Grotto. And that's about all I have to say about this one.
- My one major nod to non-fiction in this reading cycle was Ray Bolger: More Than a Scarecrow by Holly van Leuven. Believe it or not, this is the first full-length biography of Ray Bolger. There had been attempts before, including Bolger's own writings, but van Leuven was the one to finally put it all together and bring it to the public. And she does a fantastic job, making Bolger's life journey from the working class neighborhoods of Boston through the final days of vaudeville, Broadway, movies, night clubs, television, and the showrooms of Las Vegas. While the book certainly covers The Wizard of Oz, that was only one small part of his career, and this book gives equal weight to everything he did, demonstrating his abilities and adaptability. We also see just how important Bolger's wife, Gwen, was to his career, as she sets aside her own ambitions to manage Ray and help him move along to the next level. It's a fascinating look into the complete life of an important figure in the annals of oz, and van Leuven should be concratulated for finally bringing Ray's story out.
- Finally, a book that I recently acquired but don't see the need to actually read, because I know the text so well already: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by MinaLima. I already have plenty of editions of this book, so there must be something unique or unusual about it for me to want to get it, but I think this fits the bill very nicely. I've heard it described as a pop-up book, but that doesn't quite fit, although there are some elements. MinaLima, an art and graphic design studio, call it an interactive book, and that's much more accurate. It's the full original novel, but every once in a while something is inserted that invites the reader to play around, such as a pull-out tornado that becomes a map of Oz (including the Gillikin Country, which wasn't mentioned in this book). It's a fun way to present the story. Aside from the interactive element, the illustrations are colorful and striking, and frequently interact with the text (or the text interacts with the illustrations; it's a hard line to define). This is one many of today's children will treasure, and then collectors of the future will try to find it with all the interactive portions intact! So maybe you should buy two, and just not take the second one out of the wrapper.
Tuesday, December 28, 2021
I may not have had a lot of time to write about it lately, but the reading has continued. So I thought I'd do a little catching up over the next few days.
- My rereading of the works of Eloise Jarvis McGraw continued with The Golden Goblet, which I believe is the last book she wrote set in Egypt. Ranofer dreams of becoming a goldsmith, but his embittered stepbrother, Gebu, who is in charge of him, will only let him assist in the smithy. But when Ranofer finds out that Gebu is using him to steal gold, he threatens to expose him. Gebu solves that by giving Ranofer an apprenticeship—in his own stonecutter's shop! As much as he hates stonecutting, Ranofer is pragmatic enough to go along and do his best. But when Ranofer finds out more skullduggery that Gebu is up to, he sees an opportunity to take charge of his own destiny. As always, McGraw does a terrific job of evoking Egypt by showing it to us through the characters' eyes, not ours. We see and hear and feel and smell Egypt as an Egyptian would, and our experience becomes richer for it. This is also a pretty exciting book, with all kinds of twists, but it all comes to a satisfying conclusion, as one would expect.
- I also read Eloise's only play, a little one-act called Steady, Stephanie! Ah, the affairs of the heart of a mid-twentieth century teenager! This comedy involves Stephanie, naturally, her steady boyfriend, Mike, and the new boy in town, Bronco, who Stephanie thinks is kind of exciting, until she actually gets to know him. Stephanie's kid sister, Georgia, pops in with the occasional bon mot, wry observation, or bit of advice. I tried to stage a production, or at least a reading, when I chaired the 2016 edition of OzCon International in Portland, as McGraw is from the area, but I never could get a straight answer on the rights. Apparently this was a bit of a relief to Inana McGraw, a guest that year and the artist formerly know as Lauren Lynn McGraw (and before that, Lauren McGraw Wagner). From what I remember, one of the characters is based on her, and she wasn't too wild about it.
- Another book from the '60s that I reread for the first time in decades was The Blue Emperor of Oz by Henry S. Blossom. This was one of the earliest extarcanonical Oz books, as Blossom self-published it in 1966, even though most of the Oz books, and their characters, were still under copyright at the time. I bought a copy of the 1982 second edition direct from Henry Blossom at one of my earliest Winkie Conventions, and this is only the second time I've read it. The Blue Emperor's drinking mug is in danger of being broken, which would be disastrous for the Blue Emperor. The problem is, nobody seems able to remember him! But he is Ozma's grandfather and Pomus' brother, so naturally Kabumpo gets involved early on. Meanwhile, in an Ohio pawn shop, Jam finds the head of the Gump, who assists him in getting back to Oz. Yes, many adventures and hijinks ensue before the Blue Emperor is restored, and everyone celebrates in the Emerald City before heading home again. This is a very Thompson-esque story, with visits to several "interesting" little communities, but the characters never lose track of their goal. It's a fun little romp, and now I'm just sorry it took me so long to get back to it.
- I've been wanting to read the Royal Explorers of Oz series for some time now, and finally broke down and acquired the omnibus edition of all four books in one. It's a little daunting to read them all at once, so I figure I'll just stretch this out over time by just reading one book at a time. Naturally, I started with Book I, The Voyage of the Crescent Moon. It's just a nice little sail around the continent on the Crescent Moon, with Captain Samuel Salt entertaining such visitors as honeymooning couple Maria and Derek (from The Bashful Baker of Oz), the Red Jinn, Trot and Cap'n Bill, and some visiting mermaids, among others. While they do a lot of exploring, Salt and his crew also have some tasks to perform. They then cross paths with Prince Bobo of Boboland, who is not the most diplomatic or savvy ruler (early on in the book, he manages to offend Queen Zixi of Ix by presenting her with a mirror!). But the Crescent Moon takes him home anyway, after Bobo's crew mutinies, as it's on the way to Ozamaland. That's right, in Book II, Tandy's finally going home!
Monday, December 27, 2021
Now that the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, it's time to get to work and, among other things, close a few tabs in my browser—like these two recent Oz comics:
- Ruthie, the main character in One Big Happy, has never quite gotten the initials for "automated teller machine" quite right. (Once, many years ago, two comics had this same joke! one of them was Ruthie in OBH.)
- And in this old Garfield throwback, Garfield does his best impression of the Shaggy Man in the land of the Cuttenclips, but somehow a different Oz book gets invoked instead.
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
It's appropriate that The Wizard of Oz was on TNT last night, because David Cohen of the Asheville Citizen-Times had this to say about the senior Senator from West Virginia.
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Today in TrivQuiz, we find out the connection between Glenn Miller and The Wizard of Oz—or to be more accurate, a song form The Wizard of Oz. (Actually, it's my understanding that Miller's version of "Over the Rainbow" was a major factor in its early days in making the song the standard it is today, long before everyone saw Judy Garland sing it every year on television.)
Sunday, December 12, 2021
Not much new, but fun stuff, as always.
Sunday, December 05, 2021
Yeah, another busy week, and they've piled up:
- I dunno, does this edition of TrivQuiz count? Well, one of the albums mentioned sounds almost like The Wizard of Oz…
- John Cole has this editorial cartoon about a recently announced candidate for the Senate in Pennsylvania.
- I got into Skin Horse for it's Ozzy connections, but in this behind-the-curtain strip from today, writer Shaenon Garrity is in august company. The lead name at the top of the second column is especially well-known to Oz fans.
- Finally, I have yet to mention here a new strip that recently started on WebToons, Fleischer and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The premise is, what if another famous fictional Kansan went to Oz instead of Dorothy? The trouble is, the character is still under copyright and trademark protection, so they can't actually say who he is. You'll just have to be a super guesser, man. I was tickled by Dorothy's cameo, and thunderstruck by the most recent strip that makes it extremely clear that this is the Oz of the books, not one made famous in any dramatized versions. Definitely bookmark this one and check it out every few days.