Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

Jack Pumpkinhead makes a timely and topical appearance in today's installment of Eek!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

Going by today's edition of Brevity, the current labor shortages withincreased incentives have apparently hit Oz yet.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

The Latest Oz Reading

Oh, I have been vory busy lately—reading lots of Oz and Oz-adjacent books, but not much spare time to write about them here! But I've managed to carve a little time out rght now, so I'm going to see how many I can write about now.

  • The Wonderful Arts of Oz by Daniel "Munch" Kinske. This is a big coffee table book that is pretty much what the cover says. This folio has many examples of art (Oz and otherwise) by W. W. Denslow, work done for the 1902 musical stage extravaganza version of The Wizard of Oz, photographs of Ozcot, L. Frank Baum's Hollywood home, the stage show of The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, Oz illustrations by John R. Neill, and publicity material and photographs pertaining to both the 1925 silent film and the famous 1939 Technicolor film adaptations of The Wizard of Oz. It is a glorious book, and many of the pictures were new to me. Even the ones I knew could reveal new insights when reproduced at this size, however. It includes an introduction by Judy Garland's photographic stand-in, Caren Marsh-Doll. I do hove two complaints. One is that the font Denslow is used for many large blocks of explanatory text. Denslow works great for headlines and other short snippets of text, but it is very hard to read in extended passages. The other complaint is that it only goes up to 1939! So much Oz has come along since then, and there is plenty of material for a second volume. I would have also liked to see more from the books, as the Neill section is frustratingly brief. Still, this is a spectacular volume, and I very much appreciate having it.
  • I picked up a whole bunch of fun items from Lulu Publishing, including a reproduction of the Fall 1961 Reilly & Lee catalog. It's brief, and there's really not even that much about Oz, but it's a fascinating look at what else the publishers of the Oz books sold. I'd love to see other catalogs from Reilly & Lee's history reprinted in a similar form.
  • The Bashful Baker of Oz by Marcus Mébès reprints a charming tale from the 2003 issue of Oziana (which I talk about here. I was mildly disappointed that it wasn't expanded more into an even longer story, but it still works, and I'm happy to have this.
  • Dorothy ond the Wooden Soldiers of Oz by Ken Romer is a brief little tale, adapting some characters and incidents from the second Magic Land book, Oorfeen Deuce and His Wooden Soldiers, published in Russia. This is nice because the pages are big and the illustrations are simple, allowing the readers to color them. I doubt many Oz scholars will take this seriously, but I will certainly enjoy having this in my collection.
  • My reread of the Oz series continues with a slight sideways excursion to Sky Island, prepping the way for Trot and Cap'n Bill to make it to Oz in my next wave of Oz reading. Unilke The Sea Fairies, this is a tightly plotted tale, with Trot, Cap'n Bill, and their new friend Button-Bright having to deal with one obstacle after another in their efforts to reach home again once they reach the titular island. I couldn't help but thinking how much easier it would have gone for the Boolooroo if he had just let them go. But he had to have his way, which led to his downfall. Much is made in this book of the appearance of Polychrome, but it's little more than a cameo, as she just comes in for a few pages to straighten things out in the Pink Country, and then she's gone again.
  • That wasn't the only Baum book I got to read over the past few weeks. I was asked to be part of the proofreading team for a new book, and I was happy to look at The Maid of Arran, believed to be the first widely published edition of one of L. Frank Baum's earliest works. This was a play he wrote and starred in as a young man. It was while he was touring with The Maid of Arran that he met, wooed, and married Maud Gage, in fact. This is much more than a reprint of the play, however. It has many essays of background and analysis of the play, its part in Baum's career, the other people involved, publicity material, contemporary critiques, and even an excerpt of the novel A Princess of Thule, upon which the play was based. It is, in my opinion, the best analysis of a single work by L. Frank Baum since The Annotated Wizard of Oz. Besides the color paperback version I linked to above, it is also available in black and white and a deluxe hardcover edition.
  • I finally got to read a proper Baum Oz book with Tik-Tok of Oz. Having now seen a production of the play it's based on, The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, which in turn was based on Ozma of Oz, I can certainly see the throughline from one version to the next. Yes, a lot of this retreads Ozma of Oz, but there are a lot of original elements that make it nicely Ozzy in its own right. Quox the Dragon is especially fun.
  • Finally (for now), my new job has given me the financial security to take up collecting the works of Rachel R. Cosgrove again, and I managed to pick up her second book (after The Hidden Valley of Oz), Forsythia Finds Murder. She was married by this time, and so this is also the firstbook to be published under her new name of Rachel C. Payes. Forsythia Brown is a successful young New York author who, faced with a case of writer's block, heads to a resort in the Poconos to work through it. There, she meets the usual eccentrics and other characters who inhabit a novel such as this. It takes quite a while for anyone to die, but even before it happens all the players have their backgrounds and motives aired out, and it really comes as no surprise when the titular murder finally happens. Naturally Forsythia becomes a suspect, and also provides the final clue that solves the issue in the end. She even manages to find romance amid all the turmoil! Aside from being a gripping, if perhaps too pat, mystery, this shows us a window into the upper crust of New York society of sixty-some years ago. Lots of alcohol and tobacco are at the center of much of the socializing, and some characters also prove to be incorrigible gossips. It is not a book I would recommend to most Oz fans, but if you are interested in this side of a Royal Historian, you may want to track down a copy. I had hoped to read all of Rachel's book (that I don't already have) in publication order, but acquiring them all is proving to be a scavanger hunt, so i may jump around a bit.
I have lots of other books in my current Oz reading cycle, both rereads and new stories, so I'll have a few more of these entries in the coming weeks.

The Rest of This Week's Oz Comics

Yup, two more came along recently.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Yesterday's Oz Comics

The nice thing about holidays is I can take a breather from my busy life and catch up on some stuff, before the weekend rolls around. And it's a good thing, since yesterday was a two-hander.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

This Week's Oz Comics

Things are gradually settling down again, and I hope to start doing these daily again (on days when there are Oz comics, of course) soon. But until then, these weekly roundups seem to do just fine.

  • Our first comic of the week, on November 1, was this comment on where Dorothy was going in 1 and Done. Yeah, more than one person has wondered what was really so great about Kansas that Dorothy actually wanted to go back to. Of course she eventually brought Uncle Henry and Aunt Em to Oz and moved there permanently. I'd probably do the same thing!
  • On the same day, Oz is mentioned in this rendition of TrivQuiz. I'm pretty sure this is a rerun, as TrivQuiz often does, and that art sure looks familiar.
  • The next day, on November 2, this is happening in Working Daze. I think they need some sort of control device. Maybe one that can be worn on the head, possibly made of gold!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

This Week's Oz Comics

It has been a crazy, busy week around here (fortunately I also haven't been called in for jury duty ye—four more days to go), and the Oz comics have been piling up. So I'll do a quick anthology reaction here:

Sunday, October 24, 2021

This Weekend's Oz Comics

It's been a crazy weekend, trying to get ready for an even crazier couple of weeks, starting tomorrow, with all kinds of things happening at work, Halloween and a brief cross-state road trip to celebrate, and then jury duty thrown on top of that! However, things are falling into place now (I already know I don't have to report to the courthouse tomorrow), so I can finally post the pair of Oz comics that showed up this weekend.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Today's Oz Not-Really-Political Cartoon

Peter Kuper, among other things, has drawn Spy Vs. Spy in Mad Magazine for the past many years. The other day, he had this advice for the season on his political cartoons page. I don't think this one has much about politics, though, and that's okay.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Latest Oz Reading

Hooray, I'm tearing through everything else and have gotten around to my next wave of Oz reading again! But right now, I have an item that I found out about and acquired through an ad on Kickstarter. Mount Olympus Comics was looking to fund issue #3 of their series Samurai of Oz, so I bit the bullet and funded it, with my reward being a set of the first three issues. Hey, if an Oz comic can be set in the Old West, why not feudal Japan? It quickly became apparant that Samurai of Oz had a rather, shall we say, relaxed attitude towards women's clothing. And the women were also—hmm, how to put this delicately?—stacked. Endowed. Top heavy, even. Okay, not my usual, but I was still interested, and Laura was okay with it, so I went for it.

Dorothy Blade is a great samurai swordswoman (yeah, I know, women weren't samurai, but most of this doesn't make much sense anyway, so just go with it, okay?) who finds herself and her pet wolf, Toto, swept to a far-off land after surprising thieves in her home. In the ensuing battle, Dorothy's kimono pops open (I did tell you), and one of the thieves leaps from the body she's occupying and into Toto! To keep Toto alive, they strike an uneasy alliance, and are saved by the Blade of the East, who wants Dorothy's ruby-handles swords, by a scarecrow. But he's no fan of hers and wants to take care of Dorothy as well. Dorothy and "Toto" escape, aided by the honorable Blade of the North. The scare demon is now Dorothy's reluctant companion, and now that they are out of immediate danger, Dorothy takes off her clothes (yeah, again) and goes for a swim. In the process, she finds the head of a metal statue, which she brings to the surface. Bringing the head back to the body reunites the metal warrior, both body and soul, and he is grateful, vowing to kill the scare demon! But Dorothy steps in and commands them to stop, so they become reluctant allies to protect Dorothy. Next up is a lioness-spirit who hunts demons, but Dorothy defeats her, too. And that's where issue three leaves off.

The setting is sure different, and the characters are also a lot different than in most other adaptations of Oz. Since this is set in a violent, warlike time, the characters also act the same way. And all the elements of the Japanese supernatural culture also make it interesting. I plan to keep on reading this, even if it means I have to acquire subsequent issues via Kickstarter campaigns. But it is not a cheap book, each issue covers very little of the story, and, well, Dorothy gets naked a lot. So I suspect it's not going to be a book for everyone's tastes. If you are a real Oz completist, into Japanese mythology, or just like the general premise, you may want to get this. But I suspect a lot of people will understand if you choose to take a pass on this one.

Today's Oz Comic

I'll be even briefer than usual: I want Lio's drone!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

Today in The Argyle Sweater—hey, who else are you going to get to represent you?

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Oz in Jeopardy!

I've pretty much had to give up posting every single Oz clue from Jeopardy! over the past few years, for various reasons, but mostly because they just keep coming up, and it was getting very hard to keep up. Then there are all kinds of technical issues getting screen grabs now. But recently, they've started putting Final Jeopardy! up on YouTube, and it dawned on me this morning that I could post this one from September 30:

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

The Kansas Turnpike is a real road with an interesting history. However, I somehow doubt that the cutoff shown in today's Strange Brew actually exists.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

This one's a bit of a stretch, but it's my blog so I get to decide. Yesterday's music edition of Trivquiz gives a little Ozzy background information on Lil Wayne. Not only that, another musician with an Oz acting credit also gets a mention.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

I am so glad that I am happily married, because then I don't have to try to find someone. Nowadays, that means dating apps. Somehow, I don't trust the algorithms they use, if today's edition of Rhymes with Orange is any indication!

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

Although today's edition of The Argyle Sweater is clearly based on The Movie, L. Frank Baum is credited, for once, for creating the characters. This is a rarity in any medium! And now I want to see this character appear in a story!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Today's Oz…Um, "Political" Cartoon?

Yeah, this one's confusing, because it's from The Onion, which already makes it odd. I don't think you can really call their cartoons political, but they are editorial. Well, yesterday they ran one about the reopening of Broadway. Guess what the only actual show to be mentioned in it is? (Hint: It's not Dear Evan Hansen.)

Monday, September 13, 2021

Today's Oz Comics

Well it looks like, according to today's edition of The Argyle Sweater, Dorothy has found another good use for her magic slippers. Meanwhile, over at The Far Side, we have another classic favorite. (Bad dog, Toto!)

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Today's Oz Comic

I seem to recall seeing today's edition of CowTown before. Someone on Facebook commented that the Hungry Tiger would really like some barbecue, and I added that he'd really like baby back ribs!