Monday, April 08, 2024

Today's Oz Comic

Wow, they're coming fast and thick now! John R. Neill's Scarecrow makes an appearance in today's edition of Wondermark.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

This Weekend's Oz Comics

A quick pair:

  • Last week's storyline in Over the Hedge had nothing to do with oz, but yesterday's resolution mentions it. (I would have thought Alice in Wonderland would have been even more appropriate, though.)
  • Great, so I get the news from today's Strange Brew just as I'm plannig two flights to Oz events later this year...

Thursday, April 04, 2024

The Latest Oz Short Story

Hey, I m on spring break this week, I can post more frequently if I want to, right? The next story from the 2023 edition of Oziana is "Together" by Carter Lappin, with an illustration by David Bishop. This is a short one, and not a lot even happens, but it sure shines a light on the inner thoughts of two of the most important characters in Oz. Dorothy, hoping to get away from court and just be alone with her thoughts for a while, has found a spot on the palace roof that suits her needs. But she is surprised by Ozma, who came up to the roof for the exact same reasons. Since Ozma isn't wearing any emeralds or other jewelry, and is in pants, Dorothy recognizes that Ozma has been channeling her past as Tip. The two friends contemplate their lives and their friendship for a bit, then go off on their ways. It's a very short, introspective story. Bishop's illustration is great, and his take on Ozma shows a side of her we don't see often enough.

Monday, April 01, 2024

Today's Oz Comic

Oh, sure you can go to the Wizard and ask for one, or you can cut out the middleman and go straight to the source, as a couple of characters did in today's edition of Off the Mark.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

The Latest Oz Short Story

I had hoped to make these updates weekly, but let's just say there's a reason I now label this series "The Latest Oz Short Story" and no longer "This Week's Oz Short Story". But I did read "Button-Bright and the Professor" by J. L. Bell, with illustrations by Marcus Mèbés, from the 2023 edition of Oziana with every intention of posting it here earlier. Oh, well, you're getting it now! Professor H. M. Wogglebug, T. E., wants to test out his new direction-finding pill, and thinks Button-Bright would be the perfect test subject. Button-Bright, however, doesn't want anything to do with it, and tells the Professor this in no uncertaint terms. But the Professor persists and follows Button-Bright to try to convince him when they both get lost in the woods near the Royal College. Button-Bright doesn't mind much, and knows exactly how to handle the giant pangolin they run across. But since pangolins are insectivores, the Professor panics and ruins Button-Bright's plans. The pair finally get away from the pangolin by getting trapped in a cave system she can't get far into, but how to get out? It wasn't the original plan, but Button-Bright finally consents to take the Professor's new pill and quickly finds a way out. I like these small-scale stories where a whole town or the entire country isn't in danger, it's just a couple of our old friends out having an adventure. This particular pairing is not one we've seen very often, which adds to the charm. Let's hope the Professor has learned a thing or two about just letting people be who they are—but somehow I doubt he has.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Today's Oz Comic

Presented without any further comment: today's edition of Cornered.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The Latest Oz Short Story

Oh, hey, what a surprise, it's another story from the 2023 edition of Oziana! This time around it's "A Rotten Pumpkin" by Suren Oganessian, illustrated by David Bishop. Jack Pumpkinhead laments that he's not terribly bright or well-respected, and the Sawhorse suggests that maybe that's due to Jack always carving such a broad grin and affable expression on his head. So Jack tries a new, frowning expression. Debuting his new head at Ozma's birthday party, it quickly turns out that Jack's head reflects a new personality. He's surly, sarcastic, and caustic. He picks fights with the Wogglebug and the Patchwork Girl, and outright proclaims his jealousy of the Scarecrow by denouncing the "brains" the Wizard gave him. Finally, in a fit of anger, Jack removes his head and smashes it on the ground! This is not going to go down as Ozma's happiest birthday. But she carves a new head for her son, with the old expression. His personality restored, Jack vows to apologize to his friends, and Ozma suspects they will probably apologize to him as well, for the way they've treated him over the years.

This is far from the first time alterations in Jack's head have also altered his personality, but this is the first time I recall a story where the change was, literally, of Jack's own making—and unmaking! There's also a lovely scene at the end of Ozma and Jack just happily being together, and some great introspection from both Jack and Ozma. Bishop's art is clean and well drawn, and show a lot of ersonality, which is especially important in both of Jack's different looks. Despite the new head making our protagonist becoming Jerk Pumpkinhead, I really enjoyed this one.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Today's Oz Comic

I think this edition of Cow Town is actually a rerun, but it's nice to get a little real world geography (yes, all are real locations) with your Oz.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

This Week's Oz Short Story

Yes, at long last, I have more for you, because at long last, the 2023 edition of Oziana is available! If you're a fan of original shart Oz stories, this is a must. This issue starts off with "A Portrait of Ozma" by Jane Albright, with illustrations by Anna-Maria Cool. Ozma decides to commission some royal portraits, and hires the artist Easel to paint them. Along the way, Easel acquires some new paintbrushes that may have magical powers. He decides to try them with his first portrait, Ozma, and the portrait comes to life! It gets confusing having two Ozma's running around, but a little subterfuge by the Wizard and some clever thinking by the new Ozma soon puts things to rights, and Easel decides not to use the new brushes anymore. It's a fun way to start off the issue, with a cozy little story set among friends in the palace. There's no real danger involved, but it sure shows why Ozma tries to restrict the practice of magic to those she can trust to use it wisely. Tying in with the story is the front cover, also by Anna-Maria Cool, showing some of Easel's portraits.

Yesterday's Oz Comic

I would have posted this yesterday, but we had a power outage late in the day that threw a lot of things off. Oh, well, this edition of Strange Brew still holds up. Maybe the Munchkin barrister is available.

Monday, March 04, 2024

Today's Classic Oz Comic

It's been pretty quiet on the Oz comics front lately. I guess we'll have to do with this rerun from The Far Side today.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Oz Comics Roundup

Oh, hey, look, a few more Oz comics!

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Today's Continuing Comics Saga

Tensions mount over in Heart of the City. And a stage musical of Chicken Run would be awesome!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

This Week's Oz Comics

Wow, we've been getting a few lately. Here they are, in chronological order:

  • On January 7, The Argyle Sweater had this fishy musical tribute. I'm sure you'll all recognize that one in the lower center.
  • On January 10, Thatababy had this rhyming piece whose final panel may or may not represent the bad guy from The Sea Fairies. (Yeah, probably not, but I'm including it here anyway, just because.)
  • On January 14, Bound and Gagged did this gag. Yeah, it's not the first time we've seen these two stories cross over before.\
  • And just today, Heart of the City is getting ready for the next school show, and the cast is voting. I like one of those choices, but since Heart voted for Peter Pan and she already did The Wizard of Oz back when she was drawn by a different cartoonist, somehow I don't think she's going over the rainbow. Still, you never know.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Review: "Ghostwriter: Ghost of Oz"

I was very happy when I got an iPad a while ago, as it included a subscription to AppleTV+. They have all kinds of great shows, and I was looking to dive in. When my initial complimentary subscription ran out, I decided to pay the modest monthly fee to keep it going. But alas, they recently raised it to a price I couldn't justify, particularly as I'd already watched just about everything I wanted to watch. However, one last show I made sure to watch before it ended was the first three episodes of the third season of the reboot of Ghostwriter. For a show about literacy and literature, it sure took the franchise a long time to finally get to The Wizard of Oz in these episodes! "The Ghost of Oz" introduces a new ghostwriter and group of New York kids for it to work with, all based around a bookstore. The book is not the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, however, but a modern adaptation. This allows for one of the characters to be the Tin Girl, and to flesh out the character of the Wicked Witch of the West by making her a former friend of the Tin Girl, and responsible for her becoming tin. The Scarecrow and the Cowardly Liotn are much closer to their original characterizations, however. They even used CGI to create a proper four-legged lion instead of a two-legged actor.

The storyline has our new ghostwriter summoning the Scarecrow, Tin Girl, and Cowardly Lion from a modern rewrite of The Wizard of Oz to enlist the help of Charli, Nia, and Samir. The season-long mystery involves an Egyption scroll that Charli's mother is in charge of returning to Egypt. (SPOILER ALERT: This story ends with the revelation that it's a forgery! But there are five more story arcs this season to find out what's going on, if you are so inclined.) The first step the ghostwriter takes to solve the mystery is releasing the Scarecrow, the Tin Girl, and the Cowardly Lion. Naturally, only Charli, Nia, and Samir can see them, but they still have to figure out where to put them, how to explain where they are, and so on. Highjinks ensue! The Oz characters are seeking their brain, heart, and courage, so the kids try to help them find them in New York, and even try to fool them in the same way the Wizard does in the book. It all culminates in a confrontation between the former friends, Tin Girl and the Wicked Witch of the West, at a swimming pool (let's face it, a place that's not good for either of them), where they work through their differences, the witch sees the error of her ways and reforms and turns the Tin Girl back into her nermal self. (Yeah, I said it was a modern-day adaptation of the story.)

Overall, I enjoyed this, mostly for the fish out of water aspect of Dorothy's three friends trying to navigate modern-day New York City. The revisions didn't bother me much, but I know some Oz fans who would have a harder time with this than I would. So, if you're in the mood, you can check out the first episode [ right here]. Apple will even let you join for one week for free, so if this is all you're interested in, you can easily catch it.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Today's Oz-Adjacent Comic

The crew at Breaking Cat News are doing some research on Santa this week. Naturally, they have to turn to some of the most important books about him out there. Take a look at the middle book in the stack in the final panel, and I think you'll understand why I've linked to this comic!

(My thanks to Tim Tucker for spotting this. Although I'm a regular BCN reader, I'm not sure I've have noticed this.)

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Today's Oz Comic

Today In the Bleachers, why Oz doesn't have gyms!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Latest Oz Comic

This edition of Working Daze made the circuits a few days ago. I would ask if that's the Scarecrow before or after he got his blain, but considering how bad the Scarecrow's math is in The Movie, I doubt I want him ever to deal with my finances.

Friday, November 24, 2023

This Week's Oz Comic

My man in Japan, Michael-sensei, found this edition of Wondermark this week. This is extremely accurate! The only thing I might change is that it was over a hundred and twenty years ago.

L. Frank Baum on "Saturday Night Live"!

In case you haven't already seen it, here's a skit from last weekend's edition of Saturday Night Live with a special Ozzy guest star!

Clearly this sketch is not about Oz, it was just an excuse to show people being silly in front of a camera. But here are a few things they didn't quite get right:
  1. Where's Baum's big ol' walrus mustache?
  2. Why is Baum writing with his right hand? Baum was left-handed.
  3. Why is he writing in the streets of New York? He was based in Chicago, and didn't spend a lot of time in New York so far as I know.
  4. If he's actually writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it would not be the early 1900s. The manuscript was completed in 1899, and published in 1900. But maybe this is another, later book.
  5. And that's not a terribly knowledgeable Oz expert if he doesn't correct the host's mention of Dorothy's ruby slippers. (I'm sure you all know that they were silver shoes in the book.) Since L. Frank Baum decorated show windows before turning to writing full time, maybe he was just admiring the fine job they did.
I will give them credit, though, for pronouncing L. Frank Baum's correctly. Also, our Baum "expert" is played by cast member Bowen Yang, who's playing Pfannee in the Wicked movies.