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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

This Week's Oz Cartoons Discovery

I was informed by a very important person that there were a couple of Oz (or at least Oz-adjacent) cartoons in recent editions of The New Yourker. I poked around and explored their website a bit, and found a way to link to individual cartoons and present them here. So, here they are:

Monday, November 06, 2023

The Latest Oz Comics

The day after Halloween, we had a two-fer on the comics page:

Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

With the appropriately named "Concluding King Rinkitink" by Maggie Lockets, we've reached the end of the 2016 edition of Oziana. These chapters are really short, so I think I see why it was not given serious consideration to win the contest, but there are some good ideas that other entries never approached. After not being able to rescue his parents, Inga decides to leave the Nome Kingdom and find Gos and Cor and make them release them. This makes sense, as it's Roquat's promise to them that is still keeping his parents prisoner. Following the advice of the White Pearl, they find themselves in the country of the Wheelers. The Wheelers have captured King Gos and Queen Cor! A few head butts from Bilbil scares off the Wheelers, and Inga and Rinkitink take the royal prisoners back to Roquat. The royal family of Pingaree is reunited, and they all go back to Pingaree — including Gos and Cor, who are forced to live there so as to not cause any more mischief! With this punishment, Rinkitink declares that Inga will be a wise king. I like this ending a lot, and it could have been expanded to make a fitting conclusion to King Rinkitink.

And with that, I am all caught up with reading and blogging about Oziana at last. I've reread every story, poem, playlet, and puzle from every issue from 1971 to 2022. I have a few other sources of Oz short stories I want to blog about as well, but I also have some other business I want to take care of on this blog first.

But the 2023 edition of Oziana is probably also coming out soon...

Monday, October 23, 2023

Today's Oz Comic

Love among the Oz characters is blooming over in Thatababy—and it's not anyone you're expecting!

Sunday, October 22, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

Hang on, folks, we're almost done with the 2016 issue of Oziana and all the alternate endings to King Rinkitink. This week it's "Ending Chapters of King Rinkitink" by Mariah B'Forre, wherein the White Pearl advises Inga to acquire some eggs. They find a hidden passage in their new room which leads to the top of a mountain and a jacdaw's nest! Gathering some eggs, Inga also comes across two golden elephant ornaments. Back in Roquat's throne room, Inga decides to offer the Nome King the elephants as an exchange for his parents. Roquat agrees, and bring Kitticut and Garre to the rescuers, but before they can actually leave Roquat pulls one last stunt and drops the floor down into a new chamber where they re confronted by six doors. The White Pearl confirms that the doors lead into a dangerous maze, so Inga decides not to have any of that! Instead, he uses the power of the pearls to get himself and the others back up to the original room. They use the hidden passage to get to the jackdaw's nest and freedom. Descending the mountain, they find they are near Gilgad, so Rinkitink and Bilbil stay there, and Inga rows his parents back to a rebuilt Pingaree. I liked this one, and how it uses eggs and other Baum lore such as the jackdaws. But the pearl's advice and the hidden passage to the surface seem just a little too convenient. Were I judging this contest, this may have gotten to the final rounds, but I probably would have given it an honorable mention.

Saturday, October 21, 2023

This Week's Oz Comics

We got a two-fer on Thursday:

  • Not every comic with a pumpkin-headed man is, by default, an Oz comic. But this guy in Eek! has the right name, and the same anxiety Jack exhibited in The Marvelous Land of Oz. So I am most emphatically declaring this one to be Ozzy!
  • In contrast, I don't see how anyone could interpret this edition of Strange Brew as anything that isn't Ozzy.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

I am nearing the end of the 2016 issue of Ozinana and all these new endings for King Rinkitink. This week it's "King Rinkitink Conclusion" by Sarah Hadley, which sees Rinkitink accidentally reveal the existence and powers of the pearls to Roquat! (He got carried away singing one of his impromptu songs at a banquet.) Roquat makes it clear that he's going to try to acquire the pearls, so he's not letting our party go. But Bilbil, sensing that Roquat is a tyrant and the rest of the Nomes don't like him much, befriends Kaliko and enlists his aid in helping them to escape. Kaliko shows Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil where King Kitticut and Queen Garee are to be found. Unfortunately, it's in Roquat's palace, and if you remember the events of Ozma of Oz, you know that means the King and Queen of Pingaree have been enchanted into ornaments! Fortunately, the enchantment proves to be much easire to break—literally!—than touching an ornament and saying "Ev". Dozens of ornaments prove to be victims of Roquat's wrath, and join their liberators in a ragtag army. But Roquat, upon finally appearing on the scene, has a business proposition: Kittikut and Garee in exchange for the pearls. Inga appears to give in, but in the process Bilbil chomps down on and breaks the blue and pink pearls. This disenchants the King and Queen of Pingaree! But in exchange for the white pearl (which is a lot less helpful to Roquat that it is to Inga), the Nome King agrees to abdicate, and Kaliko becomes the new Nome King. There are a lot of good ideas in this telling, and I like incorporating the ornaments of Ozma of Oz into the story. But I have to wonder how Kitticut and Garee could have been the pearls all this time. It just does not add up. So I can certainly understand why this one did not win the contest.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

I have been very busy lately, and thus haven't had much chance to write about the latest ending new ending from King Rinkitink, as published in the 2016 edition of Oziana. But I will remedy that right now by talking about "King Rinkitink Restor'd" by John W. Kennedy and Elaine M. Kennedy. Inga decides to bribe the Nome King with a kind of jewel that he doesn't have, pearls. He shows the white pearl, but Roquat thinks it's an egg! Of course he fears eggs so much that he decides to break his promise to Gos and Cor and gives Inga a chance to find the prisoners. In another complicated game, Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil are allowed to each pick onee door each, out of a hundred, behind one of which is King Kittikut and Queen Garee. The humans fail, but Bilbil's sense of smell finds the royal couple. After leaving the Nome Kingdom, Bilbil gets hungry and eats How to Be Good, which then changes him back to Prince Bobo! Upon reaching the Nonestic Ocean, they decide to go to Regos and Coregos and stop the terror of King Gos and Queen Cor forever, but the Great Mermaid (a character that does not appear in The Sea Fairies) knows all that's been happening through communication via the pearls. Gos and Cor are now permanent guests of the mermaids and will no longer bother anyone on the surface. Unlike most of these other entries, the Kennedys then tell where Baum's original picks up again. I think there are some good ideas here, but were I judging this contest I would have liked to see them expanded, as this is a little short. Still, it was a worthy effort.

Monday, October 02, 2023

Today's Oz Comic

In today's edition of The Argyle Sweater, one character has a desire to travel, and a really good reason not to!

Sunday, October 01, 2023

This Weekend's Oz Comic

I'll keep it brief: A love triangle in yesterday's edition of Rubes. This could get ugly...

Monday, September 25, 2023

A Recent Oz Comic

It has been one busy week-or-so here, so since this comic is from last week, I'm not even sure what to call it! But it seems that over in One Big Happy, Ruthie managed to figure out that one movie you'd least expect actually has an Oz connection. Enjoy!

Monday, September 18, 2023

Last Week's Oz Political Cartoon

I saw this one in my local paper (which is now something I read on a tablet, so it's not made of paper any more; still trying to figure out what to call it!) and found it online, but things have kept me from blogging about it until today. But let's just say that Pat Bagley of The Salt Lake Tribune has an Ozzy slant on the current climate crisis.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

Another new ending for King Rinkitink from the 2016 issue of Oziana is titled simply "Rinkitink" by Karen Diket. It starts with a flashback to the last time someone survived the three trick caverns, the wizard Zenoro. Before leaving, Zenoro left behind a trinket for the next person to get through them. Sure enough, Inga finds that he has new powers, as his spoken wishes come true so long as he is in the Nome Kingdom. His first wish is that Rinkitink, Bilbil, and he would be in Gilgad, so he can't do much else with them until they return to Roquat with some of Rinkitink's guards and enough treasure to outbid what Gos and Coregos presented to Roquat before. While surprised, Roquat considers the proposition while Inga just wishes to see his parents again. Suddenly, he is with them in the Metal Forest, where Kittikut and Garee treat him to a meal of the three-course nuts. Inga returns to his friends, and uses his new knowledge of the three-course nuts to free his parents. (Thanks to the white pearl, he also learns about Zenoro and his gift to those others who survived Roquat's trap. Why Inga didn't just wish his parents away before joining them is beyond me!) During the course of events, Bilbil reveals that it was Zenoro who also transformed Prince Bobo into his current form of a goat, so Inga also wishes Bobo to resume his natural form right before they leave the Nome Kingdom—all without Roquat ever knowing about Zenoro's gift. That pretty much wraps things up, the final resolutions are tied up pretty quickly, and Bobo decides to stay in Rinkitink instead of returning to Boboland. Were I a judge, I would probably put this one in the pile for further consideration, but the convenience of a new wishing power, a couple of logic breaks, and the rapid resolution would probably knock it out of consideration for the final prize.

This Week's Oz Comic

I think this edition of CowTown is a rerun. But it's still darned Ozzy, and ties in well with the cartoonist's hometown of Kansas City.

Monday, September 11, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

Yet another attempt to complete King Rinkitink from the 2016 issue of Oziana, this time "The Adventures of King Rinkitink" by Robin Hess. Here, Inga may take the most direct action he could possibly take: He asks the whiet pearl to guide him to where his parents are, then smashes through the wall to retrieve them. The Nomes pretty much leave them alone as they leave the Nome Kingdom, and they make their way to Evna where they seek refuge from King Evardo XV. But by this point they discover that Bilbil is the enchanted Prince Bobo, so they go off on another adventure to call on Lionel the Loneliest Wizard, the only one who can disenchant him, who lives in the far north of Ev. Lionel succeeds, and that's the end! Lionel then sends everyone back to where they belong, and the story ends. I could see this one getting through the first round of judging, but the ease at which they find Kittikut and Garee and make it out just doesn't feel right, and I doubt I would have recommended it for the final judging.

Monday, September 04, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

This week's entry from the "Complete King Rinkitink" contest and the 2016 issue of Oziana is "Wrapping Up Rinkitink" by Christopher M. Diket. After a few events, Roquat finally decides to take Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil to the King and Queen of Pingaree—onry to take them instead to a room that cancels out magic, including the powers of the pearls. But Inga, having wandered around the Nome Kingdom and discovered the room earlier, added an escape hatch. And it turns out that Rinkitink had a magical aide of his own: A pop-up book that showed future events. This book also shows them where Kitticut and Garee are hidden, so they find them and escape. Of course their flight involves an underground lake hiding a monster and a swarm of bees, but naturally they get out and back to Pingaree just fine. I probably would have passed this one along to the second round, but in the end I doubt I would have considered it for the finals. Too many coincidences (why didn't we know about Rinkitink's book earlier?) and a rushed ending make it feel not quite right.

Monday, August 28, 2023

The Latest Oz Short Story

The next alternate ending for Rinkitink in Oz from the 2016 edition of Oziana is "A New Ending for King Rinkitink" by Nicholas M. Campbell. This one was surprisingly long and involved, and included the loss of two of the pearls! The white pearl sacrifices itself to Roquat to procure the release of King Kitticut and Queen Garee, only to then trick Roquat into falling into a chasm. That could have been it, but then Bilbil enlists the aid of his family to help escape the Nomes, because it turns out he's really Prince Bobo of the mountain goats who inhabit the mountains over the Nome Kingdom. They head to Gilgad so that Inga can keep his promise to free the people of Regos and Coregos, only to discover that Rinkitink has been deposed! They then make their way back to Regos and, with the power of the two remaining pearls, free the slaves and stop the overseers from doing any more harm. But in the course of fleeing to Coregos, Rinkitink drops the pink pearl and falls into the sea, only to be saved by Queen Aquarine of the Sea Fairies! Well, there wasn't much else this story could do, so they finally make it bark to Pingaree and wrap things up. But wow, what a whirlwind, with everything being thrown into the kitchen sink. Were I judging this contest, I might have moved this one along to the second round, but I don't think I would have given it serious consideration for the top prize.