Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Wicked Trailer Is Here!

Well I know what I'm doing on Thanksgiving this year (and it does not involve a turkey):

Monday, May 13, 2024

The Latest Oz Short Story

Not only the latest, but also the last, at least for now. The final story from the 2023 issue of Oziana is "Glinda and the Glass Cat" by J. L. Bell, with illustrations by Anna-Maria Cool. Bungle, the Glass Cat, is causing mischief in the Quadling Country. Chasing some of the denizens of the China Country, Glinda corrals Bungle and mentions earlier escapades with the Cuttenclips and the citizens of Bunnybury. Glinda admonishes Bungle, and warns the cat to avoid the hills to the east. But besides being a powerfur sorceress, it seems Glinda is also a master psychologist, because she knows those hills are now irrestistible to Bungle's feline curiosity. Wouldn't you know, those hills are where Glinda has relocated the Hammerheads! Bungle is not wild about meeting them, so she seeks refuge in a neighboring forest, which turns out to be the Fighting Trees! Duly chastened, Bungle thinks it may be best to stay away from that part of the Quadling Country for a while. What really struck me about this story is that every single character was created by L. Frank Baum. There was no need to use characters created by any other writers, nor to create any new ones. Yet it is totally original and in keeping with all that we know already of those characters. This is quite an accomplishment for such a brief story.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Today's Oz Camic

Today in Bizarro, Dorothy delivers an environmental message. (Maybe he needs to use some Baum's Castorine! Yes, they're still around!)

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

The Latest Oz Short Story

My life has been crazy busy lately. How busy? I read "Fortune Favors the Wogglebug" by Paul Dana with illustrations by Dennis Anfuso from the 2023 edition of Oziana a couple of weeks ago, but I'm only getting around to writing it up now! It seems the Ozites took the death of L. Frank Baum pretty seriously. Who would tell their stories now? Professor Wogglebug takes possession of the magic telegraph, because Dorothy is sure that she won't use it again, and he's interested in it. The Professor is ruminating about how he would like to have the books written, with a lot more puns (he did manage to sneak a couple of chapters into The Emerald City of Oz), and how the telegraph symbolized that dream for him. Then, much to his surprise, a message comes in over the telegraph, from a writer with the initials RPT who also loves a good pun&ellips;

This is a fun little behind-the-scenes look at how the Oz stories came to be published in our world, and why the tone changed from one author to the next. (I wonder, did the Patchwork Girl correspond with John R. Neill? Who were the sources for the other writers after World War II?) We also get a little look inside the Professor's head.

Only one more story to go in this issue! I'm not quite sure when I'll get to it, but things have eased up a lot, so probably soon.

Today's Oz Comic

It barely counts, but see if you can spot a reference to an Oz character in today's edition of One Big Happy. (This is not the first time this character has been referred to in this way in this comic...)

Monday, April 22, 2024

The Latest Oz Comics Roundup

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.