Sunday, January 17, 2021

This Week's Oz Short Story

The final story in the 2020 issue of Oziana—but not the final story I'm going to review in this series—is a little short one, "Polychrome's Sky School" by Paul Dana, with an illustration by Sam Milazzo. set after her return to the sky in Tik-Tok of Oz, Polly decides it's time to pick up some magic that can help her the next time ste gets stranded on Earth. Fortunately, there is a fine sky school where Polly, her sisters, and any other denizens of the heavens can learn just that. Polly proves to be a natural, and does terrific work. The story ends with her graduation, looking forward to her next trip to Earth and what her friends might say about her new powers.

For a story that only takes up two pages, this tale packs a lot in. It is little more than an excuse to list all kinds of sky, weather, and color-themed puns, but they are a lot of fun. Even her classmates' fates depend on their names.

Since that story was so short, this will be my usual place to tell you what else is in this issue:

  • The wonderful art tdeco-inspired cover of the issue, by Able Tong, sees many Oz characters dressed in their finest to celebrate the fiftieth issue of Oziana.
  • "A Use for Jack's Pumpkins" is what I believe is the first ever recipe published in Oziana. It's for pumpkin pies, of course! It's accompanied by what is likely the oldest ever contribution to the magazine, an anonymous poem about pumpkin pie from an edition of The Montreal Daily Herald published in 1892. This poem is eight years older than Oz!

I know I said this is the final story in this issue, but there is one more that I skipped over. I'll explain why in next week's entry!

One last thing, to celebrate fifty years of Oziana, the International Wizard of Oz Club has started a video series of readings from Oziana, so far one story per issue. (I wonder what's going to happen with those issues that have only one long story?) Here's the Club's Membership Secretary, Susan Johnson, introducing the series and the history behind Oziana:

And here's the list of videos (so far), interspersed with a few other videos from the Oz Club.

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