Actual listing in the TV section of the Marin Independent-Journal, Marin, California, Summer 2002:
Movie: "The Wizard of Oz": Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets, then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.
- All Things Oz
Edited by Linda Sunshine
Picture Histories of Oz
Oz in Graphic Novels and Comics
Having looked for, and not found, any recent webpages listing available Oz comics I figured that I may as well put one together.
At the beginning of the 20th century L. Frank Baum published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and introduced the world to Dorothy Gale, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion and the fairyland of Oz. The book was hugely successful; eventually spawning 13 sequels by Baum himself and another 26 by auhors commissioned by the publisher. Oz proved to be a fairyland that Baum himself never quite managed to escape. He tried to shut down the series at least once but nothing else he wrote was as popular (and therefore profitable).
Oz has been depicted in comics almost from the beginning. Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz, a series of Sunday comic pages, written by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Walt McDougall and published in a number of newspapers from late 1904 to mid-1905. were not exactly comics, but full page illustrated short stories. McDougall's illustrations do use elements of modern comics such as word balloons for dialogue. Also in 190-05, WW Denslow, the original illustrator for Wizard, produced 12 episodes of the Sunday comic page Denslow's Scarecrow and Tinman for the Minneapolis Journal.
At the close of the century, and growing into the 21st the Land of Oz has also become the scene of a tiny subgenre of comic books. Most of these comics seem to be either retelling of the first novel, The Wizard of Oz, in modern (post-modern?) drag or sequels to the earliest Oz books. Rarely do they feature characters or events taking place after The Road to Oz.
We begin with Oz-Story. Published from 1995-2000 by Hungry Tiger Press,
there were six volumes of this anthology. Each thick volume is full of
comics, story and illustration. The work is a mix of contemporary and
classic contributions. It's the classic work that earns Oz-Story its place
here. There are reprints of stories and novels by L. Frank Baum, Ruth Plumly
Thompson and Eloise Jarvis MacGraw; Walt Spouse's 1930s Wonderland of Oz
comic strip, John R. Neil's 1909 Nip and Tuck comic strip, Denslow's
Scarecrow and Tinman, Mary Marvel in The Modern Wizard of Oz and much more.
Work original to Oz-Story includes fiction, art and comics by Eric Shanower,
Ramona Radon, Ed Brubaker, Megan Kelso and many more. For more information
or to order go to the Hungry Tiger Press website.
Beginning in 1986 Eric Shanower wrote and illustrated five Oz graphic novels. The Enchanted Apples of Oz, The Secret Island of Oz, The Ice King of Oz, and The Forgotten Forest of Oz were published annually by First Comics. The Blue Witch of Oz, in preparation when First went out of business, was published by Dark Horse in 1993. Shanower's stories are the most "traditional" of the works listed here. With the exception of Oz Squad, they are also the only stories that take advantage of the larger Oz history and continuity. Unfortunately Shanower's books are currently out of print.
What happens? Three teenagers and their dog are sucked into Oz by a magic
book. Oz has been conquered by Mombi and the Nome King. Scarecrow, the Tin
Man and the Lion have been turned evil by magic. A group of Freedom Fighters
including Jack Pumpkinhead, the Hungry Tiger, Tik Tok and the Woggle Bug
fight for, well, freedom. Or at least re-establishment of Ozma's benevolent
monarchy. Much mayhem, death and running about ensues before the villains
are Undone at the end of the Arrow Dark Oz series. Land of Oz features a new
set of villains and challenges as Oz struggles to recover and rebuild.
For detailed synopses of most of episodes see Bill Bryan's webpages.
Peter Pan and the Warlords of Oz
" Disgusting misuse of both Peter Pan and the Oz characters that exceeds Oz Squad in its depravity" - Quote found online
Peter, Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys and Tick-Tock the crocodile get caught in Oz during a war. Written and illustrated by Rob Hand, published by Hand of Doom. I'm still looking for a publication history and more plot details.
By all indications this is a "modern" retelling of The Wizard of Oz this time with Dorothy as an adult babe, the Scarecrow as a kung fu master, the Tin Man as a big robot thingie, the Lion as a kilt wearing Celtic warrior and Toto as a mastiff. Initially this will be published as a stand alone graphic novel scheduled for June 2005. The official website is here. A forum and more previews can be found here.
The villains? The Nome King and the Wicked Witch of the West of course. A preview can be found here.
This version of this page was posted 4/28/05
Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four
Sentient 39 is copyright 2005 by David Lee Ingersoll
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