Sunday, December 23, 2012

Getting Carded!

My birthday was a few days ago - and one of the nice things about having artistic friends is the occasional hand-created Ozzy birthday card. This year I got one from my friends, cartoonist Joe Phillips.

Joe has drawn other Ozzy things before, he's submitted art for the Winkie Con Program book and produced the incredible paper-sculpture of the Tin Woodman in the Winkie art show last year.

Anyway, Happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Getting It All Together

The 2013 South Winkie Get-Together is scheduled for 10 am to 5 pm, January 12, 2013. This is a one-day gathering of Oz enthusiasts in Irvine, California, south of Los Angeles. Everyone is welcome to attend. Speakers will include Kirk Kushin, writer and publisher of the comic series OZopolis; Freddy Fogarty who will speak on Oz collecting; Robert Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, and others. The $25 registration fee includes lunch. Please register by January 6 so that the organizers can get the total number of attendees for lunch. The Get-Together will take place at the Back Bay Convention Center. Click on the link below for the PDF registration form:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Want to be Seen - GREEN!

I just got an early Christmas present!  A kind friend procured a few small remnants of some extremely Ozzy cloth. Indeed, this handsome stuff was a custom fabric created for the La Jolla production of The Wiz!

I've no idea exactly what I'll do with it. There would just barely be enough for a jacket - and I'm not sure of that. There is certainly enough for a vest - in any case I shall ponder how best to make use of it. While I thought the La Jolla production of The Wiz rather flawed (and often misguided) I am delighted to have a couple yards of this splendid green and gold stuff!

Y'all got it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I suppose folks have noticed that I've been blogging a lot less than I used to. There are many reasons - I have been busier at work, I became irritated over a handful of obnoxious people who were leaving obnoxious comments on the blog (I deleted them), and I must admit I felt a little bit of blogger burn-out - a quite common disease! I sincerely hope to begin blogging more regularly again and will do my best to do so.

Today I am sharing an assortment of Ozzy news, but wanted to add a personal touch as the more personal blog posts have always been the more enjoyable to write. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my first exposure to Oz was my watching the MGM film on our black-and-white television when I was four years old. I enjoyed it a lot, but it certainly didn't turn me into a mega-Oz fan. However, not long after seeing the film, my mom and I were walking through the Lobo Bookstore near the University of New Mexico campus, and on an end-cap I saw a copy of The Wizard of Oz - the edition pictured below.

I don't remember if I saw the cover and knew what it was or whether my mom pointed it out. In any case, we bought it and I think it was read to me. However, the main thing I remember was how much the cover illustration fascinated me. I'm still not sure why. Perhaps it was because the characters looked quite different from the way they did in the MGM film? I think it was partly the heavy blue/green tonality of the image. I don't know what happened to the original copy of the book we bought, but when I found this copy about fifteen years ago, I saw the cover illustration and instantly was taken back to being four years old. It was quite a powerful sensation!

The book has proved quite interesting to examine with my adult eyes. The book was published by Avon Books, and this copy says "First Camelot Printing, November 1967." I suspect I encountered the book right after it came out. The interior is an unabridged Wizard text featuring all of the illustrations from the early 1960s Reilly & Lee "white edition." The little book even has a collage of Denslow images printed on the inside covers and fly-leaves, creating an "endpaper" effect. I am sure, in retrospect, that one thing that drew me to want the book when I was little was the fact that it was profusely illustrated. 

So this was my first ever Oz book. I wasn't really hooked until my second grade teacher started reading us the later Baum Oz titles, but I'm really happy to have found a copy of the first Oz book I ever remember seeing or owning.

OK, now that I have made you read this far, I will toss a few bits of Ozzy news into the blog. First, we have posted our December Tiger Tale on the website and I hope you'll take a moment to check it out. It is L. Frank Baum's short story "Aunt 'Phroney's Boy," first published exactly a hundred years ago in the December 1912 issue of St. Nicholas Magazine.

I am also pleased to announce that a new issue of Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze has just been published. Copies can be ordered from our website or found in your local comic book store. Click here to order.

That's about it for today - I'll do my best to not make you wait too long for another blog post.

Happy Holidays!