Friday, June 29, 2012

Ease on Down the ROAD

The final issue of Marvel's Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz - issue #8 - just came out, so if you missed it, get to your local comic store for a copy to find out what happens when Eureka the kitten is accused of eating Ozma's pet piglet.

And, still on a roll, Marvel's next Oz book has been announced - you guessed it - The Road to Oz. The award-winning creative team of Eric Shanower (script), Skottie Young (art), and Jean-Francois Beaulieu (color) will be back on September 5, 2012, with the first issue of Marvel Comics's adaptation of L. Frank Baum's fifth Oz book, The Road to Oz. See Skottie's cover for issue #1 above. Here's how Marvel describes the contents:

When dusty Kansas roads suddenly turn into magic highways, it's a safe bet that one of them is the road to Oz, but which one? Dorothy's off on another fantastic adventure, and Toto is back, too. This time their companions are strange - an old homeless guy with a magic magnet and a mentally-challenged child named Button-Bright.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Timely and Truthful Topics

Well, we're in our slow season here on the blog. Work, Comic Con, the Winkie Convention always seem to slow the blog down in May and June. But here's a quick post to let you know this month's FREE on-line Tiger Tale is up on the main Hungry Tiger Press website.

This month it is an Our Landlady story written by L. Frank Baum and originally published in the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, January 25, 1890. The title of this installment is "She Remarks Emphatically on Some Timely and Truthful Topics." Click here to read it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Map of Oz Monday - The Ozoplaning Map

Well, dear readers - I am still swamped with chores and such for the Winkie Convention later next month and Comic con which is only a few weeks away - thus blog posting has suffered. But enough of that, let's take a look at the next map!

This map was published as the end-sheets of Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz in 1939. It's interesting as it's the first map giving a sort of "realistic" bird's eye view of Oz. Sadly it's not very detailed. Many elements of Ozoplaning were created to help attract new reader's exposed to the MGM film which was released the same year: the title includes the words "Wizard of Oz," Dorothy and her three best known friends play an important part in the plot; the book begins with a party celebrating the anniversary of Dorothy's first journey to Oz which included a cake featuring a model of her Kansas farmhouse. So I suspect the map of Oz endpapers were also considered a good "introduction" to our favorite literary fairyland.

When I first saw this map it did make me wonder what Oz would look like if it were photographed from a high-altitude. Would the color of the vegetation be apparent enough to delineate borders to a viewer from on-high?  When I have a little time perhaps I'll try to make one in Photoshop. Someday ... someday ...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shanower Speaks

Tonight on the internet radio program Karl Show! (starring Jason) join Jason Lamb as he interviews Eric Shanower about his life and work, including Oz, Age of Bronze, and just being a cartoonist. They'll also play some music that Eric picked especially for the show. It runs from 8 PM to 10 PM PST, and you can listen here at Portland Radio Authority:

If you can't listen live tonight, the show will be available for your listening pleasure in a few days at:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Map of Oz Monday - Thompson's Map

One of the most intriguing and important maps I'll be talking about is this map from 1938 that was drawn by Ruth Plumly Thompson, the second Royal Historian of Oz and successor to L. Frank Baum.

Click to Enlarge
This particular map was drawn for Oz fan Henry S. Blossom. It is extremely similar to (and probably a tracing of) an earlier map Thompson created when she was trying to convince Oz book publishers Reilly & Lee to issue revised maps of the Land of Oz that would incorporate her own additions to Ozian geography. For that map Thompson simply inked in her own locales on Reilly & Lee's black and white promotional maps of the Land of Oz and Surrounding Countries. Here she has seemingly traced her master map - and since the two halves don't line up perfectly I suspect she traced it on typing paper.

In general this map speaks for itself. I have scanned the map at a fairly large size so you may explore it in detail. I look forward to reading your comments. There are a few things to point out.

Thompson did provide a compass rose in the margin of the map. It is the traditional style, matching our own east/west orientation. The map shows locales through Handy Mandy in Oz. Note, too, that Thompson added in many of the locations from the later Baum books that had been missing from the previous maps: the Frogman, Reera's house, the Hyups on Mount Munch, the Flatheads, and others as well.

Of Thompson's own additions the only thing that surprises me is that her little countries are drawn somewhat larger than I have usually imagined them. Lake Orizon is a good bit larger than Lake Quad, and Kimbaloo and Pumperdink seem much larger, too. Perhaps Thompson was trying to keep her own additions to Oz geography as large as Baum's were - after all, Oogaboo and the Yips are shown a good deal larger than the Baum texts would indicate.

So, enlarge the map above and go exploring for a few minutes! It's not every day we get to explore a map of Oz that was actually drawn by the Royal Historian herself!

Read Part II of Thompson's Map here!

This map was originally published in the Autumn 1970 issue of THE BAUM BUGLE.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Wicked Pair of Shoes

No this blog post has nothing to do with Wicked or Ruby Slippers - it has to do with the newest Tiger tale that's been posted on the Hungry Tiger Press website.

The Trial of the Proud and Wicked Pair of Shoes was written by Ruth Plumly Thompson and first published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger December 3, 1916. It's certainly not her best story - but then this isn't my best blog post either. Sometimes people are just too busy. But go read it anyway by clicking here.

And remember that we'll be celebrating Thompson's 121st birthday on Friday of the 2012 Winkie Convention this July. It's not too late to make plans to join us! You can download information and registration materials here.