Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the Road Again

Marvel Comics's adaptation of L. Frank Baum's fifth Oz book, The Road to Oz, begins September 5, 2012, with Road to Oz #1. Marvel has just released a peek at Eric Shanower's variant cover to issue #1. Shanower has obviously returned to using Skottie Young's designs for the characters in this series. The color is by Jean-Francois Beaulieu.

Readers of Baum's original book should be able to easily identify this scene where the Shaggy Man first reveals the Love Magnet to Dorothy and Toto.

All the previous entries in this Marvel Comics series - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz - have been adapted before into other media - stage, screen, recordings, comics. There have been translations of The Road to Oz with new illustrations, and Golden Books published an abridgement, but I believe this is the first time that The Road to Oz has been adapted into another medium, at least for widespread release. I suspect the picaresque nature of the plot and the load of crossover characters at the end have something to do with this lack. But if Shanower and Young's track record is anything to go on, if anyone can make The Road to Oz work in the comics medium, they can.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Winkie Con 2012

Winkie Con 2012 begins on Friday. Hope to see you there! This year's 48th International Winkie Convention includes:

Patch Game, this year's version of the Oz Treasure Hunt.
People Bingo, the live action Bingo Game.
Ruth Plumly Thompson's 121st birthday, complete with root beer floats and birthday cake.
A visit from Caren Marsh-Doll, stand-in for Judy Garland on the 1939 M-G-M film version of The Wizard of Oz.
It's the Baum! a new Oz game show.
Screenings of 1964's Return to Oz, The Witches of Oz, and the Meglin Kiddies version of The Land of Oz.
Original artwork by John R. Neill.
The 160-page Winkie Convention Program Book.
A visit from Susan Morse, singing voice for Dorothy in the 1964 Rankin-Bass animated Return to Oz.
A tour of Sky Island by Eric Shanower.
A display of all of Ruth Plumly Thompson's books and a generous sampling of her magazine, newspaper, and pamphlet work.
A panel on Oz Blogs moderated by J. L. Bell.
Presentations from Jared Davis, Peter Hanff, and Judy Bieber.
Lots of cool goodies for all attendees, including a limited edition Baum Keepsake, typeset and printed by Michael Riley on his own Pamami Press.
And last but not least, a visit from Kabumpo, the Elegant Elephant of Oz.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Comic Con 2012

Well Comic Con 2012 will open for business in just a few hours - if you're in San Diego I hope you'll come by and see me, and Eric Shanower and Hungry Tiger Press at booth #2008 (our usual spot).

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Get with the Program!

One of the things that has kept me from blogging as much as I'd like is the Winkie Con Program Book. I started doing them in 2009. For those that haven't seen one yet, the Program Book is a 7"x 10" square-bound trade paperback. This year's edition is 160 pages long.

The cover painting of Kabumpo and the Runaway Country was created by illustrator Maurine Starkey just for the Winkie Convention. In addition to the schedule of events, maps, profiles on our special guests Caren Marsh-Doll and Susan Morse, and all the information one needs to get the most out of their Winkie Con, the book also features articles on Sky Island by Judy Bieber, Frederick Wiegand, Dick Martin, Jared Davis, and  J. L. Bell. Robin Hess provides a complex analysis of the travels in Kabumpo in Oz and Eric Shanower has written a pictorial essay on "The Elephants of Oz."

The program also contains a gallery and profile of cover artist Maurine Starkey and our usual section of Winkie artwork. And the entire book is rich with wonderful drawings by John R. Neill, too. And since we're celebrating Ruth Plumly Thompson's Pumperdink Oz books we have a whole section of all her short writings on Pumperdink from the days before she became a Royal Historian. Peter Hanff has continued his "History of the Winkie Convention," and I am very pleased to have acquired a fascinating piece of fiction written by Bob Baum called "Dinner at the Del."

It's a very full 160 pages - and needless to say it took up a lot of my blogging energies! I had thought my job was done when I sent the program files off to the printer, but several people expressed interest in a limited edition hardcover like we did last year, so . . . we are doing it again!

Eric Shanower has drawn a special illustration for the limitation leaf and he has agreed to sign each of the twenty numbered copies. There is also an additional double-page illustration by John R. Neill not included in the paperback version. The hardcover also has a different and exclusive cover design, featuring art from the extremely rare dust jacket of the first edition of Sky Island.

Cover of the LIMITED EDITION hardcover.

If you would like to reserve a copy of this limited edition hardcover please let me know of your interest by emailing me at chair@winkies.org.

Copies are available at $50.00 each. All proceeds go to the Winkie Convention. Several are already spoken for, so if you’re interested don’t delay in reserving your copy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Winkie Con 2012 Time, Temp, and Travel Tips

Winkie Con 2012 begins 3 weeks from today on July 27. The convention takes place at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, 800 Asilomar Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-3704. Most Winkie Con activities take place in Fred Farr Forum and the buildings nearby. Fred Farr Forum is across Asilomar Avenue from the Asilomar main gate, on the corner of Asilomar Avenue and Sinex Avenue.

The Asilomar website is here: http://www.visitasilomar.com/

Winkie Con 2012 starts on Friday, July 27, at approximately 3:30 PM, and ends after lunch on Sunday, July 29, at approximately 1 PM. If you still haven’t registered, the forms to do so are here: http://hungrytigerpress.com/winkie_con_registration_2012.pdf

The Opening Reception will be held on the patio outside of Fred Farr Forum beginning about 3:30 PM. At the Winkie Registration Table pick up your Winkie Con Bag. In your bag you’ll find the Winkie Program Book which provides a detailed schedule of the convention. If you’re staying on the Asilomar grounds you’ll also receive your room key. If you’re eating meals with the group, you’ll also receive your meal tickets for the weekend.

Meals are in Crocker Dining Hall on the main grounds of Asilomar. If you need assistance in traveling the distance to Crocker Dining Hall, Asilomar has a 24-hour jitney service that will pick you up near Fred Farr Forum and take you to Crocker Dining Hall. The jitney can be summoned using the house telephones that are located in every building. Dial 0.

Further Asilomar accessibility information is here: http://www.visitasilomar.com/discover/accessibility-.aspx

Weather on the Monterey Peninsula in July tends to be overcast by day - although we often see the sun - and chilly at night. Make sure to bring a sweater, sweatshirt, light jacket, or other appropriate clothing.

Asilomar forecast is here: http://www.visitasilomar.com/monterey-conditions.aspx

The Asilomar Conference Grounds are located on Asilomar State Park & State Beach. The Pacific Ocean is easily accessible by a board walkway. Swimming in the ocean isn’t advised, but walks on the beach by day and night are pleasant. The Asilomar swimming pool is accessible to anyone staying on the Asilomar grounds.

If you’re arriving by car, there is a large underground parking garage beneath Fred Farr Forum. The entrance is accessible from Asilomar Avenue, just south of the intersection of Asilomar Avenue and Sinex Avenue, on the other side of the street from the main Asilomar gate. There are elevators from the parking garage to a couple of the buildings near Fred Farr Forum. The stairway from the parking garage leads to an exit near the Fred Farr patio area.

There is a small outdoor parking lot on the north side of the Kiln building off Sinex Avenue. Street parking is also available on Sinex Avenue.

Asilomar is accessible by bus. Greyhound runs to Salinas, California. Walk around the block from the Greyhound Station at 19 West Gabilan Street to the Salinas Transit Center at 110 Salinas Street, between Central and Lincoln Avenues. Take the local Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) bus #20 from the Salinas Transit Center to the Monterey Transit Center. Take the MST bus #1 from the Monterey Transit Center to the main gate of Asilomar.

Greyhound website: http://www.greyhound.com/TicketCenter/en/step1.asp?
Monterey-Salinas Transit website: http://www.mst.org/

The Monterey Peninsula is accessible by airplane. Fly into the Monterey Regional Airport, then take the local MST bus #13 to the Monterey Transit Center, and then take the MST bus #1 to the main gate of Asilomar. Or from the Monterey Regional Airport take a taxi (approximately 20 minute ride) to the main gate of Asilomar.

Monterey Regional Airport website: http://montereyairport.com/
Monterey-Salinas Transit website: http://www.mst.org/

If you want to fly into the San Jose Airport or into the San Francisco Airport, the Monterey Airbus will pick you up and take you to the downtown Monterey Airbus station at 438 Calle Principal. From there catch the local MST bus #1 to the main gate of Asilomar.

Monterey Airbus website for rates and schedule: http://www.montereyairbus.com/index.php
Monterey-Salinas Transit website: http://www.mst.org/

For general info on Winkie Con 2012: http://hungrytigerpress.blogspot.com/p/winkie-convention.html

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Candyland in Oz

The third issue of Dorothy of Oz Prequel is out, telling the story of what leads up to the forthcoming feature film Dorothy of Oz, based on the 1989 book of the same title by Roger Baum, one of L. Frank's great-grandsons. Denton Tipton wrote the script, Blair Shedd drew it, IDW published it, and the cover--presented below for you--is by Eric Shanower with Joanna Lafuente colors. Comic Book Resources has a seven-page preview of the interior here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Where There's a Will There's a Fred

Billie Burke, Fred Stone, and Will Rogers
The American stage humorist Will Rogers, who never met a man he didn't like, was a good buddy of Fred Stone, the superstar originator of the Scarecrow role in the 1903 Broadway Wizard of Oz. In fact, they were so close that Will named one of his sons Fred Stone Rogers. So it's no surprise that an early episode of Will Rogers's radio show featured Fred as a guest. You can listen to that broadcast on Emerald City Radio. During the program Fred and Will sing "Travel, Travel, Little Star," a tune Fred recorded years earlier with his stage partner David Montgomery, who originated the Tin Woodman role in Broadway's Wizard. You can hear the Montgomery and Stone recording of "Travel, Travel, Little Star" on Emerald City Radio, too, and it's included on the Hungry Tiger Press CD Vintage Songs from the 1903 Broadway Wizard of Oz (see the sidebar of this blog to click on the link to order your copy).

The photo above is from 1935 during the production of the movie Doubting Thomas, starring Will Rogers and Billie Burke, who later played Glinda in the 1939 M-G-M film version of The Wizard of Oz. Fred Stone visited Will Rogers on the Doubting Thomas movie set and they both dropped in to see Billie Burke and submit to the obvious photo op.

The Fred Stone episode of the Will Rogers show plays about twice a day for the next week or so on Emerald City Radio. You can also hear the Montgomery and Stone recording of "Travel, Travel, Little Star" as part of our regular playlist.

It's easy to listen to Emerald City Radio on Live365. Just click here to go to Live365 and click "Sign Up" in the upper right hand corner and join for free for access to thousands of internet radio stations. Then "Log In" and make a search for Emerald City Radio. When the Emerald City Radio logo shows up in your search results, just click on the logo to start listening right away! Listening is free.

So give Emerald City Radio a listen. Our current playlist is over 13 hours long with such a wide variety of Oz songs and music that you're sure to hear some old friends and some new delights.

Emerald City Radio - all great, all powerful - all the time! 

Marvel by Mail

Marvel Comics has just announced a new subscription program for their comic book titles. And The Road to Oz, which begins in September, is among the subscriptions offered. Click here for the details: