The Wide World of Wizards

A while back, I wrote a series of posts on the witches and other female magicians of Oz. Now, I think it’s about time to do the same for the men. So, here are the male magicians of Oz and its surrounding countries who didn’t quite merit their own posts:

A. Wizard of Mo – A tiny man who stole the toe of the Princess Truella, planning to use it in a potion that would enable him to grow. With help from the powerful sorceress Maetta, Truella managed to overcome all of the obstacles on the way to the wizard’s cave and retrieve her toe. The wizard himself ended up falling into a gulf with a dagger in his breast. Since no one dies in Mo, though, he might still be down there.

Gwig – At the time when Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz fell into the Vegetable Kingdom, Gwig was the royal sorcerer. He was a spiky vegetable man whose powers included producing music from thin air and stopping flesh-and-blood people from breathing. The Wizard cut him in half with a trick sword, and the pieces were planted by the other Mangaboos in order to grow more sorcerers. In Melody Grandy’s The Disenchanted Princess of Oz, we meet a few of Gwig’s descendants, who have much the same powers and personalities. One is named Dwig, another Davig or Durig (I’m pretty sure the text uses both names for the same character), and the twin sorceresses Twig and Branch.

Potaroo – The Royal Wizard of the Nome Kingdom is first introduced by name in Gnome King, but he’s almost certainly the Royal Wizard mentioned in the previous book, Hungry Tiger. I’m also inclined to think he’s the Chief Magician of the Nomes from Tik-Tok, who redirects a path so that Queen Ann Soforth and the Shaggy Man will fall into the Forbidden Tube. His inventions include Expectacles (which let the wearer see what will happen in the future), flying dishes, and Stumbling Blocks that cause enemies to fall.

Hiergargo – An inhabitant of the fairyland on the other side of the world from Oz, who burrowed and built a tube all the way through the planet to the Land of Ev. On his first trip through, he built up so much speed that he hit a star, causing it to explode. We’re never told what happened to Hiergargo himself, although Tititi-Hoochoo says that he was severely punished.

Grand Gheewizard of the Silver Island – Presumably the premiere wizard on this subterranean island, he brewed up a potion that was supposed to give the Scarecrow a human body. As it turned out, the potion ended up landing on the three princes of the island, and Sir Hokus killed the Gheewizard’s pet dragon. I can imagine he wasn’t too pleased with these developments.

Wam – I’m sure I’ve mentioned Wam before, but I might as well do so again. He’s sort of the ultimate behind-the-scenes wizard, credited with various magical tasks in Cowardly Lion and Wishing Horse, as well as some apocryphal books. He appears as a character in Blue Emperor, and Melody Grandy’s Seven Blue Mountains books center around Wam’s created son Zim.

Soob the Sorcerer – When Peter Brown and Ruggedo come across Polacky the Plunderer’s old pirate ship, they find the magic casket of Soob, who apparently lived on the ransacked island of Ashangabad. Soob’s tools that the boy and the Nome find and use are the Flying Cloak of Invisibility, the Silence Stone, and two bulbs that sprout into plants that the two use to cross the desert. The Wizard of Oz identifies the Silence Stone as having once belonged to the ancient Emperors of Oz, so it’s possible that Soob lived in Oz at one point.

Wumbo the Wonder Worker – When Ozma outlawed magic, this accomplished magician decided to hide out in Zamagoochie and practice in secret. He has a book of chants that he uses for various purposes, including animating his furniture. His son, Kuma Party, is known for his detachable body parts, and Kuma credits Wumbo for his unusual ability.

Mesmerizer of Bourne – This magician is in the employ of Baron Belfaygor of Bourne, and was responsible for the baron’s never-ending beard.

Kadj the Conjurer – While serving as King of Menankypoo, Ruggedo came across Kadj’s cave. Kadj himself was out visiting his daughter Cinderbutton, so the Nome had free access to the contents of the cave. He allied himself with the clock-headed wise man Clocker, who had been locked in there, and used several of the devices he found in the cavern. We never find out what Kadj thinks when he comes back to find out he’s been robbed.

Ozwoz the Wonderful – This well-dressed man, who has his own castle in the Gillikin Country, identifies himself as a wozard. Since the laws of the country don’t (or at least didn’t at the time) say anything against wozardry, he takes advantage of the legal loophole to continue practicing magic. His main feat is his army of 2000 life-sized wooden soldiers, operated by remote control. Dave Hardenbrook’s Unknown Witches claims that he’s the son of the Wizard of Oz and the Good Witch of the North, and the father of the Three Adepts.

Waddy – The overweight wizard of Umbrella Island, whose magical mechanical devices enabled the island to fly in the first place. In addition to the invisible flying umbrella that powers the island and the multipurpose umbrellas that he makes for the inhabitants, his inventions include a ray gun that can melt iron, a moving staircase, an invisible shield for the island, and a spongecake that shrank the giant Loxo the Lucky. When Speedy visits Umbrella Island, he serves as Waddy’s assistant.

Boglodore – The Old Man of the Jungle was a giant inhabitant of Ozamaland with a flying Umbrellaphant and some strange powers. He teamed up with the Ozamandarins to conquer the country, carrying the rightful King Tazander Tazah to Patrippany Island. Since he didn’t fully trust his co-conspirators, however, he used his magic to give the hippopotamus Nikobo the ability to speak and desire to protect the boy. When the Ozamandarins made it clear that they weren’t going to give Boglodore anything and the young king returned to Ozamaland to reclaim the throne, the magician and his steed Umbo threw the scheming judges into the ocean and fled the country.

Trickolas Om – Although he never appears in person in any canonical Oz book, Lucky Bucky states that he had once been the greatest menace in the land next to Mombi. He’s a trickster whose powers include turning people into keys and doorknobs, and his painted image causes a fair amount of trouble as well. He shows up as the main villain in Button-Bright, but it’s not clear whether this story takes place before or after Lucky Bucky, which presents Trickolas as a figure of the past. Maybe he was just laying low in the meantime, though.

Conjo – A fat wizard who lived on an island in the Nonestic Ocean with only an animated wooden clown named Twiffle for company, he basically created magical implements for his own amusement. These included the Love Magnet that eventually fell into the hands of the Shaggy Man and a gravity-resistant car known as the Magic Airmobile. Wanting an audience, he abducted the twins Twink and Tom Jones of Buffalo, New York, but they escaped with Shaggy’s help. With a magic compass that he stole from Shaggy, Conjo transported himself to the Emerald City and tried to take over the position of Wizard of Oz. The King of the Fairy Beavers defeated him with a dose of the Water of Oblivion, and Ozma sent him and Twiffle back home. According to Eric Shanower’s short story “Abby,” the wizard doesn’t take as well to this amnesia treatment as others have, and became a vegetable (but not literally, like Gwig).

Kizzo – A wizard who taught Singra, the Wicked Witch of the South, how to make magical nets that would turn people to stone. He never actually appears, but since he has a name, I think he’s worth a mention.

Repairman – A long-bearded old man with a shop in the Munchkin Country, where he repairs things. His main implement in doing so seems to be a feather duster, which he uses to fix the Patchwork Girl and her Spoolicle when Scraps has a wreck near his shop.

Slyddwyn – A member of the Gillikin noble family of Whitheraway Castle, who took to practicing magic as a Whitherd. He enchanted the rest of his family and some strolling players who came to the castle. It took the help of Ozma and the Wizard of Oz to get everything straightened out, and the Wizard decided Slyddwyn could have a future as a carnival entertainer. We never find out how well that worked out.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue with this theme, focusing on magicians with even smaller roles. Also, if there are any I’ve forgotten, let me know, and I’ll probably add them to tomorrow’s post.

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12 Responses to The Wide World of Wizards

  1. John Howell says:

    This is a great list. I’m just now finding this, so maybe these have been mentioned already. But what about Dr. Nikidik and/or Dr. Pipt? And Jinnicky? And aren’t quite a few other Baumian wizards in other non-Oz books like Enchanted Island of Yew?

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  5. Joe says:

    Just an FYI, Ozwoz created 2,000 wooden soldiers (you have 10,000 listed).

    • Nathan says:

      I’m counting the 8000 prototypes that blew up during testing. No, seriously, my memory is sometimes faulty when it comes to Oz books, as hard as that might be to believe.

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