You may have noticed I haven’t been writing many Oz posts recently, because quite frankly (or should that be L. Frank-ly?) I’m pretty much out of ideas. I’m going back to the fabulous fairyland now, however, to promote a project in which I was involved, the 2012 issue of Oziana.
I actually received my copy some time ago, but I wanted to wait until it was available to buy before discussing it. Well, now you can. The basis of the issue is a round robin story, starting with a story fragment that might or might not have been written by L. Frank Baum. The fragment was about Ozma’s attempt to ice skate on a magical lake being interrupted by foreign visitors Gipper-Gupper-Gopp and Ahd, who crawled into the lake through an underground pipe. The continuation by multiple authors brings in both new and familiar characters and turns the story into a clever but somewhat complicated adventure. Although editing made it into a pretty cohesive whole, there are instances where new authors basically contradict what had been previously established, and certain plot threads that never really go anywhere. Still, I’m happy with how it turned out, and there are illustrations by three different artists. One of my contributions was to bring in a group of mysterious beings in black robes (because every story needs mysterious beings in black robes), which Mike Conway made into rather Lovecraftian Yith, and Atticus Gannaway explained were ancestors of the Yips. Interesting how these things can work out. Also involved in the tale is March Laumer’s Green Dolphin, a reference to how Laumer had also used the original fragment in his The Green Dolphin of Oz. Anyway, it’s definitely worth a read if you’re an Oz fan, and maybe even if you’re not. In addition to the authors I already mentioned (including myself), the others involved are Marcus Mebes (also the editor), Shawn Maldonado, Jared Davis, Kim McFarland, Sam Milazzo, Chris Dulabone, Jeff Rester, Dennis Anfuso, Mycroft Mason, Paul Ritz, Nicki Haladay, and Paul Dana.
In other Oz news, there’s a new trailer out for Oz, the Great and Powerful.
You may remember I already made some comments about an earlier trailer, and there really isn’t much new in this one. In fact, that’s part of the problem. While I don’t expect the film to be totally faithful to the Oz books, it IS supposed to be based on them, right? So why aren’t we seeing elements from any books other than the first, at least as far as I can tell? And why make a big deal out of how it shares a producer with that terrible Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland? Oh, right. Because as bad as that was, it made a lot of money.