Dorothy’s Road Trip

The Road to Oz, by L. Frank Baum, adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young – The fifth and likely penultimate of Shanower and Young’s comic versions of the Oz books, this one was originally published in only six issues, rather than eight like the previous four. Still, most of the important points of the story are hit upon, and even characters who don’t affect the plot make appearances. Okay, I guess you could sort of say practically none of the characters affect the plot, since it’s the most loosely plotted of Baum’s Oz books, but there wasn’t any way they could get out of including Foxville, Dunkiton, or the Scoodlers.

The Musicker, on the other hand, was mostly just a diversion, yet he’s here. Young works in his typical style, giving a more deformed look to the characters and places than John R. Neill did. Most of his illustrations don’t show any particular influence from Neill at all, although a few do. The decision to make Foxville a wintry location even in August, with Russian-style outfits for the fox soldiers, is original with the comic.

It also prompts an MGM movie reference from the Shaggy Man. There’s a nice added joke in a business in Dunkiton being called Dunkiton Donuts.

Young’s Scoodlers are appropriately creepy, and while his Polychrome is more outlandish than beautiful, his Queen Zixi is actually rather pretty.

The comic also includes Polychrome’s father, who is neither depicted nor heard from in the original text.

I find it interesting that Santa Claus’s whispering to the Wizard of Oz about Button-Bright’s home is garbled, even though later books reveal he lives in Philadelphia. I kind of wonder why Baum chose to keep that a secret in the first place. I mean, he probably hadn’t decided yet, but how hard would it have been to make something up?

This entry was posted in Characters, Comics, Eric Shanower, John R. Neill, L. Frank Baum, Oz, Oz Authors, Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Dorothy’s Road Trip

  1. I enjoyed it as I did the others. But I was very disappointed that they cut out the Good Witch of the North’s last Baum appearance when it should have been easy to include at least a cameo if not her scene where she transformed the stones into birds and girls. I always felt that scene was creepy…was she giving the stones life and then taking it away or was it all an illusion?

    I really hope they continue with the series, I haven’t really cared for Emerald City (except the Guph scenes). Though to be truthful, EC of Oz is probably the one I most dread when I do my Oz re-reads.
    If they can do Patchwork Girl I will be super-duper happy.

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