Forever Young in Oz

I finally bought Eric Shanower and Skottie Young’s comic adaptation of The Emerald City of Oz at a comic book store. This, at least for the time being, is the last Oz book they’ll adapt for Marvel Comics; and it was released in only five issues. The first four had eight issues each, and the fifth had six. It’s a logical stopping point, as it was L. Frank Baum’s attempt to end the series and hence was clearly designed to wrap things up; but that does mean they’re not going to get to my favorite, The Patchwork Girl of Oz. Despite the shortened length, most of the episodes from the book are included, just in somewhat condensed form. The Cuttenclips, the Fuddles, Utensia, Bunbury, Bunnybury, the Rigmaroles, the Flutterbudgets, the Whimsies, the Growleywogs, and the Phanfasms are all here; as are minor but entertaining incidents like Aunt Em subduing the Cowardly Lion and the Wizard of Oz making tents out of handkerchiefs. The argument between the zebra and crab is not present, but that’s no big loss. I only noticed two significant alternations in Baum’s plot, one being to introduce the Forbidden Fountain earlier in the text so it didn’t just come out of nowhere at the end, and the other is to have Dorothy’s party visit the Scarecrow before the Tin Woodman. The former makes sense, but I can’t see the logic behind the latter. I mention pretty much every time I write these reviews that Young’s style is rather bizarre, certainly not at all how I picture Oz. He’s very creative without deviating too far from Baum’s descriptions, however, and seeing how he’ll draw new characters is part of the fun of these adaptations. His Scarecrow is such that you really can’t see why the crows WOULDN’T have been afraid of him, but this style is quite appropriate for the evil beings.

His kangaroo is comical, his scarlet alligator reminds me of the crocodile in Disney’s Peter Pan, and he managed to make the Shaggy Man’s sneeze in the Cuttenclips’ village positively apocalyptic.

I’m still not sold on how he draws his Nomes, though.

This entry was posted in Art, Comics, Eric Shanower, L. Frank Baum, Oz, Oz Authors and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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