A Pretty Face and a Pompadore


The latest issue of Oziana is now available at Lulu. While I recommend the publication in general, this issue has one of my own stories in it, which I actually wrote back when I was in high school. Prince Pompadore in Oz is the story of Kabumpo accidentally being captured by Nomes, and his friend Pompa trying to track him down. I used to have it up on my website, but it’s been edited fairly significantly since then. Dennis Anfuso provided the illustrations, and I particularly like his take on the Tornado Wizard Cyclonius.

I wrote a follow-up to this one that proceeds from the Nomes disenchanting the remaining enchanted ornaments, and features Asha, Prince Evered’s father who was mentioned but never appeared in The Hungry Tiger of Oz. I’m thinking of expanding this somewhat to include a bit about Itchville being disenchanted and the history of Pilgoft. I guess no one would be surprised to learn that Kabumpo in Oz is one of my favorites. The Elegant Elephant himself shows up in several of my works, and I have another manuscript that delves into Peg Amy’s heritage, although she’s not a main character in it.

Not presently, anyway. That’s another one I’ve had in the pipeline for years and I keep changing my mind about how certain aspects should work.

Also in this issue is “The Malevolent Mannequin of Oz” by Joe Bongiorno, with whom I’ve collaborated on Oz stories in the past. His writing has much more of a dark, horrific tone than mine; but he also works in references to numerous other Oz works. Written as an excerpt from Mombi’s diary, it speaks of the rise of the Wicked Witches, the legends surrounding the evil Erbs, and her dealings with Doctors Pipt and Nikidik. There’s a reference to Ruth Plumly Thompson as “the self-appointed Royal Historian,” which isn’t actually true as the publishers appointed her. But then, we probably should take Mombi’s opinions with a grain of magic baking powder. There’s also a poem about the Tin Woodman by A. Waller Hastings and a drawing of Polychrome by Namesake artist Isabelle Melançon.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Joe has many of my short stories up on his Royal Timeline site. He also recently added a timeline of the rulers of Oz, a good attempt to reconcile the confusing accounts of who ruled before Ozma’s father Pastoria. Blue Emperor mentions the title character having reigned for centuries, and also that King Pompus of Pumperdink is his brother. I’m not sure how well that matches up with Pompus not yet being king when Pilgoft left to found his own town, but being brothers doesn’t necessarily mean their ages are anywhere close. That’s especially true when one of the parents was apparently an immortal fairy.

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4 Responses to A Pretty Face and a Pompadore

  1. It’s a pleasure and privilege sharing an issue with you! As regards Mombi, I discovered she’s got a lot of opinions about things, and since she doesn’t keep a lot of friends, her journal was a way of venting. I’m endlessly fascinated with her, and wait till you see Paul Dana’s story about her youth! I haven’t yet re-read Prince Pompadore, but I’m very much looking forward to it!! And fans of Nathan’s stories should definitely keep an eye on the page Nathan linked to, as there’s more of his stories to come, and one that he and I co-wrote that will feature in the forthcoming Lost Tales of Oz!

    • Nathan says:

      It actually kind of reminded me of Mycroft Mason’s take on Mombi in “Four Views of General Jinjur.”

      • I find that’s the beauty of doing research as a writer; the world and its characters filter down into your psyche so that when you’re ready to create anew, the elements of that history come forth organically, having been distilled in your mind and heart.

  2. Anthony Will says:

    Kabumpo in Oz was the only non Baum my library system had as a child, and not only is it one of my favorite Thompsons, I think it is one of her very best books

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