Batoose, Batoose!

It’s on to the 1973 Oziana, and I feel like this one is somewhat lacking in unique content, as some of it was published elsewhere. That said, these publications were quite limited and I don’t have copies, so that’s not entirely fair on my part. The cover, drawn by Bill Eubank, returns to the concept from the first issue of various characters reading that very magazine. The back cover has a picture of Queen Lulea by Kevin Harris.

“Tempus Temporis in Terra Ozis,” by George Van Buren – The author of this one was known for his skill in Latin, being the co-translator of the Latin version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (which, contrary to rumor, Tom Lehrer was not involved with). He jokes that this story was translated from Latin, and the chapter titles are written in that language, often with alliteration. He also includes a paraphrase of the King James version of the Gospel of Luke: “It came to pass in those days that there went up a decree from Ozma of Oz….” The reference to “high places” might be related to that as well. The tale involves an image of the Wicked Witch of the West’s face being displayed in various places, and Ozma and Glinda learn that she buried a doomsday device somewhere in the Gillikin Country, and only one boy saw her do it. It turns out this boy is Tip, so the Wizard of Oz brings him into the present to find out what he knows, as his future self has forgotten. Ozma and Tip conversing also occurred in Edward Einhorn’s Paradox in Oz, although there it’s the ruler who goes back in time. He also wrote a story called “Ozma Sees Herself,” and one of the alternate chapter titles in this tale is “Ozma Sees Himself.” Van Buren’s story ends with a pretty good joke about how, with Tip temporarily visiting the future and potentially learning too much, we should read the Oz books again to see if they’re how we remembered. The author also illustrated this, and he includes a few humorous references in them. Buried items boys find include a Roman standard and an electric fan, and the doomsday device is said to be patent pending by WWW Inc.

Who knew she had her own corporation?

“The Improbable Forest,” by Harry Mongold – An excerpt from The Sawhorse of Oz, which had not yet been published at that point. As it is, the book is hard to find, and while I’ve read it, I don’t own a copy. What’s here consists of three chapters that stand alone pretty well. I guess that’s not that uncommon for Oz books, which typically include a few incidents that aren’t directly related to the main plot. The Sawhorse wanders into the titular forest in Ix, where bizarre things are normal, and agrees to help a cloud sprite by banishing a serpent, only to find that things are even more complicated than he thought. This excerpt is illustrated by Harris, but it was Van Buren who illustrated the published book.

“Except from the Oziad,” by Frederick Otto – The Oziad is a project Otto worked on for a while, where he came up with a short and silly verse interpretation of every Oz book. I’ve only come across a few of these poems; there was a published version of the entire collection, but it was very limited. The one here is based on Patchwork Girl. Wicked also used Oziad as the title of an Ozian epic poem. I have no idea whether Gregory Maguire was aware of Otto’s work.

This entry was posted in Art, Characters, Edward Einhorn, Fred Otto, Humor, L. Frank Baum, Language, Magic, Monsters, Oz, Oz Authors, Places, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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