Abra Kadabra, I Want to Reach Out and Grab Ya


The 1974 Oziana starts with a mention of of some Oz manuscripts the editor, Gary Ralph, had heard about: Christmas in Oz, The Woozy of Oz, and Traleewu in Oz. There are books by Robin Hess and March Laumer with those first two titles, but they aren’t the same. I believe Traleewu did have a small private printing, but I still haven’t read it.

“Abra Kadabra of Oz,” by Melody Grandy – I believe this was the first published Oz work by Melody, who went on to write and illustrate some excellent pastiches.

The story starts with a witch stealing a ruby wand from Ozma, but when she and Glinda track down the thief, she turns out to have a valid reason for taking it. The witch, the titular Abra Kadabra, needs a steady source of heat to prevent the Circle of Geezer from growing. When Lurline ended aging in Oz, she couldn’t eliminate it entirely, but drove it into one spot in the northern mountains. Abra and her parents before her have tried to destroy it, but all their efforts have just prevented it from expanding. Finally, with help from some other magic-workers, the Circle is undone. According to Glinda, Lurline and five other fairies wished for an end to aging, so in order to end it entirely, it would require seven fairies: herself, Ozma, Polychrome, the Good Witch of the North, Abra, and her rejuvenated parents. We know that Ozma and Polychrome are full-fledged fairies, but it’s more ambiguous with Glinda, with the only real mentions of her being one in Lost Princess and Shaggy Man, at least as far as I can remember. Also, according to the Great Book of Records, the elder Kadabras have been working at containing the Circle since before Abra’s birth, and she’s at least 1503 years old. Most indications suggest that aging wasn’t eliminated in Oz until much more recently, although it’s a very complicated issue. The Kadabras live in the Cold Snap Mountains in the northernmost part of the Gillikin Country, so perhaps to the north of Pumperdink, near Zamagoochie. Since they’re no longer cold at the end of the story, perhaps they have a different name now.

“Jimmy Bulber of Oz,” by Frank Joslyn Baum – This story by L. Frank Baum’s eldest son ties into his Laughing Dragon in using Zoru the Witch, except she isn’t in the published book. In an attempt to lure people to her home in the Dark Forest, where she’s forced to live, she builds a man out of a wooden dummy and a lightbulb. While the witch is asleep, a tiny fellow named Quar pays the bulb-man a visit. Quar is described as “the ruler of the Nomes of Oz,” but despite the spelling, they’re apparently quite different from the Nomes who live beneath Ev. Instead of being underground dwellers, they live in the curled-up leaves of trees. This little man accidentally brings Zoru’s creation to life and names him Jimmy Bulber, and Jimmy leaves Zoru’s hut. An illustration by Mary Reynolds shows that Zoru’s shelves hold, among other things, boxes of Jell-O and Acme Newt Eyes. and a copy of Best of the Baum Bugle. I can’t tell what the spines of some of the books say. I guess “Beth Crockerwork,” or whatever it is, plays on Betty Crocker.

Next comes an Oziad poem about Wizard, but by Harry Mongold instead of Fred Otto. Then there’s a comic by Bill Eubank, which would become a semi-recurring feature.

For what it’s worth, Percy Vere uses the “melon collie” pun for one of his poems in Grampa, and there’s a dog called that in Phyllis Ann Karr’s Hollyhock Dolls.

“The Mysterious Palace of Voe,” by Jay Delkin – As explained in the introduction, the idea for the story comes from a picture of a castle in the background of one of John R. Neill’s drawings of the Valley of Voe in Dorothy and the Wizard.

The rather mysterious tale involves a man called Gerfus trying to find his way through the castle, but mostly finding himself in the same room over and over. It turns out to be an initiation for the Wizard of Oz by Glinda to join the Fraternal Order of Practising Workers of Magic. Since we only see the castle in its enchanted form, we don’t get to see how it normally looks, so it still mostly remains a mystery. Glinda does mention that it’s the home of the King of Voe, when there’s no indication in Dorothy and the Wizard as to the government of the valley.

Finally, the back cover of this issue shows Dorothy and Ozma visiting Boq’s house, as drawn by Albert Chronic. It’s weird that there’s an automobile in the illustration, and not a Scalawagon either.

This entry was posted in Art, Characters, Comics, Humor, Jack Snow, John R. Neill, L. Frank Baum, Magic, March Laumer, Melody Grandy, Oz, Oz Authors, Phyllis Ann Karr, Places, Poetry, Ruth Plumly Thompson, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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