Scan by Jared Davis
This is Oziana for 1983. The cover was drawn by Eric Shanower for the previous year’s Winkie Convention, then repurposed here. It features several of L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson’s characters, with High Boy having a special place of honor.
“The Way to the Emerald City,” by Melody Grandy – This is part of what later would become Melody’s Tippetarius in Oz, the second Seven Blue Mountains book. While a complete story in itself, it does hint at a larger story, with the appearance of Amadin (whose true identity is revealed in the series, but not here) and the village of Townsville (not the one the Powerpuff Girls live in). Aleda, a girl from North Carolina, hang glides to Oz and meets a lonely giant who’s afraid of smaller people, and wants to keep her. Eventually, she convinces him to take her to the Emerald City, and it turns out he’s the heir to the throne of Big Top Mountain, called Huge Mountain in the books for copyright reasons.
“Cornucopia Oziana,” by Everett Avila – This is a collection of five very short pieces addressing things that are mentioned but not elaborated upon in the books, specifically Emerald City and Scarecrow. We’re told the lyrics of the foolish song that the Chief of the Whimsies sings, what additional tricks the jugglers of Bunnybury perform and what the symbols on their clothes mean, how Lord Googly-Goo was punished for his villainy, and what the conference Ozma had with Jack Pumpkinhead and Professor Wogglebug was about. It’s said that Pon uses Googly-Goo’s confiscated money to build a bridge across the Great Gulf that surrounds Jinxland, but Phyllis Ann Karr’s Gardener’s Boy reports that there was never a successful bridge built until late in that book.
“The Fate of the Yoops, or, The Yookoohoos of Oz,” by Frederick E. Otto – The prolific Oz writer brings together the Yoops and Reera the Red to provide some resolution for their stories. Mrs. Yoop, here given the first name Ali, seeks out Reera to find a way to remove her transformation into a green monkey. Reera makes Ali bring back her husband, who’s locked in a cage in the Quadling Country, bringing along a donkey named Thrug as a companion. The story was illustrated by Rob Roy MacVeigh.
Reera ends up double-crossing both Yoops, however. Paul Dana would later use the title Yookoohoos of Oz for one of his books, and in his version of things, Mrs. Yoop and Reera are sisters. They’re estranged, however, so their acting as if they don’t know each other in this story can still work. It’s difficult to work out a timeline for the Yoops, as they’re pretty popular in fan-written stories. I did try to fit together a few tales of Mrs. Yoop in the past. Interestingly, this also isn’t the last we’ll see of Thrug, either.
“Nero Zeero: Snoz of Oz,” by Jay V. Groves – I thought I remembered this story being longer than it was, perhaps because it sort of has two different plots. One is that Queen Ann Soforth of Oogaboo is throwing a birthday party for herself, and Ozma sends Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, Tik-Tok, and the Sawhorse to attend. Along the way there, everyone’s nose grows a few inches. Eric Shanower does an amusing take on how these characters look with larger noses.
The spell doesn’t work on Tik-Tok.It turns out that the culprit is Nero Zeero, King of Snozland, who believes that longer noses mean extra intelligence, and hence he’s doing everyone a favor. The party arrives in Snozland by accident, following a sign that had been turned around (how isn’t explained, and probably should have been, even if it had just been a sentence), convinces Nero to reverse the spell. He comes along with the others to Oogaboo, and he and Ann hit it off. It ends with their wanting to marry, but whether they went through with it is, I suppose, up to the reader.
Next time, Big Brother in Oz! Okay, not really, but it IS 1984. Actually, we’ll get a return to Sky Island, the Nine Tiny Piglets, pronunciation difficulties, and the Great Detective investigating a copycat (but not a literal cat).