Since the 1989 Oziana is more movie-based, it shouldn’t be too surprising that it’s not a favorite of mine, but I have some things to say about it anyway.
“Biozonnet 1,” by Robin Olderman – The editor presents a poem about the first time she saw the MGM film, and yelled out in the theater that they were getting everything wrong. The epilogue indicates that she wasn’t as much of a purist anymore, but still wonders why Dorothy was noticeably older than in the book. After that is a movie quiz devised by Susan Hall, John Fricke, and Fred Meyer.
Rated ‘G’ for Glinda,” by Rob Roy MacVeigh – Along the same theme as the sonnet, Dorothy and Glinda discuss various Oz movies and how much they get wrong. There’s presumably a typo, as Dorothy mentions a 1952 “comedy,” when she presumably means the terrible 1925 silent movie. Glinda admits that she cast a spell, much like the one that she used to make Oz invisible, to scramble things so that every Oz film would be inaccurate. It must have worked too well, as that’s hardly the only literary property to have disastrous results in the film world. Dorothy convinces the Sorceress to allow at least one movie that represented Oz well, in order to set a good example for the Outside World. The story is sort of a promotion as well, as MacVeigh is known to have been working on an animated Wizard of Oz movie that he wanted to be faithful to the book, although he never finished it. The introduction says that MacVeigh was “new to Oziana,” but I assume Robin meant as an author, as he’d illustrated Oziana tales before this. He did the illustrations to his own story here, as well as the cover, which shows the Wizard displaying a bunch of film reels of Oz-related projects that are either lost or never existed, with his own unfinished movie in the lower right corner. As far as I know, there were never any follow-ups to this story called something like “Rated PG for Patchwork Girl” or “Rated R for Rinkitink.”
“There’s No Place Like Oz,” by Chuck Sabatos – This one also comments on the differences between the book and the 1939 movie, in this case with Dorothy visiting her old farmhouse and falling asleep, dreaming that she’s in the movie’s version of Kansas. When Miss Gulch shows up to take Toto again, she wakes up back in the palace to a recreation of the film’s ending scene, but with the corresponding Oz characters. Eric Shanower drew a rendition of this, as well as some nightmarish images utilizing pictures from the movie.
I’ve seen Sabatos’ name on a few other Oz works, including a later Oziana story.
“The Wizard of Oz,” by Roger Phillips – An alternate version of Wizard has Dorothy living in Manhattan with her uncle, a janitor at a magic shop. She travels to Oz by way of a magic cabinet, lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, and meets the Munchkins. And that’s it. I have no idea if any more of this story was ever written, but as it is it’s kind of an oddity. Illustrator Chris Sterling put a joke into one of his pictures with a Dunkin’ Donuts in the Munchkin Country.
“Follow the Other Brick Road,” by Frederick E. Otto – I’ve written before about how the movie seems to show a separate Red Brick Road intertwined with the yellow one at its beginning, and this tale uses this as its premise.
When she follows the red road, she ends up in the Gillikin Country, and travels with a young rhinoceros. Although of course the idea comes from the film, there are a lot of book-only elements in this story. The Wizard Wam and Gayelette‘s ruby palace appear, the Forest of Gugu is mentioned, and the Good Witch of the North is called Tattypoo instead of Glinda. I suppose it does make a certain amount of sense that, if a yellow road in a blue country leads to a green city, a red road in the same country would run to a purple place. Robert B. Luehrs did some illustrations for this that are both cutesy and a bit disturbing.
Next time, it’s the professional issue, including a chapter of a never-finished Eloise Jarvis McGraw manuscript.