Purple Horse, Pink Goat, Blue Woozy


Scan by Jared Davis
The 1992 Oziana gives us a rather striking cover illustration, a picture by Eric Shanower of the Wicked Witch of the East as she realizes she’s about to be crushed by a house.

“A Christmas Tree for Dorothy,” by Jane Albright – The basic idea for this one bears some resemblance to W.W. Denslow’s story “Dorothy’s Christmas Tree,” although it plays out differently and incorporates elements from a few different Oz books. When Dorothy is nostalgic for the way she celebrated Christmas back in Kansas, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman decide to give her a Christmas tree, and find one just outside her window that would work perfectly. When they decide they want to decorate it with stars, the Scarecrow gets the idea to enlist the help of High Boy from The Giant Horse of Oz to pick them from the sky, something that’s presumably only possible in fairyland, so don’t try it at home.

The Sandman, whom they recognize from Kabumpo, runs into them and causes the stars to spill, but he also manages to make things right again with the Magic Mistake Bag the Wizard of Oz made for him. Santa Claus shows up in the Emerald City to help them decorate, even though it’s not actually Christmas. It’s said that his last visit was during the party in Road, but Ruth Plumly Thompson wrote several poems about Christmas, complete with trees and Santa, being celebrated in Oz. Perhaps they took place after the events of this story. Eric’s illustrations for this one make use of stippling and a lot of stars.

“The Tail of the Pink Goat,” by Everett Avila – In Purple Prince, Kabumpo resolves to tell a story about a pink goat to Princess Pajonia, but he doesn’t get to do so. This piece doesn’t exactly tell it either, but rather illustrates and examines it, crediting the original to a man who wove it into the pajamas of an ancient Blue Emperor. This title is used in both Purple Prince and Silver Princess as that of the guy who gave Kabumpo to King Pompus, and Henry Blossom’s Blue Emperor expanded on this idea. In this story, the Blue Empire is said to have been centered in what is now the Kingdom of Dreams, while the Emperor in Blossom’s book was the ruler of Oz and Ozma’s grandfather. But then, it does also say that Kabumpo was originally “from the Jurassic forest on the other side of the Kingdom of Rinkitink,” so maybe there is some connection to the lands to the west of Oz, or the territory of the Blue Empire changed over time. Anyway, the tale is about a pink goat with a long ropy tail, who was ostracized by his fellows, but became a pet of an emperor who helped him to rescue a princess with his tail. The pictures for this one are provided by eight different artists: Shaune Anderson, Nicole Bent, Ricky Blount, Daniel Han, Cindy Jen, Joe McSweeney, Deepa Mehta, and Brent Peddy.

Before the next story, a comic by Bill Eubank shows a shaggy dog reading Shaggy Man.

“The Woozy’s Tale,” by Gili Bar-Hillel – This is the second Oziana story to provide an origin story for the Woozy, after March Laumer’s strange take on this subject. This one provides an explanation for his appetite for bees, the three hairs on his tail, and his hatred for the phrase “krizzle-kroo.” Krizzle Kroo is a nasty wizard who was an ally of the Wicked Witches, but after a falling out, he sent his bees to torment the Witch of the East, so she brought the Woozy to life to devour them. He also used to command wolves and crows, but Gayelette made them subservient to her whistle, which was then stolen by the Witch of the West. The Ozites defeat the wizard and trap him in a beehive, and Dorothy manages to restore the Munchkin family the Woozy used to live with. As is my wont, I’ve done my best to tie this story in with others that provide origins for the square beast. David Maxine illustrated this one, mostly in silhouettes.

“The Journey” and an untitled story, by Deborah Holden – Two very short and rather enigmatic tales, the first about L. Frank Baum coming to live in the Emerald City after his death, and the second about Lurline being pregnant with Ozma. This one also suggests Lurline was, at least for a time, married to Pastoria. After these comes a quiz by Robin Olderman and Fred Meyer about tails in the series, which fits with the two tales about tails in this issue. Finally, there’s an illustration of Professor Nowitall teaching on the back cover. I don’t see a credit for this picture, but it is initialed “SPM.” EDIT: It’s by Shawn Maldonado.

Next time, we’ll look at a Shakespeare parody of sorts, an unfinished story, and a chapter of a novel that I don’t think ever saw the light of day. When next time will be, I don’t know, as I’ll be pretty busy in the coming week.

This entry was posted in Animals, Art, Characters, Christmas, Comics, Eric Shanower, Holidays, L. Frank Baum, Magic, Magic Items, March Laumer, Oz, Oz Authors, Places, Ruth Plumly Thompson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Purple Horse, Pink Goat, Blue Woozy

  1. Pingback: A Pound of Man’s Tin | VoVatia

  2. Pingback: Eleven, Twelve, Pig and Delve | VoVatia

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