Oz in the News 8.26.12

The Many Variations on the Wizard of Oz   The Judy Garland version actually flopped at the box office, initially. But resurgence from initial failure or indifference is a sure sign to me of a powerful cultural myth, and the story is still watched and referenced today (one of the characters in The Avengers refers to flying monkeys, and Captain America, reawakened after having been frozen in ice since WWII, remarks “I got that reference.”)(the list of TV shows and movies that reference it goes on and on and on, if you’d care to have a look).  L. Frank Baum (author of the original Oz novels, of which there were seventeen)’s imdb page lists a whopping 125 credits, almost all of them Oz related.

Comic Book Legends Revealed #381  While everyone is familiar with L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful World of Oz (which was published in 1900), less famous is the illustrator of the book, W.W. Denslow. Interestingly enough, Denslow owned the copyright to the first book with Baum 50/50. Sadly (for Denslow), even then, Baum was accepted as the “real” author of the Oz characters and while Queer Visitors was a hit (as was the new novels, which Baum would continue putting out until his death in 1919), Denslow’s strip faded into obscurity very quickly.


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