Oz in the News 4.12.13

oz01candd-4_3_r541_c540Dorothy and Co. get an edgy makeover in new ‘Oz’ comic  Featuring the art team of Rolando Neto, Glauber Matos and Ulises Grostieta, the first issue sees the witches of Oz on the hunt for the Veridian Scepter, a lost mystical weapon that’s tied to the Emerald City and the green life-force power prevalent through all the fairy-tale realms. Their search leads them to Kansas and the Gale farm, where they run into Dorothy. From there, the series will follow the traditional Wizard of Oz story and take the girl off to see the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, but not the Wizard. (There’s actually a different ruler of Emerald City here.)

Why are lawyers deciding on munchkins’ hairstyles? The Wizard of Oz and copyright  The Warner Bros film added “new aspects” to the public domain characters. If the publicity materials were not faithfully copied, and the image was recognisable as a copyrightable character from the film, then there may be copying of the original elements of the film. If the various public domain works are combined in a “new arrangement” that is an expression of the film character, then this arrangement will infringe copyright in the film. Hmmm… It strikes us that this judge may have really liked the 1939 film.

Anti-Margaret Thatcher Campaign Drives Judy Garland’s ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ Up UK’s Charts  The Official Charts Company, the industry standard charts provider for the U.K., wrote today that three versions of “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” are currently placing in the Top 200 songs chart, with Judy Garland’s recording at No. 54, Ella Fitzgerald’s 1961 version at No. 146 and the Munchkins’ cover at No. 183. Combined, they would place the song at No. 40 with 2,500 in combined sales. As OCC points out, however, Judy Garland’s original will “likely… move into the Official Singles Chart Top 40 in its own right by Sunday if it maintains its current momentum.”

Witches And Wizards: A Scrapbook From The Land Of Oz  “My adventures in Oz started in the fourth grade in Ashby, Mass., in 1945. … I dressed myself up as the Wizard. I took my bathrobe and made a cape, carved out a stick with the letters OZ for my wand and made a star-like crown for my head. I stood outside in the sun and called to my mom to take my picture. There I was at age 10, ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ ”

Do you love Oz? Like to write? Here’s a writing contest for you  It is time for the 5th annual “Royal Historian of Oz” writing contest. The contest is done in conjunction with the 35th annual Oz-Stravaganza which is May 31 to June 2 in Chittenango. L. Frank Baum, author of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” was born in Chittenango on May 15, 1856. The deadline to enter the contest is May 8.

Classic memorabilia goes to auction  A collector’s dream list of memorabilia items have gone up for auction over the weekend, with some sales seeing record bids. The wares included a Munchkins Flower Pot from ‘The Wizard of Oz’, which sold for $US 15,000.

IOWA’S MUNCHKIN: Paullin Sets The Record Straight  In 1938, a man pointed out an ad in show biz magazine, “He saw in there that Warner Brothers wanted 500 little people…” In a matter of weeks, Paullin was shooting on the set of the Wizard of Oz, suddenly surrounded by others his size and by stars like young Judy Garland. Four years ago, he was approached by a man he`d worked with on the set of the Wizard of Oz. The man told him his scenes had been cut from the film. “I found out then that he was right, so I had to start in telling everyone that I wasn`t in the Wizard of Oz, but a lot of them didn`t believe me.” The IMDb website still lists him in the cast under his stage name, Paul Dale, and Iowans have been more likely to believe things like that… than Paullin himself. While it seems Paullin was not in the final cut of the movie another Marshalltown native was… Ruth Smith played the role of a Munchkin Land Villager.  She died in 1985.

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