Local Oz fans bring the Wizard of Oz to the bayou “Wizard of Oz” enthusiasts gathered at the Terrebonne Parish Main Library today for the second annual Oz on the Bayou.
The event gave local and out-of-town fans a chance to discuss the series started over 100 years ago by L. Frank Baum. It now spans over 40 books and dozens of movies. The event, hosted by local members of the International Wizard of Oz Club, David Diket and Karen Diket, featured discussions on “The Princess of Oz,” the 11th Oz book written by Baum in 1917, and performances from students of Central Lafourche High School. David Diket said he first became interested in Oz as a kid after watching the 1939 “The Wizard of Oz” film starring Judy Garland and reading the first few books in the series. “I just dove right in, and never grew up,” said David Diket, who became a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club in 2011.
“The club opened my eyes to the whole community of Oz,” he said. “I didn’t realize quite how big it was and how involved I could be with that community.”
Susan Hall travels all over the country from Tulsa, Okla., to attend similar gatherings of the Oz community, which she refers to as her family.
“I’ve made friendships that have lasted over 30 years,” said Hall. “They’re just fun people to hang around with. We look on the bright side of life.” New York Times best-selling author and artist Eric Shanower was the featured guest and discussed his own work in the Oz universe. Shanower wrote Marvel Comic’s graphic novelization of the Oz series, which has won several Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. “I decided when I was very young that I wanted to write and draw my own Oz stories for publication,” said Shanower.
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