Category Archives: Oz in Print

Oz in the News 2.27.21

American McGee Reveals Oz: Adventures, a Hybrid TV And Video Game Project Doom, Quake and Alice alum American McGee has revealed Oz: Adventures, a television series and video game project that has been picked up for development by Radar Pictures. The project is based on the Oz series of books, which began with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. McGee said on Instagram that he and his team “will be working to develop the Oz: Adventures concept for production as a TV series and video game. With luck, you’ll soon turn on one of your content providers (HBO? Netflix? Amazon?) and find ‘OZ: Adventures’ (Game and TV show) among your entertainment options,” McGee continues. McGee describes his version of Oz as “Running Man vs. Witches, Quadlings, and Munchkins. Characters are involuntarily pulled into Oz from all over the world and all through time.”

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Art Creates Strange Wizard of Oz Crossover The world of the Joestars is a strange one on its own, with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure giving us some of the weirdest battles in the history of anime thanks to the Stands that appear frequently in the franchise, but one fan has decided to amplify the level of the bizarre by bringing the Hirohiko Araki characters into the world of The Wizard of Oz. This year is promising to be a big one for the anime franchise that continues to pick up steam across the world with each passing year and the future of the series seems bright.

What Song Is In The Army Of The Dead Trailer Among the flailing bodies and flying bullets, a timeless voice rises above the chaos. The Army of the Dead trailer is set to a slightly rejigged, slowed-down version of Judy Garland’s “Lucky Day.” The song was written in 1926 and recorded by various artists including Harry Richman and The Revelers, but perhaps the most famous performance (and the one Zack Snyder uses here) is Garland’s, first recorded in 1956.

Tell Me Something Good: ‘Finding Dorothy’ “Finding Dorothy” has been chosen as this year’s selection for the “Central New York Reads One Book” campaign, urging readers to read the book over the next few weeks and talk about it.  That’s something that really touched the author. “When you say that, I’m getting goosebumps,” Letts says.  “To have the community that I, as an outsider, came in and described a piece of, embracing my story and saying, hey we think you did a good job, that is incredibly validating for me.” As part of “Central New York Reads One Book,” Syracuse Stage will host Elizabeth Letts for a live Zoom conversation, next Thursday, March 4.  There’s no charge to participate, and you don’t have to have read the book.  But you do have to register in advance to get the Zoom link.  You can do that at https://www.syracusestage.org/syracusestories.php   And you can learn more about “Central New York Reads One Book” at https://www.cnyreads.org/.

Oz in the News 1.29.21

Why everyone’s going Dizzy for new version of hit retro video game Dizzy – an eight-bit video game back in the 1980s – was seen by many as the UK’s answer to Mario and Sonic. Created by the renowned Oliver Twins, the series became a firm favourite with retro gamers. Now, after fans pleaded for new games to be created, Wonderful Dizzy was released for ZX Spectrum last month. It is inspired by L Frank Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Jarrod continues to design games in his spare time and has been working on his own creation for the past decade. He said: “Designing 2D games is an art form. You work with much less memory than modern computers, eking out every last byte and so every pixel counts. I enjoy the challenge.” Wonderful Dizzy can be played for free at www.WonderfulDizzy.com.

The Yellow Brick Road leads to Sonoma Andy Warhol is credited with coining the phrase about everyone having 15 minutes of fame. Sonoma’s Betty Ann Bruno, one of the last surviving Munchkins, has had more than her share. She writes about it in “The Munchkin Diary,” a memoir detailing her journey from “The Wizard of Oz,” to Stanford University, to working for the CIA, to being a civil activist in Oakland, to a career in television. “I never intended to write about my life,” Bruno, 89, told the Index-Tribune. “Then I thought my kids would like to hear about being on the set with Judy Garland, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and a whole bunch of little people. That story led to many more.” Bruno was born in Hawaii to a Hawaiian mother, her father from Texas. The family moved to Hollywood when she was quite young. Living across the street from the Twentieth Century Fox studios, it seemed only natural that Bruno would go into show business. And the timing was perfect. “The elaborate Oz movie set with all those big colorful plastic flowers, the playhouse-like thatched huts and that famous yellow brick road was magical. It was a 7-year-old’s dream,” Bruno said. Only later would she realize the significance of being part of the 1939 Hollywood classic, one of the most famous movies of all time.

Oz in the News 12.14.20

Review: The O.Z. #1 Brings a Devastating War to The Wizard of Oz Author Pepose makes it pretty clear from the jump that despite the original source material inspiration, this is going to be a dark, mature tale and he explores that grimmer subject matter early. That said, Pepose is also aware this is a story full of literal flying monkeys, animate scarecrows, and tin men; this is a war story but it’s one firmly rooted in a fantasy world even if those yellow brick roads and emerald cities are a bit bombed out. Once the story really gets going and Dorothy acclimates to her strange surroundings, there is a lot of fun to be had but, the most unfortunate thing about this opening volume is that it stops just as the going gets really good. Leaving readers wanting more certainly isn’t the worst thing in the world but the volume does come to an abrupt close.

Oz in the News 12.2.20

Just Imagine: what lies at the heart of a sustainable future? is an anthology of blogs about climate change and sustainability, viewed through the lens of L Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Like Dorothy and her friends, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow, we are on a journey – in our case to a sustainable future where all humanity can find and enjoy a home for years to come.

Unfortunately, a simple click of the heels won’t get us there. We will have to deploy our best tools and technologies to safeguard a sustainable future and give our story a happy ending. Perhaps, most importantly, we will need what a Cowardly Lion, a Scarecrow and a Tin Man needed: courage, brains, and a big heart.

This collection of blogs reflects the diverse journeys and stories of different industries and sectors on the path to achieve a sustainable low carbon future. In a series of provocative stories, it explores what we have done, how far we have come, and what else we can do.

Oz in the News 11.8.20

Cthulhu Invades Oz – A 140+ Page Original Graphic Novel – Over 50 incredible comic creators got together to bring the blending of two different universes in the mystical world of Baum’s Wizard of Oz and the horrifying world that is the work of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu. When the Great Cthulhu invades Oz! This was war will change OZ FOREVER! This anthology tells one big story through the eyes of the different residents of Oz.

Oz in the News 9.5.20

Once Upon a Time: The Collection of Justin Schiller Ltd. What connects ruby slippers to a glass slipper, Peter Rabbit to the White Rabbit, Munchkins to Nutkins, Aesop’s Tortoise to the March Hare, Aunt Annie to Aunt Em, the Ugly Duckling to Jemima Puddle-Duck, or Beatrix Potter to Harry? The answer is Justin Schiller, owner of America’s oldest continuously operating antiquarian book firm devoted to children’s literature. Schiller is the world’s primary scholar on L. Frank Baum and a leading expert on the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Beatrix Potter, Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak and all luminaries punctuating the genre’s evolution. Schiller recalls when asked about his formative years – from age 8, when his mother gave him an Oz book (which he recalls ruining by reading in the bathtub), to a climax in 1956, the centenary of L. Frank Baum’s birth, by which time Schiller had acquired a formidable Oz collection, mainly from scouring New York’s “Book Row” on lower Fourth Avenue, and developing his eye and essential dealer contacts.Events that year included a comprehensive exhibition at the Columbia University library, for which 12-year-old Justin supplied rare volumes, and a CBS TV taping of actor Bert Lahr reading from a first edition of The Wizard of Oz. Guess who supplied the copy? Sitting as a guest on the Cowardly Lion’s knee was little Justin. The other knee was occupied by a 10-year-old girl sent to the studio by her mother, who was invited but unable to attend. Justin remembers her well and sometimes wonders if Liza Minnelli remembers him?

Oz in the News 8.17.20

THE WIZARD OF OZ MEETS THE HURT LOCKER IN DAVID PEPOSE’S LATEST COMIC ‘THE O.Z.’ Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of our most sacred fantasy stories, but what if by defeating the Wicked Witch, Dorothy Gale created a power vacuum and triggered a decades-long civil war with countless casualties? And, what if Dorothy’s granddaughter, an Iraq war veteran, gets pulled into the present day Oz, now dubbed the Occupied Zone? She’d have a big mess on her hands in trying to broker peace. That’s what co-creators David Pepose (Spencer & Locke) and artist-on-the-rise Ruben Rojas will explore in their re-imagined sequel The O.Z. Along with colorist Whitney Cogar (Giant Days) and letterer DC Hopkins (Resonant), this is one Kickstarter-supported comic you won’t want to miss. The O.Z. is part Mad Max: Fury Road mixed with equal portions of The Hurt Locker and The Old Guard as it takes the cherished landscape of Oz and turns it into a frightening war zone full of casualties. Its remaining survivors cling to the hopes that they will see an end to the conflict, but that reality is nowhere near the horizon. It’s an unflinching tale about the punishing consequences of war, the search for noble leadership, and legacy.

Oz in the News 8.11.20

Once Upon a Time For a collector and seller of children’s books, it makes sense that a passion for juvenile literature would begin as a child, but it’s rare that a childhood obsession turns into a lifelong career. Yet that’s exactly what happened when Justin G. Schiller fell in love with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and began collecting various editions at age eight. By the time he was twelve, he had founded the International Wizard of Oz Club and began buying copies for others and reselling them. “Children’s books were being neglected amongst other collectibles when I was growing up,” Schiller said. “Just as everything has hills and valleys and ups and downs, children’s books were often pushed to the side and no one took them seriously but me. I’ve bought back books I’ve sold after a collector dies. I’m very consistent, because I feel I’m protecting them. I was an only child, and these books are also only children that need to be protected.” This year, however, Schiller’s shop is closing. Though he notes he won’t entirely be removed from the book trade, he does say the shop’s expansive collection must be sold. These items will be sold by Heritage Auctions on December 16. Lots in the sale will include rare works from prominent children’s authors dated across several centuries. Fittingly, one prominent item from the sale is a first edition with first state text and plates of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), estimated at $20,000 and up.

Oz in the News 7.30.20

Autonomous Cars Were Predicted In A Wizard of Oz Book Neill’s Scalawagon is pretty damn close to Google’s autonomous prototype for something that was conceived almost 75 years earlier. The generally rounded shape is very similar, same for the overall layout, the relatively un-ornamented design, the scale is similar, and, most notably, they both feature prominent “sensor domes” on their roofs. Google’s is a LiDAR dome and the Quadling car’s is more of a mechanical head with eyes, but I think conceptually, they’re the same. Besides, even our human heads are basically sensor domes on top of our bodies. I think it’s pretty amazing—back in 1941, writing about an imaginary land, not just the basic idea of a self-driving car was proposed (I don’t think this is even close to the first general instance of that, but still) but an overall system for their use was articulated in a way that’s relevant today, and the general design could be translated to modern (and real) technology with minimal changes. And, just like today, the autonomous car making company was being run by a wealthy and infamous charlatan, who didn’t want you looking at him behind curtains.

Oz in the News 6.13.20

Brookfield launches townwide read online Residents will be traveling down the virtual yellow brick road as the library moves its third annual One Town, One Read online. The townwide read is meant to strengthen community spirit with everyone reading the same book and then participating in different activities together. This year’s book is “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum. “The objective of the One Town, One Read program is always to spark enthusiasm for reading together, as a community, and to inspire thoughtful discussion,” Library Director Yvonne Cech said. Activities will run throughout June and July. They include teen writing sessions, children’s crafts, learning to use movie making apps, coding, book discussions and a townwide scavenger hunt that encourages people to visit local businesses. Guest readers will read selections from the book on Mondays and offer scavenger hunt clues to find the seven characters hidden around Brookfield. A map, more details and a full list of events is available on the library’s website and social media accounts. The activities culminate with a livestream presentation on July 23 of “The Saga of the Ruby Slippers.” It will be presented by Ryan Lintelman, the curator of the entertainment collection at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, where the ruby slippers from the movie are housed.