Monday, November 30, 2009

New photo covers to Wicked

Harper Collins has recently released new photo covers to the first two volumes of The Wicked Years books by Gregory Maguire. This includes Wicked and Son Of A Witch, although the third book, A Lion Amoung Men, has not been redone with a photo cover at this time. You can find copies of these at bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble.

Emeralds Character Bios: Mombi

Here's a character whose probably been reinvented more times than any other Oz character outside the original books. Mombi was a not-so-talented witch who first appeared in Marvelous Land Of Oz. She raised Princess Ozma, although to hide her from anyone seeking to put her back on the throne, Mombi disguised her as a boy named Tip. When Ozma is later on turned back into a girl and made ruler of Oz, Mombi apparently had all her powers and knowledge of magic taken away by Glinda. Ozma later on reveals that her grandfather, and then later on her father King Pastoria were originally prisioners of Mombi, and Ozma was born in Mombi's captivity. How exactly Ozma's grandfather and father had "mated" with someone imprisioned by Mombi is unknown, which asks the question if whether or not Mombi is possibly Ozma's mother or grandmother. Mombi is never shown again in the rest of the Oz books that L. Frank Baum did, although she was melted in Ruth Plumly Thompson's Lost King In Oz. Mombi was portrayed as Princess Mombi in Return To Oz who was really more like Princess Langwidere from Ozma Of Oz, plus in Journey Back To Oz she was supposed to be the sister of the other Wicked Witches. For the Emeralds comic, Mombi has reformed herself, and Ozma has taken her on as a Jack Pumpkinhead's nanny. She also acts as an Ozma's advisor, and one her heads of staff. Whether or not Mombi's intentions are good remain to be seen.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Comic Review: Oz-The Manga

Antarctic Press came out with a mini-series by David Hutchison(check out his Deviantart page!)which is a manga adaptation of the original Wizard Of Oz book titled Oz-The Manga.

It was an 8-issue series that covered most of the first novel, although there was a special Oz-The Manga: Epilogue issue that came out afterwards shows part of the journey from Emerald City to Glinda's palace that wasn't included in the series print run, possibly because they were running short of space in the story to include it before the conclusion.

Anyway, Hutchison did a very excellent interpretation of WOZ, although he did include a few scenes that have never shown before. Some of which were Dorothy mustering up her bravery to pass by the now abandonned castle of the Wicked Witch of the East, plus a little more interaction of her with the Munchkins. Another is the introduction of the Wicked Witch of the West's manservant Nestred who looks like an evil butler. The character designs are very "mangafied". Tin Man more resembles a steam-powered Tik-Tok, Scarecrow is tall and gangly, the Good Witch of the North seems more like a Munchkin even though she's from Gillikin, the Wizard looks like a shorter Mark Twain, the flying monkeys are really winged apes, and the Wicked Witch of the West is very similar to the version of her from OZF5. This series is collected(with the Epilogue special)in a large Pocket Manga, which is AP's manga-sized graphic novels. It also spawned off an adaption of Land Of Oz that was split up into two series. It makes for a great take on the whole Oz storyline, and is guaranteed to satisfy any otaku!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


We've recently created a 2010 wall calendar. These are 8 1/2 x 11 on cardstock for only $2 + S&H:

They're also available laminated for $5 + S&H:

These will be around only for a limited time, so please help support Emeralds!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Comic Review: The Red Brick Road Of Oz

Meant to act as kind of a followup to both the original 1939 Wizard Of Oz movie and the Wicked book/play, Jake Shandy created this webcomic titled The Red Brick Road Of Oz(also available on

In it, Terry Gale is the great nephew of Dorothy Gale who is visiting Kansas along with his successful author father and primadonna actress stepmother. They arrive at the old Gale farm where they meet Hank, the elderly caretaker. Hank tells Terry about how Dorothy was missing for five years from the place she called Oz, and went on to be a tragic actress in Hollywood. Terry is then swept up by a tornado, and is taken to Oz. Once there, he comes upon the old house that originally brought Dorothy, and finds an old book inside(supposedly the Grimmerie). He then runs into some friendly winged monkeys who tell him he has to take the book to Glinda in Gilliken.

Shandy has had an on-and-off hiatus with the webcomic for nearly a year now, but usually makes some kind of update every so often.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Andrew Lloyd Webber to do Oz musical

Andrew Lloyd Webber(Cats/Phantom Of The Opera)has been in production for doing a new British stage adaptation of Wizard Of Oz, which was sparky partially due to the success that Wicked has had in the U.K. This is reported to be a new version of the original 1939 movie, however Webber is said to be making writing at least six new songs for this version. He has been planning this project since fall of 2008, although he decided to give it up this summer, but went back into it this fall. Webber has been very particular in looking for a newcomer to play the part of Dorothy, as well as a highly-trained dog for Toto, although a contender has yet to be chosen. Recently, Webber had surgery for prostate cancer of which he was just hospitalized, but he still claims to be willing to produce the musical.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Review: Glass Cat Of Oz

Another original book from Books Of Wonder's line of Emerald City Press titles is Glass Cat Of Oz. Written by David Hulan and drawn by George O'Conner, this book highlights Bungle, the glass cat that first appeared in Patchwork Girl Of Oz.

The story involves a twin brother and sister who find a genie that grants them the ability to transform using the magic word "Pryzqxgl"(from Magic Of Oz)and then sends them to Oz. There, they become involved in a plot to save Queen Ann from a bunch of punks called the Bad Lads who use the gun tree to take over the land of Oogaboo. Along with Glass Cat, Trot, Cap'n Bill, and Hungry Tiger, they manage to save Ann in the others just in time for Betsy Bobbin's anniversary.

This was a good book with references to most of the original 14 Baum books, although it might seem a little too much like author wish-fullfilment. But it's a good read for your average Oz-phile.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Scarecrow Of Oz animated movie coming soon

Hash Inc. is creating a sequal to their computer animated movie, Tin Woodman Of Oz. Their next film will be Scarecrow Of Oz based on the book of the same name, although this is within the continuity of the Tin Woodman movie, aside from the fact that the Scarecrow book takes place about four novels before it. It will feature the regular characters of Trot and Cap'n Bill, with the addition of Tin Woodman, but apparently leaves out Button Bright who was in the original book. The movie is set for release sometime in 2010. You can see some test videos of it here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Emeralds Character Bios: Jellia Jamb

One of the more underrated regulars of the Oz cast is Jellia Jamb. She first appeared briefly in Wizard Of Oz, and then had a more prominent part in Land Of Oz. Afterwards she was a recurring character in most of the ongoing series. Jellia is the head maid at the royal palace originally occupied by the Wizard, and when Ozma came to power she becomes her personal servant. Even though she's a native of Gillikin, she usually is shown having green hair, and seems slightly short despite not being a Munchkin. In Emeralds, Jellia is still working at the palace, but becomes the love interest of the now "humanized" Jack Pumpkinhead, who takes a liking to her because of his new human emotions. Jellia and Jack are seen as a major coupling in the first issue, much to the delight of Ozma and Dorothy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comic Review: Dorothy Of Oz

No relation to the novel(and upcoming movie) by Roger S. Baum, Dorothy Of Oz is a manhwa(Korean comic)from Udon Entertainment, and a modern day retelling of the original Oz books.

The story first opens up with the entire cast already assembled and on their quest to the mysterious Wizard while dodging the Oz military as they're seen as fugitives. Although after the first few chapters in Volume #1, the plot then cuts to the beginning where we meet Mara Shin, a normal girl from Korea who on her way home from school one day follows her dog Toto down a mysterious road that she never noticed before. She wanders into the enchanted land of Oz, and encounters Serruliah, a scientist referred to as the Witch of the East that believes Mara is the legendary saviour known as Dorothy who can find the fabled Yellow Brick Road. Oz is broken up into four countries, each one ruled by a female scientist called a "witch" who at one point tried to conquer the land, but the mighty Wizard who had actual magical powers defeated them. Serruliah discovers that a strange glove that Mara found when she was a kid(supposedly in Oz)has actual magic properties. Unfortunately, Serruliah is killed by a clone assassin of the Witch of the West, but not before she reveals to Mara how to utilize the special powers lying within her magic boots which allow her to transform into a blonde mature version of herself. Mara is however mistaken for the assassin, and goes on the run. She later frees one of the West Witch's failed clones that she names Abee(which is Korean for Scarecrow), and he uses his psychic powers to protect her from other clone soldiers. The two of them later on run across the cyborg Namu, who has the codename of Tin Woodsman. He teams up with them, and fights the powerful female android Tick Tock who works for the Witch of the South. Our heroes eventually befriend the chimera catboy Tail created by the North Witch.

The plot hasn't gone beyond the point where Tail is first introduced, as it is currently in hiatus since the release of Volume #4. Whether this is a lapse in production by creator Song Hee-Joon in Korea, or something delaying the American release is unknown. If you're a fan of anime and manga, you'll probably enjoy this as a great adventure/fantasy with some decent comedy. The story offers a fresh take on the Oz novels, but holds its own as an interesting comic.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A review of Wicked: Act 1

This recent online review of the musical Wicked has been posted by anime reviewer "Vixen" on The Desu2 Brigade. It's worth watching at least for a coherent rundown of the first act, and the p.o.v. of a fangirl on the play.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Book Review: The Patchwork Bride Of Oz

A book that came out a while ago from Books Of Wonder was this short illustrated story under their Emerald City Press label. This was written by Gilbert M. Sprague, and illustrated by Dennis McFarling.

Taking place within in the generic Oz universe, on Christmas Eve in the Emerald City, Scraps the Patchwork Girl is struck by the power of the Shaggy Man's Love Magnet which has been placed on the city entrance, and declares she her love for Scarecrow. He too falls for her, and they announce their engagement. Cut to June where they have their wedding in Gillikin Country at the castle of the Good Witch of the North, where Santa Claus(a regular friend of the Ozians)presides over it.

It's a cute little story, and worth reading out for the holidays. There's an inexpensive paperback version, and a limited edition hardcover print of it too. If you're interested, Gilbert M. Spraque also wrote another book from Books Of Wonder titled The Nome King's Shadow In Oz.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Emeralds Character Bios: Betsy Bobbin

The first member of the new Order of the Witches in Emeralds is Betsy Bobbin. Betsy was the second girl from "Earth" to end up living in Oz. She first appeared in Tik-Tok Of Oz where she was an orphan that was in a storm with her mule Hank, and washed up in Winkie Country. She eventually made her way to the Emerald City and lived with Dorothy, Ozma, and Trot in the royal palace. Betsy is about a year older than Dorothy. Now, she has become the new Western Witch for the Winkie Country. She was taught magic by Glinda, and now resides in the Tin Castle formally ruled by Tin Man, and formally the home of the Wicked Witch of the West. You won't see much of her until issue #2 of Emeralds, but she plays an important part in the upcoming storyline.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Comic Review: The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles-Jack & Cat

A spinoff to The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles are two one-shot specials, Jack & Cat Special #1, and Jack & Cat Tales #1. has this taking place about ten months after J-Day(which is when the Jabberwock attacked). Jack Pumpkinhead is touring Chicago and meets up with the Cheshire Cat, who run into the curvy Mae, an author of children's fantasy and a friend of Dorothy's roommate Dee. Jack and C.C. go off with Mae on the road, but are confronted by Cap'n Bill who is with some originization that is trying to return beings from Oz and Wonderland back to their worlds. Meanwhile, Scraps heads to Earth in search of Jack, and befriends a street performer. Later on, Mae and her strange friends try to free White Knight from an asylum, while the Red Knight and Bill are trying to take him back to Wonderland.

Each issue has two Foot Notes shorts. The ones from Special show Capn' Bill being recruited by Glinda to help Oz, and a prequal about Dorothy leaving Oz for Earth. The Foot Notes from Tales are both about the White Night, one about him taking on the Jabberwock in Chicago, and him fighting the Red Knight for the love of the Red Queen. There is probably going to be at least one more Jack & Cat comic to continue this storyline.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Comic Review: The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles

A series headed by online comics dealer,, crosses over Oz with Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland titled The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles.

It's set in modern day where a teenage Dorothy shares an apartment in Chicago with Alice, plus three other girls who just happen to have also visited fantasy worlds as kids but never reveal that to the others. Dorothy has forgotten her times in Oz, and Alice experience in Wonderland only comes in her dreams which she uses for song lyrics. Meanwhile, a new Wicked Witch(which witch?)uses the Magic Belt to form an alliance with the current and former Nome Kings to crossover to Wonderland with plans to bring the Jabberwock to Oz. However, it has to pass through Earth to get to there. Dorothy and Alice start to notice beings from both worlds invading Chicago, and get attacked by Wheelers, but are saved by the pistol-packing Wizard. The three of them along with Jack Pumpkinhead trek back to Dorothy's farm, and from there to Oz where Dorothy is reverted back to a little girl. She and Alice unite with the Resistance against the Witch who has taken over most of Oz. Dorothy uses the Book of Records to find a secret way into the Emerald City and confront the Witch. She uses her silver shoes against the Witch with the Belt, and the magic blacklash sends her and Alice to Wonderland, where Dorothy is a teenager again. They find that the Jabberwock has been going on a rampage on its way to Earth. Dorothy heads out with the Red King and his army to stop the monster, while Alice goes off with the Cheshire Cat to get the Vorpal Sword which is the only thing capable of killing it.

The series is now about four issues long, ranging from Issues #0-3, with the last issue due out in 2010. There are several alternate covers to every issue, mostly by artist Casey Hasing, plus a special Preview issue as well. Issue #2 also features a backup story called Foot Notes with Capn' Bill helping Dorothy's other roommates. A spinoff series of one-shots titled Jack & Cat taking place after Issue #4 of the regular comic where Jack Pumpkinhead and Cheshire Cat go on a road trip. This is a great comic worth owning for both Ozians and Wonderlanders!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Video Review: Dorothy In The Land Of Oz

One of the more obscure ''sequals'' that were done to the original 1939 movie was this animated TV special shown as a Thanksgiving special. Since the live-action movie was traditionally shown at or around Thanksgiving, this special was aired under the title Thanksgiving In The Land Of Oz, which is a slight fusion of Land Of Oz, Ozma Of Oz, and Emerald City Of Oz.

Here, Dorothy is getting ready for Thanksgiving with her aunt and uncle, even though they have to move off their farm. She then runs into the Wizard(voiced by Sid Ceasar)who has made a giant turkey-shaped balloon for a Thanksgiving parade, but she ends up getting caught in one of its ropes and flies away to Oz. Once there, she meets Jack Pumpkinhead. He is holding onto the Powder of Life, but the wicked Tyrone the Terrible Toy Tinker(this show's version of the Gnome King)uses it to bring the turkey balloon to life so he can take over Oz. Dorothy and Jack head out to stop him, and along the way run into Hungry Tiger and Tik-Tok, plus accidently give life to Dorothy's mince pie. They find Tyrone and convince him to be good. Dorothy is then reunited with her old friends, and meets Ozma who brings her family and farmhouse from Kansas to Oz.

This special has been rebroadcasted under the title Christmas In Oz, and has been put on VHS as Dorothy In The Land Of Oz. It is currently on DVD as part of a double feature by Liberation Entertainment which also has another special done by the animation studio of Peter And The Magic Egg. You can find the DVD for sale from several online dealers like Amazon.

Marvelous Land Of Oz is now in

Marvel Comics has just released the first issue of their new spinoff of their hit The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz mini-series, The Marvelous Land Of Oz. This will be another 8-issue series. Issue #1 has a regular cover by Skottie Young(the regular artist on the comic), another by Eric Shanower(who also adapted the series for comics), and by Ed McGuinness. Its pretty much a strait-up adaptation of the second Oz book. Be sure to check out your local comic store for copies!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Emeralds Character Bios: Trot

One of the few Oz characters that got their start in a totally different series of books by L. Frank Baum, Trot originally appeared in two other novels: The Sea Fairies and Sky Island. Although she did have a connection with Oz in Sky Island when first meeting Button Bright who first appeared in The Road To Oz. Trot made the move to Oz in The Scarecrow Of Oz, and then became a regular character in the books. She lived in the Emerald City along with Dorothy and Betsy Boppin, the only other girls from America in Oz. She's also watched over by her godfather, Cap'n Bill. In Emeralds, Trot is in training to be the new Northern Witch for Gillikin, the position originally held by the first witch Dorothy met when she came to Oz. Since Trot is younger than the other new Witches, she is being taught magic by both Glinda and Scarecrow, where as Glinda first taught Betsy Boppin and Scarecrow taught Dorothy exclusively. Instead of a traditional pointy witch's hat, Trot wears a hat similar to a jester, and uses a baton for a magic wand. Her look here is modeled slightly after Harle from Chrono Crusade.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Comic Review: Emerald City Blues

Karl Altstaetter recently released the first issue of his Emerald City Blues comic. It started as a 24 hour comic project, and later developed into an ongoing webcomic.

This is an alternate tale of the original Wizard Of Oz story set in modern day where Dorothy along with her living stuff doll Toto has come to the metrolopolis called the Emerald City. Once there, she is attacked by large mutant monkeys, but is saved by Tin, the sword-swinging master at arms for the city. He makes short ninja work of the monkeys, and leaves Dorothy with his ally, the grandmaster rapper Lion(who's not an actual feline). Tin then goes to consult Glinda who he was originally supposed to deliver Dorothy to, but uncovers that she is in league with her sister, the "wicked" one of the War Witches who run the Emerald City. Tin turns against Glinda, and heads off with Dorothy to see his other ally Scarecrow, which is apparently a gigantic computer that can create virtual realities. Meanwhile, Glinda sends the monkeys out to find Dorothy so she can seemingly become the most powerful witch there is.

E.C.B. is currently two chapters long. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 can be seen at Altstaetter's page on Deviantart. There are also printed copies of Chapters 1 & 2 available in print with regular and alternate covers.