Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fables FINALLY returns to Oz

After over 100 issues, Vertigo Comics is finally taking their Fables comic back to Oz. The series deals with several fairy tale and literary characters living in modern day America, some of which are from Oz. This includes Ozma who has become the resident head of the Fable community's magic-users, plus Dorothy and her normal trio occasionally being featured in the Jack Of Fables spinoff comic. In the recent issue #101, it picks up with former winged monkey Bufkin being sent to the land of Ev where he rescues Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse, and Bungle from some of the Nome King's mechanical soldiers. The Nome King had been allied with the evil Advesary who had caused the Fables to leave their own worlds and take refuge on Earth, but he has now conquered Oz. So, Bufkin and his new cohorts plan a revolution. Regular comics creator of Oz titles, Eric Shanower, did the pencils for this issue too. An upcoming story arc from issue #102-#104 titled Super Team will have Ozma coming up with the strange idea of forming an actual superhero group out of some of the Fables citizens who have powers and abilities far beyond those of normal Fables. This includes Ozma donning a Supergirl-type outfit with the Oz symbol on it. The Jack Of Fables comic is going to conclude soon, so what we can expect to see out of Oz's regular "Gang of 4" in future issues remains to be seen. With them adopting a superhero motif in Fables, this might see a return of the Oz Squad.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Oz in Summer Wars

A brand new anime movie currently being shown in select theatres throughout the country, Summer Wars is film dealing with a young couple in love, while at the same time trying to stop a deadly computer virus from creating global havoc on the online community called Oz. In this virtual world, people are shown as whatever their avatars are, like bunny-fighters or samurai catgirls, though how much of it is inspired by Wizard Of Oz is unknown. The film is set for release on DVD/Blu Ray through Funimation on Feb. 15, 2011.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Book Review: Paradox In Oz

Edward Einhorn has written several Oz stories, including selections for Oz Story magazine. One of his boldest was Paradox In Oz, a time-traveling tale that for once brings Ozma in as the main character. and features some sparkling illustrations by Eric Shanower. Ringing a serious Dr. Who theme, this addresses the magic that keeps everyone in Oz perpetually young.

It starts out with Ozma being bombarded with complaints of everyone gradually showing signs of age. She goes to consult Glinda about it, who looks up in the Great Book. She discovers that the Aging Enchantment that was first cast on Oz when Ozma first took the throne was recently broken because of someone called the Man Who Lives Backwards. Glinda reveals that Ozma will at sometime in the future send her this man who is now a baby named Zoey. Zoey ages in reverse, so Ozma realizes she needs to go into the past to talk to him as an adult. In order to do this, she employs the help of a Parrot-Ox(a half-parrot/half-ox)named Tempus who has the ability to travel through time. He takes her back in time to meet her ancestor King Oz just before he was about to drink from the Forbidden Fountain that removes people's memories. However, this was an event that was supposed to happen because King Oz was originally a wicked king, and the fairy queen Lurline had enchanted Oz only after the King had lost his memory. Ozma returns to a point further in the future to find that the Aging Enchantment had never been cast, and that Oz was now ruled by an evil version of the Wizard. He has imprisioned an aging Glinda, but she and Ozma are rescued by a good version of Mombi. Ozma realizes she needs to go back and stop herself from skewing the timeline into this dark tangent. After returning to the past, she experiences numerous versions of herself trying to do the exact same thing. Ozma finally sets things right though with the timeline, and then proceeds on Tempus to Absurd City where the Man Who Lives Backwards is supposed to be. She finds him, and is suprised to find out that he is actually an alternate version of King Oz. Ozma manages to bring the information she needs from him back to the future to restart the Aging Enchantment.

This was a "thinking man's" Oz Story, at least in the factoring in of sci-fi elements with time travel and parallel universes. It can actually be a little bit of a headache if you haven't seen some of Star Trek or Back To The Future. Shanower's artwork is spectacular, especially the 2-page spread showing Ozma seeing all the multiple Ozes that are modeled after various Oz movies, cartoons, and other trade artwork. This storyline continues in Einhorn's other book, Living House Of Oz which features more of Tempus. The original print of Paradox In Oz was done through Hungry Tiger Press, but is currently out of print. It is still available used through Amazon and other dealers. A real great trip for Oz fans and sci-fi geeks!

Sunday, January 2, 2011