Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Comic Reviews: Abigail and Rox

Back when they were still operational, Digital Webbing did a fairy tale-themed comic titled Abigail and Rox In The Land Of Enchantment. The first issue was sort of a one-shot written by Joshua Gamon and drawn by Adrian Sibar.

In 1843 London, a young girl named Abigail goes into the world of a magic book to save her grandfather. This other world is in fact Wonderland, complete with the White Rabbit and a litter of evil Cheshire Cats. While here, Abigail's teddy bear Rox becomes alive and helps her free her grandfather who was under the thrall of the evil Queen of Spades. Her grandfather makes it back to London, but there's some kind of timewarp involved and he returns to 1943 during World War II. Abigail and Rox then go on the run from the Queen after wrecking her castle.

The series continues in a series which was never actually printed, but available digitally at Comixology. Abigail and Rox II: The Courtship Of Abigail Fellows takes place a year after the events of the one-shot where Abagail and Rox have been seeking refuge from the Queen in the mystical town of Sleeping Hollow, and its Mayor, Ichibod Crane. A call to Oz gets King Scarecrow and his friend Tin Man to show up in their gorilla-drawn chariot. This apparently happens somewhere in between The Wizard Of Oz and The Marvelous Land Of Oz. Scarecrow meets with Ichabod and the Queen of Spades in a peace summitt. The Queen threatens them to get at Abigail, but Ichabod and Scarecrow won't back down.

There isn't much anything else with Oz in the rest of the first issue, and there was only one other issue produced after that. William Blankenship took over for art on both issues of this for Sibar, and it shows as the design looks less storybook-like and more similar to a standard comic design. The comic didn't conclude with the second issue, and left room for more interaction between different fairy tale lands. You might want to look it up, even though its yet another crossover of Oz and Wonderland, there isn't much interaction between the two realms. It's an interesting view of a more confident Scarecrow who considers himself to be "worth his weight in straw".

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Comic Review: Oz/Wonderland Chronicles-Jack & Cat Tales (conclusion)

The 3rd and final issue of Jack & Cat Tales came out this last week, I thought it would be time to do a recap of the mini-series. This was a spinoff to the The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles that originally started in a one-shot special, Jack & Cat Special. There then followed three issues of J&C Tales.

In it, Mae Mannering is a children's book author, who most people would know as a young girl that met a certain flying boy in Kensington Gardens. In this reality, she has run into Jack Pumpkinhead and the Cheshire Cat who have both come to Earth after the events of "J-Day", where the Wicked Witch sent to the Jabberwocky to attack Oz through our world. The three of them decide to go off on a road trip while Mae is on a tour of the country signing her new book.

Issue #2 has the Patchwork Girl uses the magic of the White Pearl to try and find Jack, and ends up befriending a street performer who dresses up like the Tin Woodman. Mae has Jack and the Cheshire Cat staying at her place for a bit, and reveals her strange ability to paint images that come to her out of nowhere, the lates of which is actually the Wizard. The three of them run into Oz himself later on, and he teams up with them to confront Cap'n Bill and his mysterious group of otherworldly hunters. They plan on busting all the refugees from Oz and Wonderland out, amoung them are Scraps and her friend, but are confronted by the Red and White Nights who have both been split down the middle and sewn to the other's half. There are three Foot Notes, an accounting of the Mad Hatter's adventures on Earth and his attempts to claim the Golden Cap that controls the winged monkeys, a short of how Hatter ended up on Earth, and a one-page involving a series of Girls Gone Wild videos that Hatter miracuously profited off of.

Issue #3 has our heroes finally confronting the mastermind behind this whole scheme. A paraplegic old man called the Major, who is an old friend of the Wizard, and apparently is also from some another world like Wonderland or Oz. He uses a special blade he created modeled after the Great Knife from Sky Island(where Cap'n Bill once visited in his pre-Oz days)to cut the Tin Man lookalike in half, thus creating a different person after he reesembles. The Major does this to try and find a way achieve immortality. The White Knight manages to get control of himself, and helps free everyone along with Cheshire Cat's assistance. Oz sets out to help send the refugees back to their worlds, while Mae and her friends(along woth Scraps)head out on yet another road trip. The Foot Notes in this issue reveal the Wizard's connection to Mae's past, plus Mae's very brief meetup with Dorothy and Alice which took place in the Jack & Cat Special.

This was a pretty good series, although for my money it could've stuck more to some comedy antics involving the actual title characters instead of the askewed storyline with the Major's collecting people from other worlds. Ben Avery & Casey Heying have some good plots in it though, and Teddy Riawan does some exceptionally gripping artwork for it. All three issues of Tales plus the original Special one-shot are going to be collected into a single trade paperback of The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles: Book Two coming out this May from BuyMeToys.Com.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dorothy Of Oz Prequel now out

IDW has released the first issue of their comic book series Dorothy Of Oz: Prequel. This is called a "prequel", even though its being released before the upcoming animated movie, it could be seen as more of a prelude. A few things in this are different from the actual original Roger S. Baum its based on. For one, the Jester is actually the brother of the Wicked Witches, and not some innocent performer who happened to get possessed by the Witch's spirit. This is a limited mini-series, with alternate covers by Eric Shanower.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Zenescope finally goes to Oz

Zenescope Entertainment is finally going to get around to doing a comic based on Oz. There have been some ties to it as part of their Grimm Fairy Tales line, most recently in their mini-series, The Library which featured the Wicked Witch of the West. The Lion was also shown in the beginning of The Dream Eater Saga crossover. But the new Oz comic will feature Oz exclusively, although its unknown if this will correspond with the other Grimm titles like Wonderland. The series will be released this fall, with art by Anthony Spay and Jason Embry.

Ozma in Fairest?

Vertigo just released the first issue of their new title, Fairest, which is a spinoff series of the Fables comic. Ozma is featured along with alot of the regular female cast on the front cover by Adam Hughes in Issue #1, but so far no development in the story involving her. She was the original "fairy princess" though!

Oz Video Of The Month: Popular on Today

This was a live performance of Popular from the Wicked musical on the Today Show by Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenowerth.