Monday, November 26, 2012

Comic Review: The Wizard Of Oz (Sterling Graphics)

Sterling Graphics recently did a one-shot graphic novel adaptation of The Wizard Of Oz as part of their All-Action Classics line by Ben Caldwell. This line up also includes Tom Sawyer, Dracula, and The Odyssey. It's a little hard to think of WOZ as an "action" story, but Caldwell does give a good go at it.

It is slightly faithful to the original L. Frank Baum story, although there are some major differences. One is just before the twister shows up, Dorothy and Em are recollecting a circus show featuring "The Great Humbug", complete with a poster on their wall, who Dorothy recognizes later on as the Wizard. Another is the Witch of the North after meeting Dorothy refers to Glinda as a "mostly" good witch, thus acknowledging her existence earlier than she was supposed to. That, and the Witch of the North showing up after the Wizard leaves and telling Dorothy that she had the power to return home on her own, pretty much copy-pasting the ending to the MGM movie but with the actual Witch of the North. Tin Woodman appears to be more French-like with a beret, and the Wicked Witch of the West looks like Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

This would make for a fine gift for kids, even though Caldwell's artwork seems a bit estranged from the normal look of the Oz characters, but will enjoy his work more on his original series of The Dare Detectives. Oz purists might not agree with the changes in the story even though they are slightly minor, aside from leaving out the entire last quarter of the book on the quest to Glinda's castle. Either way, the kids should like it.

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