Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Comic Review: Dorothy Of Oz-Prequel

IDW Publishing recently finished the comic book mini-series "prequel" to the upcoming Dorothy Of Oz animated movie(which is now retitled Legends Of Oz: Dorothy's Return). This 4-issue mini-series has been collected into a trade paperback, although you can kind of expect it to be re-released under the revised title sometime closer to the movie's premiere, now set for early 2014. It was written by IDW editor Denton J. Tipton, and drawn by Blair Shedd who previously worked on IDW's Doctor Who comics.

I need to point out before that the original concept for the movie was an adaptation of the book Dorothy Of Oz written by L. Frank Baum's great-grandson, Roger S. Baum. He's had another of his books Lion Of Oz turned into a made-for-video animated movie back in the early 2000s. The idea for Dorothy Of Oz was that a jester(called "Jester")had gotten a hold of the Wicked Witch of the West's old wand which possessed him and turned the land of Oz into a dark place. So, Dorothy comes back to Oz to remedy this, along with her old friends, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. This was meant as kind of a sequel to the Wizard Of Oz book, although Ozma is featured in the book, making it mostly in canon with the original Baum novels. The comic and movie however act as a follow-up to the 1939 Wizard Of Oz movie, although set in modern day.

The comic opens in the Wicked Witch's castle where the character of the Jester appears and claims to be the Witch's brother. There's been several instances where one of the Witch's "siblings" appears to avenge their sister, such as Mombi being turned into her sister in Journey Back To Oz, but it seems a little forced that the Jester is just her brother that shows up out of nowhere. Anyway, he rallies the flying monkeys into taking the Witch's broom from the Emerald City, and them uses it as a new magic wand he merges with an orb. He causes a flood in Munchkinland, which causes the Munchkins to seek help from the Scarecrow who is now in charge of Oz. He along with Tin Man and Lion concur that they must call back Dorothy to help stop Jester. In order to do this, they try to activate one of the Wizard's old inventions, the Rainbow Mover. The three of them head to Quadling Country to seek advice from Glinda on how to obtain a rainbow for the machine, but have to walk around China Country as they've closed their borders in fear of the Jester. They make their way through the Candy Country, and are given advice from a helpful large owl named Wiser on using a prism for the Rainbow Mover. They manage to escape some of the flying monkeys, but the primates capture Glinda instead. Scarecrow then uses a prism to start up the machine, when the story cuts to Kansas as Dorothy is just waking up from her first night after the original twister, only to find their farm is being foreclosed.

The comic does take some liberties with what some of the characters were capable of, like Tin Man having Robocopvision, and Glinda just still staying in sidelines(even though they did show her reading from the Book Of Records). It was Tipton did a fair job with the story, but it seems more like a way to make some kind of a opening narrative to the movie. A lot "official movie prequel" comics don't really fit into the continuity of the finished product, partially because the film might have some last-minute rewrites. Because of this, this comic won't 100% fit into to movie's storyline, but is worth a look at least from an Oz fan's point of view, and a decent title for children. That and Shedd's artwork is exceptionally well suited for it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Video review of Oz: TG&P and Return To Oz

Here's a new video review of Oz: The Great And Powerful which also looks at Return To Oz.

New Oz game from Japan

Gung Ho Online Entertainment America just released a Japanese PS1 game new to the Playstation Network titled Oz No Mahoutsukai: Another World-Rung Rung. This RPG has a very "chibi"(or "super-deformed")version of Dorothy and Toto collecting certain magical items in Oz in order to return peace to the land and get them back to Kansas. No word yet about an official English release.

Friday, March 8, 2013

New Emeralds cover!

We now have a new version of the Emeralds: Hearts In Oz comic in stock with an altered cover. This fresh print of the original comic features a map of Oz itself with our version of the Fab 4, and still for only $3.00.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Comic Review: The Legend Of Oz-The Wicked West (mini-series)

Big Dog Ink started their ongoing The Legend Of Oz-The Wicked West comic first as a 6-issue mini-series. Writer Tom Hutchison took the idea of the original WOZ book, along with some influence from the 1939 movie, and put them together to a new Weird West version of the classic story.

Here, Dorothy is sent to Oz by a twister along with her horse Toto, and the Munchkins tell her to "follow the Yellow Brick Road" to find the Wizard to send her back home. Unfortunately, Dorothy ends up trotting along the desert for the next three years looking for the darned road, partially because people keep stealing the yellow bricks which are actually made of gold. However, when she came to Oz, she took the Wicked West of the East's ruby spears and guns, that come in real handy when she mozies on in to a small town that is inhabited by winged apes that can disguise themselves as human. Dorothy slaps leather with them, and frees a lion that they had imprisoned in their saloon. The local lawman, who here is the Tin Man(original idea?), follows her along with the Scarecrow, a mute "native" girl who appears to be some kind of straw golem. The Lion helps fend them off some fearsome Kalidahs, and they all eventually find their way to the Yellow Brick Road, all while the more lone gunman version of the Wicked Witch of the West dogs them to get her sister's swag. The road leads to a lone farmhouse where they run across Scraps the Patchwork Girl and her "father", Dr. Pipt. His house leads into the Emerald City, which is a huge underground mining community where they dig for emeralds. The Wizard is a large head that tells them to waste the remaining Wicked Witch, and then he'll send Dorothy home. Dorothy and the others travel to the Witch's castle, and Dorothy is carried away by her monkey militia. Dorothy and the Witch are sent to some dream version of the Gale farm in Kansas, where Dorothy deluges the Witch by shooting down the water tower on her, then somehow appears back in the Witch's castle and her followers declare her to be the new Witch of the West.

This is shaping into being a fantastically new take on Oz, with Old West merging with a fantasy adventure, similar to Wild Arms. The regular ongoing series continues with most of the other characters like Tin Man and Scarecrow, with new takes on Pip, Jack Pumpkinhead, Sawhorse, and Jinjur. Writer Tom Hutchison does a great job adapting the original stories into a fresh new western, and artist Alisson Borges seriously brings her A-game with the dynamic character designs and backgrounds. There's also a 2-issue mini-series spinoff telling of the Scarecrow. Each comic of this series has multiple variant covers, but only worth collecting for the collector's sake. The trade paperback graphic novel collecting the entire first mini-series is now out, with the other volumes to collect the ongoing series.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Oz Video Of The Month: The Magic Of Oz

This was a black & white cartoon was done as a poorly animated look at Dorothy's first contact with the Cowardly Lion.