14 January 2014

Leaving Us Wishing for More

Marvel Comics has halted its series of adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books at the end of Baum’s first series: The Emerald City of Oz, which [***SPOILERS***] brings Dorothy Gale and her family to the Emerald City and cuts Oz off from the Great Outside World.

Alas, that means we won’t see Eric Shanower’s and Skottie Young’s retellings of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Rinkitink in Oz, The Magic of Oz, or other volumes in Baum’s second series, at least anytime soon.

This isn’t a surprise, given the natural sales decline over the life of a series and the smaller number of issues that Marvel allotted to the most recent books. Young announced the development last October.

Is it too optimistic to see Marvel.com’s own interview with Shanower and Young as leaving the door open for future volumes?
Marvel.com: Are than any remaining stories in the Oz line you'd like to explore at some point?

Eric Shanower: Yes. I think it would be great to adapt the rest of the Baum Oz books to comics; I’d especially like to see comics adaptations of “The Patchwork Girl of Oz” and “Rinkitink in Oz,” and maybe some of Baum’s Oz-related fantasies like “Sky Island” and “Queen Zixi of Ix.” But I’d want to work with an artist of Skottie’s caliber. I’ve been working on one Oz project or another my whole career, and I know these Marvel Oz adaptations won’t be the last. Some sort of Oz material is always popping up on my radar.

Skottie Young: I definitely want to draw that Patchwork Girl. I actually wish that would’ve come up sooner. It’s bittersweet because I really want to play with the character, but I also know it’s good to take a break. Ah, we’ll see what happens!
These comics have sold well in book form (that’s how I buy them), so continued strong sales could make a new volume look like a good economic bet. Meanwhile, both Eisner Award-winning creators are busy on new projects.


Glenn Ingersoll said...

I hadn't heard definitively that Marvel shut down the Oz adaptations. Too bad. I have them piled up, so far just sampling rather than reading cover-to-cover. The paperbacks, not the floppies.

I'm in the midst of recovering my Oz collection from the back of closets and boxes and I'm enjoying it again.

J. L. Bell said...

I hopefully read Marvel's lack of a definitive statement about wrapping up the series as suggesting the company is open to restarting it again—when the economics and the creators and the stars are all aligned again.

glenna said...

How sad.... But I will say I was upset that the last few books skipped some scenes or shortened some dialogue. I started reading all the books and as a treat when I finished one I bought the comic and I loved that they were word for word in the first few. If they do start them up again I hope they'll make them like they were when they started.