27 December 2007

Oz and Castle Waiting

It seems entirely appropriate for the Oz books to exist in the world of Castle Waiting, the award-winning comics series by Linda Medley.

The title castle feels more than a little like the Emerald City under Ozma, with a diverse set of generally nice characters all living together in a safe and somewhat protected community. Of course, Ozma's roofs don't leak, but the two settings promise the same acceptance and stability.

In addition to that castle, a great deal of the first Castle Waiting collection takes place in a similar community: the nunnery of a bearded order. There the worst squabbles are over which sister has the best facial hair to play Jesus in the annual pageant.

In both places, the only major dangers seem to come from outside the walls, and they're easily dealt with. Characters have adventures only in the past and on the road, just as in most of the later Oz books. Indeed, the communities are so darn nice that they simply don't provide a good crop of dramatic tension. Which can, of course, be part of their charm, a reason readers like to return to those settings again and again.

(Another Oz connection: Linda Medley contributed some nice artwork to the 2003 issue of Oziana, sold by the International Wizard of Oz Club.)

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