19 April 2011

Oziana 2009 Touches Down at Last

The issue of Oziana cover-dated 2009 is at last on its way to subscribers, and will be available for ordering from the International Wizard of Oz Club. It contains four original Oz stories, all completely illustrated.

The cover is “Lifting the Curtain,” a painting by Charnelle Pinkney, now a student in the School of Visual Arts’ program in Illustration as Visual Essay. That image symbolizes the issue’s theme of “Parodies and Alternative Views” of Oz.

In “Toto Reveals,” Dorothy’s companion shares his view of events in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Brianna Landon’s story won a competition for Oz writing by students in Lawrence, Kansas, a few years ago. It has charming new illustrations by Ben Wood, a picture-book artist from Australia who has illustrated books for Scholastic and other firms.

Playwright Eleanor Kennedy contributed “Barry Porter and the Sorceress of Oz,” which uses parody to explore some differences in tone between L. Frank Baum’s fantasy creation and J. K. Rowling’s. Sheena Hisiro provided stylish portraits of Glinda and a lost young wizard with a scarred forehead.

“The Ransom of Button-Bright” is Oziana’s first story in comics form, I believe. It’s a product of the hard work and good humor of artist S. P. Maldonado, working from a script by me (with plenty of inspiration from O. Henry). Who would dare to kidnap Button-Bright?

Finally, Prof. Stephen Teller’s “The Trouble with the Magic Belt” imagines a narrative fix for the Oz books—what if we simply did away with Ozma’s Magic Belt, and all the easy solutions it provides? John Mundt, Esq., illustrated this counterfactual tale with his usual verve, and provided readers with a puzzle as well.

Every copy of Oziana 2009 comes with a major bonus: Oziana 2010! More about that tomorrow.

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