Saturday, October 07, 2006

Classics Illustrated Junior: The Wizard of Oz

Last week I got a comic book that I'd had to order four times: the reprint of "Classics Illustrated Junior: The Wizard of Oz."

What happened those four times? Let's see...
  1. I ordered it via a used seller at, but they were out of stock.
  2. I ordered it through, but then signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, which means you can choose FREE two-day shipping, so I cancelled.
  3. I ordered with Amazon Prime (at the same time I ordered "Oz: The Manga"), and when it took over a month for processing (supposedly), I recieved an e-mail asking me to approve a delay on it. I cancelled my order.
  4. I tried another used seller. They had it and sent it to me.
The funny thing is, I used to have the original! Sadly, that was with my very first Oz collection, which my mom threw away. (Do you want to know how many kids have been cheated out of BIG money because their moms threw away their comic books?)
To my surprise, this was an EXACT reprint of the original, except some of the coloring was cleaned up, the lettering was new, and Baum's biography was updated and moved to the inside front cover.
The adaptation was startling!
  1. There is no witch under Dorothy's house when it lands! Where are the Silver Shoes?
  2. The Good Witch of the North does not identify herself, so, supposedly, she is a Munchkin in this one.
  3. All the Munchkins (plus the Good Witch of the North, if that's what she is) vanish after telling Dorothy to go to the Emerald City.
  4. The story goes through pretty quickly: Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion. The Tin Woodman steps on a beetle, the Lion has to carry them across a gap, and the Tin Woodman has to chop down a tree to bridge a larger gap. (No Kalidahs!)
  5. Upon reaching the Emerald City, all four are shown to meet the Wizard, who is...
  6. ... a man on a throne.
  7. He tells them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.
  8. The Wicked Witch, seeing Dorothy & Co. with her telescopic eye, calls for the Winged Monkeys. (No Golden Cap, and it's shortened to "Zizzy, Zuzzy, Zik!")
  9. Dorothy's friends are merely captured and imprisoned.
  10. Toto tries to bite the Witch, who tries to hit him, but Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her, melting her, leaving behind...
  11. ... the Silver Shoes...
  12. They return to the Emerald City, where the Wizard assures Dorothy's friends that they have brains, heart, and courage. He also gives them physical representations of these. (Brains in Scarecrow's head, a heart pinned on the Tin Woodman, and the Lion drinks "courage.")
  13. He tells Dorothy how to use the Silver Shoes to go home, which she does.
Following the story is an Aesop's fable, a page about Koala bears, and an Oz coloring page.
For die-hard Oz fans only. More casual fans might want to overlook this.
EDIT (8/25/2012): Sam Milazzo has also reviewed this comic.

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