Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oziana #37

Okay, so I got a copy of Oziana #37, the magazine of fiction from the International Wizard of Oz Club, and seemingly, also the last.

The first thing you'll see is the cover, which is by Oz fan and artist Kevenn T. Smith. It doesn't illustrate any of the stories, but rather uses characters from all of the stories to create a "Battle in the Emerald City," The wraparound cover shows mostly familiar faces in Polychrome, the Glass Cat, Ozma, and the Wizard, but there's a couple other characters on the front and all the characters on the back will be new characters to most Oz fans.

There are only three stories inside. The first is the shortest, running for three pages, and it has two beautiful illustrations by Melody Grandy. "As The Rainbow Follows The Rain" by Jeff Rester isn't much of a story, as very much, it is Polychrome telling new character Hyetal (a rain spirit, it seems) about her family as the Rainbow makes a customary appearance after a shower. As I said, there's not much to the story, but it is well-told and imaginative, and tells us some fascinating things about the Rainbow and the family. Worth reading, especially if you like Polychrome.

The next story is "The Magic Door to Oz" by Paul Ritz and Johanna Buchner. An unnamed protagonist finds a door to Oz and discovers the Witched Wick has been taking storybook characters from their lands and imprisoning them in a land under Oz. It is up to the hero, with some help from the Glass Cat and Mary Poppins' umbrella, to put an end to the Wick's wicked ways and send everyone home.

This is a more satisfying story than the first one, but even though it takes place in Oz, it didn't feel like an honest-to-goodness Oz story. I guess that's how the story was written to be. The illustrations by F. Kay Baumann are rather well-done and exquisitely so.

The third and longest is a whole book by Sergei Sukhinov, made readable to us English folk by Peter Blystone, and illustrated by Dennis Anfuso. I haven't finished this one yet, but I'm enjoying it. It really isn't an Oz story, but it easily could be. The story is one of the Russian Magic Land tales written after Volkov's original series. It's a prequel to Volshebnik Izumrudnovo Goroda (The Wizard of the Emerald City), and deals with Bastinda, Volkov's version of the Wicked Witch of the West. A lot of English readers should enjoy this one.

Overall, I'd say this is a worthwhile issue. I'm enjoying it, and hope anyone who gets it (and you should) enjoys it, too.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

"The Door Into Oz" is really more of a story about children's books in general than Oz in particular, I suppose.