Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Tin Woodman of Oz

It was 1918, and L. Frank Baum was realizing he wasn't going to live forever. His health was deteriorating. Even his introductions to his Oz stories began to betray his age, as the introduction for The Tin Woodman of Oz, the book at hand, finds Baum answering the question of what age his books are intended for (the answer being all ages), and finishing with a request that readers include return postage with their letters for a reply.

Now, this book was one of the last Oz stories Baum wrote. He prepared The Magic of Oz and Glinda of Oz for two more Oz books, should anything happen to him. (Which did, as both of those books were published posthumously.) I'm unsure how early he'd written them. A character introduced in this book appears in Magic, meaning that either Tin Woodman was written first, alongside, or had been plotted out fully when Magic was.

Anyways, Baum now finally had his Land of Oz better visualized than at any other time in his life. And upon reading Tin Woodman, it shows! Baum really weaves a tale, that is well-written (though this book does have inconsistencies with some of his earlier books), and while it's too fantastic to be believed, you wish it was true. He really was a historian.

Baum had a penchant to satirize the types of stories he was writing within the story, and as this is a romantic fairy tale of sorts, he doesn't do any exception here. A former lover in shining armor (or in this case, a shiny body), braves many hardships and dangers for his love. And they all live happily ever after... Right? Well, yes!

The Tin Woodman is visited in his castle by Woot the Wanderer, who asks why he is made of tin. The Tin Woodman obliges and tells the story we heard back in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, now expanded, and altered slightly. In Wonderful Wizard, the Tin Woodman's former self (later named Nick Chopper) falls in love with a pretty munchkin girl, but the old woman she lives with disapproves of the couple, and has the Wicked Witch of the East cast a spell on the woodman's axe to make him have accidents. The woodman has his old body parts replaced with tin, until he is made of tin, but alas! he now has no heart, and cannot love the munchkin girl. Later, he gets caught in a rainstorm and rusts until he is rescued by Dorothy and the Scarecrow.

In Tin Woodman, the munchkin girl has a name, Nimmie Amee, and the woodman is now called Nick Chopper in the story. She lives with the Wicked Witch of the East, which simplifies the story, and the story of the enchanted axe and the accidents that accompanied it are expanded upon. After becoming the Tin Woodman, he set out to find a heart, but rusts in a strange forest, where he remains until rescued by Dorothy and the Scarecrow. Both stories are in all essentials the same, but the version in Tin Woodman is the better one.

Woot and the Scarecrow encourage the Tin Woodman to seek out Nimmee Amee and offer her a marriage proposal. The three set out, and face an odd series of adventures, first invading a country where the people are made of rubber and inflated like balloons.

Woot points out that if the Tin Woodman's heart was kind or loving, he would have gone after Nimee Amee long ago. Indeed, the Tin Woodman said he'd do so after getting a heart way back in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It's a little reminder to the Wizard's nature at the time, and it's a rare occasion in which Baum has a character question their actual nature.

Their adventure among the Loons makes another interesting bit: the Loons attack them, and while Woot says he'd like to puncture all of them, the Scarecrow tells him that they did invade the Loons' home, which they were warned not to go to. Anything other than self-defense would be cruelty. Coming from a time when the onslaught of World War I was felt (Baum's eldest son was serving in the military), this comes a bit of a nice piece of advice. (I wouldn't be surprised if some who want to view Baum as being repentant for certain statements about the Indians would take this as his apology.)

Next they encounter the giantess, Mrs. Yoop, who transforms them into animals. In this adventure, they are joined by Polychrome, the daughter of the Rainbow, who has been turned into a canary. They escape Mrs. Yoop's castle and have run-ins with a jaguar who tries to eat Woot, a family of dragons that Woot must escape from, and Tommy Kwikstep, a boy with twenty legs. They reach the home of ex-General Jinjur, where they are met by Dorothy, Toto, and Ozma, who manages to break Mrs. Yoop's enchantments.

Mrs. Yoop claims she is a Yookoohoo, and the effects of her magic are irreversible. Ozma has hard work restoring some of the enchantments, but manages. Again, it re-enforces Baum's rule that Evil will always be conquered by Good.

I noted that however much Baum makes his girls the leaders, they are still girls. Take this excerpt:
Dorothy wanted to go, too, but as the Tin Woodman did not invite her to join his party, she felt she might be intruding if she asked to be taken. She hinted, but she found he didn't take the hint. It is quite a delicate matter for one to ask a girl to marry him, however much she loves him, and perhaps the Tin Woodman did not desire to have too many looking on when he found his old sweetheart, Nimmie Amee. So Dorothy contented herself with the thought that she would help Ozma prepare a splendid wedding feast, to be followed by a round of parties and festivities when the Emperor of the Winkies reached the Emerald City with his bride.
Yes, Dorothy and Ozma are already making wedding plans.

The four continue, being joined by Captain Fyter, who turns out to be Nimmee Amee's second lover after the Tin Woodman disappeared, and met with a similar fate as Nick did. The two decide that Nimmee Amee will choose her husband from between them, and they meet Ku-Klip, the tinsmith who gave them their tin bodies. He tells them of Chopfyt, a man he made of their old body parts who worked for him, until Ku-Klip let him go.

The scene in Ku-Klip's shop is one of Baum's most amusing scenes, for in a cupboard, the Tin Woodman finds his old human head, still alive and self-aware, but has become cross and disagreeable, and manages to be very rude to himself. Because of the two, Baum now touches on the matter of identity. There are two living entities, but can they be called the same person? Chopfyt confuses the matter even more, being made of the remaining parts of Nick Chopper and Captain Fyter. Is he one of them, or both, or a new person entirely?

Another item in Ku-Klip's shop reveals that maybe the Wicked Witch of the East wasn't as bad as the Wicked Witch of the West. The country seems to be well-maintained (though, as revealed in Wonderful Wizard, the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City was left to disrepair, making passage to there, and possibly out of the Munchkin Country, very difficult and maybe impossible), and Ku-Klip tells how she glued his finger back on when he accidentally cut it off, asking for seemingly no payment at all. Maybe she kept her people where she liked, but she wasn't too cruel.

Ku-Klip himself gets a little disturbing as he reveals how he made Chopfyt, digging through severed body parts, gluing them together to create a new person. For one, that's a pretty gruesome task. Second, he seems to be "playing God," creating another person. Ku-Klip is Dr. Frankenstein, and Chopfyt is his monster, that he literally unleashed on an unsuspecting Oz.

The travelers come across a place that makes them invisible to themselves and each other, and the tin men end up denting each other badly. During and after their adventure in this place, they meet a Hip-po-gy-raf who will help them along if the Scarecrow will sacrifice his straw. The Scarecrow eventually does. Shortly after, they meet the Swynes, a married couple of pigs, who let them stay the night outside their home, giving the travelers free use of a sack of straw.

The Swynes are another inconsistency. They claim to be the parents of the Wizard's nine tiny piglets, who the Wizard has with him in Dorothy & The Wizard in Oz, but in that book, he says they came from the Island of Teenty-Weent, where everything is small. It would take quite a bit of imagination to explain how, if the Wizard was lying (or had concocted the story to keep Oz a secret and told it out of habit, or if he had begun to believe it himself), the piglets remained so tiny while they were outside of Oz. Early stunted growth, somehow?

Finally, they find Nimee Amee, who they find has happily married Chopfyt, in one way, marrying both Nick and Fyter, and in another way, married neither.

Polychrome then returns home, and the remaining three get to the Emerald City. Woot disappears from the story here, and we discover that the Tin Woodman and Captain Fyter are both content with their lot. Both just felt they were doing their duty by Nimee Amee and didn't truly love her anymore, but would be kind husbands to her anyways.

Really, this story needed to happen a lot sooner after The Wonderful Wizard of Oz than it did. If it wasn't for the presence of Dorothy and mentions of events and characters (including Polychrome) after The Marvelous Land of Oz, it could have taken place at any time after that book. It's really the sequel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz needed, as it finally ties up one of the loose threads that was left hanging from that story.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


After examining the first eleven of Baum's Oz novels, I took a short break to re-read The Shepherd of the Hills, as I'd not read it in years, and I'd made up a special edition for a Father's Day gift for my father, but had also bought a copy for myself.

Anyways, I'm back re-reading The Tin Woodman of Oz already. As I wrote a nice blog about it sometime back, I'm considering revising that for a new blog. Not a lot of point in trying to re-write what I've already written and published. What I hope to add is new thoughts on the story, as well as letting Sam add in his own thoughts.

A little bit of news that came to my e-mail today is that Hungry Tiger Press has re-vamped their website with a new design, and a new, more customer-friendly online store. Also new is a blog in which Hungry Tiger Press operator David Maxine blogs about Ozzy topics and announces new items. Since I'm a fan of feeds now, it will help keep up with what's going on with this small publisher who turns out excellent editions of Oz-related works.

And if you're wondering, yes, I will definitely be at the Winkie Convention, unless I die or meet with some incapacitating accident. Expect photos. Maybe video. Maybe I can even use this new mp3 player's microphone to record an audio journal to release as a podcast. Or maybe I'll just enjoy the experience.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Lost Princess of Oz

In the introduction of Rinkitink in Oz, Baum wrote:
If I am permitted to write another Oz book it will tell of some thrilling adventures encountered by Dorothy, Betsy Bobbin, Trot and the Patchwork Girl right in the Land of Oz, and how they discovered some amazing creatures that never could have existed outside a fairy-land.
So Baum was ready to return to Oz properly (if you didn't notice, Baum kept the previous three books mainly out of Oz, or in very small parts of it). Thus, we can assume he'd been planning The Lost Princess of Oz for awhile, possibly even writing it in between other projects and books. Anyways, now Baum felt the story was ready for publication. Would the quality improve now that he was putting his full focus into a new Oz story?

The story opens with Dorothy, Betsy, and Trot discovering Ozma is missing. They hurry to find the Magic Picture to ask it of Ozma's whereabouts, but that too is missing. The Wizard hurries to Glinda to ask for her help, but discovers that Glinda's Book of Records and magic tools have been stolen. Returning to the Emerald City, he discovers his own magic tools have been stolen as well.

Over in a far-off corner of the Winkie Country, in the land of the Yips, Cayke the Cookie Cook discovers her golden, diamond-studded dishpan is also missing. Asking the Frogman (a frog who has grown to gigantic size and flaunts his supposed wisdom) for help, she begins a search that takes her and the Frogman away from the Yip Country.

So, what did Baum do here? He quickly sets up a dilemma and then removes the easiest solutions. Removing the Magic Picture and the Book of Records, he prevented his characters from quickly discovering where Ozma was. I have a feeling that if he'd written the story a few years earlier, and the Book of Records and the Magic Picture had not been stolen, they would have been inexplicably ignored.

In the matter of Cayke and the Frogman, Baum introduces a new magic tool, Cayke explaining that all attempts to bake without the dishpan have been failures (or maybe she's actually a really bad cook). Cayke is a bit of an interesting character, taking a more traditional female role, though still independent. Most of Baum's females depict his belief in feminism, such as women ruling countries and serving as the real heroes of their stories. All Cayke wants is her dishpan back so she can bake well again.

As for the Frogman, I think he's almost a repeat of the Woggle-Bug, just in a different form, and while the Frogman feigns his knowledge, the Woggle-Bug really is smart, except he has trouble applying it to situations reasonably.

Ozma's subjects gather to decide what to do, and they form search parties. The one the story mainly focuses on is led by the Wizard, and it includes Dorothy (who has the Magic Belt, though she's not sure of how to use it), Betsy, Trot, Scraps, the Woozy, Button-Bright, the Cowardly Lion, Hank, and the Sawhorse. As they leave to search the Winkie Country, Toto sneakily follows and joins them.

Their first major challenge is getting by the Merry-Go-Round Mountains, but soon find that this is easily done by swinging themselves onto one of the mountains and bouncing from one to the next until they are dropped off on the other side. Another creative L. Frank Baum obstacle with a non-magical solution, showing that the characters must rely on their wits now.

Their next obstacle arrives when they try to approach a walled city, but it seems to keep moving away from them. Finally, they come to some thistles, which they can use a series of blankets to walk over, or the Woozy and Sawhorse can carry people over. The city appears to have no gate in the wall, but Scraps discovers the wall is but an illusion, and they enter the city of Thi, where oddly-shaped people eat thistles and ride in chariots pulled by mechanical dragons. The Thists know nothing of Ozma, but tell them that further to the west is the city of Herku, where people have giants for slaves.

A humorous bit occurs in Thi, in which the mechanical dragons are stylish, but the Cowardly Lion, Hank, the Woozy, and the Sawhorse are forced to walk slowly to keep up with them. A little reminder that sometimes technology isn't better.

Baum brings up a little subplot: Toto cannot bring himself to growl, and thinks someone may have stolen his growl. Perhaps Toto cannot growl because he is happy adventuring with Dorothy, or maybe it is because he subconsciously loves Ozma and cannot bring himself to growl without her around. Whatever happened, Baum doesn't say exactly what happened with the growl.

The Wizard's party finds an orchard, and they soon find fruit trees bearing delicious fruits. Button-Bright, looking for his favorite fruit, peaches, wanders off, trying to find such a tree. He finds a tree bearing a lone peach, which is rosy and ripe, and he eats it, and finds that it had a golden pit. He keeps it, but it warned by some nearby animals that eating the peach will infuriate Ugu the Shoemaker. Scraps finds him and scolds him for getting lost.

The travelers soon arrive at Herku, where they find the rumors are true: there are giants kept as slaves in the city, and their masters are skinny people who have great strength due to a compound they call zosozo. The Wizard accepts six doses of it, but does not take any. The Czarover of Herku tells them of Ugu the Shoemaker, who became a magician and moved away from Herku, making him the first real suspect in Ozma's kidnapping.

In case "Herku" sounds familiar and you instantly thought of "Hercules", that's a good reason. L. Frank Baum knew the stories about the Labours of Hercules, a character of incredible strength. However, the real Greek name was "Heracles", the popular and famous 'Hercules' version being Roman.

Now Baum turns back to Cayke and the Frogman. After being refused breakfast due to his haughtiness, the Frogman finds a pond and takes a swim in it, only to discover it to be the Truth Pond, forcing him to admit that he is not so wise to Cayke. She is mainly indifferent to whether the Frogman is wise or not, so long as he can help her.

Cayke and the Frogman find themselves in Bear Center, inhabited by animated teddy bears, who take offense to them on two counts: they intruded uninvited and asked if they had the missing dishpan, which the bears take to mean as suggesting they stole it. The Big Lavender Bear, king of Bear Center, gives them a fair trial, and is very lenient, revealing his little Pink Bear (which works only after being wound) as a device that will give a truthful answer about anything that has happened. The Big Lavender Bear decides to join Cayke and the Frogman, after setting their sentence as an execution to be carried out a decade later. (Presumably, by this time, they won't care about the offense anymore.)

Very soon, the Patchwork Girl and No-Longer Wise Frogman meet each other and the two parties become one. Using the Big Lavender Bear's magic wand, which can conjure up images, and the truthful answers of the Little Pink Bear, they discover Ugu the Shoemaker is responsible for kidnapping Ozma, stealing the Book of Records, the Magic Picture, Glinda and the Wizard's magic, and Cayke's magic dishpan. (Baum reveals in an aside chapter that Ozma's capture was not planned, as Ozma caught Ugu in the act, and the dishpan can grow large enough for a man to sit in, and can transport a person anywhere.)

To the group's surprise, the Little Pink Bear tells them that Ozma is not in Ugu's wicker castle, but in a nearby hole. Looking in, though, they discover Button-Bright, who had wandered off again. They think the Little Pink Bear is faulty, to which the Big Lavender Bear takes great offense. After Button-Bright comes out of the hole, the Little Pink Bear tells them Ozma is not in the hole. They decide to continue on.

Ugu takes a cue from Mombi's illusions in The Marvelous Land of Oz, and tries to trick the group into not entering his castle. However, using wits and the Wizard's knowledge of magic, they are able to pass by every illusion.

Upon entering the wicker castle, Ugu turns the room upside down (or perhaps just the gravity in the room, except a cage he was sitting in with the magic tools). He escapes through a trap door, and the group makes an unsuccessful attempt to get to the magic tools. Dorothy, who has been experimenting with the Magic Belt, uses a daily wish to turn the room right side up.

It is odd that Dorothy has forgotten how to use the Belt, but then, Ozma and Glinda may have made the Belt so it cannot be easily used by anyone but Ozma.

Ugu reappears, furious that his plans are being foiled. Dorothy then uses the Magic Belt to turn him into a dove, but due to her lack of description becomes a giant grey dove, and tries to attack her, but the Frogman (who the Wizard had given some zosozo) fights Ugu off until Dorothy can shrink him. Ugu then uses the Dishpan to escape.

Now that they can access the Book of Records and the Magic Picture, they discover Ugu has fled to the Quadling Country, and when they ask to see Ozma, they just see a small, round dot on the Magic Picture. Asking the Little Pink Bear more questions, they discover Ozma is in one of Button-Bright's pockets, and he produces the golden peach pit. The Wizard pries it open, and Ozma appears, having been imprisoned inside the pit.

The story wraps up with everyone packing up everything and heading back to the Emerald City. (How the massive Book of Records was easily carried by "the animals" on their backs is anyone's guess, especially when Ozma could have just transported everything with the Magic Belt.) Toto finds he can growl again, and the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman find the Magic Dishpan in the Quadling Country and take it to the Emerald City, where it is restored to Cayke, who doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get home. (If Neill's endpaper design is to be taken as a story extension, she is seen baking for many of the story's main characters, suggesting she decided to stay in the Emerald City or they visited a nearby bakery.)

Ugu the tiny gray dove comes to the Emerald City and begs forgiveness for his wickedness, and in a twist, asks to remain a dove, as he can lead a simple and pleasant life as a beautiful bird. Ozma and Dorothy grant him this.

So, really, after the last three books, Baum came back in his best top form, though he still had his problems. Really, The Lost Princess of Oz is one of his better Oz books, and, as it turned out, his last four Oz books would probably be his strongest.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Royal Podcast of Oz: Return to Oz 25th Anniversary

Sam Milazzo and Jared Davis discuss the 1985 cult classic Return to Oz, and Sam talks about his fan-made comic adaptation that is available online. You can listen at the podcast site, or in the player below.

This was the first podcast we've published to benefit from extensive re-recording. The first version was finished very far ahead of schedule, and was then uploaded, waiting for release. Sam felt dissatisfied with a section, so we re-recorded it. Somehow, there was a 6 minute and 5MB drop in between the old and new versions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Adventures In Oz RPG

You may remember my podcast last year featuring Doug Wall. He's been working on an Oz RPG system, and now the book Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Role Playing Beyond The Yellow Brick Road is completed and in hand.

Now, this is, of course, not a standard Oz book: it is instructions and guidelines for an RPG, a social interaction in which the players create their own adventure, in a dignified form of make-believe. A narrator creates challenges for the players, and using their imaginations, they come up with a solution, using their abilities, or using "Oz points."

As a newcomer to RPGs, I was glad to see that this book does not leave people like me behind in the dirt, assuming the reader is already RPG fluent. At the same time, it also provides lots of introductions for Oz characters and places, so RPG players who are not quite so familiar with Oz can glean enough information to go on, though it must be noted that there are major spoilers for Baum's Oz books.

There are extensive guidelines for creating a character and gameplay that I found to feel very Baumian, using logic to make challenges based on your characters and environment, and using alternatives to brute force to solve challenges. Some of the points made, I thought, might be of use to people interested in writing Oz stories.

To help RPG players, there are many tips for starting ideas for adventures (one of which was inspired by a tongue-in-cheek blog I wrote sometime back that did make an interesting point), and a scenario for an adventure called "The Jaded City of Oz," which made for a very good story!

Also, the book is illustrated with wonderful original artwork by various artists, depicting scenes and characters from the Oz books, and "The Jaded City of Oz." The artwork is wonderfully embedded into the book's design, making for a pleasing volume.

Altogether, this book is worth getting, unless you're just an MGM movie fan... But a warning, after reading it, you'll want to start having your own adventures in Oz!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rinkitink in Oz

Here we are, the last of Baum's trio of Oz books based on previous works or unfinished materials, and Rinkitink in Oz is the most famous example of all. The fact is, Baum was writing the story in 1905 as King Rinkitink, with no Oz connection whatsoever. Whether this was finished or not in its original form is unclear. Also unclear is if Baum decided not to publish it, or if publishers declined to publish it at that time.

Anyways, in 1916, with the ongoing troubles of the Oz Film Manufacturing Company, Baum getting his gallbladder removed due to angina, and a little feud over the Oz Toy Book that almost made Baum demand John R. Neill be replaced as the illustrator, there was little time to make a new Oz book for the year, though Baum had one in mind. But since that couldn't be finished in time, he instead turned to King Rinkitink and did some revising, added a few chapters, and turned it into an Oz book.

The book opens on the island of Pingaree, in the Nonestic Ocean, past the Land of Ev. The island is a peace-loving land, rich because of the thriving industry of exporting pearls. However, young Prince Inga was puzzled to hear how quickly invaders from the twin islands of Regos and Coregos were driven off so easily. But one day, his father, King Kitticut, reveals the secret: the King of Pingaree has three magic pearls hidden away to use in times of crisis. A blue one will grant the bearer super strength, a pink one protects them from any harm, and a white one will grant valuable advice.

Thinking back to Baum's earlier fantasies, such as The Enchanted Island of Yew and Queen Zixi of Ix, the opening chapter of Rinkitink hearkens back to those. This leads me to suspect that only a few revisions were done to the included chapters to make them refer to Oz.

A few days later, King Rinkitink of Gilgad arrives on a surprise visit. Tired of being king, he has escaped his own people so he can have a vacation. Due to his short and ... "stout" physique, he quickly loses breath by walking too far, so he rides a surly talking goat named Bilbil. Rinkitink is jolly and fond of singing songs that vary from him expressing himself, to just plain nonsense. Most are glad to hear him singing, since that means he must be happy. However, Bilbil remains critical.

Some days later, Pingaree is attacked by warriors from Regos and Coregos, and Kitticut is captured before he can get the magic pearls. Inga is studying high in a tree, and escapes the sight of the invaders, who take everyone back to Regos and Coregos, and level all the buildings. After he is sure they are gone, Inga wanders around the island, and discovers Rinkitink, stuck in a well, and Bilbil. Bilbil helps pull Rinkitink out, and then Inga has them help him move some fallen marble blocks so he can recover the pearls, though he does not expose the pearls or their powers to his companions.

Taking advice from the White Pearl, Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil find a magic boat that is stocked full of food. Using the strength from the blue pearl, Inga rows to Regos and Coregos to free his family and his people from slavery.

You might begin to wonder where the part is that justifies this as an Oz book. Well, it's coming, but if you're really getting into the story, you might not really care just now.

Using the magic of the pink and blue pearls, Inga, Rinkitink, and Bilbil manage to break through the defenses of Regos, causing King Gos to flee to Coregos to his wife, Queen Cor, who would prefer Gos' room to his company. (What a loving wife.)

You realize that Baum has again established that there are alternatives to violence by Inga's rather peaceable conquest of Regos. Aside from Bilbil charging a bit, none of the warriors were injured, but instead feared Inga's apparent invincibility, and thought him to be a magician of some sort, and so fled. This also goes back to some classic Baum psychology of the meanest people turning out to be the biggest cowards.

Rinkitink and Inga take possession of King Gos' castle, planning on how to rescue Inga's family and people. That night, though, Rinkitink throws one of Inga's shoes at a cat that woke him. However, Inga had been keeping one of the pearls in that shoe, and when they try to find it, a maid throws out the other one. They fail to find either, but the remaining white pearl advises Inga to bluff that he still has the powers.

Queen Cor decides that women are smarter than men, and goes to visit Inga. She seizes him and carries Inga and Rinkitink to Coregos to be her slaves.

Meanwhile, the shoes were found by a charcoal burner named Nikobob, who decides they will make a nice gift for his daughter, Zella. On his way home, he manages to defeat and kill the beast Choggenmugger, that terrorized the island of Regos for years. (Why does Who's Who in Oz say that he grew back together?) Zella is delighted with the news of her father's victory, and his gift for her. She decides she will wear them when she carries honey to Queen Cor, and now that Choggenmugger is gone, she can collect twice her usual amount. Using the pearls, she can get to the palace easily, and manages to easily ward off wild animals.

Meanwhile, a neglected goat makes his way to Coregos...

Queen Cor discovers the Pingaree women refuse to work, and has them brought before her. (Inga's mother, Queen Garee, is not among them, as she has been put to work in the dairy.) As Inga goes to fetch Cor's whip, he spots Zella and notices her shoes. He asks for them, and she is convinced to trade with him, and he gets the pearls back in time to defeat Queen Cor, who flees to Regos, with Queen Garee, but not before she collides with an angry Bilbil!

Just how manic Baum could get comes into play here. It's also interesting to note that this bit of following separate storylines could have been written before many of the earlier Oz books. The first that really did that was The Emerald City of Oz.

Inga discovers that King Gos and Queen Cor have taken his parents and fled. Before going after them, Inga sets all his people free and makes arrangements for them to return to Pingaree to begin rebuilding their homes, allowing them to loot King Gos and Queen Cor's palaces to get whatever they might need. Inga attempts to give Regos and Coregos a new King in Nikobob, but he refuses, as being King is a huge responsibility, and he doesn't really want to be king over a country of warriors. Instead, he decides to move his family to Pingaree.

Gos and Cor have taken King Kitticut and Queen Garee to the Nome King, who is identified as Kaliko. They pay him to keep them prisoner, and though he knows their reasons for him to do so are false, he keeps his end of the bargain.

Using advice from the white pearl, Inga uses the Magic Boat to get to the Nome Kingdom, where he just misses Gos and Cor. He confronts Kaliko, who refuses to let his prisoners go, however, Inga refuses to leave without them. Fearing Kaliko may perform some mischief, Inga give Rinkitink the pink pearl for protection, while he keeps the blue one. It turns out to be wise, for Kaliko makes both Rinkitink and Inga go through many tests, and it is only by the virtue of the pearls and Inga's quick wits that they remain alive.

And now, finally, we get to Oz. It turns out Dorothy has been following Inga's story with interest, and is now disgusted at the way Kaliko is treating them. Taking some eggs, she and the Wizard head to the Nome Kingdom, where Kaliko is upset that Dorothy wants him to let Kitticut and Garee go. Dorothy informs him that Gos and Cor were lost at sea, and when he still refuses, she reveals the eggs. Kaliko gives in. The Wizard discovers that Bilbil is, in fact, the enchanted Prince Bobo of Boboland.

This part feels like a cop-out for some Oz fans. Inga and Rinkitink go through all that, and Dorothy and a few eggs save the day? And what's up with Kaliko and his new bad attitude? I'm assuming that Baum didn't revise the story too much, and the Nome King in the original version was an early version of the former Nome King. It is, however, difficult to tell how the original may have ended. Perhaps the Nome King put Rinkitink and Inga through a final test before giving in. Perhaps they had to defeat him as well. With Dorothy saving the day in a deus ex machina just to make it an Oz book, it cheapens the story a bit.

What gets me is how out-of-the-blue the reveal of Bilbil is done. We are given no hints that he may be an enchanted person, and the Wizard asks him how he happened to talk, never having been to Oz, forgetting that Billina could talk in Ev, and Jim, Eureka, and the piglets could talk in the underground fairy countries he visited. This may have been a revision or addition Baum made. Still, if we'd had some set-up for this reveal, then it would have felt better. (It's not too different from how Thompson would reveal some characters' enchantments at the end of her stories.)

Rinkitink, Bilbil, Inga, Kitticut, and Garee go to take a rest in Oz, where they are treated royally. Glinda and the Wizard perform a series of transformations to restore Bobo, and it works in the end. Eventually, the visitors return to Pingaree to find the island has been restored. Rinkitink continues his vacation, until his own people from Gilgad come to bring him home. He eventually consents, and Bobo joins him on his return.

Now, I do like this book, but really wish we could have had the original version as well. While I understand why Baum had to simply revise and expand an old manuscript, I feel it wasn't quite his best effort. Not only are we stuck with a deux ex machina ending, but my thoughts turn to the islands of Regos and Coregos. They have no rulers now, and this could cause an even worse problem for Pingaree, like how leaving a broken Germany came back to bite the rest of the world after World War I.

Anyways, by this time, the Oz Film Manufacturing Company was done, Baum was recovering from his surgeries, and now he could focus on writing an Oz book. Perhaps he knew the Oz book for 1917 had to be special...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Scarecrow of Oz

As I said in my previous post, Tik-Tok of Oz was the first of three of Baum's later Oz books that are sometimes, among fans, noted with poor writing simply because it seemed to feature a story based on a pre-existing work. Of the three Oz features produced by the Oz Film Manufacturing Company, the only one with an original story was His Majesty, The Scarecrow Of Oz. However, one has only to see that film and read The Scarecrow of Oz to see that there was much more to the story of the book than that film.

I believe The Scarecrow of Oz began as the third "Trot" book, featuring the adventures of Mayre "Trot" Griffith, and Cap'n Bill Wheedles. The first two books, The Sea Fairies and Sky Island, were published in 1911 and 1912, respectively, as a replacement fantasy series for the Oz books. The latter book alone showed that interest in the books were not too high, as Button-Bright came in as a third main character, and Polychrome appeared, Baum hoping to give the series a "boost" from Oz.

One of the biggest reasons why I think The Scarecrow of Oz began as the third book is because of where the story goes. The Sea Fairies featured Trot and Cap'n Bill visiting the mermaids, while Sky Island found them caught up in changing the political system of an island in the sky.

The Scarecrow of Oz opens with Trot and Cap'n Bill going boating, when they are caught in a whirlpool, and end up in an underwater cave, with only dark caverns and tunnels, and a very limited food supply.

You see, The Sea Fairies had the theme of water, Sky Island had the theme of sky, and the third book had the theme of earth. However, as he was forced to return to Oz, but some of his fans (if the claims he made in his introductions are to be believed) did like Trot and Cap'n Bill, he decided to turn his unfinished book into an Oz book. (This theory, while I am not alone in it, lacks complete verification.)

Trot and Cap'n Bill are soon joined by an Ork, a strange bird-like creature who considers itself to be superior. (It is briefly noted that his name is Flipper, and he is the ruler of Orkland.) Because it can fly (and hover, using a propeller-like tail), the Ork helps them through the tunnels.

They emerge on an island, rich in vegetation, including many fruits and nuts, so they decide, if they must live there forever, at least they won't starve. However, the island is not uninhabited. The sole resident is a pessimistic man named Pessim, who, living up to his name, finds fault in everything and everyone. However, he can help when the Ork eats a lavender berry that has made it shrink to a tiny size, by revealing that he experienced the same thing, but found a dark purple berry that served as an antidote.

Just as it is living with an overly critical person, they soon tire of Pessim and wish to leave the island. Because the Ork cannot carry two, they decide to use the lavender and dark purple berries to shrink so they can ride in Trot's sunbonnet, which will be tied to the Ork's neck. Pessim is both annoyed and pleased that they are leaving.

I actually liked Pessim's character. I think everyone knows a Pessim. There's a little Pessim in all of us. Yeah, he's the latest character with a name that defines his character. He is a pessimist, so that's his name. It's like how General Guph's name meant "guff," meaning he spread superfluous information and made insolent or otherwise unacceptable remarks. You gotta love Baum's wordplay sometimes!

The Ork flies them safely to the Land of Mo, where, after regaining their proper sizes, they meet the Bumpy Man, "The Mountain Ear" (he tells the mountain who lets them stay overnight and treats them to hot molasses candy and lemonade, which they are grateful for, but wish for something better to eat. The next morning, they discover that it snowed, except Mo snow is popcorn. They find someone buried in the snow, who proves to be Button-Bright, who has gotten himself lost in Mo, somehow losing the Magic Umbrella from Sky Island.

Deciding to fly over a nearby desert, they use the remaining dark purple berries to enlarge some birds, who fly them over the desert and into Jinxland, which is in the Quadling Country. The Ork takes his leave, and the three humans wander into the plot of His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz.

It's hard to tell exactly where the possible third "Trot" book may have ended, and where Baum began writing new material. It is very possible that he did intend to have them visit Oz originally, as a way to make the third book really sell so subsequent books would as well, before opting to just write new Oz books. In any case, by the time King Krewl is mentioned, I am sure it is new material.

After getting a meal from a friendly resident, they encounter a sobbing young man named Pon, who is in love with the Princess Gloria. He says Gloria's father was king, then his own father was king (it is not told how Gloria's father left the throne), then his father was sent to the bottom of a pond by Krewl, who is now King.

Krewl wishes Gloria to wed an ugly old courtier named Googly-Goo, who is paying the king handsomely for her. However, she refuses, especially as she loves Pon. Pon has been beaten for Gloria loving him, hence his crying.

Trot and Cap'n Bill do not think much of Pon, and go to see the King. Marvelling at Cap'n Bill's wooden leg and boastfulness, Krewl assumes he is a magician. He gives the travelers rooms, but calls the Witch Blinkie to do to tasks: incapacitate Cap'n Bill, which she does by turning him into a grasshopper (his wooden leg becomes a wooden grasshopper leg), then freezing Gloria's heart, which Trot and Pon witness. However, the plot backfires, because now Gloria can love no one, not even Googly-Goo.

And now, Glinda reads of these occurrences in her Book Of Records and sends the Scarecrow to assist Trot, Cap'n Bill, Button-Bright, and conquer Krewl and Blinkie. In Jinxland, he is disassembled by Blinkie, but re-assembled by Trot, Pon, and the transformed Cap'n Bill. Button-Bright, meanwhile, has been lost and was found by the Ork, who found his home, but came back to check on his friends. Now, he listens to the Scarecrow making his plans to conquer Krewl and decides to get more Orks.

When Pon tells Krewl that the Scarecrow will conquer him, he is struck and sent back. Then the Scarecrow arrives to announce his conquest, but is captured and is to be burned at the stake. However, the Orks arrive in time to blow out the fire with their tails before the Scarecrow can be harmed in the slightest. The Orks also subdue Krewl, and the Scarecrow is hailed as the new King of Jinxland.

Being democratic, the Scarecrow asks the people who should rule them, Pon or Gloria, and they all call for Gloria, but before she can become Queen, her heart must be thawed, so an Ork gets Blinkie, who, under threat from the Scarecrow who uses a powder from Glinda to start shrinking her, she restores Cap'n Bill to human form, and then thaws Gloria's heart. Blinkie stops shrinking, but does not regain her former size, nor can she work magic again. Gloria takes her throne, and proclaims Pon shall be her consort, while Krewl will become the new Gardener, and renamed Grewl.

That night, the Orks carry the Scarecrow, Trot, Cap'n Bill, and Button-Bright over the border into Oz proper, and let them head to Glinda's palace. Along the way, they have places to rest and sleep magically provided for them by the Wizard, as Ozma, Dorothy, and Betsy Bobbin were watching in the Magic Picture. When the Scarecrow becomes water-logged after falling into a lake, the Wizard provides fresh straw.

Finally, they arrive at Glinda's palace, where they are welcomed to a party (Ozma being absent, noting she needed to consult with the Woggle-Bug and Jack Pumpkinhead, though those two appear at the party), and then assured all three of the new arrivals are welcome to stay in Oz, which they accept.

Really, Baum didn't do a lot of great, deep writing here. He wrote a good story, but it feels flatter than most of his Oz stories. This is probably because of the effort he was dedicating to the Oz Film Manufacturing Company at the time. It puzzles me why Trot, Cap'n Bill, and Button-Bright are welcomed to live in Oz so quickly, when Ozma was unsure to let Betsy, Shaggy's unnamed brother, and Hank stay in Oz in Tik-Tok of Oz.

Further confusion arises in that Trot's mother and Button-Bright's family, all of them mention in previous Baum books, are not given a thought. Are we to assume Trot's mother was brought to Oz, or died somehow during these adventures? We are given no explanation, nor does the character appear in later Oz books.

Button-Bright is more curious. How did he wind up in Mo? Was he trying to return to Oz and either let go or stopped too early and somehow dropped the umbrella in the "snow"? And what of his family? Did they die? Is he angry at them? The answer, again, is not revealed in any subsequent Oz book.

Although very subtle at times, it is here that John R. Neill's art isn't as fine or delicately beautiful as before (main example being the colour plate of Pon and Gloria in the garden, or the chapter title head image of Queen Gloria). It is too bad John didn't see to reuse Gloria's costume from the film.

So, Baum may have re-used an unfinished book and brought in the plot of a film and brought some new characters to Oz from his other books, and despite this, managed a great story, but again, it falls a little flat.

And if you think that practice wasn't so great, just wait until the next Oz book . . .

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tik-Tok of Oz

Not only did Oz return to books in 1913, it also returned to the stage in the form of a play called The Tik-Tok Man of Oz. The play was the culmination of a stage adaptation of Ozma of Oz Baum had been working on, however, a few problems arose in the legal department: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion, in stage form, were now part of the property of The Wizard of Oz extravaganza, while Ozma was tied up with The Woggle-Bug. So, instead of Dorothy, Baum replaced her with Betsy Bobbin. Similar to how the stage Wizard replaced Toto with a cow named Imogene, Billina was replaced with a mule named Hank. Tik-Tok could remain, and to join him as a comedic duo, in came the Shaggy Man, though some advertising I've seen for the play calls him "The Raggedy Man." Ozma was replaced with a more comedic character, Queen Ann. Polychrome came into the story as well, and the Nome King remained as the villain.

So, when Baum was working on the Oz book for 1914, he decided that the play had wandered a bit from its original basis, and, with a few more alterations, could make its own story. As such, some regard Tik-Tok of Oz as a novelization of the play, and compare it unfavorably to Ozma of Oz. This would be the first of three Oz books that some Oz fans consider to be "lazy" writing on Baum's part, though there were reasons why he might not have put so much thought into these.

The book opens in Oogaboo, a little country in the northwest of Oz, ruled by the discontent Queen Ann Soforth. She has grown bored with ruling such a small country, and, at a sarcastic suggestion from her sister Salye, decides to conquer the world. Quickly gathering an army of most of the men of Oogaboo (almost completely officers, save one private, very much like Ozma's army), Ann heads out to conquer Oz first.

However, Glinda notices this in her Book of Records and quietly sends them outside of Oz. In the place they arrive at first, they are attacked by a monster called a Rak, which they manage to evade, but still suffer some bruises.

... This is one reason why I don't trust Glinda. Any sign of trouble, she acts on her own, for what could be seen as protecting her own interests. Why not re-arrange the mountain pass of Oogaboo so they'd go around in circles until they give up and go home? Why put them in harm's way? Hmmmmm? Something's not right in the South...
Speaking of which, it is here that Baum accidentally has Glinda's castle placed 'far North of the Emerald City'.

Meanwhile, Betsy Bobbin, and her mule Hank are the sole survivors of a shipwreck, and using some debris from the ship, they float ashore, where they find a country of live flowers, who want them put to death. (Ala the Mangaboos?) But then, the Shaggy Man drops in (seriously, he breaks through the roof of a greenhouse), and using the Love Magnet, manages to get the gardener to let them escape, but not before trying to give the flowers a new ruler, so Shaggy and Betsy pick the Rose Princess. (Shades of Dorothy & The Wizard in Oz!) However, those anti-feminist roses reject a female ruler and the Rose Princess, Ozga (somehow Ozma's cousin), leaves with Shaggy, Betsy, and Hank.

Shaggy reveals he is looking for his brother, who was working in a mine in Colorado, when he disappeared, Shaggy assuming, he was kidnapped by the Nome King, who now goes by Ruggedo. (Baum explains that due to Roquat's drinking the Water of Oblivion in The Emerald City of Oz, he forgot his name, though Ozma did tell him his name there. I guess he didn't like it anymore.)

I posted elsewhere about my theory of Shaggy's relationship with his brother, but as it is relevant, I'll quote myself here:
It is possible Shaggy and his brother lived together in Colorado for awhile, but at some point, they decided to part ways. Shaggy says in The Road to Oz that he does not care for money, but only for love. As Shaggy's brother became a miner (hmm... does that mean he was his younger brother?), Shaggy may have been repulsed at the quest for money and decided to leave. Still, they are brothers, so when he discovered what happened to his brother, Shaggy knew it was his duty to rescue him.
Next, they find Polychrome, who has just slid off the rainbow. What has always puzzled me is that Polychrome acts like she has never seen the Shaggy Man before. It's been explained that Baum lifted the scene in this book directly from The Tik-Tok Man of Oz to preserve a joke from the play, but still, in the continuity of the characters, it makes no sense.

Then, in a well, they find a lot of rubbish, and Tik-Tok, who Ozma sent to assist the Shaggy Man. Ruggedo found him and threw him in the well. (Did he forget his lesson from that Little Wizard Story?) After this, they are joined by the Army of Oogaboo, and Private Files falls in love with Ozga immediately. He resigns, but his post is given to Tik-Tok. When Ann hears of Shaggy's search, she decides to make the Nome King her first big conquest. The entire company continues on.

Now Ruggedo happens to made aware of the oncoming Army, by means of his chamberlain Kaliko's spyglass, and his servant, the Long-Eared Hearer. At first, Ruggedo sends the Army bouncing through his rubber country, but they make it through. So, he sends them falling through the Hollow Tube that goes through the earth, something Kaliko warned him Tititi-Hoochoo forbade him from doing.

... Did anyone else think of Mombi's illusions from The Marvelous Land of Oz there?

The whole company slides through the Tube and after a long tumble, pops out on the other side of the world, where they find a different country, very elegant and regal, where everyone seems to be a King or Queen. The leader of the country is Private Citizen, who Tik-Tok discovers is Tititi-Hoochoo, the Great Jinjin, and they are among the Famous Fellowship Of Fairies. While it is against the law to go into or drop anything in the Tube, the Great Jinjin sees that they did not intend to enter the Tube, so only the one who sent them into it should be punished.

The next morning, after Betsy spent a lovely night with Erma, the Lady of Light (in one of the most dream-like chapters Baum ever wrote), Tititi-Hoochoo has selected his "instrument of vengeance," Quox, a young, blue dragon who had been disrespectful to his grandfather. Giving Quox seats on his back, the company is able to ride him back down the Tube.

What kind of disappoints me here is that it seems there is an ultimate authority above all the fairies in Baum's Oz-connected world, but we only get a small glimpse at them. Baum never returned to the Famous Fellowship Of Fairies, or the Great Jinjin, and from what I've heard of the rest of the Famous Forty, they were not revisited in those books, either. I believe I did hear some other authors did use the characters, though.

The Long-Eared Hearer hears the return of Queen Ann and her friends in the Tube, and Kaliko sees Quox. The Nome King gathers his Army, but when he emerges, Quox is able to send them all running. Queen Ann thinks she will be able to conquer Ruggedo on her own, but she and her officers get caught in a hole and get sealed off. Tik-Tok, Betsy, Hank, Polychrome, Shaggy, Ozga, and Files confront the Nome King. Betsy and Hank are ordered to be thrown into the Slimy Cave, but Kaliko proves to be kind and takes them to his own room. Tik-Tok is knocked over and immobilized with a hefty diamond, while Ruggedo turns Shaggy into a gray dove, and turns Ozga into a fiddle.

Polychrome gets Quox, who lets out a few eggs to chase off Ruggedo, while Ruggedo's glance at the ribbon on Quox's neck removes his knowledge of magic. Thus, Ruggedo is banished from his own kingdom, and Quox, under Tititi-Hoochoo's orders, makes Kaliko the new Nome King. Shaggy and Ozga are restored to their true forms, Tik-Tok is freed from the diamond, and they try to find Queen Ann and Shaggy's brother, while Quox returns home.

Yes, we had unfair treatment by the Nome King and people getting transformed, but really, this is quite different from Ozma of Oz!

Polychrome spies Ruggedo getting a lot of pockets sewn onto his coat by an old woman, then he sneaks into a secret passage. When she tells Kaliko of this, he is sure Ruggedo is heading to the Metal Forest, where Shaggy's brother has been staying.

In the Metal Forest, they find a bedraggled Queen Ann and her officers, Ruggedo filling his pockets with gold and gems, and Shaggy's brother, who had been transformed to become ugly. Ruggedo tries to remember the charm to break the spell, and Betsy, Ozga, and Polychrome try breaking the spell by kissing him, Polly's kiss restoring him.

Ruggedo's pockets burst, and he breaks down at last. Kaliko offers to let him stay in the Nome Kingdom, as long as he behaves himself.

And now for the wrapping up of the story...

Ozma has been watching Shaggy's progress in the Magic Picture, and now that Queen Ann has lost her desire to conquer the world, she and her officers, as well as Files and Ozga, are returned to Oogaboo. Tik-Tok is brought back home, but Ozma is not sure if she should let Shaggy's brother, Betsy, and Hank into Oz, saying that Oz is not a refuge for everyone. However, Dorothy convinces her to keep Shaggy by also bringing his brother, and that she'd like to become friends with Betsy, so she can have another friend to play with when Ozma is attending to her duties. (It is also in this scene that Ozma and Shaggy communicate with devices resembling cell phones.)

I always wondered why Ozma was so hesitant to bring a couple more people to Oz, especially considering how its not even an issue in the next book.

In the final chapter, it is revealed that in Oz, Hank can talk, and so can Toto. Hank, the Cowardly Lion, and the Sawhorse argue over the sweetest girl in the world, Ozma, Betsy, or Dorothy, but the three are reprimanded by Ozma, who tells them that they are not rivals. Shaggy's brother is grateful to Ozma, and Betsy wishes every child could live in Oz, but Ozma tells her that if that happened, Oz would become overrun. Betsy sees her point.

...Bit of an odd note to close the book with.

Really, despite the obvious origins in previous Oz books, I do think Baum managed to make Tik-Tok of Oz its own story, if nothing else, for the addition of the mysterious Famous Fellowship Of Fairies to his fantasy world. Also, we have a variety of new, if later unused, characters added, and a major turn in the future of the Nome Kingdom. While Betsy feels almost like a copy of Dorothy, she did manage to become her own character. As you can see, she's a little more practical than Dorothy. While Dorothy would be indignant if she had been in Betsy's place in this story, Betsy keeps her cool and talks around it.

Now, why did Baum not come up with a completely new story? At this time, not only had he been developing The Tik-Tok Man of Oz for the stage, but The Oz Film Manufacturing Company was forming, and that also ate into his time. In a year or so, his health also took a bad turn, and he had to have his gallbladder removed.

So, next, we have another "novelization" that may not have originally been intended to be one.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The Patchwork Girl of Oz

So, it was back to Oz, back to the adventures of Dorothy and her friends in their whimsical fairyland. Yes, it'd all been done before, and in order to keep the money coming in, Baum was forced back onto the Yellow Brick Road. But as we'll see, he decided to change the characters he'd put in the foreground, this time, at least.

The book opens not in the Emerald City, nor in our great outside world, but in a humble Munchkin home where a boy named Ojo lives with his Unc Nunkie. Ojo realizes they are running out of food, and will soon starve, so he suggests they leave their home. Unc Nunkie silently concurs and prepares to leave the next day.

Their journey brings them to their nearest neighbors, Dr. Pipt, the Crooked Magician, and his wife Margolotte. Dr. Pipt claims he can work magic if only for the benefit of himself and his family, claiming Ozma has only outlawed people to do it as a practice, instead of a hobby. His current project is making a batch of the Powder of Life, which takes six years to make. He and Margolotte claim he is the inventor of it, furthermore, he is the one who supplied it to Mombi. (They claim she stole it, Mombi says she fooled him into trading with her.)

Now, in The Marvelous Land of Oz, Tip says Mombi got the Powder of Life from Doctor Nikidik. Later, in The Road to Oz, it is revealed the magician who created it died. Now, we have someone who claims to be that person, and also, in each of these books, the powder works a different way. In Marvelous Land, it works after an incantation and gestures are made. In Road, a rug is brought to life just by someone wishing it was alive. Here, in The Patchwork Girl of Oz, it works without any incantations or gestures.

My theory is that since the Good Witch of the North did not allow witches in the North, after Mombi's use of the Powder came to attention, Dr. Pipt, who may have been using "Nikidik" simply as a brand name, moved to the Munchkin Country. The only problem here is time: Unc Nunkie seems to be old friends with Pipt, so unless they are old acquaintances whose paths happened to cross again, this cannot work without Ojo having met them before, as he seems to be no older than Dorothy.

In order to get out of the public eye, Dr. Pipt (or Nikidik) may have staged his death, which may also be one of the reasons why he is physically crooked: he has broken bones.

As for the changes in the Powder of Life, it can simply be explained that the recipe was being refined over time. It seems now, the powder is perfect, except for its preparation time.

As Margolotte treats Unc Nunkie and Ojo to lunch, she reveals what the Powder of Life will be used for: using an old patchwork quilt, she made a life-size rag doll to be her servant, so she can relax and simply enjoy her life. However, the Patchwork Girl needs brains, so Ojo watches as Margolotte mixes together a few elements (Obedience, Amiability, Truth, and Cleverness) that would be needed in a servant. Ojo slyly adds some extra elements, some of everything (including Judgment, Courage, Ingenuity, Learning, Poesy, and Self-Reliance).

Dr. Pipt finally finishes the current batch of the Powder of Life, and Margolotte they are introduced to the Glass Cat, Bungle, a haughty creature brought to life with the previous batch of the Powder of Life. They wanted Bungle to catch mice, but she refuses to, as mice inside of her would spoil her beauty. She is notably proud of her pink brains (you can see 'em work!), her ruby heart, and her emerald eyes.

The next morning, the Patchwork Girl is brought to life with disastrous results. Hearing music played by a phonograph, the Patchwork Girl begins to dance wildly, knocking the Powder of Life across the room, causing Unc Nunkie to upset a shelf, spilling the Liquid of Petrification on himself and Margolotte, turning them both into marble statues! (Did Dr. Pipt give Mombi this recipe?) Dr. Pipt tries to use the Powder of Life to bring the statues to life, but discovers to his dismay that the rest of it fell on the phonograph, bringing it to life as well.

While the Patchwork Girl (who Bungle dubs "Scraps," a name the new character likes) doesn't really care what's going on around her (she has no heart), Dr. Pipt and Ojo look for an antidote. Dr. Pipt finds one at last, and reveals the ingredients needed to be three hairs from a Woozy's tail, a six-leaved clover, a gill of water from a dark well, a drop of oil from a live man's body, and the left wing of a yellow butterfly. Ojo, Bungle, and Scraps set out to find these things, while Dr. Pipt will begin work on more Powder of Life to bring his wife and friend back to life, should Ojo fail.

Along the way, Scraps discovers her ability to construct nonsense rhymes, as she proves to be as colorful and lively as the patches that make up her body. Again, Baum has made one of his artificial people's personalities reflect their structure.

Overnight, the travelers stay at a dark house where they are told to go directly to bed by a disembodied voice. Since she cannot sleep, and has no wish to lie down and be quiet, Scraps is thrown out. The next morning, Ojo finds a hearty breakfast for him, and is told to eat by the same disembodied voice. When he finishes, he leaves, and feels as hungry and tired as he did the night before. Scraps tells them that a big gray wolf came to the door of the house three times at night. What exactly the house was remains a mystery. Is it a haunted house? Did it let Ojo in to protect him from the wolf?

They are joined by the live phonograph, but quickly find his music (popular music, it claims) so terrible, they order it to leave at once. The travelers continue to the home of the Wise Donkey and the Foolish Owl. The Wise Donkey proves to be the same Wise Donkey from The Magical Monarch of Mo, and the Foolish Owl also spouts nonsense rhymes. Very much, all they do is tell Ojo to continue on until he finds the Yellow Brick Road, which will lead to the Emerald City.

Next, Ojo finally finds one of the ingredients. They come to a high wall saying "Beware The Woozy." Climbing over the wall, they discover the Woozy, a blocklike creature with leathery skin, and three hairs on its tail. The Woozy has been locked away by Munchkin farmers because he enjoys eating honeybees. However, Ojo shares his bread and cheese (enchanted to never run out) with the Woozy, who likes them, and eventually agrees to let Ojo have his three hairs. It turns out the hairs are impossible to remove by pulling, so they decide to take the Woozy along. He burns down the fence with fire from his eyes when everyone shouts "Krizzle-Kroo!" because it angers him that he does not know what the word means.

Now you see what Baum decided to do differently: bring in a new cast of characters, giving them a task to accomplish to make the story interesting. But as we'll see, this didn't mean he'd swear off using his previous cast.

Ojo and his friends find the Yellow Brick Road, but are caught by giant venus fly-trap-like plants. Ojo expects that it is the end, until he hears someone whistling, then the head of the plant falls off and opens, releasing him. The rescuer turns out to be the Shaggy Man, who frees the Woozy, Scraps, and Bungle as well.

Shaggy proves to be their guide, showing them how to get past tricky parts on the road, dodging a giant porcupine named Chiss, and even sends the live phonograph on his way again when he rejoins them. Along the way, they even run into the Scarecrow and the Sawhorse, and Scraps and the straw man become quite smitten with each other.

Outside the Emerald City, Ojo spots a six-leaved clover, but the Shaggy Man warns him that picking a six-leaved clover is against Ozma's laws, however, Ojo finds another and picks it sneakily. In the Emerald City, Ojo is promptly arrested and taken to jail, which he finds to be quite comfortable and accommodating. Surprisingly, Ozma's prisoners (of which Ojo is said to be the first), are treated kindly, since being isolated from society should be punishment enough, and kind treatment makes one even sorrier for transgressions.

Scraps, Bungle, and the Woozy meet Dorothy, who welcomes them kindly, as Scraps feels assured that she can save Ojo by putting the stolen clover in a vase. However, at the trial the next day, Ojo is repentant, the clover is shown, and Ozma forgives him, and offers aid in finding the remaining ingredients, though she does say that Dr. Pipt is breaking the law yet, and it is his willful violation that caused the accident, however, it would be unjust to allow Margolotte and Unc Nunkie to remain as statues.

It definitely seems that the legal system in Oz has changed since Eureka's trial in Dorothy & The Wizard In Oz. Also, Omby Amby now has his beard again. He shaved it off in The Marvelous Land of Oz, so I guess five books is enough time for it to grow back.

A new group sets out from the Emerald City, consisting of Dorothy, Ojo, the Scarecrow, Scraps, and Toto. Their first stop is Jack Pumpkinhead's house, where they are told they might find a dark well in the mountains.

Heading south, they find the home of the Tottenhots, based on the stereotypical African Hottentot. While these people love nothing more than to romp and play at night, some have found the Tottenhots to be offensive. The Books of Wonder edition is infamous for switching some words around and dropping an illustration of a Tottenhot. However, it all seems to be taken far too seriously, as the Tottenhots are quite hospitable, and friendly. They only toss around the Scarecrow and Scraps, and those two note that the shaking actually helped evenly distribute their stuffing.

Their next obstacle is in the mountains, when they must run past the cage of the giant, cannibalistic Mr. Yoop. He luckily only catches the stuffed people, and knowing they are no good to eat, tosses them back, letting Dorothy, Toto, and Ojo escape.

They find a cave, and soon discover the warring cities of the Horners and the Hoppers. The Hoppers have one large leg, and the Horners have a horn on their foreheads. The war is because one of the Horners said that the Hoppers have less "understanding," than them. When Scraps is able to interrogate the offending Horner, Diksey, he says he meant that their legs are under them, and as the leg is the manner of standing, that was what was meant by "undestanding." To avoid the war, he explains the joke to the Hoppers, and Dorothy advises them to just laugh it off.

Diksey, when asked, tells them he has a dark well in his radium mine, so they go to get some water from it, making three items they have collected.

And now, you all stop and say "radium?" Yes, this was written when radium was not known to be lethal. In fact, one of the Horners claims that no one can get sick if they live near it. Either Oz radium is not lethal, or the enchantments of Oz prevent it, for Dorothy and Ojo show no ill effects.

Heading further south, they bribe a lazy Quadling to build them a raft to sail up river to the Winkie Country. However, the river happens to switch courses randomly, making travel impossible until Ojo manages to catch a fish swimming upstream so they can be tugged along. Finally, they get past the tricky part, release the fish, and grab a long branch to guide the raft. Crossing over a wall of water, they are finally able to get into the Winkie Country and soon reach the Tin Woodman's palace.

Realizing the Tin Woodman oils often, Ojo keeps an eye on him and when he sees a drop of oil about to drip off, catches it, leaving the left wing of a yellow butterfly as the only ingredient left. As the Tin Woodman hears this, he flatly refuses to let Ojo have a butterfly. As it seems the journey has failed, they return to the Emerald City, Ojo thinking his full name of Ojo the Unlucky has proven quite correct. The Tin Woodman disagrees, saying Ojo is indeed lucky in many ways.

At the Emerald City, Ozma reveals she has brought the marble statues of Margolotte and Unc Nunkie, as well as Dr. Pipt to the Emerald City. Pipt's magic tools have been destroyed, so at first Ojo despairs, before the Wizard tells them he has consulted with Glinda, and using magic he learned from her, straightens out Dr. Pipt's body, and restore Unc Nunkie and Margolotte. Ozma gives Ojo and Unc Nunkie a home outside of the Emerald City, and they all live happily ever after.

So, for his full return to Oz, Baum presented The Patchwork Girl of Oz glowing with all the fun and liveliness that he could muster. At times, it feels like too much, as many parts do not really add to the story, and some are not even explained.

Also, Baum introduces a wealth of new characters and races, but in the future, makes very little use of them. Scraps has some memorable cameos, but when it comes to featuring majorly in a story, Scraps, the Woozy, and Bungle only got one each. Ojo never again goes on an adventure under Baum's authorship.

Once again, we have a time where Baum wrote a great story, but completely loaded it down with many easily removable points. For some reason, though, they don't weigh the better parts down.