Monday, July 18, 2011

Ozopolis is Oz!

I'm way behind in reviewing this...

Are you tired of almost every Oz comic that isn't an adaptation of the books being some dark, revisionist take on Oz that uses characters based on Baum's characters that don't really act like them? And then it's full of a million wink and nods to the MGM fans? Who probably aren't even reading it?

Try Ozopolis. It's an independently published comic.

Ozopolis debuted at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con with the first issue. This year, issue #2 is out and is already available. Writer Kirk Kushin had them available at the Winkie Convention.

Kushin writes Ozopolis, and the art is by Gonzalo Martinez. The artwork is presented in black and white, but each issue has a painted cover by Sylwia Smerl.

Newcomers to Ozopolis might be taken aback by the covers, actually. Oz looks like Oz, but Dorothy's wearing Converse. And a few other things John R. Neill never tried.

Worry not. There are completely in character reasons for this. Inside issue #1, you open to find the Wizard and the Woozy, in classic Neill design, putting on a performance for the people of the Emerald City. Writer Kirk Kushin explained that Ozma and Dorothy, still being young, would update their wardrobes, at least, in his take on Oz. The Wizard and Glinda, being set in their ways, would not.

Technological advances have entered Kushin's Oz, but it has not changed the characters at all. Dorothy isn't going to play Farmville rather than go on an adventure. (Although, Kushin's Oz didn't show any computers, so that's a bit much to say, but you get the idea.)

So, as issue #1 begins, the Field Mice seek Ozma's help. They have been continually attacked by "Phantom Wildcats" despite efforts to foil them. Ozma sends Tik-Tok, the Sawhorse, and the Glass Cat to help the field mice. It's up to our three old Oz friends to find out who's behind the Phantom Wildcats and put a stop to it.

Issue #2 introduces more of our favorite Oz characters, Trot, Cap'n Bill, Scraps, and the Scarecrow, all with new Ozopolis designs and costumes. Dorothy's old house is being made a museum, so it's being fixed up. However, when a tornado whips up around it, can anyone save Dorothy from this impending disaster? Also, Trot spots what seems to be a witch!

Each issue contains a self-contained story, but it forms part of a larger story arc that has yet to be completed. Frankly, I look forward to it continuing and building up over time.

Ozopolis has remained true to the spirit of Baum's Oz with brand new adventures and a contemporary redesign. This is a great way to do new Oz stories as comics! I really hope we get many more issues and the series picks up!

Visit the official site.
Buy issues 1 and 2
Join Ozopolis on Facebook

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I quite liked the first volume, so I guess I'll have to pick up the second one soon. I also have to say if there are any more volumes of the Oz-Wonderland Chronicles, although that one is a bit confusing with the spin-offs and such.