Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oziana 2004; Return to Nomes

Recently I just read a small selection of Ozianas I got from Marcus and among them was the above year issue with the mentioned story "Evrob and the Nomes", which I should like to review here.

Written by J. L. Bell and using illustrations "adapted from John R Neill", this story takes place after "the Emerald City of Oz" and involves of the Royal Family of Ev at the beach, one of the members in particular: young prince Evrob. He likes to dig and he does a good job at it, but, being part of a big family, his sisters and brothers doesn't let him have all the fun he wants in terms of using the pale and spade. Getting cross with his family (and Nanny Wheeler) he says how he'll go live with the Nomes which upsets his family and gets himself into a small bit of trouble. Being escorted back to the palace by Nanny Wheeler, Evrob instead walks away to a rocky area and eventually meets a big round Nome named Purfin. In time the two get along and being taken to the Chief Steward/Chamberlain Kaliko who is taking care of business for the absent-minded Nome King Roquat - or is it Ruggedo? Evrob just wants to dig . . . and here he is allowed to do that to his heart's content.
Dorothy is with Glinda and (vaguely) reads about Evrob being with the Nomes in her Great Book of Records and wants to help out, but Glinda tells her not to be too concerned about affairs in other countries (reading teh story sounds better than reading it here in my review). Regardless, Dorothy takes the Magic Belt and appears in the Underground Kingdom to "rescue" the Prince with the Belt's magic to defend herself and fight the Nomes, when Evrob's brothers come in and convince him to come back. Evrob agrees to go home, but also hopes to come back and dig some more soon. Before leaving, Dorothy speaks a firm word with the King.

I did enjoy the story but I had a few problems with the story. Nothing too drastic or major, but it may just be the way I felt about some things.

While I may not have as many siblings as Evrob does, I did get annoyed along with Evrob as his sisters and baby brother wouldn't let Evrob have his fun digging with the equipment he needed and the anxious pickiness of Nanny Wheeler. I was surprised when King Evardo was described as folding his arms "over his chest so his biceps looked bigger" - likewise it is unusual for other fairylands outside of Oz to be given bathing suits with "shoulder straps" that appears to be modern such as done with Oz nowadays.

I liked Evrob's time with the Nomes, especially Purfin, best and how Kaliko reacted when seeing the young prince of Ev makes him worry of dealing with Ozma and running about with orders to the Nomes.

Dorothy, here, I wasn't as happy with. I thought that her taking action was reckless and careless and done through not finding out the whole situation properly, disregarding Glinda's best advice.

And of course it reuses and "adapts" John R Neill's illustrations (except for the NEW one of Evrob in his beach clothes), which are from "Ozma" and "Tik-Tok" (not quite sure where the Nome King picture comes from, however). Like I said this story is set after "EMERALD CITY" but using a picture of Dorothy from "Ozma" and adding in the Magic belt (and changing an arm - adapting), it kept making me think it was more After "OZMA" than later.

I will probably enjoy the story more if I read again (and fix up any errors typed here). A Very GOOD short Oz story that involves the Family of Ev, no longer a group of victims as first introduced but a normal, royal yet regular, somewhat dysfunctional family in a Fairyland; a Story that also shows how the name change from Roquat to Ruggedo came about and, as pointed out, the possible 'promotion' from Chamberlain to Chief Steward (or vice versa) for Kaliko.

Again, a GOOD Oz Story that clarifies some name changes and shows the pains of a royal family but also a Dorothy who seems impatient and too eager to resolve a problem that wasn't really hers to be concerned about (I am sure had she not appeared, Evardo would have eventually managed to convince his brother to come home anyway). Hopefully another read will make me less irritated by these little things, and get used to the illustrations and costume descriptions . . .

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

The image of Evrob started with a drawing Neill made of Chick the Cherub to promote John Dough, with a new body drawn in. The picture of the Nome King came from Rinkitink, where the king is called Kaliko (but I think he’s really Ruggedo). Hope the story grows on you!