Monday, May 21, 2012

Another Bucketheadfull of Books!

Buckethead Enterprises launched in 1986, and one of the first titles was Toto in Oz by publisher Chris Dulabone. Of course now, Buckethead is Tails of the Cowardly Lion and Friends, and right now I'll look at three books published while they were still "Buckethead Enterprises." Except my copy of Toto in Oz is the 20th anniversary edition, released under the TOTCLAF imprint.

Toto in Oz—one of Dulabone's first Oz books—finds Toto unhappy with how people treat dogs and talk about them, so he sets off to give dogs a better name as he becomes magistrate of the little country of Arfrica. Soon, the Wizard, Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodman and the Sawhorse go looking for Toto, when they are suddenly placed under an enchantment.

This was definitely a strong start for Dulabone and I'm surprised at how well it flows. Also, Dulabone did quite admirably with the illustrations.

Mr. Flint in Oz by Ray Powell was a follow-up to The Raggedys in Oz, but as both books were published posthumously, this was published first. Hardas Flint (a man made of quartz) goes looking for his father Steely with the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow in tow. After some annoyances, they soon discover this adventure is bigger than any of them imagined.

While it was a fun, fine story, again Powell is a bit too heavy handed with his imagined mythology, making other Oz stories a little difficult to fit in. Long exposition scenes drag on for a little too long.

The book was illustrated by students in a Japanese school. Some of the pictures are excellent, some are passable, and a few are downright silly. Overall, it's rather pleasing, and some of the best artwork is the most prominent.

The Green Goblins of Oz by Chris Dulabone and Marin Xiques seems to pick up from Ryan Gannaway's A Clock Strikes in Oz (which I haven't read). Overall, the book tells about two goblins (friends of the narrator, a goblin himself), who leave the land of the goblins and head to Oz. Although they've heard of some of the people of Oz, no classic Oz characters appear, except a brief appearance by Polychrome.

The book, on its own, is a little unsatisfying as it cuts off right after the two goblins (Yawner and Dumper) get to Oz. This makes sense from the narrator's perspective, but for the reader, it's a little disappointing as we don't get a payoff.

However, I know now their story is picked up The Land Before Oz, so if you get that one, get this one, too. I'm reading The Land Before Oz right now, so I'll be writing about it soon.

The artwork isn't the greatest artwork ever, but it fits the funny nature of this oddball Oz book very well!

1 comment:

Nathan said...

My main problems with Mister Flint were the idea that the Wizard was involved in Ozma's mother's disappearance and the blatant anti-hippie sentiment. I did quite enjoy Toto, though.