Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Maybe the Miffin

I finally got to read this Oz story. It's a short story that's been published in booklet form, and only in very limited editions.

The copy I have is one of a kind and is from the new fourth edition with a very limited run of four copies. It's one of a kind because the color of the cover and spine are different on each copy. It was handbound by Marcus Mebes of Pumpernickel Pickle, and he is offering the remaining two copies for sale ($25 each) or trade. You can contact him at

The binding is very sturdy and should make a nice little collector's item.

Phyllis Ann Karr is the author of The Gardener's Boy of Oz and thirteen other books and many short stories. Maybe The Miffin was written for a proposed anthology of stories about griffins, and since Phyllis was an Oz fan, it was suggested she write about Snif the Iffin, the Griffin without his "Grr." Supposedly, they would have worked with the rights to the Thompson books, since Snif first appeared in the still-under-copyright book Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz. The anthology never materialized, and I assume having a great little Oz story was too much for Phyllis, so the story was printed in small runs and quietly released to allow people to just read the story, not to make money from it.

Thus, the cost of this fourth edition is mainly repaying Marcus for the hard work of hand-binding the book. (And take my word for it, it is hard work.)

The story finds Snif learning of the Miffin, a creature like himself, the only other type of Griffin in Oz. He decides to find her so he won't be lonely anymore. Along the way, he's joined by Kericot the Considerate Kalidah and Terrence Oldshell the Turtle. (Also creations of Miss Karr.)

Meanwhile, the Miffin herself has been traveling Oz, acquiring a stepladder she re-purposes as a bookcase and saving some doll people from destruction. But will the griffins ever find each other?

It's an enjoyable little story and quite worthwhile. It also proposes a solution to a problem anyone who's read a number of Oz books has noted: why are there so many little kingdoms and countries in Oz when it appears to be on a relatively small continent? The answer is that there is a magic affecting the surface area of all these "subkingdoms." They are literally bigger on the inside.

Who knows when Maybe the Miffin might be able to get a wider release? Don't miss a chance to get this wonderful little Oz story!

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