the 2013 issue of Oziana is finally available from Lulu.com! And this is one lovely issue!
The theme of the issue is "Traditional Oz," meaning that these stories are meant to fit with the Oz you know from the tales of Baum, Thompson and the rest. Not that the imagination of the writers and artists felt trapped!
First up is "Foiled by the Iffin" by Phyllis Ann Karr, illustrated by Dennis Anfuso. The Computer Wizard is back with another scheme to cause trouble in Oz! How far will he go in his plan and when will our friends in Oz catch onto it?
Next is "The Harvest Ball" by Gina Wickwar, illustrated by Luciano Vecchio and Marcus Mebes. When the Scarecrow has a Harvest Ball, he has an idea to amuse everyone! It'll just require a little help from Glinda. But she's away... Will an overly helpful maid at Glinda's palace help the Scarecrow or make things go horribly wrong?
Then, to fit the time this issue finally came out, "Jinnicky Saves Christmas" by Nathan DeHoff, illustrated by Shawn Maldonado. One chilly Christmas Eve, Jinnicky helps to foil yet another plot to kidnap Santa Claus!
And in "The Love Bug of Oz" by newcomer Ed McCray, Mombi and Ruggedo raid the Wicked Witch of the West's old palace to see what they can find. What they do find is a lot of trouble for our friends in the Emerald City!
Next up is "The Way of a Lion" by Jared Davis (yours truly), illustrated by Sam Milazzo. Well, this story won the International Wizard of Oz Club's first place for fiction this year at the Winkie Convention Research Table. It is my own backstory for the Cowardly Lion, explaining why he believes he is a coward. Look carefully and you'll see a few things from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz explained, and maybe a couple cameos.
I wrote the story with the intent that the reader could read it and then begin re-reading Baum's Wizard and my story would complement the Lion's story in the original classic. Aside from mentions of Lurline, I decided to focus mainly on what we knew about Oz from the first book.
And Sam's pictures for the story are gorgeous. I'd asked him to illustrate almost as soon as I began writing the story, since I knew he enjoyed drawing lions. He showed me sketches at the 2012 Winkie Convention and then near finished pictures at this year's convention. He didn't always draw exactly what I'd written, but I didn't mind. It looked very cool. I suggested I alter the text to match the pictures, he told me not to. In the end, I'm very pleased with the finished version you can see in Oziana.
(Yes, I did just give three paragraphs to my story when I only gave everyone else a blurb. I wasn't in their creative process.)
Finally is "Witches of the West" by newcomer Darrell Spradlyn and Marcus Mebes. Set to tell more about Gloma, Thompson's Good Witch of the West, the story tells of days before the Wicked Witch of the West was destroyed, and not only reveals more about Gloma, but the Wicked Witch and Mombi, including a little bit of witch lore yours truly suggested to the writers. (It will be used again in an upcoming story.)
Art by Luciano Vecchio graces the front cover, while an excellent portrait of Gloma by Alejandro Garcia.
And Oziana is only $10 at Lulu. Everyone turned out some amazing work for this issue! If you ask me, that's well worth the price!