Monday, May 11, 2015

Bucketheads in Oz

Bucketheads in Oz has been a long-time project for Chris Dulabone. As one may gather from the title (if they know a little about Dulabone), it started when Dulabone was still issuing books under Buckethead Enterprises of Oz, but as it was, it came out under the Tails of the Cowardly Lion and Friends imprint.

One might expect the book to be a real mess since it's written not only by Dulabone, but also by Greg Gick, Melody Grandy, Greg Hunter, Phyllis Ann Karr, Chuck Sabatos, Deen Shumate, and Jim Vander Noot. (Shawn Maldonado took the job of illustrating the book.) The book largely tells a nice, cohesive story that only gets a little muddled in switching between plot lines between chapters. (My advice is alternate chapter by chapter.) Early on, there's a little bit of "Cliffhanger for the next writer to figure out!" but that quickly disappears.

The book is a classic travel, multi-plot thread Oz story. Most of the characters are original. Two of them—Kericot the Considerate Kalidah and Terrence Oldshell the Tortise—had previously appeared in Oziana and other books Dulabone published. However, since Kericot's introduction story is found in this book as a chapter, it appears she was created for this book, and the chapter published as a standalone short story in Oziana when the book was delayed.

The book finds several characters heading to get help from Zim Greenleaf, the Wizard of Munchkinland. There's a woman trapped in a ring they found, a strange river serpent that claims to be Professor Nowitall, transformed by Mombi, the Bubble Bird needs to be restored, Tekouri the troll accidentally resurrected Mombi, and on the journey... he ate a little girl...

The story is kind of slow-moving until the travelers meet Zim, who sends them to the Emerald City, where things really pick up! Unfortunately, then the book is over in just a few chapters...

This isn't a book for a newcomer to Dulabone's take on Oz. This is more of a celebration of about 25 years of wacky, humorous additions to the Oz mythos by fans who love it but aren't too serious about it.

You can order your copy here.

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