Monday, April 30, 2007

"Returning to Oz" 21 released + more

I got a call from Aaron Pacentine today. "Returning to Oz" episode 21 has been released. If you haven't been paying attention, I'm on this episode, but so are a lot of other folks! It's over an hour long (64 minutes), and it's divided into eight parts. I'm listening to it right now, so I'll probably won't be able to post up a review until tomorrow. (I have a job now.)

A new change is that Aaron is now using ZShare to host the files. As a webmaster, I understand why someone would do that: eventually your own website begins to run out of space, and you have a lot more content you want to share. This means that downloading it will not be quite as easy as the previous episodes. So don't right-click to save the files. Click on the link, and here you can listen to the part of the show, or you can click on "Download This File" link, and follow it again. Note: Internet Explorer 7 will block the download, but you can right-click the "Click here is the download doesn't work" link and save from there. (Technical support!)

Another bit of news from Aaron is that there will be a new Oz Panel CD soon, this time completely focusing on Disney's Return to Oz, and someone who was involved with the production will be there to give input. Aaron has asked that I not reveal who, so that should keep you watching for updates. This will be the third Oz Panel CD. While it remains to be seen if this will be the best panel CD yet, Aaron assures me that it will be better than the second CD featuring Aaron, Celia Foster, and Zach Allen.

So, go ahead and download this episode! Put it on your iPod, or your mp3 player, or burn it to CD, or just listen on your computer.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

There's Good News

There's one bad thing about home Internet access: eventually, it gets dull. Like today, I've probably checked the IWOC message board 20 times. (Nothing new since yesterday, except for a bit of spam a moderator deleted... good work!)

Not too long ago, I got an e-mail from Hungry Tiger Press, which was really nothing special, I'm just on their mailing list, mentioning new titles that will be printed soon: The Wonderland of Oz adaptations of The Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz, and the next installment in the Pawprint Series: The Flying Girl & Her Chum, the second and last of the Flying Girl books. (I'm kind of glad they're printing the last one first, I've already read the first one.)

However, Eric Gjovaag mentioned on his blog that he spoke to David Maxine, who runs HTP, and said that he got a scoop on new releases and that Oz fans should save their pennies.

Looking at Eric's bookshop page, I discovered this list of upcoming Hungry Tiger Press books:

  • John Dough and the Cherub by L. Frank Baum
  • King Kojo by Ruth Plumly Thompson
  • Sam Steele's Adventures: The Amazing Bubble Car by L. Frank Baum
  • The Flying Girl by L. Frank Baum
  • The Flying Girl and her Chum by L. Frank Baum
  • Phoebe Daring by L. Frank Baum

I'll be looking forward to the Baum books. As for Thompson, I'm just finally getting into her Oz books, so I'll have to wait on that one.

Another page I keep checking on? Aaron Pacentine's "Returning to Oz." Episode 21 should be released soon, and I'm looking forward to hearing it for the parts that I appear on, and (especially) the parts I didn't appear on.

Oh, and I set up a MySpace profile for Dorothy and Ozma Productions last night. I'll approve friend requests from all Oz fans. I've also sent out 17 friend requests, so some of you may have one. Here's the URL:

(Now to get some links in this thing.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What Came In The Mail Today

Today, I got a copy of "The Oz Scrapbook" by David L. Greene and Dick Martin. It's not the first time I've held this book, as my library has a copy I've checked out a couple of times. However, this copy is a lot nicer, as it had the dust jacket, and all of the pages are here, though some are torn. (Yeah, you wouldn't think the library would keep damaged books in circulation.)

The book is not of much interest to a fan of the MGM movie, as it speaks very little of it. In fact, there are only two pictures for it: Judy Garland with Maud Baum and a first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and a publicity photo of Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Terry (Toto), Judy Garland, Frank Morgan and Ray Bolger in their Oz costumes in front of a giant-size edition of The Wizard of Oz featuring a painting of the film stars on the front cover. (There were at least two publicity photos of the cast with this book, one had them arm in arm, except Terry, standing in front of the book. The other had them with the book open, and looking as if they were about to walk inside. The picture in The Oz Scrapbook is the former.) Nor will this book especially appeal to casual fans of the books. No, this book is best suited for collectors and people who are interested in Oz history as it developed through the years.

Some of the information is dated: it states that only Baum's original 14 novels are in print. This was true... in 1977 when this book was published. Today, all of the Famous 40 are in print, except for some of Ruth Plumly Thompson's books. It also states that the only other Oz stories outside of the 40 were Thompson's books printed by the International Wizard of Oz Club (I love those people!), and the club's magazine Oziana. Apparently from this, we get the little-realized idea that the creation of original Oz books by fans began in last 30 years. (I would be interested in discovering what the very first one was.)

The book is divided into seven sections:
  1. The Man Who Discovered Oz, all about L. Frank Baum and how his wonderful creation began.
  2. Later Explorers of Oz, about the later Royal Historians from Thompson to the McGraws.
  3. The Iconography of Oz, about illustrators and illustrations in Oz books throughout the years.
  4. Oz on Stage and Screen, pretty obvious, but the last item mentioned is the play The Wiz. (The movie was likely in pre-production by the time this book went to press.)
  5. Ozian Artifacts, about Oz merchandise, from items for the original stage production of The Wizard of Oz in 1902 and 1903 (I would explain why two dates are given, but I'd reccomend you research this yourself. I might mention it in a later blog, if I ever get a good reason.) to items for the Off to See the Wizard television series to Aurora Plastic's "Oz-kins" (anybody have any pics?) to stained-glass windows. The last item mentioned is the first pair of Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland to be auctioned for $15,000 in 1970.
  • The Oz Canon actually covers the whole bibliography for the book, from the Famous 40, to the additional Oz books of Baum (note Jean Kellogg's The Visitors from Oz), Denslow, Neill, Thompson, Jack Snow, and Frank Joslyn Baum; to other "factual" books about the Oz creators and the Land itself.
  • Last of all is a page of Acknowledgements.

One of the big reasons I wanted this book was because of it's pictures of the "What Did the Woggle-Bug Say?" buttons. I was delighted to find both versions on the dustjacket. (I would love to someday own these. I also wish someone could make reproductions.) There is also bits of rarely seen Oz/Oz-related artwork by Oz artists, such as the rarely seen dustjacket for Father Goose: His Book (when will someone do a good reprint?) and promotional art for Fairylogue and Radio-Plays.

A great addition to my Oz collection. If it's a good one for you (unless you already know), I hope this entry has made you consider it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I want to apologize if my last two posts were "un-Ozzy." I'm still living in the real world, and sometimes it gets you down, and I've unwisely let it get into my online Oz life. (I made a harsh comment on Eric Gjovaag's blog about people not using their brains, like I wasn't at the time, and Eric used his and removed it, for one.)

SO... I'm just apologizing, and hopefully things will get brighter soon.

I'm also currently reading Kabumpo in Oz, and so far, it's pretty good! I might actually become fond of some of Thompson's Oz works.

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Step Towards Dominating The Internet


Okay, I'm having a bit of fun here, but it turns out that if you search "Jared Davis" and "Oz" on Google, I'm on most of the results on the first page!

How many people out there are named Jared Davis? There's one who lives in Omaha (the hometown of Oscar Diggs), the search uncovered some styrofoam sculptures of Oz characters because the blog mainly looked at work by an artist with my name, there's a glass blower, and I'm none of these people. (Let's look to the local phone book for how many are listed there... zero... not even me, because, at the time, I just had a cell phone.)

Friday, April 20, 2007


Okay, so maybe the Internet Movie Database can keep lots of up-to-date information better than the volunteers for The International Wizard of Oz Club, but that's not what I'm talking about here... it's the message boards!

The Moderators at the IWOC forums are just volunteers, but they do their job and keep everything under control. Posting there is almost comparable to living in Oz... it's pretty peaceful!

MEANWHILE over on the more violent side of the Internet, the message boards for every single movie are abuzz and the top threads (which change every 10 minutes) get updated every 10 seconds! And people there are mean! I tried posting over there, and at one point I made a joke, nothing personal to anyone, just about a character in a movie that's coming out, and some says, "you're a jerk."

No one has a sense of humor anymore, because, when I replied that it was just a joke, I was met with, "you have no life outside of this message board."

You know what? These people don't know me, they don't know about the 30+ teens I work with twice a week, they don't know about all the websites I've done (often uncredited) things for, and they don't know (or wouldn't care) that I'm in-between jobs! People these days are so quick to judge! Like when I did go around looking for jobs, I stopped in at a hotel that had a sign saying "Help Wanted" out front. I went in, asked about it, and the receptionist looked me over and says, "No." (And if you're hiring, and in the 417 area, I'm available!)

So, I've stopped posting at the IMDB boards.

It's times like this when I wish Oz was real and that I lived there!

ON A SEMI-RELATED and less rant-like (sorry) topic, I recently posted a "Re-Imagining of Oz" idea on the IWOC boards. Upon reading it, that fellow who posts as "pumpkinhead" noted how violent it was, and that he couldn't believe I wrote it. Just another, but more enjoyable, example of how much people don't know me...

AND ON THE IWOC VIDEO: the music I've decided on is "The Return To Oz Ragtime March." (You know, they music that plays during the triumphant parade scene in Disney's Return to Oz.) Now to find clips.

And yep, because of the above, I do feel nicer towards the Club now...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Give Me Your Input! Please!

As some of the Oz community knows, 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of The International Wizard of Oz Club. Remembering my video I put together last year for L. Frank Baum's 150th birthday, I thought maybe another video, dedicated to the Club, may be a good idea...

SO... does anyone have any suggestions for what Oz/Oz-related song to use? If you name it, I probably have it, and if I don't, I can probably hunt it down.

Also, which video clips should I use? Here's a list of my Oz/Baum DVDs (some home-made, that will answer some questions) to let you know what I have to choose from...
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)
  • The Oz Film Manufacturing Company's movies (1914)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1925)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1933)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • The Rainbow Road to Oz preview (1956)
  • The Shirley Temple Show: The Land of Oz
  • Six episodes from "Tales of the Wizard of Oz"
  • Return to Oz (1964)
  • The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969)
  • Journey Back to Oz
  • The Turkish Wizard of Oz
  • The Wiz (1978)
  • Dorothy in the Land of Oz (1980)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Anime, seems to be 1990's)
  • CTC The Marvelous Land of Oz (1981)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Lorne Green & Aileen Quinn, 1982)
  • The Tramps & the Wizard of Oroz (1984, Brazil)
  • Return to Oz (1985)
  • The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1985)
  • Cinar's Oz Movie Series (1987)
  • Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz (1987)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Goodtimes Animated, 1990)
  • The Dreamer of Oz (Bootleg)
  • DIC's "Wizard of Oz" Series, most of it (1991)
  • The Wizard of the Emerald City (1994)
  • The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz (1995)
  • The Oz Kids Series (1996-97)
  • Adventures in the Emerald City: The Silver Shoes (1999, Animated, Russian)
  • Adventures in the Emerald City: Princess Ozma (2000, Animated, Russian)
  • Lion of Oz (2000)
  • Lost in Oz (Unaired Pilot, 2002)
  • Clips from Wicked (2003)
  • The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005)
  • The Patchwork Girl of Oz (2005, 3D animation)

So, with these 34 titles (and that has several series counted as 1 title each), we should be able to make something... and let's not forget the 3D animation software I use...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Returning to Oz - 19th episode

Last night I discovered that the 19th episode of Aaron Pacentine's "Returning to Oz" has been released onto the Internet. Aaron usually sends an e-mail and posts this at the International Wizard of Oz Club's message board, but none this time.

In this episode, Aaron, Aaron Schultz, Jason Cottle and Travis Black talk about the Oz books, a few movies, a bit of how they'd like to see a new film version of Oz, the Annotated Wizard of Oz by Micheal Patrick Hearn (though they couldn't remember his name), and noting that, based on the press kits, Disney's Return to Oz seems to have been more honestly advertised in the United Kingdom than in the United States. (Here in the U.S., it was advertised as a fun family fantasy film.) Also, Aaron Pacentine interviews Joshua Dudley, who wrote the book Lost in Oz. Aside from talking about the books and comics, Joshua also talks about his Oz collection.

Once again, the episode can be dowloaded at

In another week or so, episode 21 (the 20th episode was released early) will be released. This will be the episode where I will appear. I hope many of you silent blog readers will listen to this and the other episodes. I'm looking forward to it myself, not because I'm on it (though I do want to hear how I sound so I can improve in later episodes), but because there will also be a large portion I'm not on.

And if anyone's wondering, yes, I did agree to review the episodes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Oz Drawings

Today I scanned in some of my latest Oz doodlings...
Dorothy had to re-pencilled because the original lines were too light and thin.

Toto... (I think I draw him very well!)
When I draw him, I start with the nose, then the muzzle, then the eyes. Next comes the head, then the rest of the body follows.

And the Tin Woodman keeping it up gangsta on the West Side! (This took LOTS of studying my own hand...)
Note the lack of detail on his fingers: I tried putting in joints, but then it didn't look like he had his fingers crossed, so I erased and drew again.

Do you like these pictures? Want to see more?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Oz April Fool's Joke

In the early wee hours of April 1st, 2007, I made a post on the International Wizard of Oz Club's message board in "Oz Announcements."

I was using a fake, unregistered screen name "DreamWorks." The topic was "Oz Screenplay Optioned." (Click on the name to see the thread, because it's not going to be reproduced here!)

The post was a collaborative effort between myself and Sam Antony Milazzo, an Oz fan who lives in Maroubra, Australia.

I sent Sam an e-mail with it, and he sent me an e-mail with his editing and additions. I edited it together seamlessly.

The only true parts of our post were about how we wanted to write and adapt the Oz stories as movies. As of yet, we have not edited together a script, so of course, it has not been optioned by DreamWorks.

In fact, in my original version, it was not DreamWorks, but 20th Century Fox. Sam had the better idea of bringing in Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks. I edited my original ending (saying that the company who had optioned the script was considering it as a franchise in the footsteps of "Narnia," "Lord of the Rings," and "Harry Potter") to say it would follow up the Shrek series, with the (so far unproven) idea that the forthcoming "Shrek the Third" may be the last film in that series. So, I guess that may have been a double-whammy joke, along with contacting Willard Carroll, Tom Hanks vs. Robin Williams, and asking Eric Shanower and William Stout for their participation in the way of conceptual artwork. (Eric has said probably not, but Stout may be up for it.)

The joke was minimally recieved. I think the fellow who posts as "MB" got that it was a joke, as he said the film's release date would be 4/1/09. "Lalalei" said they hoped it was a joke. Eric Gjovaag, on the other hand, may or may not have gotten that it was a joke, as he said he would not believe an Oz film was in the works until he saw some official production photos, and that a script option doesn't guarantee the movie will be made.

I have a feeling that several people saw it, but also checked out the link at the end, and after reading that page, chose to remain silent.

One person who was not fooled was Aaron Pacentine. I let him know over the phone during my interview (we weren't recording) that it was a hoax so he would not ask questions. He thought it was hilarious, but hopes that the screenplay will be optioned and given the green light.

A couple days later, I posted under my usual screen name and admitted that it was a joke.

It was fun to come up with, though.

Monday, April 02, 2007

April 1st

Yesterday was April Fool's Day. How many jokes did I play? 1. Number played on me? 0.

Eric Gjovaag pulled another April Fools joke. Last year, he wrote up a story about the discovery of L. Frank Baum's King Rinkitink, the original version of Rinkitink in Oz, which sadly seems to no longer exsist.

I, however, had a very special interview yesterday: I'll be appearing on Aaron Pacentine's "Returning to Oz" (see previous blog entry) on the 21st episode. Aaron tells me it will be a couple of weeks before the show is up.

Among the topics we talked about were my own Oz website, the two most popular Oz movies of all time (1939 and Return), and some foreign Oz films.

Aaron and I also hope to have me appear in future episodes.

All in all, the interview was fun.