Which Oz?

Okay, so I’ve been re-reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, after reading Oz Reimagined.  And I realized something.  I never read the original.  I only know the movie version ending!  That is a crime!  The real ending is sooooo different, it sends such a different message to kids.  Aunt Em doesn’t question Dorothy’s adventure or tell her she must have been dreaming, she just hugs her and tells her she’s so glad she’s home.  There’s so little respect for the Dorothy of the movie version, really for children in general.  It’s all in her head!  It never really happened.  She’s just such a flibbertigibbet! Good God, if I had read the correct version, that could have shaved years off of my therapy bills! Years, people. Thanks, Hollywood.  You suck.

wizard of oz shanary cover

On the bright side, I really enjoyed Marvel’s new (2014) graphic novel version of the first Oz book.  It’s very faithful to the text, which I was reading alongside to make sure.  Eric Shanower is the artist, and I love his drawing style.  In the back there are several pages from his sketchbook showing the evolution of the characters, and you can see just how perfect they are in their final form, especially with the Lion, who looked too fierce at first, too much like a lion at the zoo.  His finally round face (see cover above) makes him kinda cute, and more convincingly cowardly when necessary.

I also liked the color palette, which felt bright but not too bright, very earthy colors, which feels Midwestern to me.  Then when we get to Oz, it’s a really rich, deep green.

At first, when I saw it was a Marvel book, I thought Oh, no, but it has nothing to do with superheroes or tights or cleavage.  And it’s officially kid-approved, as my 7-year-old daughter loved it.

Looking up Shanower, I see that he has a several-volume set of graphic novels on the history of the Trojan War, called Age of Bronze.  Blip, just reserved it from the library.

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