The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tornadoes in Space...

"Dorothy's tornado was nothing compared to the giant swirls of plasma that storm in outer space."

That was the first line from a most unusual article I read yesterday on regarding the interaction of the Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind.

"Space tornadoes are funnels of hot charged particles around the Earth that flow at more than a million mph (1.6 million kph). As the ions circle, they produce strong electrical currents that help create the gorgeous light show known as the aurora. The tornadoes then channel this current of flowing electric charge along twisted magnetic field lines into Earth's ionosphere to spark bright and colorful auroras," according to the article's author, Clara Moskowitz.

It seems that NASA has come up with a group of 5 spacecraft called THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms) and launched them in February of 2007 to study these phenomenom.
Don't you love how NASA comes up with these strange anacronyms?
Although, it's no stranger then the TAU project, which stands for Thousand Astronomical Units and was designed to study the comets of the Kuiper Belt, where most comets live out beyond the PLANET Pluto.
MAGICIAN OF OZ was involved in that program back in the 80-90's when it morphed into the Pluto-Kuiper Express, then the Pluto Fast Fly-by, only to become the New Horizons spacecraft which now finds itself about halfway to Pluto, scheduled for a flyby in 2015.

It's interesting how the author used the Wizard of Oz tornado analogy to illustrate her opening point.

MAGICIAN OF OZ doesn't recall ever seeing Aurora Borealis, even the Aurora Australealis (that's the southern version of the northern lights) during his time in Oz. I wonder if the Land of Oz does experience these wonderful light shows of Nature. Seems like a question I'll have to ask Princess Ozma next time I find myself in the Land of Oz.

Meanwhile, I got to looking through my photographs and found a most pleasant example of these Space Tornados.

As beautiful sight as this is, it cannot compare to the loveliness of The Emerald City at night with its green glow visible nearly across all of Oz. The occasional meteor flashing by on its way to the Outside still brings back fond memories of the tall spires of green and silver that dotted the skyline of The Emerald City. The Fountain of Oblivion reflecting the stars above Oz appears as clear to me now as the first time I looked down into it that night not so long ago when Princess Ozma first described to me my new mission on her behalf.
The children of the world still await as her newest tale of adventure and courage makes its way through the process of publication.
Soon, Princess Ozma... Soon!

Long Live Oz!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another day, another Oz...

Once again, I found myself perusing the shelves of our local Goodwill, looking for stuff. I love finding stuff and our local Goodwill is always a haven for the wierd and unusual, be it religious icons, rare and unusual books, or great vintage clothing.
So it was that I was flipping through a stack of 33 1/3 LP albums when I ran across a most welcome sight. For those of you who may be a bit young, 33 1/3 LP albums were once called records and used to be the medium of choice for great music and such. Nowadays, no one plays them much anymore. Even my grandkids have no idea what they are. I still play them though and about once a week or so, I pull out my old Beatles albums and remember days of old. I happened to find a great album of harmonica music, which I get a kick out of, and saw a song on it called "Helter Skelter." Turns out it is not the Helter Skelter I thought it was.
Anyway, I ran across a great children's album called "Read n Hear" and includes a book and record. There on the cover were three stories including the 3 Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and.... (drum roll please)... The Wizard of OZ!

Since my scanner is a standard size and the album cover and booklet is a bit larger than what my scanner bed will hold, I'll be posting the images in sets with two (2) per page. For the cover, I'm just posting the Oz part.

I see on the cover that the cover artwork was done by George Peed while no artist credit is given for the interior booklet artwork. I'm fairly certain that the artwork for the other two stories on this album/booklet were done by other artists as the styles are signifigantly different. This album set was produced by Peter Pan Records, New Jersey. No year is given for this, either on the album, booklet or cover/jacket. I would be curious to figure out when it was produced.

As you can see, the four main characters of Oz are represented in a very stylized manner with some very nice vibrant colors. Dorothy seems to be wearing a purple gingham dress and seems a bit older than we are normally used to. She also has blonde hair (see, I used the feminine form), as is depicted in the original story. Otherwise, The Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and The Cowardly Lion are represented well. The Yellow Brick Road looks accurate and the Emerald City is once again shown as a castle with a bit of a purplish tone this time.

As we look inside and pull out the booklet, we come to the front page which features all three stories cover art.

It becomes immediatly apparent that the album cover art and the booklet cover/interior art were done by two different artists. I've seen this effect before and I'm not sure why it occurs. You would think publishers of these things would want continuity of imagery.
Anyway, as we examine the characters, Dorothy now has black hair and Toto appears for the first time. Dorothy's dress is no longer gingham but is now an orange top with a red apron and a blue ankle-length skirt. She also has on a nice pair of shoes which seems out of place for a dirt-poor Kansas farm girl. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are done appropriately and don't seem out of place though. Toto too...

We turn several of the pages to get past the Three Little Pigs story (hmm. roasted pork...) and find the story of The Wizard of Oz ready to go.

I decided to listen to the album and found it to be very well done. It starts out with two very pleasant songs. The story mentions that Dorothy lived with her Aunt Em. No mention of Uncle Henry. The artwork is very nice and the storm is depicted fairly well. As one who teaches Weather & Climate, I did notice that the tornado is referred to as a cyclone, which is technically correct but can be a bit misleading. Cyclones are considered to be any type of weather feature which rotates, be it a mid-latitude cyclonic storm front, dust devil, water spout, tornado or even a hurricane. I do take issue with the amount of lightning shown. During an actual tornado, there is actually very little, if any lightning. Also, the funnel cloud is drawn in vertical lines instead of horizontal hash marks indicating rotation. We see several chickens flying about and it makes me wonder which one is Billina.

In the bottom half of the panel (parts 3 & 4), the storm is still a bit inacurate and Dorothy apparently falls down, unconscious. I always though she fell asleep waiting for the house to come down.

Moving on to page two (parts 5-7), Dorothy is confronted by The Munchkins, who are depicted in a somewhat cherubic manner but it seems to work well within the story art. Another song follows describing The Magnificent Wizard of Oz. Dorothy's shirt now has a more yellowish appearance.

As we complete page two, we see The Yellow Brick Road leading down to introduce us to The Scarecrow and The Tin Woodman. The Scarecrow looks like he's wearing a buttercup flower for a hat. I wonder if the crow he is looking at is Corvus, the Head of The Messenger Crows?
The Tin Woodman is shown sitting down, which again goes contrary to the actual storyline. Another song by The Scarecrow as we head over to page three (parts 8-11).

Here we see a repeat of the cover art as The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman, Dorothy and Toto make their way through The Great Forest along The Yellow Brick Road. The Tin Woodman's song follows and we move on to the next page.

At last, we meet The Cowardly Lion and it seems he's got vision problems. I'm not sure why but the artists chose to give The Cowardly Lion a set of specs. Another song follows by The Cowardly Lion. We see him standing in front of a small patch of flowers but in the storyline, the Field of Poppies are not mentioned. In fact, the story then moves along to their arrival at the Gates of The Emerald City. And who does not even get a mention in this story? Who else... The Queen of the Field Mice and her subjects. Their part in the story is once more ignored for whatever reasons. Why am I not suprised.

Another turn of the page (parts 12-15) and we finally see The Wizard of Oz (great mustache) and the Emerald City. I rather like the look of the Wizard and the Emerald City although I should point out something that struck me as somewhat odd. I noticed that the Munchkin City and the Emerald City had buildings that were nearly identical and had the look of a fallus symbol. I'm wondering if this was a design thing the artist snuck in when no one was looking. I should know since, as Planetarium Educator for SpaceQuest Planetarium, I had an artist who did the same thing and made the aliens in my story resemble female breasts and genetalia. I didn't notice until the show was up and running and there was nothing I could do about it.

Another character that finally shows up is the Wicked Witch of the West. Oddly enough, no mention of the destruction of the Wicked Witch of the East is made in the beginning of the story. Here she, The Wicked Witch of the West is shown with two eyes, which is yet another departure from ther original storyline. She also has Vulcan ears, which seems kinda wierd. The Flying Monkeys make an appearance and they look very good. The Witch's castle also looks very menacing and remote.
Another song by Dorothy appears here and is as nice as the others.

As we finally reach the last page (parts 16-19), we watch as the Wicked Witch is destroyed by Dorothy, leaving only her Silver Shoes, which Dorothy immediately put on. I really like the artwork of the Witch's demise, although again, the storyline is not quite accurate. The spider in the corner is a nice touch. Perhaps one of Charlotte's children?
Another inaccuracy is the Wizard's speech about brains, heart and courage. In the last piece of artwork, Kansas is shown as a bright, colorful land. I suppose with Dorothy's return, everything got better. One final song and the story is finished.

Overall, the content of the recording along with the very nice artwork combine to make for a decent retelling of the story. I'm not sure why some inaccuracies were allowed although I'm certain there were issues with getting the story onto a third of the two-sided album. Having produced 8 planetarium programs, I'm quite familiar with issues of time constraints and hard choices to be made during production.

I'll be posting artwork from another book I found in the coming days but this particular item really demanded my attention and I felt it needed to be put out there for consumption.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Even now...

Moments ago, I heard Rachel Maddow speak of the "secret subtext of the Wizard of Oz" on the television machine.

On a daily basis, I hear, see or read a reference to the Land of Oz. Not a day goes by where somewhere, somehow, Oz is active in the Outside.

Scientia Est Vox!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A gift from Polychrome...

I was out the other day and was blessed to witness a fine gift from Polychrome, the Daughter of the Rainbow.

Hapy Easter!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Joy's of the Children's Digest; Part 4

Finally, we come to the end of MAGICIAN OF OZ's review of this wonderful Children's Digest serialized, 4-part printing of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ and Evelyn Copelman's illustrations.

Before I conclude however, I must pass along an April Fools joke played on me by Princess Ozma. It's just her style and a gentle reminder of who's in control.

I returned to the auction barn I frequent and the very place where these Children's Digest magazines found me. I was consigning a load for the upcoming auction. In today's economy, you makes money where you can. It was the usual stuff and I set up 3 tables full and took them to storage.
Afterwards, I looked about as the monthly First Sunday Antique Auction was displayed for the upcoming sale. You never know what you'll find at the auction. Just then, there before my eyes were 3 stacks of Children's Digest, looking very much like the 3 issues I already possessed.
"Hmmm..." I thought to myself and looked eagerly through the issues looking for the missing February 1954 issue which I so desperately wanted. As I've said previously, I must know if the Queen of the Field Mice and her subjects get their full due attention in the story.
After much searching and using of optics, I found no February 1954 issue of Children's Digest containing Part 2 of the serialized, 4-part printing of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ.
I should have expected it, but I was, to say the least, disappointed. Being April Fools Day, I attribute this to the lovely Ruler of OZ and my boss.

Anyway, on to Part 4 and the completion of the serialized, 4-part printing of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ.

The cover of this issue; April 1954, features The Pied Piper of Hamelin and various other stories. No mention is made of OZ 'till you look at the Table of Contents.

Prior to the conclusion of this story is a great Dr. Seuss story: Thidwick, The Big-Hearted Moose. MAGICIAN OF OZ just loves anything Dr. Seuss. His was such as talented mind. MAGICIAN OF OZ once saw an operatic adaptaion of Green Eggs and Ham at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis's Lily Children's Theatre. It was the most brilliant thing they ever did.

The Part 4 title page gives us an update on the progress of the story to date.

Part 4 starts out with an image in varying hues of red showing O.Z. Diggs, The Wizard of Oz as he heads off into the upper stratosphere in his mighty balloon. The title of the conclusion is: The Secret of the Silver Shoes and Evelyn Copelman conveys Dorothy's sense of aloneness as she is shown standing apart and alone from the citizens of Oz as The Wizard sails off into the unknown.

A turn of the page and we find The Scarecrow with his head in his hands. Perhaps it's a good thing this particular talent of the stuffed man-of-straw wasn't put on screen. I'll wager he would have been a bit less loved and a bit more frightening to children everywhere. Again, we see the Ray Bolger characterization apparent in Ms. Copelman's imagery. Dorothy is shown hard at work sewing together strips of cloth for the balloon. The colors are once more drab and brown. Not sure why but it was noticable.

Another set of pages and we find The Tin Woodsman preparing to do battle with the Fighting trees. Rest assured when I say that this particular battle will come back to haunt him a hundred later. Once again, the brown tones come into play and we see the stylized vision of Nick Chopper envisioned here as opposed to the movie characterization.

Turn the page once more and The Cowardly Lion gets his time on the page and is shown with a lovely crown and smiling face. Green tones reinforce the overall Oz theme and such.

The story continues on with a vision of the Guards of the Gate at Glinda's Castle, all three young girls in uniform and looking rather snappy in their attire. Glinda makes her appearance and kisses Dorothy as she listens to Dorothy's tale of adventure. We now get a sense of Glinda's position in Oz although, given that she rules the southern lands of Quadling Country, I would have expected these illustrations to have been done in red, not blue. Perhaps Evelyn Copelman was not quite versed in the color scheme of Oz?

Finally, we arrive at the conclusion of this wonderful Children's Digest serialized, 4-part printing of The Wonderful Wizard of OZ. Ms. Copelman has chosen to illustrate Dorothy's reunion with Aunt Em in a green theme, giving us a sense that Oz remains even though Dorothy has returned to the Outside. In addition, Aunt Em is shown considerably younger than the movie would have you believe. A more appropriate choice in my opinion.

With this review now finished, I move on to another volume I found at Goodwill. I'm always amazed at where OZ shows up on the Outside.

Until next time...

Ozfully yours:

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma