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.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Toys from the Bag of Oz the Great and Powerful

Now that Oz the Great and Powerful has shown itself to be a success, I expect Disney will roll out as many sequels as will make money for the mouse house!

During the final battle sequence, we see Oscar Diggs (a.k.a: Oz) packing up his satchel with various props and such. I happened to recognize several of the items and was quite pleased to note that I own similar items and can perform outstanding feats of illusion with them.

One in particular was a set of Linking Rings, which I have performed ever since my youth as a charter member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians; Ring 210: Duke Stern chapter out of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Here are my own set of rings and I was pleased to see that, despite a few years of not having used them, I was still able to astound several friends and colleagues with some fundamental passes and effects. 

I was honored to have performed my own Linking Rings routine for Dai Vernon during Magi-Fest in Columbus, Ohio one year back in the early 70's.

He was extremely kind in his praise. He also pointed out, in a very mentorial manner, a fundamental flaw in my performance, showed me how to correct it, then proceeded to teach me a rather unique pass and link that had the rings end up looking like the Olympic Rings symbol.

"You'll only be able to use this one every four years!" he joked. At that time, the Olympics were held (both summer and winter) every 4 years. He then went on to suggest I try my hand at card fanning and scaling (tossing playing cards great distances with accuracy). When an elder magician suggest you try something, you don't say no. Well, I tried my hand at card fanning and scaling and after a couple eyars of practice, I became very adept at it. I even won some close-up competitions with my card routines.

In my 3rd book, Family of Oz, I wrote about Magi-Fest and my card fanning/scaling routine which won me top honors that year. It was nice to find a way to blend my love of magic and the Land of Oz.

I'm currently working on a shrinking card fanning routine that I hope to do at Wizard of Oz festivals. I'm calling it "the Munchkin Card Game."

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Friday, March 15, 2013

Altered Oz: The Mad Hatter's Visit!

The Mad Hatter stood before the immense gates that led into the Emerald City. Beneath his feet were a multitude of yellow bricks, all of whom were well-worn and well-used.

Standing there at attention, fiecely guarding his post, was the Guardian of the Gates.

He is short and round, with a fat face that seems remarkably good-natured. He wears green clothes, a high peaked green hat, and green spectacles. Even his skin is tinted green. Around his neck he wears a heavy gold chain with a number of great golden keys.

For many years while the Wizard of Oz ruled in Emerald City, his duty was to duty to ensure that everyone (including animals and creatures) who entered the city were fitted with green spectacles, ostensibly to protect their eyes from the brightness and glory of the city. The green glasses were locked in place with a key on a chain worn around the Guardian's neck.

Now, with the city having been conquered by General Jinjur and her Army of Revolt, the use the green spectacles was forgotten, but the Guardian continued to keep watch at the gates.

Now, he found himself face-to-face with a most odd and unusual character and certainly one he had never met before.

"Care for some Magic Mushroom cake?" asked the Mad Hatter. In his hand was a piece of multi-colored cake. It appeared that a bite was already missing from the baked goods.

The Guardian of the Gates was quite hungry and saw no reason not to enjoy a small snack after a long day of guarding the gates of Emerald City.

A few minutes later, everything went askew and Oz melted away into a melange of color, sound and madness.

The Guardian was now certain things were not quite right, but at the moment, all of Oz was not as it should be and the Yellow Brick Road was now more like a river of yellow stone. He looked about and saw no sign of the strange man who was there only a moment before.

Several days later, the Guardian of the Gates was found, clinging to his beloved green glasses, fast asleep among the bright red flowers of the Poppy Fields.

Once removed from the deadly fumes, the short, round man with the fat face eventually awoke and soon returned to his duties at the immense gates leading into Emerald City.

He was never quite the same again....

This is my contribution to a most unusal celebration of Oz entitled; Celebrate Oz: Altered Oz and is hosted by a blogsite named: Olde Baggs 'n Stuft Shirts.

The blogger, Oma Linda, has proven to be a most devoted fan of all things Oz. This year, she is taking a skewed perspective on all things Oz and has decided to celbrate her love of Oz in a most altered way.

This is my own altered view of Oz.

As you can see, I ain't quite right either! Such is the life of the Royal Liaison of Oz.

Per Ardua Ad Alta!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and a Fellow Magician's Review!

So, I had the chance to attend a showing of Oz the Great and Powerful yesterday. I had been eagerly awaiting it for months, just like every other Oz fan on Earth!

I'm pleased to report that I found the movie very engaging, very entertaining and very much worth the wait!

Since I don't do spoilers, I'll just talk about my feelings regarding certain aspects of the movie.

To begin with, "it's always best to start at the beginning." Hmmm, I wonder where I've heard that quote before?

The opening credits were very nice and gave a very antique feel to the film. The opening scenes were in box-format and black & white, which was a nice tribute to the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz. The one thing that I'm certain would bother my son Halley was the appearance of an Evil-looking clown that, along with a jilted circus strongman, chases Oscar Diggs and forces him to escape by balloon. Halley has a mortal terror of clowns, though I know not why.

Once airborne, the balloon ends up in a tornado and on to Oz, which was another nice tribute and also follows L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) very closely. As one who teaches Weather & Climate at a rural Illinois community college, I was pleased to see the tornado rotating counter-clockwise, as it should be here in the Northern Hemisphere. The Corriolis Force rules!!!

The Land of Oz turned out to be a beautiful, vibrantly-colored landscape that took my breath away. All three witches were beautiful, Evil and Good and played their roles well. I had no issues with the new Wicked Witch of the West. She may have been ugly in the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz movie, but when she first becomes green and heartless, she's also gorgeous! I guess Time makes ugly fools out of us all...

I found tributes to the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz movie popping up all over the place, which made me a very happy Royal Liaison of Oz!

The music was wonderful, though I've heard others carping on about it. I don't see, or hear, what they're talking about. I found the musical score to be very appropriate.

Finley, the flying monkey bell-hop and China Girl were stunning and perfect companions for Oscar Diggs as he journies towards his destiny. The flying baboons that were commanded by both Evil Wicked Witches were amazing! Far more terrifiying than the one's that captured Dorothy.

I did see a cowardly lion and some scarecrows, but no Tin Woodman, which never really bothered me. Their absence was never a concern as this story takes place before the Scarecrow was constructed, the Tin Woodman fell prey to the enchanted axe and the Cowardly Lion became cowardly, although that may have been him which Oz (Oscar Diggs) scared away in the Dark Forest. Who knows?

I was also pleased to see, and hear, Oscar Diggs recite his entire name (Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs). Few people actually know what his full name was, though if you abbreviate it, out comes out as O.Z.P.I.N.H.E.A.D.. Now there's a name! No wonder he shortened it to Oz.

I loved the technology employed by Oscar Diggs and the Tinkers whom he meets during the movie. Since I have a B.S. in Physics, specializing in Optics, I fell in love with the optical illusions employed by the Wizard of Oz.

There was also a scene near the end where Oscar Diggs is packing up an old satchel of his and I recognized a number of magical effects, most of which I own as well. There were a nice set of Linking Rings, which I used to perform in my youth. Makes me wanna take them out and begin anew practicing my magical arts!

Of course, one of the few differences between myself and virtually every other Wizard of Oz fan is that I am a true magician. My father and I were charter members of I.B.M. Ring 210; Duke Stern chapter; Ann Arbor, Michigan and I have kept the faith for 43 years now. In case you're wondering and haven't read the previous blog posting, I.B.M. stand for the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

At my fathers' funeral in 1992, I performed the Broken Wand Ceremony, as is required by all magicians. I expect my eldest child to do the same for me when I cross the Shifting Sands and join Dad and O.Z. Diggs on stage in Oz.

But for now, Oz the Great and Powerful gives us a new vision of a very special world few of us have ever visited, and magic gains a whole new audience.

I hope that both the International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.), as well as the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.) see a resurgence of new members.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Friday, March 8, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and Magicians!

Today be the day for the Disney film; Oz the Great and Powerful and already, word is coming down from all sides, be they good words or bad words.

In L. Frank Baum's original Oz book; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), the Wizard is described as a humbug magician.

In the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film, he is also called a humbug, though he himself admits that "I'm not a bad man... just a bad wizard." No mention of whether or not he was a true magician.

In the 1978 film; The Wiz, Richard Pryor takes up the role of Wizard, though he is actually a failed politician... Go figure?

Now, in the 1985 Disney film, Return to Oz, no Wizard shows up, though there is one very nasty Nome King.

Finally, when the Muppets did their take on Oz in the 2005 ABC tv movie, The Muppets Wizard of Oz, the Wizard turned out to be tour bus driver with a single trick and a tv show. I liked him... and that hat!

And now, with the new Disney film, Oz the Great and Powerful, we gets a new Wizard and learn how he came to Oz. Turns out he is an actual magician, though he does tricks, which Duke Stern always said... "Tricks are for charlatains and those up to no good." That's why I do effects, sleight-of-hand and illusion, not tricks! My sources tell me he did a fine job though, although I'll find out tomorrow night.

I am curious as to whether or not any of our Wizards were ever members of the International Brotherhood of Magicians? Probably not, though I'm proud to declare that I've been a member for 43 years now. My father and I were charter members of I.B.M. Ring 210; Duke Stern chapter; Ann Arbor, Michigan. We knew many of the great magicians of those days and we attended Magi-Fest, a great gathering of magicians in Columbuis, Ohio all thorughout the 70's, late 80's and early 90's.

When I wrote the Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy (Magician of Oz, Shadow Demon of Oz, Family of Oz), I included two very special magicians and the Magi-Fest in my storylines. They were Duke Stern and Al Goshman.

Albert Goshman
Duke Stern

These two incredible magicians, along with my father, were my mentors of magic. I do believe either of these gentlemen would have made a fine Wizard of Oz! Don't you agree?

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and Tornadoes!

Good news everyone! 1 more day to go and Oz the Great and Powerful will be in our local theater. We already got our tickets, though we will actually be going on Saturday owing to the fact that Amanda (creator of the legendary Potato Soup featured in (Magician of Oz 2009) is otherwise engaged and she wants to go as well.

So I has to wait 24 hours while everyone other Oz fan watches it, then cheers or complains about the film.

Now, if you recall, in the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film, Dorothy is transported to Oz by way of tornado, which rips up her house and deposits it, Dorothy (and her little dog too!) into Oz.

Of course, they end up in Munchkin City, sitting right on top of the Wicked Witch of the East. Not a good day to be a Wicked Witch in Oz, wouldn't you say? I guess she was just another victim of the housing market crash! Groan....


So now, Disney's film, Oz the Great and Powerful also uses a tornado as a means of transport into Oz. I sense a kind of theme here...

Being someone who teaches Weather & Climate at a rural Illinois community college, I'm not sure I'd wanna travel by tornado. Those things will kill you! Especially if you happen to be living in a trailer park. Something about trailer parks attracts tornadoes. Go figure?

Now, another interesting thought for me is whether or not the night sky will be shown during the film. I'm also an astronomer with a new comet to look at tonight (Comet Pann-Starrs; my 85th comet) and I'm reminded of Shadow Demon of Oz 2010 (my 2nd book), which starts out with a large comet that so happens to play a pivotal role in the story.

Oh well, in about 48 hours or so, I'll know, won't I?

Carpe Noctum!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and Snow!

The countdown continues towards the premier of Oz the Great and Powerful and events from today make this particular Oz posting relevant.

In the MGM 1939 Wizard of Oz film, the appearance of snow is transformed into a spell-breaking event, thus saving Dorothy, Toto and the Cowardly Lion from the effects of the poppies.

Glinda; Good Witch of the North makes it snow, thus breaking the spell of the Wicked Witch of the West.

In L. Frank Baum's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), Glinda is the Good Witch of the South, but I suppose that a southern witch wouldn't be likely to conjur up snow, whereas a northern witch could. Go figure?
In actuality, it'the Cowardly Lion that falls asleep.

... and it's the Queen of the Field Mice and Her subjects that save the over-sized feline.

Her Majesty, the Queen of the Field Mice is one of my favorite characters in all of L. Frank Baum's books about Oz.

When I said today's posting was relevant to today's event, it's because I spent 3 hours making what normally is a 90 minute trip from Illinois. The snow, blowing and quite frigid, made anything above 30 mph impossible, especially on the state highways that criss-cross the Land of Licncoln. My shoulder blades are killing me from gripping the wheel so tightly.

I wonder if snow will show up in the new Disney film, Oz the Great and Powerful?

Spring ain't here just yet!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and Balloons!

With only days to go until the premier of Disney's newest movie, Oz the Great and Powerful, the excitement is ramping up exponentially.

Of course, one of the many similarities between this film, the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film and L. Frank Baum's original book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) is the use of balloons as a means of reaching Oz.

In the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film, we see the balloon only at the end when the Wizard inadvertently goes airborne and is unable to control the balloon, thus ensuring that Dorothy must fine another way home to Kansas.

In the new Disney film, Oz the Great and Powerful, the balloon is used to transport the Wizard into Oz in what appears to be a very dramatic fashion.

And in the original book by L. Frank Baum entitled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), in order to help Dorothy and Toto get home, the Wizard realizes that he will have to take them home with him in a new balloon, which he and Dorothy fashion from green silk. Revealing himself to the people of the Emerald City one last time, the Wizard appoints the Scarecrow, by virtue of his brains, to rule in his stead. Dorothy chases Toto after he runs after a kitten in the crowd, and before she can make it back to the balloon, the ropes break, leaving the Wizard to rise and float away alone.

Of course, in later books, the Wizard returns to Oz where is he welcomed by Princess Ozma and allowed to live in Oz forever, serving as Her Royal Magician, although by Royal Decree, only Glinda: Good Witch of the South, Dorothy, now a full-fledged Princess, the Wizard (O.Z. Diggs) and Princess Ozma are permitted to perform magic in Oz.

Now, in my second book, Shadow Demon of Oz (2010), Capn' Bill, a crusty old retired sailor finds himself transporting young Jamie Diggs, the new Royal Magician of Oz and his best friend Buddy, back to Oz to take his rightful place beside Princess Ozma and battle an ancient Evil from the heavens above by means of a passing comet, and save the citizens of Mount Hyup, the highest mountain in Oz, which also happens to tower over Munchkin Country and Munchkin City in particular.

Capn' Bill accomplishes this feat of transport by means of a very special balloon which he launches from the Bridgeton Covered Bridge Festival here in Bridgeton, Indiana.

It would seem that balloon travel is a very popular means of getting to and from Oz. Given the effects of the deadly sands surrounding Oz, it's no wonder a balloon works so well, although in Shadow Demon of Oz, the journey across the Shifting Sands (which border the eastern edge of Oz and Munchkin Country) is quite a hot one indeed!

Here's hoping the Wizard's journey into Oz on Friday is not as difficult... or as hot!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Monday, March 4, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and The Wiz

Now, no lead up to the upcoming premier of Oz the Great and Powerful is possible without mention of The Wiz. Being what it is, it deserves seperate attention and thus a day in the life of Oz.
Made in 1978, it made quite an impression on me. I had spent my earlier years immeresed in Motown music and this film holds a happy memory for me.

1978 was a pivital year in my life, but that's another book. For now, I loved the musical numbers, especially Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow; singing You Can't Win, and doing it well by my account. Kinda prophetic, ain't it?

Another number that always got my attention was near the end with Mabel King as Evillene singing "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News." Excellent in many ways.

Last year, while attending Oz-Stravaganza! 2012 in Chittenango, New York as Invited Author to Author's Alley (I'm a charter member), I also had the honor of meeting and speaking with Andre DeShields, who played The Wiz in the 1975 Broadway musical; The Wiz.

He could best be described as a Force of Nature. A most pleasant man to be around was he. I found his philosophy very agreeable and similar to my own, though his was on a much more grand scale!

And here we have a gathering of Oz emmisaries unlikely to ever be seen together again. From left to right, front to back, we have: Myrna Swensen; Munchkin-by-Marriage (to Clarence Swensen, Soldier in Munchkin Army), Margaret Pellegrini; Original (Flowerpot) Munchkin from 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film, Robert Baum (the tall one); Great Grandson of L. Frank Baum (author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1900), Caren Marsh-Doll (the one in the middle); Stand-In for Dorothy (Judy Garland) in the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film, Andre DeShields; The Wiz in the 1975 The Wiz Broadway musical.

Oz is a glorious place indeed!!!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and the China Country!

By now, we all know that next Friday will be the nationwide premier of Disney's newest movie, Oz the Great and Powerful. Anticipation runs high among the Oz community as we wonder how certain parts of Oz will be portrayed.

China Country is a good example of what I'm speaking of.

In The Wonderful Wiki of Oz, which I have found to be an excellent source of accurate information on Oz, China Country is described as follows:

"The China Country is an enclave hidden in a forest in the Quadling Country of the Land of Oz. It is surrounded by a high wall made of china.

The floor of the China Country is smooth and white like the bottom of a big platter. Many china houses are scattered around, painted in bright colors, the tallest reaching only as high as a little girl's waist. There are also china barns with china fences and little animals made of china. The people are shepherds, shepherdesses, milk-maids, princesses, and clowns all made of china. Everything in the China Country is prone to breaking and, although there is a mender's shop, one is never as pretty after being mended.
The china people move and talk and live freely in their own country, but if they were to leave, their joints would stiffen and they could only stand and look pretty on a mantle shelf or drawing room table."

This description is taken from L. Frank Baum's original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and gives us a view of just how imaginative the Royal Historian of Oz (that's L. Frank Baum's official title) really was. The illustrations are by W.W. Denslow, who only illustrated Baum's first book for reasons that shall remain untold today. It would take a while to explain and I'm just talking about China Country today.

As you can see, Baum and Denslow have a fantastic idea for how China Country citizens look. I'm just glad my son Halley hasn't seen this image. He has a mortal terror of clowns. Why? I haven't a clue...

One of the things that annoy me most about reprints of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is that so much is usually left out, including China Country, the Kalidahs and the Queen of the Field Mice. Of course, in the 1939 MGM The Wizard of Oz film, none of these things are mentioned either, though it is understandbale given the technology of the time.

From the clips and stills from Oz the Great and Powerful, we do see that China Country plays a big role in the film. This pleases many of us Oz folks.

Fortunately, there is another Oz film coming out this year in which the China Country is also a major part of the film.

It is called Dorothy of Oz and is based on a fine Oz book of the same title by Roger Baum, great grandson of the original author, L. Frank Baum. His take on China Country is wonderful and I look forward to the release of this movie as much as I do for Oz the Great and Powerful.

It is a good year for Oz!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Oz

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful and Latin!

It's now less than a week 'til Oz the Great and Powerful premiers and I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the passage of time. I know for sure that I'll be listening closely to see if the Wizard speaks any Latin in this new incantation of Oz.

Latin, you say? Of course, though few realize that in the 1939 MGM The Wizard of Oz film, the Wizard actually quotes Latin.

By now, you're running his dialog through your head and trying to recall any Latin. Well, I end the suspense and tell you when and where...

Following the Wizard's presentation of a brain, heart and courage, he finds himself compelled to take Dorothy back to Kansas himself.

"Times being what they were, I accepted the job, retaining my balloon against the advent of a quick get-away. Aha!
And in that balloon, my dear Dorothy, you and I will return to the Land of E Pluribus Unum!

The next scene pans down onto the crowd of Emerald City who have gathered around a fairly large balloon to see and hear their Wizard speak.

"This is positively the finest exhibition ever to be shown.....well, be that as it may. I, your Wizard, per adua ad alta, am about to embark on a hazardous and technically unexplainable journey into the outer stratosphere. To confer, converse and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards."

Besides the speaking of the Latin... twice, he also embellishes his journey a bit. If the Wizard takes Dorothy into the outer stratosphere, they'll find themselves in the same place where that guy did that Red Bull parachute jump from a high altitude balloon. I don't recall seeing any space suits in that basket... Do you?

By the way, E Pluribus Unum means; From Many, One. Per ardua ad alta means; Through great difficulties to great heights.

We buy our tickets today!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison of Oz