Friday, July 18, 2008

The Marvelous Land of Oz

Back in the mid-70's Marvel Comics published giant-size treasuries for the exorbitant price of $1.50. That was about six times the price of a normal comic. We got one of Conan, one of Bilble stories, and the two volumes of the original Star Wars. We often saw full page advertisements in other comics for the whole series,and the two I always really wanted were The Wizard of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz.

Last year I found a really wrinkly copy of The Wizard of Oz at our local used book store. It was as I expected an adaptation of the MGM movie. Lately as my thoughts have been turning to early things I thought to look for The Land, and while a pristine copy went for about $50, I was able to order a slightly damaged one for about $10. It came yesterday.

It is a truly wonderful production, edited by the great Roy Thomas and drawn by Alfredo Alcala. Many of the frames therein are based on the original 1907 illustrations by John R. Neill, as are most of the character designs. The Scarecrow and Tin Man are still based on the movie though, as being more familiar to most people.

The frame above is from early in the story, with the boy Tip, Jack Pumpkinhead, and the witch Mombi. The color scheme is largely purple, as they are in the Gillikin country; Munchkinland is blue, the Winkies are yellow, and the Quadling country is red. The Emerald City, right in the center of Oz, is of course green.

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