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Sam A. Milazzo
- Publié sur Amazon.com
From 1986-92, Eric Shanower made 5 Graphic Oz Novels (comic-like books) that told the fascinating stories of 'the Enchanted Apples', 'the Secret Island', 'the Ice King', 'the Forgotten Forest' and 'the Blue Witch' of Oz, all of which followed the adventures of Dorothy and Scarecrow with their friends, saving good people (sometimes one of them being misguided into doing bad things) from even worse people. Here, 'Adventures in Oz' is not a new story book by Eric Shanower, but a COLLECTION of ALL 5 Stories. Both the black-and-white and colour artwork for the graphic novels and other books have been rescanned by the publisher IDW Publishing, and Eric made sure that printing mistakes from the original editions would not be repeated (i.e. bits of a picture without colour) and did some minor revisions to the artwork, so therefore this book looks better than the orginal printings. The advances in the past 20 years makes the colours look far closer to what Eric Shanower originally painted than in the original printings of his Oz graphic novels - also his artwork changes from nearly good in 'Enchanted Apples' to Incredibly Fantastic and Lavish in 'Blue Witch'.
"Adventures in Oz" is actually published/printed in 2 different editions: a restored all-5-stories PAPERBACK (normal, currently still available) and a Deluxe LIMITED Signed Edition (which I am the lucky owner of!! Now Sold Out, Sorry!), which not only contains the original 5 stories in one volume but also includes some new, little seen and never-before-published material, such as Character Designs, Sketches, Colour Studies, Advertising Art, Abandoned Concepts and other things (just like the final Issue "9/Epilogue" of 'Oz: the Manga') not seen in the paperback version. The section for the extra material is more than 30 pgs and Eric was very keen on adding these special bonuses. Unfortunately it does not include the Introduction to 'Enchanted Apples' by Harlan Ellison.
BOTH Books have (in the following order) the same front and back cover design, Ozma & her tiny piglette on "This book belongs to", 2 red-dressed trolls, Scraps the Patchwork Girl with Toto and the Saw-Horse and tiny Flicker on the Book-Title pg, a re-scanning of the front & back cover for 'Enchanted Apples' but with 'Adventures' instead of the original title, Abatha the Blue Witch on a publishing pg, Nelanthe the Wood-Nymph with the Chapters, Eric Shanower's portrait of Ozma, "Just a word before you start", a Map of Oz (which again has the Blue East and Yellow West switching places!), Acknowledgements, 'the Enchanted Apples of Oz' story, 'the Secret Island of Oz' story, 'the Ice King of Oz' story, 'the Forgotten Forest of Oz' story, 'the Blue Witch of Oz' story (all 5 dedicated to someone special) and a colourful panel strip with the Oz characters. There are also ENDPAPERS, but both editions have different designs: the PAPERBACK has originally colourful yet b&w scanned pictures of the Famous 5 of Oz on the Yellow Brick Road (front) and the Forbidden Fountain of the Water of Oblivian (back), while the DLSE has new artwork of Eric's characters with 3 Denslow characters and two 'OZ' emblems. Also, in the DLSE after the 'colour-Oz-panel' comes the following: Eric's writing on him & Oz (throughout most of the book's ex. material), childhoods drawings (among them a history of the magic land), "General Jinjur of Oz" Pt. 1 in colour & Pt. 2 in design, design sketches for characters and books and location/places etc., Thanksgiving in Oz, Original opening for 'Forbidden Fruit of Oz' which became 'Enchanted Apples', rescanning of Eric's original graphic novel covers (without the writing), advertising art for the books, pictures made for magazines etc., origin of 'the Ice King', a try-out for Roger S. Baum's "Dorothy of Oz", original 'Story of Nebelle' before becoming Oz - which would've been out of place for Oz, alternate/cut-out endings, colour studies, cards & pin-ups, b&w pictures from Oz books illustrated by Eric Shanowers such as 'Wicked Witch' along with 2 Colour-Plates not in the book, 'Giant Garden', 'Runaway', 'Third Book', 'Invisible Inzi', 'Paradox' (which illustrates such films like 'Return', 'Journey Back', 'Cinar', silent films, etc.!), 'Oz-Story 6', 'Salt Sorcerer & Other Stories', another Ozma portrait, 'Oz-Story 3', 'Rundelstone', the annual Munchkin Convention and Winkie Convention of the International Wizard of Oz Club, 'the Living House' (which is seen on the 3-Disk MGM DVD!) and finally "If 6 Great Cartoonists had drawn Oz Characters'!
For me, I saw (and quickly scimmed through) "Forgotten Forest" and "Enchanted Apples" in 'Comic Kingdom' (which is also where I ordered copies of "Oz: the Manga") and I've always wanted to get 'the Blue Witch' which of course is out of print, but now that they are altogether in one brand-new collection, it doesn't hurt to get the one story I've always wanted with the other 4 stories and some extra delights (So Worth Looking at the Others!). Since I have never actually looked through or owned the orginal 5 books, I can't specify what has been changed or improved, but Eric did mention fixing the way he drew some of Dorothy's faces and the skin colour for the (human) characters, but unfortunately Dorothy still looks a bit too skinny and Ozma's hair isn't really tidy in 'Enchanted Apples'. Since I got 'Wicked Witch' long before 'Adventures' I often wondered at the drawing of "Who is that tiny little man with fire for hair?" Well, thanks to this book, I found out that it was Flicker from "Ice King (Oz)" and learned everything about him, so now I am no longer in the 'Not Know'.
I am VERY pleased to know that something OTHER than MGM is given a 'Special Anniversary Restored Edition' (it has been 20 years since the first publishing), and because of all the hard work that went into making this an 'Excellent Extended Edition' is why it took so long for its release. And I am REALLY GLAD to finally have my copy.
Eric Shanower also illustrated Rachel Cosgrove Payes' "the Wicked Witch of Oz" (which is not as scary or dark as it sounds, and can be bought through 'Hungry Tiger Press'), and even both written/illustrated other Oz books (Giant Garden, etc.). Although I never really liked his idea of giving Dorothy, Betsy and Trot modern-day clothes (shirts, shorts/pants, sneakers and socks that look suited for Summer) and copying John R. Neil's idea of all 3 girls having short hair (which can be confusing), his art is wonderful (ESPECIALLY in 'Blue Witch') and unlike John R. Neil, actually drew Betsy older than Dorothy and Trot younger than Dorothy, as originally written by L. Frank Baum in 'Lost Princess'. In 'Blue Witch', however, Eric redraws Denslow's Long-Haired Dorothy.
Once again, I am proud of some Classic Oz Books being restored for a Brand-New-Collection-Edition, especially since this saga was originally started by someone as talented as Eric Shanower, one of the greatest Oz Illustrators to ever live and draw!
Wouldn't it be GREAT if Eric did a Graphic Novel of L. Frank Baum's 'the Wonderful Wizard of Oz'?
P.S. On the MGM Oz - 3 Disk DVD, we actually see ERIC SHANOWER and some of his art in the 'Because of the Wonderful Things It Does: The Legacy of Oz' featurette, along with Willard Carroll! - but what about William Stout?