Tip: the Rose of the Emerald City

I admit, I was not too interested in NBC’s “Emerald City,” miniseries project when the first few glimpses of it appeared online. It looks to be more “Game of Thrones,” or “Lord of the Rings,” than anything Ozzy. But yesterday several teaser posters were released to public through the website e-online. And one of those more than piqued my interest.


The NBC teaser poster for Tip, a brown skinned youth in a purple shirt and vest, wrapped in vines.


Tip, as fans of the books will know is the name Ozma was given in her cursed form as a boy. She is being portrayed here by Jordan Loughran, a British actress who has previously done work for the Disney Channel. Now if it was up to me, I wouldn’t cast a cis woman in the role of Tip, but the fact that they did so means it’s almost certain that they intend to reveal her as Ozma. That is something I am very much looking forward to. There has yet to be a major American studio project that keeps this, to me personally, very important part of the Oz mythos intact. So while I still have reservations about this series, I am very interested to see how they handle Tip/Ozma.

There was another thing I noticed about this poster; it very much reminds me of the first few seconds of the intro theme of the 70s anime “Rose of Versailles,” where the the camera pans up on the body of the main character Oscar as she is entwined in thorns. Now it might just be coincidence, but Oscar, in the story, is a woman who was raised from birth as if she was a boy, and part of her journey is coming to connect with her femininity. It certainly wouldn’t be the first anime homage on network television.


A compilation of the full shot of Oscar in the Rose of Versailles intro. Thorns wrapped around woman’s silhouette coloured in red

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Silver Surfer #1 comic review

So what is a review of the newest Silver Surfer comic doing on an Oz blog? Well read on.


Silver Surfer #1 
Written by Dan Slott and Mike Allerd
Art and cover by Mike Allerd and Laura Allerd


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My thoughts on Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return


On Thursday at 3:00 took in the animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return (not to be confused with the Legends of Oz comic series which is cowboy themed) at the Scotiabank theatre in West Edmonton Mall, this was one of the last first run theatre showings in my area.

As of this writing the film has recuperated less than 1/10th of it’s 70 million dollar budget, money raised from private investors that went to hiring top notch talent like Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, and Kelsey Grammar. In spite of it’s failure at the box office, and the production troubles that might be partly responsible, the film is quite charming and worth a watch.

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The music video that started me on Oz — My Oz History Part 1

I just typed up an e-mail discussing a potential panel for the upcoming Winkie Con, in which did two things, discussed my history with Oz and expressed a desire to revive this blog and, start using it. Well I just typed up some prime blog material didn’t I? Oddly enough the Road to Oz, started in another fandom altogether.

I am a fan of animation, and after high school I was particularly interested in Japanese animation, otherwise known as anime, and being somewhat of an aspiring storyteller myself I quickly got interested in a fan art form called Anime Music Videos, where one edits footage from one or more anime together with a song, sometimes creating completely original storylines.

I have made several music videos myself, sadly as I was hosting most of them on a domain I long since let expire only my most mediocre examples can now be found (they’re on an old youtube account, I’m not going to divulge the name of).

It was another editor’s video, one that combined a song from Wicked with the anime Mahou Sensei Negima, that first got me interested in Wicked, which lead to me reading Baum’s original books.

I had some interest in Oz before hand but this was my first, unusual step on the Rainbow Road to Oz.


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An interesting way to view the 1910 film.

Most of the hardcore Oz fans are familiar the the various Oz Silent films that have been produced, three by Baum himself, one infamously by his son, and of course the first effort (not counting the Fairylogue and Raido Plays film scenes), the 1910 film.

Recently the Cheapsake, and internet reviewer who delights in examining the plethora of legal free entertainment on the internet to discover it’s hidden gems and worst duds, teamed up the Block Buster Chick another internet reviewer and big fan of the 1939 Judy Garland Wizard of Oz film to take a look at that first silent film.

What I think you will find is a delightful look at the story from fresh eyes of people who are not die hard L Frank Baum fans, but people who perhaps enjoy his most well known story but are still able to look at this film and take it on it’s own merits.

The commentary may be insightful, and it should provide at some laughs aswell.

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The Magic Knights of Oz

I’ve been thinking lately about a little fantasy anime and manga called Magic Knight Rayearth. Created by an all female manga circle, Clamp, the series involves three Japanese junior high girls who are transported to a magical country on the verge of destruction. This seems like a fairly generic set-up taken on face value, after all stories with young children visiting fantastical worlds are a dime a dozen. Believe me when I say, however, that the series has hidden depths and one hell of a twist ending; it also seems to have some Oz inspiration, most notably in the character of Princess Emeraude.

A picture of Princess Emeraude.

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American McGee Returns to Oz

Welcome to the inaugural post of the Oz Fairylogue, a new blog that will cover all things Oz: past, present an future. Starting tomorrow I will be blogging about my experiences at the 48th annual Winkie Convention, this past weekend, but today I just learned some interesting news that deserves a post of it’s own; American McGee is working on developing a new Oz video game.

McGee’s career began at ID Software, a company famous for their first person shooters.

For those who don’t know American McGee got his start as a game designer working for ID Software, where he worked on the first two Quake games and Doom II. After serving as a programmer, level and sound designer on those tremendously successful games he went to work for EA, who acted as producers and distributors for arguably his greatest work: American McGee’s Alice.

Alice told the story of an institutionalized Alice Liddel, who retreats to a distorted version of Wonderland after losing her family in a house fire, and who must use her vorpal blade to cut a bloody swath of enemies to face the Queen of Hearts and regain her sanity. The game was a critical and artistic success, and soon McGee was teaming up with Ronin Games to work on another game, again a dark take on a children’s classic.

This gruesome horror title, had players control Alice in a Wonderland which was more nightmarish than whimsical.

This game was of course American McGee’s Oz. The news was met with much fanfare, and a line of high end collectible models based on American’s designs were put out including a rather large and terrifying Flying Monkey figure, which I happen to have in my collection. Unfortunately due to financial issues at Ronin’s parent company, Atari, production on the game was canceled and McGee went on to produce other games for his company Spicy Horse including the episodic American McGee’s Grimm released by telltale games, and the follow up to Alice, Alice: Madness Returns.

This Flying Monkey is one of the few proucts to come out of the McGee Oz project.

Designs for the new Oz game is that a Hungry Tiger?

However this is not the end of McGee’s Oz-story, as he recently teased fans on his facebook profile with designs for a new cross platform game, designs clearly based on Oz. This was quickly followed up with another photo with additional information. The game will be cross platform, and will play online; it is also a CCG or Collectible/Customizable Card Game.

CCG’s traditionally are games played with physical cards that you buy in blind packs and use to construct a deck that can be played against another player; they often have intricate rules that are affected and outright changed by the cards themselves. There have been several video games to take this concept and either adapt an existing physical card games, such as Yu-Gi-Oh, or Magic: the Gathering, or create a brand new game where the cards only exist within the confines of their own digital worlds. Some of these games such as Kingdom Hearts: Re: Chain of Memories use the cards as only part of their mechanic. There is yet another class of game that combines the physical and electronic, such as the PS3 game Eye of Judgement.

Battle based gaming.

Very little is known about the mechanics of this new game yet, but from the screen shots it seems to emphasize military conquest, and violence (as evidenced the the presence of tanks, and other weapons and the caption on the Dorothy card declaring her a member of the “Emerald Empire”); which will undoubtedly unsettle many Baum purists who prefer physical conflict be kept to a minimum. Other details that can be gleaned from these screen shots indicate the game may have a tactical rpg mechanic, and a steam punk of asthetic as gleaned by Dorothy’s aviator goggles. The presence of tigers may also indicate that McGee, or the artist, Fellipe Martins, who McGee credits for these screen shots, may be drawing inspiration outside of the first book for the game.

For Oz fans looking for a CCG that’s more Baumian in nature, it appears that there is finally some progress on the Orion’s Bell game, as their site has been recently updated and they have a distributor lined up.

Posted in Alice in Wonderland, American McGee, American McGee's Alice, Card Games, Hungry Tiger, Orion's Bell, Oz, Spicy Horse, Steampunk, Video Games | 2 Comments