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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 24

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at Eric Shanower and Skottie Young’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

Enjoy!

When you look at this matchup on paper, it seemed like a total no-brainer – perhaps the foremost comic book adapter of L. Frank Baum’s Oz works (Shanower) and one of the most dynamic young design talents in all of comics (Young)?

You would THINK that this would be a perfect fit!

And, well, you’d be correct, as it was!

The amazing thing about Shanower and Young’s Oz adaptation is the way that it works pretty much on any level to which you are coming to the story.

If, like many, you are familiar with Baum’s original novel (as opposed to the MGM film adaptation), then you can still appreciate the comic due to Young’s brilliant vision of the various characters from the story.

If, however, you are unfamiliar with Baum’s original work, you still get all the great Young design work, but you also get Shanower’s faithful and skilled adaptation of the original story.

Also, I sometimes go a bit overboard praising Young’s design work, as that seems to almost make it seem like that’s all that he is bringing to the table. That is far from the truth, as Young is also a very skilled storyteller.

Here is an extended excerpt from issue #2 (the series is 8 issues long and has been collected into one large book by Marvel)….I felt okay showing such a large excerpt because it comes from Marvel’s on-line preview for the issue, so they likely are okay with showing this much of the comic…

Isn’t that some brilliant sequential storytelling ALONG with the cute designs for the characters?

Just one more page before I let you go, as I wanted to show you Young’s Cowardly Lion design…

Awesome, right?

Shanower and Young are currently hard at work at adapting the next novel in the Baum Oz series. A couple of issues of it have come out so far.

14 Comments

Brilliant stuff! The art actually reminds me a bit of Calvin and Hobbes. Especially the way the trees are drawn.

I bought this for my daughter as it came out and we read it together. It’s so great. As great as the movie version that I grew up with was, this is my favorite version.

“Because that isn’t the way lions do these things.” Just awesome.

Skottie Young is one of my favs. And to think, he does all his art digitally!

I’ve been thinking about getting this to read to my boys…

The sample pages that you’ve shown above have pushed me towards “definitely”!

always wondered what the original version of the wizard of oz would look like as a comic book. and the sample page shows the wizard of oz works well as a comic for the scarecrow and the others are hilerious as comic characters design wise

Skottie Young is wonderful, as expected, but I don’t know that Shanower gets the credit he deserves for a really great adaptation.

The art makes this book. The art is phenomenal, the actual writing I found to be pretty poor.

Didn’t Eric Shanover do a bunch of OZ books over at First Comics?

Yesterday there was an ad on the top of this page for some other Oz series. (It was from IDW, I think.) The art in that ad looked so dull and generic compared to this. (It might still be a good book, of course. Don’t get me wrong.)
I like how Young’s characters and scenery match the descriptions from the book, but don’t copy John R Neill in any way. That’s very rare. His designs for Oz are practically set in stone and it’s so great to actually see another interpretation.
It’s been a very long time since I read ‘Wonderfull Wizard Of Oz’. Was the Scarecrow’s description of his creation in the book? I don’t remember it. It contradicts the later books in the series if he was alive and aware before being placed on the pole in the field.

I haven’t bought any of Marvel’s Oz books, but I keep wondering if I should. They do look great. Are they planning to continue through all of Baum’s stories and maybe even Ruth Plumley Thomson? Or are they only going to stick with the public domain ones?

The writing cleaves very closely to L. Frank Baum’s dialogue from 1900, so if the dialog sometimes sounds stiff, that’s because it’s 100+ years old. On the other hand, lines like Dorothy telling the Scarecrow, “That’s because you have no brains,” also come straight out of the original.

This is the Scarecrow’s origin story from the original WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. Ruth Plumly Thompson’s ROYAL BOOK OF OZ says he didn’t come to life until the farmer put him on a magic beanpole, but that’s just one of many contradictions in the original book series.

Marvel will apparently continue to commission Shanower and Young to adapt Oz books as long as readers remain interested and they remain interested. It looks like plans are being made on a title-by-title basis.

This book has long been on my ‘to buy’ list…this preview and write up, just launched it to the top of the list. Great pick Brian.

I have loved Skottie Young ever since he did those Cable & Deadpool covers and a few issues on The New X-men. He likes to try new things and it’s very pleasant.
This has been on my list to check out for a while now.

skottie. damn. young. (shanower no slouch, either, but s-d-y. really.)

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