TreasuryCast #79 – The Marvelous Land of Oz

Rob welcomes podcaster Tim Price to discuss Marvel's THE MARVELOUS LAND OF OZ by Roy Thomas and Alfredo Alcala!

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17 responses to “TreasuryCast #79 – The Marvelous Land of Oz

  1. Great discussion gents. I have never had this book (or read the original novel), but the cover always screamed “MARVEL” to me, with the blurbs, and that insane descriptor they give the Tin Man. Makes me wonder if Marvel had a spin-off title waiting in the wings (I kid).

    I agree completely about Alcala’s art, Rob. I grew up reading the Masters of the Universe mini-comics he penciled and inked, and loved them, but when he inked Don Newton on Batman…man, where’d Newton go? Well, Newton was a little stronger and poked through more than others, but yes, he overpowered everyone. That America vs. the Justice Society mini-series is a great example.

    I think his work looks well-suited here, and is quite beautiful. But, I had no idea the story took such a startling turn! Way to be progress, Baum! I’m sure you guys are right, this book is banned somewehre, or it will be if any close-minded morons in power actually bother to read it.

    It’s a shame about the third book never being printed. Given that Thomas got to see his and Dick Giordano’s Dracula finally completed, and Dick G had to draw the last few chapters of that from scratch, I’m surprised Marvel didn’t put it out when they were publishing the new Oz books.

    As for the movie Return to Oz, I saw that as a kid and re-watched it with Dani a few years back when it popped up on Disney Plus. It’s pretty bonkers, and seems very dark, but then the Wicked Witch and those damn Flying Monkies scared the beejeezus out of me as a kid, so maybe it’s not any darker than the original film? Okay, it is just a little. There are definitely some elements from this story in that film. I think it’s worth your time for a watch.

  2. Although I never had the movie adaptation, I did have this one as a kid and I LOVED it! Thank you very much Rob & Tim for your excellent discussion of this wonderful comic. Although I had of course seen the movie many times, this issue inspired me to read the rest of the L. Frank Baum novels, and I just loved the world and characters. How much did I love Oz? Ask my daughter, Dorothy.

    As an aside, did you know that in addition to Marvel’s unpublished sequel to this comic, DC also had an unpublished adaptation of the musical film, The Wiz?

  3. Besides the original movie, I’ve never consumed any other Oz content: not the other books, not the comics, not even the follow-up movies. So your show was – among other things – really informative. I’m particularly astounded by the ahead-of-its-time (and I mean way ahead) Tip/Ozma plot point. That’s really amazing, and you guys weren’t kidding about the book or even this comic being bannable in certain US states (and the fact that we’re talking about books being banned in the 21st friggin’ century is truly sad, but also a conversation for another time, another place…)
    Anyway, looking at the art on your gallery page, it makes me wish that this would get reprinted somewhere (maybe together with the Wizard of Oz treasury?). Based on the images as well as your summary in the show, it sounds like something I’d like. And I have to say, the visual design of Jack Pumpkinhead is brilliant. It’s too bad Marvel never did anything else with the character, or created a ‘new’ one with a similar appearance who would be in the regular Marvel universe (instead of letting DC snatch the idea and run with it about 2 decades later).
    Thanks for a great show, Rob and Tim!

  4. I just thought I’d mention that during a family outing we walked pass an old Woolworth store sadly long defunct . My mom was so excited when she saw it then was sad when she realized it was closed . Also my bro has reprint of an old Woolworth’s Christmas comic the one wish the snow man patrol . If any one has any memories of Woolworth please share them .

    1. As a kid in the 80s, while visiting relatives in western NY, my cousin and I would go eat at the lunch counter. It gave us a sense of adultness and freedom we didn’t get at the pizza and sub shops. I also remember not being able to find any comics in that town. Did Woolworth’s not have comic books?

      1. I don’t know . But Amazon has several books about Woolworth and reprints
        Of the comics they would give out during the Christmas season .
        And thanks brain for your memories. And hope there be some more Woolworth memories .

    2. Growing up in Williamsburg, VA, we had both a Woolworth and a Woolco within a 5 minute walk from each other. I remember my mother taking me to both stores fairly often. I distinctly remember how special it seemed to me to have a lunch counter in Woolworth. No other store I had been in before had one of those. What I remember most about Woolco was when they were closing in the mid-80s. They kept marking down their merchandise (25%, 35%, 50%, etc…) as they got closer to the end. This was when my dad picked up quite a few Intellivision game cartridges for me.

      Also, Rob, Woolworth definitely made it into the south. Not only in Virginia, but the Woolworth in Greensboro, NC was the site of a famous civil rights era sit-in.

      1. It was shown on Disney once and talks about how the lion knew the wizard from there days in circus . And where the badge of courage comes from . It’s should the loin starts out with a magic badge that does give him courage.

  5. Another great episode. Regarding the completing, but not publishing, of the 3rd Oz treasury edition – was the current head of Warner Bros. Discovery involved in Marvel’s publishing back then? LOL

  6. Thanks for a great episode on what was apparently a weird and beautiful book! I’m always happy when a TreasuryCast drops, and I’m always happy when I read that Tim Price is the guest on any podcast, so this was a twofer.

    Good news: The schoolbook situation in Florida is not as bad as some have reported, although it’s still a source of controversy: In a weird coincidence of geekdom, Mark Hamill is one of the folks who has repeated misinformation, which PolitiFact diplomatically labeled “satire.” As you two correctly stated in the podcast, the issue is about what books go into school libraries and curricula, and it’s being fought at the individual school district level. It is not about what’s available for the general public, like when the U.S. and other countries were banning Henry Miller novels.

    Didn’t the plotlines of the Oz books regularly demonstrate the power of misinformation, starting with the deception about the Wizard himself? At work and at church, conversations have often led me to highlight errors and falsehoods in information from the right. Now I’ve done it here with information from the left. I think the moral is that politicians and media sources of every stripe require fact-checking. That also applies to wizards, witches, and occasionally Jedi Knights.

    1. I appreciate this very thoughtful take and information on the present situation on bookbanning, spurred by a comment which was, to be honest, an offhand satirical joke regarding Tip/Ozma and the political moves by Florida politicians towards LGBTQIA+ people. And except for information about comics, I hope nobody is looking to *me* as an expert in current events. 🙂

      Thank you, Captain E! It makes *me* happy to hear from you, and I can’t wait for your next podcast appearance!

  7. Don’t worry guys, I am well aware that one does not go to Marvel’s Thor for accurate representation of Norse Lore. You just need to listen to my reviews of “Tales of Asgard” to know my feelings on some of Kirby’s stuff. However, when you get someone who knows and respects the actual Lore as a creator, like the Wonderful Walt Simonson, IT. IS. GLORIOUS!

    On the Florida school library stuff, it’s like Captain Entropy said, it’s generally being blown out of proportion. There was a substitute teacher in the Duval County School District that posted a video of empty shelves while not showing the surrounding, full shelves. The books on the empty shelves were out being reviewed and said substitute will no longer be receiving work in that district.

  8. When I was somewhere between 12 and 15, I read the first 6 or 7 Land of Oz books. As I was listening to your discussion, it helped refresh my memory of those weird and wild adventures.

    Years later (in the 90s) an independent comic book company (Caliber?) started a line of Oz themed comics. It was focused primarily on the characters from the original Wizard of Oz, but included some from the later stories as well. Those were aimed at older readers.

    Now I feel like I should either check out the original books from the library to re-read, or at the very least pull out my independent comic longboxes.

  9. Great show, Rob and Tim. I gotta say, this was a weird one. Yes, there would definitely be some Florida state senators screaming to ban this book for it’s content, unless they read til the end where the guy who didn’t used to have a brain gets to be in charge of the money. There’s your happy ending, senator. Solid body horror of the Scarecrow shooting mice out of his torso (bleech!). I can watch Wolverone tear guys in half, but man that mice scene gave me the willies. Finally, I’m a little dissapointed Roy couldn’t find a way to work in the Kree/SKrull war into the land of Oz. I would’ve bet anything the pumpkin guy was going to turn into a green dude with a scrotum chin. Maybe that was for the sequel.

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