I want to say that I might have watched the story once, maybe twice when I was growing up. And then there were the countless variations of the story. Yeah, it seems unheard of that anyone could have missed The Wizard of Oz and not know what it is all about. But have you ever felt like we know more about the story than we have actually seen the story?
You know what I’m saying, right? It’s one of those stories that everyone talks about but when we hear about someone around us who hasn’t seen it or read it or experienced it in some way it seems strange. And then we really think about it and realize that we are that person…
That’s where I am on it anyway. I know the story and I feel like I have seen it thousands of times, but in reality I don’t think I have seen the original but once or maybe twice. It’s within all the variations and retellings that I find myself mired in the land of Oz. Which brings us to the current thoughts. I read the trilogy of stories from Zenescope that begins with Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz (Zenescope 2013).
Now if you don’t know the publisher, they have built their worlds around retellings of fairy tales. Their original stories started with a close telling of older tales and they have grown from those into vast worlds and stories in variations of the old tales. There have been a good few of their stories that have pulled me through the strange new worlds. But I digress…
So I jumped into the Warlord of Oz (Zenescope 2015) series just to see what was going on. Turned out this is the second series of a trilogy. I like to start in the middle and work my way out. Or something. This one begins Dorothy’s return to Oz and all the troubles that bring her back. Of course, once I realized my mistake, I started over from the beginning. But not till after I finished this series.
And this is where everything goes a bit odd. Already am I not in a story that correlates to the movie (don’t ask me, I never actually read the book) but everything is going a bit off kilter. See for the most part all the elements we know for the Wizard of Oz are there (except the wizard isn’t quite there or is he, without actually being named…) but nothing is quite how you expect it to be. See, in the second series they are looking for pieces of a staff. And you don’t really understand what it is unless or until you have read the first series.
The shoes are gone. We are no longer looking for ruby slippers. Instead we are building the ruby staff. You would not believe how long it took me to piece all of that together in my mind. Preconceived expectations are real. We get thrown for a loop when things aren’t quite what we thought they should be.
Don’t get me wrong. I have enjoyed quite a few of the Zenescope comics I have read. I even liked this story in its entirety. But there are those moments throughout the story where you can’t look at it and compare the moment to the original story. Your mind fights against what it sees in an attempt to force the story you are reading to fit what should be there.
It’s an experience we go through all the time, especially when the movie doesn’t fit what we know from the book. Sometimes this is good and other times it throws us completely from the story.
In the end, I like this interpretation of the story. I’ve even spent some time in the other aspects of it they have shared. Side stories that give more background to the various characters. Oh the fun of exploring deeper into imaginary worlds. Or something…
Anyway, The stories are fun and provide enough of something new to keep the old tales fresh. If you keep your eyes open you might even run across a few new things that make you think.
If you enjoy these stories, consider leaving some coffee money in the jar or you could buy a book or two. Either way helps keep the stories flowing.