Comic Book Legends Revealed #381

Welcome to the three hundred and eighty-first in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, discover Wizard of Oz comics…from over a century ago! Plus, was Jack Staff originally Union Jack? And what was the deal with Kitty Pryde’s disappearance during Chris Claremont’s second X-Men run?

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and eighty.

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One Response to “Comic Book Legends Revealed #381”

  1. As always, good stuff. But a couple of tiny errors crept in. The book “The Marvelous Land of Oz” came out in 1904, not 1905. Baum’s major Oz output for 1905 was “The Woggle-Bug Book”, a rather silly, inconsequential story about one of the new characters from “Land” having adventures in America and other parts of the world; and a play, “The Woggle-Bug”, which was sort of a sequel to the then-still popular stageplay version of “The Wizard of Oz”, in that it was a stage adaptation of “The Land of Oz”—without any characters who were then appearing in “The Wizard of Oz”! Elements of “The Woggle-Bug Book” were also incorporated. The “Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz” comic page was designed to be publicity for both the books and stage play (which did not do well at all, and never made it to Broadway), but it ended up running only twenty-six weeks, so it wasn’t really a hit, either.

    Knowledge of “Queer Visitors” was lost for many years until Baum historian and illustrator Dick Martin rediscovered it in newspaper archives in the 1950s. Seeing the potential for a book, he approached Reilly and Lee, the publishers of the Oz books at that time, and they were interested. The storyline was heavily adapted by a Reilly and Lee editor, but Martin did indeed illustrate “The Visitors from Oz”, which came out in 1961. Finally, both the “Queer Visitors” and “Denslow’s Scarecrow and Tin-Man” pages, full sized and in color, alongside more about the history of Oz comics (including parts of an unpublished Oz strip from the 1920s by then-Oz author and illustrator Ruth Plumly Thompson and John R. Neill) are available in the book “Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz” from Sunday Press Books.

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