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(October 31, 2020: Sir Sean Connery, 1930-2020)
(October 30, 2020: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2020 and Oziana 2020)
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* "Polychrome's Sky School" by Paul Dana, illustrate by Sam Milazzo, shows us just how Polychrome learned how to do magic.
 
* "Polychrome's Sky School" by Paul Dana, illustrate by Sam Milazzo, shows us just how Polychrome learned how to do magic.
 
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==August 15, 2020: International Wizard of Oz Club Awards==
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This evening, the International Wizard of Club presented its annual awards at 2Oz? 2Oz! which is this year's national Oz convention, held online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners are:
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* The Fred Otto Prize for short fiction went to "The Flutterbudget Revolt" by Suren Oganessian in first place, and "''The Sea Fairies'' Lost Chapter: Trot and the Sleeper" by Erica Olivera in second.
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* The C. Warren Hollister Prize for non-fiction went to "No Place Like Oz" by Kathryn Sadakierski in first place, and “Lessons in Personality Integration from the Movies ''The Wizard of Oz'' and ''The Wiz''” by Mackenzie Littledale winning second place.
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* The Rob Roy MacVeigh Prize for visual arts went to "The King of Beasts' Conquest" by Michael de Jesus in first place (below, left), and "Dr. Pipt" by David Valentin in second place (below, right).<br><center>[[File:De_Jesus.JPG|500 px]] [[File:Valentin.JPG|500 px]]</center>
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And the Club's highest award, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, for contributions to Oz and the Club's mission, went to Gina Wickwar, author of ''The Hidden Prince of Oz'' and ''Toto of Oz'', and short stories for ''Oziana'', as well as her work for the Club as Secretary and in other capacities. Here's the video of the presentation, with testimonials and reactions:
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Revision as of 19:28, 9 August 2021

(I will update this page when there is news to tell. Any news older than a year is dropped at the next update. If you have news to report, please e-mail me.)

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(For more Oz news, check out The Daily Ozmopolitan. For the latest Oz not-quite-news, see the Rumor Control section of this page.)

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August 7, 2021: The 2021 Oz Club Awards

This evening, during its second annual To Oz? To Oz! virtual convention, the International Wizard of Oz Club announced the winners of its annual awards.

  • The Fred Otto Prize for Fiction went to J. L. Bell for "Button-Bright and the Professor", with the runner-up prize going to Scott Blanke for "The Royal Joust of Oz".
  • The Warren C. Hollister Prize for Non-Fiction was not awarded, as there were no entries.
  • The Rob Roy MacVeigh Prize for Art went to "Polychrome" by David Valentin, with Sofia Vazquez coming in second with "Langwidere".
  • And the Club's highest honor, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, presented to those who have made contributions above and beyond to Oz, the Club, or its goals. The winner for 2021 is Lynn Beltz, former Club vice-president and a general ambassador for Oz and the Club at Oz events all over the country.

July 17, 2021: The Winkie Award

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OzCon International presented its annual award, the Winkie Award, to Marc Lewis, recognizing his many contributions to the convention in the 1980s and '90s. He performed in and coordinated many shows, presented many panels and other events, and acted as auctioneer. But perhaps his biggest contribution is also the most appropriate for this year: He and the Oz Club's Executive Secretary, Fred Meyer, in 1992 conspired to create a new award for the then-named Winkie Convention, the only one of the three major conventions of the day that didn't have one. They gave that first award to Peter Hanff. So it's appropriate that the thirtieth Winkie Award goes to one of its creators. Congratulations, Marc, this is long overdue!

(Photo courtesy Peter Hanff.)



May 17, 2021: Oziana 2021: The Fiftieth Anniversary Issue

Oziana 2021.jpeg
The fiftieth issue of Oziana, the annual literary journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is being mailed out today. Editor Marcus Mébès offered the issue free to anyone who asked for it online, and these are the issues going out now. But never fear, if you never heard about the free issue offer, it is also for sale at this link.

In this issue:

  • The front cover, "Strolling Down Memory Lane" by Alejandro Garcia, depicts a number of characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the styles of several different iconic Oz illustrators.
  • The inside front cover reproduces the letter from Harvey Plotnick, then-President of the Henry Regnery Company, successors to Oz publishers Reilly and Lee, from the first issue of Oziana in 1971 that gave permission for the Club to use characters and locations from the Oz books.
  • Carrying on from the previous issue, "The Wizards of Silver and Gold in Oz: Part 2" by Nathan M. DeHoff and Joe Bongiorno resolves the cliffhanger ending from part 1 and wraps the whole tale up.
  • "The Butter Lamb of Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff, illustrated by David Valentin, shows the results of what happens when Jinjur must paint a portrait.
  • "A Week with Mr. Baum" by Laura DeNooyer, illustrated by Spinner Martin, tells the story of a lonely girl who makes a special friend at the Macatawa resort on Lake Michigan in the early days of the twentieth century.
  • "Heartless" by Templeton Moss, illustrated by Darrell Colt Spradlyn, looks at the romance between Nick Chopper and Nimmee Amee.
  • Christmas, Toys, and Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff, illustrated by Mitchell Mayle, sees several Ozian and Thompsonian sea captains embark on a Christmas adventure.
  • In a tribute to the late Chris Dulabone, "Buckethead in Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff sees the title character come to Oz for good.
  • In a departure for Oziana, Dulabone is also remembered by friends and family in the magazine's first non-fiction feature.
  • Robert A. Baum remembers the trunk kept by his Grandmother Edna in "The Trunk in the Attic".
  • The back cover, by David Valentin, depicts a scene, in color, from this issue's story "The Butter Lamb of Oz".



March 24, 2021: "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"What a Wonderful World" Added to National Recording Registry

The Library of Congress announced the 2020 class for the National Recording Registry today, and one of the additions is the medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"What a Wonderful World" by Hawai'ian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, released as a single in 1993. The National Recording Registry was set up to showcase and preserve significant American recordings, and was started in 2002 under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. Kamakawiwo’ole's recording joins Judy Garland's original 1939 single of "Over the Rainbow", enlisted in 2014, on the registry.

The full press release, including all twenty-five recordings in the class or 2020, is available at https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-21-015/national-recording-registry-adds-rhythm-nation-among-25-new-selections/2021-03-24/. The complete registry, which also includes the original Broadway cast album of The Wiz, is at https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/recording-registry/complete-national-recording-registry-listing/.


February 28, 2021: The Baum Bugle Winter 2020

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The Winter 2020 issue of The Baum Bugle, the International Wizard of Oz Club's triannual journal, is now back from the printers and making its way to all Oz Club members for 2020. This issue commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of Glinda of Oz, the final Oz book by L. Frank Baum.


In this issue:

Also included with this issue:

  • The ninth issue of The Oz Gazette, the Oz publication for younger Oz fans, which includes:
    • Editor Scarecrow's attempts to create a self-writing, self-publishing newspaper (with less-than-satisfactory results).
    • A look at the earliest existing Oz movie.
    • "Ask Glinda" continues the adventures of Katie Jones on her visit to Oz.
    • "What Did the Woggle-Bug Say?" poses another ponderable problem.
    • And an interview with The Oz Gazette and The Baum Bugle illustrator Mark Manley.
  • A craft project to create Glinda's skeropythrope, a magical device she used in Glinda of Oz.

All Oz Club members who receive this issue are advised that this is the last issue for the 2020 membership year, and anyone wishing to continue to receive the Bugle should send in their membership dues (which can now be done online).


December 10, 2020: Chris Dulabone, 1964-2020

Chris Dulabone.jpg
Chris Dulabone, the prolific Oz author and publisher who blazed the trail for extracanonical Oz pastiches, died today after a long illness. He wrote and published his first Oz book, Toto of Oz, in 1986 at a time when copyrights and technology made publishing new Oz books difficult. This proved to be the first of dozens of books Dulabone wrote or co-wrote, and in some cases even illustrated. He published his works, and those of others, under the imprint of Buckethead Enterprises of Oz, and opened the doors wide for who could write an Oz book, and just what an Oz book is anyway. He continued to write, illustrate, and publish books for decades as he reorganized his company as Tails of the Cowardly Lion and Friends, until he recently had his books printed on demand via Lulu.com.



November 23, 2020: Myrna Swensen, 1926-2020

Myrna Swensen, the "Munchkin by marriage" who never got to go to Oz but was a big part of its legacy anyway has passed away. She was all set to play a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz, but illness prevented her from taking the job. She did marry a Munchkin, however, soldier Clarence Swensen, in 1945, and they raised three daughters. When the Munchkin actors were discovered by fans and began appearing at Oz events around the world, Myrna came along to support her husband, and was welcomed by Ozians everywhere. Even after Clarence passed away, Myrna kept going to Oz events for as long as she was able. She is survived by her three daughters and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

(Family information courtesy the Austin American-Statesman.)


November 20, 2020: David L. Greene, 1944-2020

David L Greene.jpg
Dr. David L. Greene, Oz scholar and founding member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, passed away today. He was seventy-six years old and had been in declining health for some time. He and his twin brother, Douglas G. Greene, were two of the sixteen initial members of the International Wizard of Oz Club when it was started in 1957, and two of the youngest (only founder Justin Schiller was younger), but both quickly contributed much to the Club. David served as editor of the Club's journal, The Baum Bugle, for many years, did extensive research in Oz bibliography, and founded the Club's Special Publications division. He also co-authored the popular book The Oz Scrapbook with Dick Martin, which came out in 1977. The Greene brothers were jointly awarded the International Wizard of Oz Club's highest honor, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, in 1965. Outside of Oz, Greene taught English at Piedmont College in Georgia for thirty-seven years and retired as a Professor Emeritus. He was also interested in genealogy, wrote several books on the subject, was a Fellow and past President of the American Society of Genealogists, and edited The American Genealogist for twenty-five years. He is survived by his twin brother, Douglas; his non-twin brother, Paul; his wife, Jane; a son, a daughter, two stepdaughters, and five grandchildren.

(Information courtesy the Whitfield Funeral Homes tribute page. Photo courtesy The American Genealogist.)


November 1, 2020: Books of Wonder Moves

Books of Wonder, the New York City children's bookstore that has been one of the greatest friends Oz has had for the past forty years, has moved! They lost their lease on their original location on 18th Street in Manhattan, but they were able to find a new location quickly, and it's really close. So now you can visit them at 42 West 17th St., just a block away. They're still in the process of completely unpacking, so there may be a few boxes lying around, but the shelves are full and the staff still knows their stuff. Their second location, at 217 West 84th St., is still there, too. But if you're not going to be in the neighborhood any time soon, they still have mail order, including an extensive catalog of Oz items, many of which they've published themselves.


October 31, 2020: Sir Sean Connery, 1930-2020

Zed.jpg

Sir Sean Connery, the award-winning Scottish actor who most famously originated the role of James Bond on film, passed away today at his home in the Bahamas. He was 90 years old. Besides playing Bond in seven movies, Connery won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in The Untouchables, a Best Actor BAFTA for The Name of the Rose and a BAFTA Fellowship, and a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for The Untouchables as well as the Henrietta Award in 1972 as World Film Favorite — Male, the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1995, a Kennedy Center Honor in 1999, and the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. He will also be remembered by Oz fans, however, as Zed, the main protagonist who brings death to an indolent immortal community in the 1974 cult classic film Zardoz.

(Information courtesy the BBC and Wikipedia.


October 30, 2020: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2020 and Oziana 2020

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Two important issues of International Wizard of Oz Club magazines are now available. All 2020 members of the Club should soon receive the Autumn 2020 issue of The Baum Bugle, the triannual journal, with this issue celebrating thirty-five years of the 1985 Disney film Return to Oz, with many never-before-published items from the Disney archives. Because of licensing agreements with Disney, this issue is strictly limited, and will likely not be available as a back issue or reprinted in the future, so this will be a particularly sought after issue.


In this issue:

  • The front cover reproduces a concept painting by Michael Ploog of Dorothy meeting the Nome King in Return to Oz.
  • Both inside covers feature more Return to Oz concept art, these by Harley Jessup.
  • In "Letters", Oz Club President Jane Albright waxes on how the coronavirus pandemic and cancellation of Oz events around the country has resulted in all kinds of new connections online, while Bugle editor Sarah K. Crotzer declares the magazine is bringing Halloween to its readers this year while listing the efforts of those to bring it together.
  • In "The Bugle Bulletin":
    • The passing of graphic designer Milton Glaser. As well as the iconic "I ❤️ NY" logo, he also gave the world the iconic design for the Broadway production of The Wiz, showing a swirling dancer in silhouette.
    • Justin Schiller, founder of the International Wizard of Oz Club, announces the closing of his antiquarian and collectibles children's bookshop after more than six decades in business and the auction of the remaining collection, at the same time he is appearing in The Booksellers, a documentary about the New York City rare books community.
    • Reproductions of dust jackets for many editions of the Oz books and other books by L. Frank Baum are now available at (where else?) https://www.dustjackets.com/.
    • The International Wizard of Oz Club has loaned two pieces of original art, one by W. W. Denslow from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and one by John R. Neill from The Marvelous Land of Oz, to the Peninsula Fine Arts Center of Newport News, Virginia, for the exhibit "Surrealism in Children's Books", a subexhibit of their current show, "Masters of Surrealism: Picasso, Dali, and Miro".
    • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, translated into Esperanto, was used as the data to test new techniques in storing information using DNA in experiments at the University of Texas.
    • Despite the current pandemic, Oz venues such as The Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas; All Things Oz in Chittenango, New York; and The Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina have figured out ways to keep going.
    • "Beyond the Shifting Sands" remembers Oz luminaries Bill Edmonds, a long-time attendee of the Winkie Conventions; Timothy Graphenreed, co-writer of the musical numbers "Tornado" and "Emerald City (Pssst)" for The Wiz; and Nancy Petrasko, sister of the late Fred Meyer, long time secretary of the International Wizard of Oz Club.
    • "Through the Tube" found the following Return to Oz-related videos on YouTube:
  • Sarah K. Crotzer praises the subject of this issue in "Outside Over There: In Praise of Walter Murch's Return to Oz".
  • Nick Campbell looks at the life and career of the man who bent himself double to be the body of Tik-Tok in "Dancer in the Dark: Michael Sundin in Oz".
  • Karen Diket examines some of the unpleasant underlying medical issues of the movie in "Unpleasant Dreams: The Role of Electroshock Therapy in Return to Oz".
  • Kevin M. Kern interviews an artist who worked on concept art and storyboards for Return to Oz in "Brooding and Beautiful: A Conversation with Harley Jessup". The article is illustrated with many examples of Jessup's Return to Oz work from the Disney archives, some reproduced in color, and most having never been published before.
  • Coyote Shook takes a different viewpoint on the movie in "30 Beautiful Heads: Return to Oz Through a Disability Lens".
  • Nick Campbell examines three different book versions of the same movie in "There Must Have Been Some Magic Words: Novelizations of Return to Oz".
  • Howard Berry talks to the director about his experience with Return to Oz, among other career highlights involving one of Great Britain's most acclaimed film studios, in "Return to Elstree: Walter Murch and Oz at Elstree Studios".
  • And finally, the back cover reproduces a painting of the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion used as set dressing in Return to Oz.

Also enclosed with this issue:

  • A Tin Woodman marionette.
  • The latest issue of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans (no matter what their actual age is), which includes:
    • A report on past Halloween shenanigans in Oz.
    • An editorial from the new editor, the Scarecrow, about how he thinks he's doing so far.
    • A look back at a popular movie in the Emerald City at this time of year, Return to Oz (1985).
    • "Ask Glinda" sees a previous correspondent catching the sorceress up on what's happening to her, including her meeting with the Demon of Electricity.
    • After an absence of about 115 years, the return of "What Did the Woggle-Bug Say?"
    • An interview with Jack Pumpkinhead.
Oziana 2020.jpg
Also out now is the Club's annual fiction anthology, Oziana. The 2020 issue is of especial importance because this is the fiftieth issue. Unlike The Baum Bugle, Oziana is available to anyone at any time, and can be ordered at this link.

In this issue:

  • The front cover by Able Tong features many favorite Oz characters dressed to the nines in celebration of Oz's 120th anniversary and the fiftieth issue of Oziana.
  • "Zinnia's Wish" by Suren Oganessian, with illustrations by Mitchell Mayle, sees a Flutterbudget named Zinnia coming to the Emerald City in an effort to fulfill her heart's desire, but it's probably not something much of the rest of Oz wants. (Mayle also provides a color illustration for the story on the back cover.)
  • "A Use for Jack's Pumpkins" is the first recipe ever published in Oziana.
  • "Dinner at the Del" by Robert Baum tells of a meeting between the author's great-grandfather and an old sailor at the Hotel Del Coronado that would have long-reaching effects.
  • "The Wizards of Silver and Gold in Oz: Part 1" by Nathan DeHoff and Joe Bongiorno, illustrated by Dennis Anfuso, tells a tale of Quiberon and an ozoplane. And yes, it ends on a cliffhanger, to be resolved in the 2021 issue.
  • "Polychrome's Sky School" by Paul Dana, illustrate by Sam Milazzo, shows us just how Polychrome learned how to do magic.


August 15, 2020: International Wizard of Oz Club Awards

This evening, the International Wizard of Club presented its annual awards at 2Oz? 2Oz! which is this year's national Oz convention, held online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners are:

  • The Fred Otto Prize for short fiction went to "The Flutterbudget Revolt" by Suren Oganessian in first place, and "The Sea Fairies Lost Chapter: Trot and the Sleeper" by Erica Olivera in second.
  • The C. Warren Hollister Prize for non-fiction went to "No Place Like Oz" by Kathryn Sadakierski in first place, and “Lessons in Personality Integration from the Movies The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz” by Mackenzie Littledale winning second place.
  • The Rob Roy MacVeigh Prize for visual arts went to "The King of Beasts' Conquest" by Michael de Jesus in first place (below, left), and "Dr. Pipt" by David Valentin in second place (below, right).
    De Jesus.JPG Valentin.JPG

And the Club's highest award, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, for contributions to Oz and the Club's mission, went to Gina Wickwar, author of The Hidden Prince of Oz and Toto of Oz, and short stories for Oziana, as well as her work for the Club as Secretary and in other capacities. Here's the video of the presentation, with testimonials and reactions: