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Revision as of 18:52, 6 July 2010

17.1. Is there any sort of Oz fan club?

If you've been reading this FAQ to this point, you already know the answer to this one! The International Wizard of Oz Club (IWOC) was founded in 1957 with sixteen charter members, and now boasts a membership of about six hundred Oz fans worldwide. Their main publication is The Baum Bugle, a triannual journal of all things Ozzy. Recent issues (as of autumn 2005) have covered such subjects as the actors who played the Munchkins in The Movie, some of the "Hedda Hopper's Hollywood" columns about The Movie, Movie scriptwriter Noel Langley, the character of Terrybubble from Speedy in Oz, a look at the books The Marvelous Land of Oz and Queen Zixi of Ix on their centennials, Oz as an empire, the Dorothy comic book and how it's produced, Dorothy as a conqueror, and Anna Laughlin, the first actress to play Dorothy. The Bugle also regularly features short stories by Baum, reviews of new Oz books and other products, Oz news from around the world, bibliography on Baum's books, a regular column devoted to The Movie, and many other items. IWOC members also get early word on conventions and new publications, and some special offers.

IWOC also publishes Oziana, an annual magazine of original fiction, poetry, and art by IWOC members and others; has reprinted a number of Oz books by Ruth Plumly Thompson, Jack Snow, and Rachel R. Cosgrove; has published six new Oz novels; prints an annual calendar, with Ozzy dates and original art; has published anthologies of short stories by Baum and Thompson; printed Oz art books from John R. Neill and Dick Martin; has issued a series of Oz playing cards; made Eric Shanower's graphic novels and Del Rey's line of Ruth Plumly Thompson Oz books available for resale; compiled and printed a set of Oz maps; and all kinds of other Ozzy things.

Currently (2006), membership in IWOC is US$25 for United States and Canada residents (US$15 for Oz fans seventeen and younger) and US$35 (US$25 for younger members) for people in other countries. Send membership dues and other correspondence to The International Wizard of Oz Club, Department E, P.O. Box 26249, San Francisco, CA 94126-6249. E-mail can be sent to this e-mail address, and IWOC's WWW site is at http://www.ozclub.org/.

Books of Wonder used to run another club, The Royal Club of Oz, that included a newsletter about recent events in Oz, but it has ceased operations. But keep an eye on Books of Wonder's website (http://www.booksofwonder.net) to see if it is ever revived.

17.2. Hey, where's my copy of The Baum Bugle? It should have come by now.

The Baum Bugle is the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, an organization run almost exclusively by volunteers. As a result, the publication schedule of the Bugle doesn't always match up with what people would like, since members' paying jobs often must come first. In fact, the Bugle has become notorious for never quite coming out on time. Please be patient, and I can assure you that you will eventually get all three issues you are entitled to. However, if you hear about an issue coming out, and you don't get it within two or three weeks, contact the Oz Club and let them know.

17.3. Are there any Oz conventions?

One of the main activities of IWOC is recognizing and supporting conventions, hosted independently by its members, around the country. The Ozmopolitan Convention, the oldest such event, has been held every year since 1961, and regional conventions have also popped up around the United States. At conventions, there are presentations, shows, conversations and panels with Ozian celebrities, such as authors, members of the Baum family, and some of the Munchkins from The Movie. There are also quizzes, treasure hunts, games, costume contests, and auctions of rare Oz books and other items. The general schedule for these conventions in a year is:

  • April: Quadling Convention, Oklahoma
  • June: Ozmopolitan Convention, in the greater Chicago/Milwaukee area
  • July: Winkie Convention, Pacific Grove, California
  • August: Munchkin Convention, in the greater New York/Philadelphia area
  • October: South Winkie Convention, Dana Point, California

For more information on IWOC conventions, contact IWOC, or check out the conventions page of their website, http://www.ozclub.org/conventions.asp.

Other annual Ozzy events are also held around the country. Here are some of them:

  • May: Yellow Brick Road Festival, Sedan, KS. Contact Nita Jones, 150 East Main, Sedan, KS, 67361.
  • May or June: L. Frank Baum Day, Chittenango, New York (Baum's home town). See http://www.baumozmuseum.com/.
  • June: Judy Garland Festival, Grand Rapids, MN (Garland's home town). Contact John A. Kelsch, PO Box 724, Grand Rapids, MN 55744, or call 1-800-664-JUDY, or see the website at http://www.judygarlandmuseum.com (this is also the website for the Judy Garland Museum).
  • September: Wizard of Oz Festival, Chesterton, Indiana. Contact the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, 303 Broadway, Chesterton, IN 46304, or see http://www.wizardofozfestival.org/.
  • October: Oz-Fest, Dorothy's House, Liberal, Kansas. Contact Dorothy's House, 567 Yellow Brick Road, Liberal, KS 67901, or call (316) 624-7624.
  • October: Oztoberfest, Wamego, Kansas. See http://www.oztoberfest.com/.
  • October: Autumn at Oz Party, Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Held at the site of a now-closed Wizard of Oz theme park. See the sponsor's website at http://www.emeraldmtn.com/autumn.htm for details.

While not exactly a convention, a group of fans in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, around the Seattle area, meet four or five times a year in an event known as an Oogaboo Rendezvous. These informal one-day affairs are mainly social, but they do have quizzes and show the occasional video. To get on the mailing list to receive notice of future events, send a brief note and your address to Lynn Beltz, 3559 Toroda Bridge Customs Road, Curlew, WA 99118, or e-mail her at this e-mail address.

17.4. What are Oz fans called, anyway?

There is no one agreed-upon name for Oz fans, like Star Trek fans calling themselves "Trekkers." So fans are generally free to choose whatever name they like. Among the more well-known are Ozmologists, Ozites, Ozzies, Ozzers, Ozmatologists, Ozoids, and Ozmaniacs.

17.5. What's the appeal of Oz to homosexuals? Are all Oz fans gay?

To answer the second part first, no, of course not. Those who attend Oz events are of all types — young, old, families, and of many socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. And yes, some are also members of the gay community. But no, not all gays are Oz fans. There is nothing in the Oz books or movies that is specifically aimed at gays, but it is a place where the heroes are not all macho he-man types. Look at it this way: The protagonist of The Wizard of Oz is a young girl who is lost and trying to find her way home. She is accompanied by three friends who are all male, yet flawed and labeled by society as incomplete or outcasts. Nevertheless, she accepts them for what they are, and all four of them help each other to get what they want. There is a lot there that can appeal not only to homosexuals, but to anyone who has ever been labeled as different and shunned as a result.

17.6. Have there been any famous Oz fans?

Oh, yes, quite a few. Among the many famous Oz fans you may have heard of are writers Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, Carol Ryrie Brink, L. Sprague de Camp, John Dickson Carr, Edward Eager, Harlan Ellison, Nora Ephron, Philip Jose Farmer, Martin Gardner, William Lindsay Gresham, Robert Heinlein, Diana Wynne Jones, Phyllis McGinley, Russell B. Nye, Ellery Queen, Salman Rushdie, James Thurber, Gore Vidal, Philip Wylie, and Jane Yolen; movie directors James Cameron, Martha Coolidge, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg; singer Gloria Estefan; songwriter Stephen Sondheim; ice skater Tai Babilonia; actors Kevin Costner, Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Linn-Baker, Bronson Pinchot, Shirley Temple, and Betty White; talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O'Donnell; and astronomers James Christy, Frank Drake, Jay M. Pasachoff, and Carl Sagan.