(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.)
- 1 December 28, 2016: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, RIP
- 2 November 25, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Autumn 2016
- 3 August 8, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Spring 2016
- 4 August 6, 2016: The 2016 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award
- 5 July 16, 2016: The 2016 Winkie Award
- 6 February 4, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2015
- 7 Rumor Control
December 28, 2016: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, RIPCarrie Fisher, the actress and author best known for her iconic role of Leia Organa in the Star Wars movies, passed away yesterday. Fisher was sixty years old. She had been rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles four days after suffering a medical emergency on a flight from London. Among her other roles was Annie Clark in Under the Rainbow. Her character worked at MGM in 1938 and was responsible for chaperoning several dozen little people who were staying at a hotel in Culver City during production of a new musical movie, The Wizard of Oz.
Per Fisher's wishes, as she wrote in her memoir Wishful Drinking, we are printing a line that she wanted in her obituary, referring to Leia's lack of undergarments in the original Star Wars movie:
"I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra."
November 25, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Autumn 2016
In this issue:
- To commemorate sixty years of the famous MGM film version of The Wizard of Oz on television, the front cover reproduces the cover of the 1956 album taken directly from The Movie's soundtrack, while the back cover is Norman Rockwell's portrait of Judy Garland, used by Singer for its sponsorship of the 1970 broadcast of The Movie, the first after the death of Judy.
- Former editor Craig Noble pens his official farewell letter, not having the chance to do so earlier, while interim editor Scott Cummings also has some thoughts in the temporarily retitled "From the Editors" column.
- Club President Carrie Hedges urges members to renew—and lists the benefits of doing so, including receiving the 2016 edition of Oziana—in her "OZervations" column.
- In "Oz and Ends":
- The local airing and subsequent streaming of the play The Woodsman.
- A sweded version of The Wizard of Oz at the Virginia Sweded Film Festival.
- Elements of Oz at the 3LD Art and Technology Center in New York.
- The forthcoming NBC series Emerald City.
- The forthcoming exhibit "Over the Rainbow: Toys from the Land of Oz" at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City.
- An exhibit of banned children's books, including a first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, at the Roesch Library at the University of Dayton.
- A performance of "There's a Lady Bug A-Waitin' For Me" from the failed 1905 musical The Woggle-Bug in a revue in Minnesota this past summer.
- Going up for auction:
- Original illustrations by Anton Loeb for a 1950 abridgement of The Wizard of Oz ($2,125 and $1,875).
- The "Witch Remover" prop wielded by the Cowardly Lion in The Movie ($95,000).
- A prop version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz used in the movie Inkheart ($100).
- An autographed copy of Baum's 1908 novel The Last Egyptian ($2,125).
- The new video games Oz: Broken Kingdom and The Wizard of Oz: Magic Match.
- Linda Medley, the comic book writer/artist who created the award-winnig Castle Waiting, has art cards with her own interpretations of the Oz characters for sale in her Etsy shop.
- Liztech Jewelry and this year's addition to their Wizard of Oz collection, a Flying Monkey.
- The Oz book reading blog Burzee, at https://burzee.wordpress.com/.
- A library in Kiev, Ukraine, with an avid corps of Oz fans.
- An L. Frank Baum duvet cover, available from Studio6 (and while you're there, check out the other products they have emblazoned with Baum's face).
- Gene Wilder's family reporting that, when he passed away, he was listening to Ella Fitzgerald's version of "Over the Rainbow".
- The Original Melting Witch, a new toy now for sale.
- John Fricke celebrates sixty years of the famous film version of The Wizard of Oz on television in "Timeless Appeal: The Wizard of Oz Comes to Television Sixty Years Ago".
- Scott Cummings delves into history with "The Wonderful Wizard of Menlo: Thomas Edison's Contributions to Oz". The article even reprints a letter Edison wrote to Ruth Plumly Thompson.
- In an article about his writings first printed in 1902, L. Frank Baum tells the world "What Children Want", countered by a 1912 interview headlined, "Lose Taste for Fairy Tales".
- The creator of a new video tribute to Oz sits down for an interview in "The Oz Project: An Interview with Sean Barrett".
- Anne F. Walker reflects on her love of Oz particularly Baum's final book, in the "Adventures in Oz" article "Locating Glinda of Oz".
- Taking advantage of the large number of vintage newspapers now available online, "The Great Book of Records" looks at Oz-themed department store ads in Philadelphia in 1920 and Rochester in 1922.
- Traveling around the country, "The Magic Picture" reports on recent Oz events, including:
- Oz Con South 2016 (Houma, Louisiana), reported by David and karen Diket.
- Oz-Stravaganza! 2016 (Chittenango, New York), from David Moyer.
- "The Wonderful World of Oz" museum exhibit (Davenport, Iowa), as told by Scott Cummings.
- The roll of the winners of the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award expands by two with the announcement of this year's winners, William Stillman and Jay Scarfone.
- In "Multi-MediOz", Ryan Jay reviews the new movie Ozland.
- Mentioned in "The Oz Bookshelf":
- Images of Modern America: The Land of Oz by Tim Hollis, reviewed by Atticus Gannaway.
- After Ozz by Bart Baker.
- Bad Wizard by James Maxey.
- A new edition of Denslow's Night Before Christmas from Dover Publications.
- The first four volumes of the Steampunk Oz series by Steve DeWinter and S. D. Stuart:
- The Future's Destiny (Season 1, Episode 4).
- The Fall of Munchkinland by Christopher Blake, the first volume of the series "The War on Oz".
- Getting to Oz: The Personal Journey Home to Your True Self by Dr. Deborah Khoshaba.
- The Giant Chinchilla of Oz by Andrew J. Heller.
- Hidden Symbols in the Wizard of Oz: Ancient Inspiration for America's Timeless Story by Benjamin Blankenbehler.
- Holka Polka: A Fary Tale Mystery from the Land of Oz by D. M. Larson.
- Images of Oz by S. P. Maldonado.
- The Munchkins of Oz: Legends, Myths, and Realities by Stephen Hoover.
- Murder, Most Sincerely: A Romantic Backstage Mystery by Beverly Nault.
- New Oz by Andrew Jeanjacques.
- Oz: The Final Journey by the Enchanted Hearts.
- The Oz Omnibus of Talking City Tales by Ron Baxley, Jr..
- The Wizard of Oz: Dark Witch Rising series by Mike LaMontagne:
- Realizing Emerald City: Find Your True Power on the Yellow Brick Road by Lydia Scott.
- Revenge of the Dark Witch: The Illustrated Screenplay by Patrick Lemieux.
- The Royal Grandmother (and Granddaughter) of Oz by Richard Fullmer.
- There's No Place Like Home: An Emma Frost Mystery by Willow Rose.
- A new edition of The Wisdom of Oz: Using Personal Accountability to Succeed in Everything You Do by Roger Connors and Tom Smith.
- The Wizard of Oz: Am Over-the-Rainbow Celebration of the World's Favorite Movie, edited by Ben Nussbaum.
- The Wizard of Oz FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Life According to Oz by David J. Hogan.
- The Wogglebug's Book of Manners by Cynthia Hanson.
- The Wonderful Alice of Oz by Ron Glick (volume 3 in the Oz-Wonderland series).
- The Zombies of Oz by James C. Sanders.
- Reviewed in "Oz in the Spotlight":
- Todrick Hall's Straight Out of Oz (review by Dewey Davis-Thompson)
- Glinda of Oz by Youth Theatre Northwest of Mercer Island, Washington (review by Eric Gjovaag)
- Karen Owens remembers Jean Nelson, owner of the Yellow Brick Road gift shop and driving force behind the late, lamented Chesterton Oz Festival in Indiana in "In Memoriam".
- And in "Ozmusements", an Oz word scramble celebrating one hundred years of Rinkitink in Oz.
August 8, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Spring 2016
In this issue:
- Craig Noble apologizes for the lateness of the issue and praises the cover in his "Letter from the Editor". (Alas, the factor that made the issue late, a new job, have now precluded Craig from continuing as Bugle editor, and since this issue's publication, he has announced his resignation. Former editor Scott Cummings has stepped in on a contingency basis.)
- Club President Carrie Hedges encourages members to donate money at higher levels of membership and attend the Club's two conventions this summer (alas, both already past now) in her "OZervations" column.
- In "Oz and Ends":
- The Slippers, a new full-length documentary about The Movie's famous ruby footwear, which made its debut at this year's ŜSW Festival in Austin, Texas.
- A production of The Wiz at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in New York State.
- A Wizard of Oz-themed train ride in French Lick, Indiana.
- The release of Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz, a sequel to their first mash-up movie Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz.
- Composer Alexis de Ravenswood releases a symphonic retelling of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- An article about brothers Eugene and Eulie David, who were Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz before settling in the Barnwell, South Carolina region.
- Chairman Ryan Bunch previews this year's national Club convention in "OzCon National 2016 is Coming to Philadelphia!" (alas, the issue went out too late to be of any use for readers).
- Barbara S. Koelle examines the lives of three visitors from the City of Brotherly Love to Oz in "The Boys from Philadelphia".
- Jane Albright looks at the Club's new blog as she and the blog's creator look at previously unknown Oz collectibles in "Blogging for the IWOC: Walter Krueger Unveils Unknown Oz".
- The Oz Club announces a contest to rewrite the end of Rinkitink in Oz as it may have been in its original 1905 non-Oz incarnation, King Rinkitink.
- Ron Baxley, Jr. interviews another artist in "The Oz Illustrator: An Interview with Oz 'Maine-iac' Vincent Myrand". (The back cover features Myrand's watercolor painting "The Flight of the Fugitives".)
- "Oz in the Spotlight" feature's Bill Thompson's review of the second iteration of the recently concluded touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz.
- In "Adventures in Oz", Club member Michael Booth writes about "My Wonderful Life in Oz".
- "The Oz Bookshelf" reviews and mentions a number of new books:
- Polyhrome: A Romantic Fantasy by Ryk E. Spoor, reviewed by Alan Wise.
- The Giant Garden of Oz (new edition) and Worlds of Color: Welcome to Oz Adult Coloring Book, both by Eric Shanower and reviewed by Atticus Gannaway.
- 1899: L. Frank Baum's OZ-Inspiring Macatawa Park by William Bollman.
- 20,000 Leagues Under Oz by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone.
- The Case of the Ruby Slippers by Martha Freeman.
- Colorful Corniness in Oz by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone.
- Crown of the Dreamer by Tarl Telford.
- Da Yeller Brick Road by Jim Yoakum.
- Dorothy and Mischievous Children in Oz by James Fuller.
- Dorothy of Oz Prequel by Denton J. Tipton.
- Dorothy and the Purple Bull from Oz by James Fuller.
- Dorothy Through the Looking-Glass by Ron Glick
- The Emerald Slippers of Oz.
- Emily Goes to Oz by Pamela Wolf.
- …And Justice for Oz by Lark Vandergrace.
- Lost Lands of Oz: The Rain King Is Missing by Janet Kelly.
- The Magic of Glinda: Why Transformation Is Myth by Scott W. Webb.
- The Making of The Wizard of Oz (75th Anniversary Edition) by Aljean Harmetz.
- The Nutcrackers of Oz by James Fuller.
- The Oz Enigma by Roger S. Baum.
- Queer and Loathing on the Yellow Brick Road by Deb Hoag.
- Rainbow's Emissary by Mike LaMontagne.
- The Red Brick Road by Edwin Page.
- Refugees from the Emerald City by David Alvin.
- The Royal Historian of Oz by Spike Brown.
- Searching for Matilda: Portrait of a Forgotten Feminist by Charlotte M. Shapiro.
- The Royal Historian of Oz by Spike Brown.
- Take Me Back to Oz by Lisa McFauh-Queppe.
- Toto and the Cats of Oz by Robin Hess.
- Toto's Reflection: Leadership Lessons from The Wizard of Oz by Kevin Fickenscher.
- The Wiz Kids of Oz by Robert Bresloff.
- The Wizard of Oz Arranged for Harp by Sylvia Woods.
- The Wizard of Oz Crochet by Kristen Rask.
- The Wizard of Mad Libs.
- The Wizard of Oz, Where Is He Now? by Richard Mickelson.
- The Wizard in Wonderland by Ron Glick.
- The Wogglebug's Fun with Seasons and Holidays by Cynthia Hanson.
- Wonderful Images of Oz, edited by Kevin Meinert and Brandie Colbert.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Ron Glick, adapted by STella Gurney.
- Yip Harburg: Legendary Lyricist and Human Rights Activist by Ron Glick.
- And "In Memoriam" notes the passing oftwo long-time Club members and contributors to the saga of Oz, Richard Paul Smyers and Margaret Berg.
August 6, 2016: The 2016 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award
The International Wizard of Oz Club tonight presented its highest award, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, to Jay Scarfone and William Stillman. Together, they have written many books, including The Wizard of Oz: The Official 50th Anniversary Pictorial History (with John Fricke), The Wizard of Oz Collector’s Treasury, The Wizardry of Oz: The Artistry and Magic of the 1939 MGM Classic, and The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion. They have also written many articles and curated museum exhibits about The Movie. Stillman was also the editor-in-chief of The Baum Bugle from 1996 to 2000, while Scarfone has served on the Club's board of directors. Both were also active in the Munchkin Convention, chairing it for several years.
July 16, 2016: The 2016 Winkie Award
Tonight, OzCon International presented its annual Winkie Award, for cotributions to the convention and Oz in general, to Virginia "Gina" Wickwar. She is the author of The Hidden Prince of Oz and Toto of Oz, as well as many contributions to OzCon International.
February 4, 2016: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2015
A few weeks late, but nothing too serious, the Winter 2015 edition of The Baum Bugle has been sent out to members and should arrive soon. This marks the end of the 2015 membership year, and so members are urged to renew for 2016 as soon as possible with the enclosed form.
In this issue:
- The front cover features Elijah Kelley as the Scarecrow from December's broadcast of The Wiz Live!
- Craig Noble's "Letter from the Editor" talks about the issue's dual celebrants, The Scarecrow of Oz, which turned one hundred in 2015, and The Wiz Live!
- The Oz Club's president, Carrie Hedges, urges all members to renew and attend one of this summer's Oz conventions (in either Portland or Philadelphia in her "OZervations" column.
- Featured in "Oz and Ends":
- NBC picks up Emerald City for a series, now starting in the fall; while Amazon's pilot for Lost in Oz was so successful that it has also been picked up for a full series run.
- Not only is Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz back for a second North American tour, it was also featured in a November episode of [http://www.broadwaybalancesamerica.com/index.php/show?show=152110 Broadway Balances America reports on Lifetime.
- A long list of award nominations for The Wiz Live!.
- Thirty-eight years after recording the album, Diana Ross Sings Songs From The Wiz comes out at last.
- At a Bonham's auction in November, one of Judy Garland's dresses from The Wizard of Oz sells for $1.56 million.
- Eric Shanower examines and tries to reconcile "The Five Origins of the Scarecrow".
- Alyse Rall Benjamin takes a journey back in time "Rereading The Scarecrow of Oz".
- "Oz Under Scrutiny" looks at contemporary reviews of The Scarecrow of Oz, culled from L. Frank Baum's own scrapbooks.
- Paul R. Bienvenue and Robert E. Schmidt look at the editions of Oz and Baum books specially bound for use in libraries in "The Library Bindings of Oz".
- "The Magic Picture" carries a number of reports from OzCon International this past summer in San Diego:
- "What's in a Name?" by David Maxine examines the reasons behind rebranding the convention from its old name, the Winkie Convention.
- Peter E. Hanff reviews the book, Fifty Years of the Winkie Convention, and also looks at the panel on "Collecting Original Oz Art".
- Robert Baum writes a profile on this year's winner of the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, Paul R. Bienvenue.
- Paul Dana recaps three panels: "The Soul of The Wiz", "The Novelizations of Oz", and "What Can We Make of Neill's Oz Books?".
- Michael O. Riley thoroughly examines the differences between the first two printings of the first Oz book in "Bibliographia Oziana: More on the Hill Edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: How to Distinguish Between the First and Second States of the Text" (whew!).
- In "The Oz Illustrator", Bill Campbell writes of how he and his partner reinterpret Oz illustrations in a new medium in "Ozzy Inspirations: The Stained Glass of Century Studio".
- "Oz in the Spotlight" presents two reviews of The Wiz Live!, by Ryan Jay and Garrett Kilgore.
- In "Adventures in Oz", Eric Sangwine remembers how his mother's prized copy of The Wizard of Oz led to his career as a librarian in Ontario.
- "Oz Ink" presents Samantha Beeler, her Oz tattoos, and how they came to be.
- The rules for a contest to complete Baum's original non-Oz story, King Rinkitink, which was later rewritten and published as Rinkitink in Oz, appear.
- In The Oz Bookshelf, Marc Berezin reviews A Brief Guide to Oz by Paul Simpson.
- "In Memoriam" marks the passing of Holly Dennis-Lucas, who ran the Wannabe Wonderlands blog.
- "Ozmusements" presents a quiz over The Scarecrow of Oz by Eric Gjovaag.
- And the back cover reproduces The Whirlpool, a stained glass window based on an illustration by John R. Neill and created by Bill Campbell and Irwin Terry.
(Because of the many questions I am asked about possible forthcoming Oz projects or other bits of pseudo-news, I have added this section to answer some of these inquiries.)
There is now a release date for the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical version of Wicked: December 20, 2019. This is still subject to change, but an announced date is a good sign. Winnie Holzman, who wrote the book of the play, is working on the script, and the composer, Stephan Schwartz, is arranging the music (and probably writing a new song or two). No casting announcements have been made yet.
Reports of Jerry Maren's death on February 29, 2016, are false. The last little person to play a Munchkin in The Movie, he is still alive and kicking and, unlike the reports saying it, does not have cancer.
Okay, yes, word has leaked out that Warner Bros. tried to talk Robert Zemeckis into directing a remake of The Wizard of Oz, using the same screenplay as the famous 1939 Judy Garland version. Zemeckis already rejected the idea. This probably puts the idea on the back burner for a while, and based on the extreme negative reaction the idea got, I suspect it will stay there. Rumors of this have surfaced again, but appear to be the result of someone finding the old story and running it again.
It's getting harder and harder to keep up with all of the currently planned Oz movie and television projects. Bear in mind that at this stage, most of it is speculation and/or not even in pre-production, or possibly even a game of "Telephone". But here are some of the current Oz movies that could be coming to your local theater in the next few years:
- The Road to Oz, a movie biopic about the life of L. Frank Baum and how he created Oz, starring Eddie Redmayne as Frank. (See reports here and here.)
- Dark Oz 3-D, based on the old Caliber comic book.
- A non-musical, faithful adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from New Line and Temple Hill.
- The Oz Wars, which would have the witches fighting for control of the Emerald City while the Wizard leads the resistance.
- John Boorman's animated adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz seems to be on track for release — in France. Once it's released, an English-language release will likely come out soon afterwards. (However, in a recent interview, Boorman admitted that the project has stalled due to lack of funding.)
- Oz: Return to the Emerald City was one of two possible competing projects at Warner Bros. This original sequel may now be shopped around to other studios, or turned into a novel.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a low-budget independent production from Barnyard Studios and Used Productions. This is very much a shoestring production, which is looking for money and actors. But its Kickstarter campaign to raise the last money it needed was a success, so it may be finished soon.
- Legend of Oz, a modern retelling of The Wizard of Oz from Valley Wind Productions in Ottawa.
- Oz, a new telling of The Wizard of Oz.
- A still unnamed horror movie set in the 1920s with Dorothy meeting Alice in Bedlam Asylum.
- Young Santa., based on L. Frank Baum's book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and directed by Sean McNamara.
- How the Wizard Came to Oz, based on two books by Donald Abbott.
- Not entirely Oz, strictly speaking, but the Judy Garland biography Get Happy may be made into a movie, featuring Anne Hathaway as Garland.
And it's not limited to movies any more. In development for television:
- Red Brick Road, a television series continuation of The Wizard of Oz in the style of Game of Thrones. The latest word is that this is being developed for the Lifetime channel.
- Dorothy, an Oz-themed medical drama in development at CBS
- Dorothy Must Die, in which Dorothy has returned to Oz and become a dictator, in development at the CW. This would be based on the book series of the same name.
- Warriors of Oz, a post-apocalyptic version in development at Syfy.
- A Wicked television miniseries, based on the original book (not the stage musical). Salma Hayak was attached to this as a producer. When last heard of, it was under development at ABC.
No, Peter Jackson is not producing or directing a billion-dollar all-CGI remake of The Wizard of Oz for Warner Bros. How do stories like this get started? Oh, maybe in stories like this...
In recent years, there have been proposals for other Oz or related projects, none of which now appear that they will get off the ground. Among them:
- Lost in Oz, a series that was to feature Melissa George as a Kansas university student who is whisked to Oz sixty years after the events of The Wizard of Oz (The Movie) and helping to spearhead a rebellion against the new Wicked Witch of the West. Although developed for the WB and a pilot film produced, it was never picked up, nor the pilot shown. (But keep an eye out on auction sites, as a bootleg DVD sometimes shows up…)
- A telelvision miniseries based on Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked, with Demi Moore in the title role. (There are stories that the people developing this version later pushed their involvement into the musical version now playing on Broadway and elsewhere.)
- The O. Z., a hip-hop flavored re-telling of The Wizard of Oz for Fox. Among the rumored Dorothy's at one point were Brandy, Mya, and the late Aaliyah. Justin Timberlake, John Leuizamo, and Little Richard were mentioned for other parts.
- Surrender Dorothy. Drew Barrymore as Dorothy's great-granddaughter coming to Oz, and battling the Wicked Witch of the West's granddaughter. (Rumors of this recently resurfaced, but were quickly squelched. This project is dead.)
- Somewhere starring Elizabeth Taylor as Dorothy, now a grandmother, returning to Oz. The deaths of both Taylor and developer Rod Steiger means this is unlikely to ever happen.
- Pamela West, where the Wicked Witch is the innocent victim and Dorothy (with Toto as a pit bull) is the evil interloper.
- The Land of Oz (not based on the book of the same name), produced by Hallmark for NBC. This eventually became the basis for the Sci Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man.
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus from Circa Pictures. It's no longer listed on their website.
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus from Hyde Park Entertainment and Toonz Entertainment.
- A Bollywood adaptation of The Wizard of Oz in India.
- A movie version of American McGee's (later cancelled) Oz video game.
- Geoff Ryman's Was.
If progress is made on any of these projects, such as actually going into production or a release date announced, the news will be posted as quickly as possible on this page. But at this stage, any of these going into production is very unlikely. (However, Tin Man was part of this list for some time before its eventual completion and broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel.)