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==July 27, 2019: The 2019 Winkie Award==
==July 27, 2019: The 2019 Winkie Award==
[[File:Jlbellwinkieaward.jpg|500px|center]]Tonight, OzCon International presented its highest honor, the Winkie Award, to John L. Bell. Bell has helped the convention a lot in recent years by coordinating daytime programming and lining up speakers and events. He is also a tireless Oz researcher and writer who has contributed to both ''The Baum Bugle'' and ''Oziana''. Heartfelt congratulations to a well-deserving recipient!
[[File:Jlbellwinkieaward.jpg|500px|center]]Tonight, OzCon International presented its highest honor, the Winkie Award, to John L. Bell. Bell has helped the convention a lot in recent years by coordinating daytime programming and lining up speakers and events. He is also a tireless Oz researcher and writer who has contributed to both ''The Baum Bugle'' and ''Oziana''. Heartfelt congratulations to a well-deserving recipient!
==June 22, 2019: The 2019 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award==
[[File:LFBMA 2019.jpg|frame|center|Bill Beem (right) receives the 2019 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award from last year's winner, Bill Thompson. (Photo courtesy of Bill Thompson.)]]
The International Wizard of Oz Club presented its highest honor, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, to Bill Beem tonight during the Club's National Convention in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. A long-time Club member, Bill has been a quiet presence behind-the-scenes at Club meetings and conventions for decades now. He exhibited many items from his collection at the 2000 Centennial Convention and the 2012 National Convention, and chaired the 2006 Ozmapolitan Convention. He has also helped with programming at many Oz events, and served the Club on the Board of Directors and recording secretary. This is a richly deserved award which couldn't go to a better recipient.


Revision as of 20:42, 18 July 2020

(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.)

"There's no place like the home page."

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


April 17, 2020: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2019 issue


The final issue of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, has come out for the 2019 membership year. Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the printers were not able to print the issue in a timely manner; so, in an unprecedented move, the Club sent out the issue to Club members as a .pdf file via e-mail. (UPDATE, May 9: The printer has come through, and the print version is now making its way into members' mailboxes.) This marks the end of the 2019 membership year, and members are encouraged to renew their memberships for 2020 soon.

In this issue:

Also included with this issue:

  • A 2020 membership form (for those who don't want to renew their membership online).
  • A registration form for the National Oz Convention.
  • The third part of the Emerald City toy theatre.
  • An "Oz Live 2019" supplement, reporting on:
    • The 2019 National Oz Convention in Thibodeaux, Louisiana.
    • Oz-Stravaganza! in Chittenango, New York.
    • The Quadling Convention in Moore, Oklahoma.
    • The Judy Garland Festival and Children's Wizard of Oz Festival in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
    • The Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival in Ionia, Michigan.
    • OzCon International in Pomona, California.
    • Autumn in Oz in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
    • Oztoberfest in Wamego, Kansas.
    • Ohio Oz Fest in Twinsburg, Ohio.
  • The latest issue of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans (no matter what age their birth certificate might say), featuring:
    • A new expedition for Trot and Cap'n Bill.
    • Dorothy's final "Editorial", as she's handing over the reins as Editor in Chief to the Scarecrow.
    • The conclusion to the biography of L. Frank Baum.
    • A play written by the Scarecrow, relating some of the events of The Magic of Oz.
    • In "Ask Glinda", the sorceress and some of her friends answer the question, "How do I get to Oz?"

Stay tuned, because more from this issue will be coming over the next few days.

February 9, 2020: Judy and the 2019 Movie Awards Season

Renée Zellweger was presented with the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role tonight for her performance as Judy Garland in the later years of her life in the film Judy. This culminates the 2019-20 movie award season, which saw Zellweger give early notice that she would be a factor, as she also won the following awards:

  • Hollywood Actress Award at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards.
  • Best Actress at the 2019 British Independent Film Awards.
  • Best Lead Actress at the 2019 Atlanta Film Critics Circle.
  • Best Actress at the 2019 Phoenix Film Critics Society.
  • Best Actress at the 2020 Houston Film Critics Society.
  • The Desert Palm Achievement Award at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
  • Best Actress in a Motion Picture—Drama at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.
  • Best Actress from the National Board of Review.
  • Best Actress from the 2020 AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards.
  • Best Actress from the 2020 Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
  • The American Riviera Award at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
  • Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Award.
  • Actress of the Year from the 2020 London Film Critics Circle.
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (the BAFTAs).
  • Best Female Lead at the 2020 Independent Film Awards.

Zellweger was also a runner-up for Best Actress from the San Diego Film Critics Society.

Renée Zellweger wasn't the only award presented to Judy or one of its contributors:

  • Jeremy Woodhead won Make Up and Hair Design from the British Independent Film Awards. (Woodhead was also nominated for the Oscar in the same category, but lost to Bombshell.)
  • The film was one of the top ten independent films named by the National Board of Review.

November 27, 2019: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2019


The latest issue of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is now in the mail and finding its way to members. This issue celebrates the legacy of L. Frank Baum and his creation in the centennial year of his crossing the shifting sands.

In this issue:

  • The wraparound cover by Mark Manley shows L. Frank Baum meeting with many of the characters he created in the Emerald City. The inside covers show some of Manley's preliminary sketches and the development of the final artwork.
  • "Letters" sees Oz Club President Jane Albright outlining how Ozzy her summer was, while Baum Bugle editor in chief Sarah K. Crotzer looks at the process of putting this issue together.
  • "Awards and Honors" tells the world that Bill Beem won the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award for 2019, written up by Peter E. Hanff and Bill Thompson.
  • In "The Bugle Bulletin":
    • The original set parts for "Over the Rainbow" were found in the collection of Angela White, the daughter of Dave Rose, Judy Garland's first husband (not her third husband, as the Bugle reports). It was performed in public for the first time on September 14, 2019.
    • A black-and-white dress, worn onscreen by Bobby Koshay as she doubled for Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, two Munchkin jackets, an Emerald City townsfolk jacket, and an Emerald City soldier's musket all went up for auction at Profiles in History. Meanwhile, Ray Bolger's Tony Award for Charley's Aunt was auctioned off in August.
    • The successful Kickstarter campaign to issue a new edition of The Royal Book of Oz, plus Sea Wolf Press's "100th Anniversary Collection" of all fourteen Oz novels by L. Frank Baum.
    • The forthcoming Wizard of Oz escape room at St. Louis Escape Rooms in St. Louis, Missouri.
    • A correction to last issue's review of Oz Behind the Iron Curtain, giving the correct date for an early edition of Волшебник Изумрудного Города.
    • To celebrate The Movie's eightieth anniversary, Google added some interactivity to its search results for The Wizard of Oz (click on the Ruby Slippers in the upper right hand corner to see for yourself).
    • The National Endowment for the Arts gives a grant to The George Eastman Museum to help preserve its movie holdings, which include the only known copy of the 1910 film version of The Wizard of Oz, as well as the original negative of the famous 1939 movie version.
    • The Dublin Zoo in Ireland has a classic children's literature theme to their annual "Wild Lights" holiday attraction. Among the stories profiled is The Wizard of Oz.
    • This year's New York State Fair had a sand sculpture celebrating the eightieth anniversary of The Movie. Not to be outdone, the Kansas State Fair this year featured butter sculptures of Dorothy and other Oz characters.
    • "Beyond the Shifting Sands" notes the passing of artist Charles Santore.
    • "Through the Tube" features the following YouTube videos:
  • As a tribute to the late Fred M. Meyer, the Club's longtime Secretary, the Bugle published a previously unpublished item found in Meyer's files, "What Might L. Frank Baum Have Written Next?"
  • What may be a fragment of an unfinished Oz story by L. Frank Baum, previously published in the Bugle in 1965, is reprinted as "An Oz Story", with a new illustration by Mark Manley.
  • Gita Dorothy Morena, L. Frank Baum's great-granddaughter, and daughter of Ozma Baum Mentele, writes about her experiences with Oz and her family in "Living Inside the Oz Legacy".
  • Mark Manley writes about his artistic journey in "Drawn to Oz".
  • "The First Oz Fan Fiction" presents just that—at least the first published one—written by ten-year-old Henry Kutz and nine-year-old Max Stolz, from the June 5, 1909 edition of the Syracuse Post-Standard.
  • "'Written Solely to Please Children': Is Oz Still a Story for Kids?" by Dina Schiff Massachi looks at the audience(s) of the many different interpretations of Oz in mass media over the decades.
  • Jane Albright takes a visit to "The Oz Museum: A World of Its Own in Wamego, Kansas", and catalogs other Oz and Oz-related museums around the United States.
  • Albright also initiates a new column, "Guaranteed for a Thousand Years" with "The Empty Case for Oz", looking at how Oz fans can show off some of their collection in a local museum or library exhibit space. (Further contributions come from David C. Diket and Sarah K. Crotzer.)
  • In "The Great Book of Records", Scott Cummings looks at contemporary accounts of the passing of the Royal Historian of Oz in "'The Maker of Fairies Is Dead': America Responds to the Death of L. Frank Baum".
  • Presented in "Oz in the Arts":
    • The recent movie Judy, reviewed by Garrett Kilgore.
    • The Wiz, put on in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and reviewed by Sarah K. Crotzer.
  • Books written up in "The Bugle Review":
  • In "Adventures in Oz", Raymond Francis Wohl recounts his discovery of Oz and how he turned it into a one man show about L. Frank Baum in "The Stories Behind the Stories".

Also included with this issue are:

  • Autumn Issue #5 of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans. In this issue:
    • News of a missing Munchkin named Kiki Aru.
    • An editorial by editor Dorothy Gale.
    • The second part of the story of "How L. Frank Baum Became the Royal Historian of Oz".
    • The Scarecrow writes about how important illustrations can be to a story.
    • The "Ask Glinda" column covers a little bit of the history of the Nome King.
    • And the Glass Cat produces her first society column (even typed by herself).
  • Plus, the second part of the Emerald City toy theatre, showing the background (and a little bit of what's happening behind the scenes).

November 17, 2019: Oziana 2019

Oziana 2019.jpeg

The 2019 issue of Oziana, the annual literary journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is now available for anyone to buy, whether they are Club members or not. It is available at this link to Lulu.com.

In this issue:

  • The front cover by David Valentin is entitled "Friends and Family".
  • In "An Odd Transformation" by Sara Philips, with illustrations by Lyan Tjally, some of Oz's more unusual but noteworthy citizens are transformed in an unexpected way. (Tjally also provides a full-color illustration for this story on the back cover.)
  • "Bitsy, the Patchwork Cat of Oz" by Jane Albright, with illustrations by Steve Smith, relates the adventures of Oz's newest animal citizen, accidentally created from some of Scraps' patches.
  • "The Epiphany of Miss Gulch" by Paul Dana, with illustrations by Mela Pagayonan, looks at what happened to Miss Gulch after Toto escaped from her basket.
  • "The End of the Road" is a poem by E. J. Hagadorn.
  • "The Giant Weasel of Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff, with illustrations by Darrell Spradlyn, sees the title character decide to collect a roc egg, with several Emerald City celebrities getting involved.

September 20, 2019: The Baum Bugle Spring 2019


The Spring 2019 issue of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, has finally been published and is making its way to Club members. This issue was delayed due to editor in chief Sarah K. Crotzer having to deal with a series of unforeseen hospital visits, but a new Bugle is always welcome whatever the season.

In this issue:

Also included with this issue:

  • Issue number four of the revived version of The Oz Gazette, dedicated to younger (or young at heart) Oz fans. Among the items are a contest to draw a new map of Oz; how L. Frank Baum met W. W. Denslow; the Scarecrow reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl; Glinda explaining why animals in Oz can talk (and why some can't); and an interview with the Cowardly Lion.
  • The craft project is part one of an Emerald City toy theater, with the proscenium arch, box seats, and four Oz characters. (More parts and characters are promised in the remaining two parts, coming in the Autumn and Winter issues.)

August 11, 2019: Charles Santore 1935-2019

Santore Oz.jpeg

Acclaimed illustraton Charles Santore, best known for his reimaginations of classic children's stories, died today from undisclosed causes. He was 84. His teachers in Philadelphia recognized his artistic talents at an early age and encouraged him to pursue a life in art. He started off in commercial art, his works appearing in many advertisements and magazines, including a number of celebrity portraits on the cover of TV Guide in the 1970s. In 1985, a publisher approached Santore about creating new illustrations for Peter Rabbit, and a new stage of his career opened up. As well as Peter Rabbit, he created new illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, Aesop's Fables, The Night Before Christmas, The Velveteen Rabbit, and an acclaimed edition of The Wizard of Oz, first published in 1991. His original works are now in many museums, including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Brandywine Rivers Museum in Pennsylvania. In 1972, he was awarded the Hamilton King award from the New York Society of Illustrators. He also received a gold medal from the New York Society of Publication Designers, and an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America.

(Information courtesy of WHYY and Wikipedia.)

July 27, 2019: The 2019 Winkie Award


Tonight, OzCon International presented its highest honor, the Winkie Award, to John L. Bell. Bell has helped the convention a lot in recent years by coordinating daytime programming and lining up speakers and events. He is also a tireless Oz researcher and writer who has contributed to both The Baum Bugle and Oziana. Heartfelt congratulations to a well-deserving recipient!

Rumor Control

(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.)

The previously announced release date for the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical version of Wicked turns out to have been premature—again. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic shuffling release schedules around, the original first-postponed December 22, 2021 release date was given over to Sing 2. So the Wicked movie is on hold again, but it is still in development, although it has no definitive release date yet.

The latest Oz project to be announced in Hollywood: Cheshire Crossing, the graphic novel by Andy Weir and Sarah Anderson, optioned by Amblin Partners. (See this report.)

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.)

"There's no place like the home page."