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27 October 2006

We're Off To See the Wizard...Way Off.

Recently, Erik "Savage Dragon" Larsen wrote an article for Comic Book Resources about his love of the Oz books and his disappointment with most recent attempts to reimagine the series for comics, with a couple of notable exceptions. I thought it was an insightful piece, especially as I generally agree that "artistic licence" goes a little far sometimes in the way classics such as Oz are treated (or, for example, see American McGee's Alice, a seriously disturbed adaptations of Alice in Wonderland).
What especially struck me about the article was the following comment:

"The pitches I've received almost invariably update the characters and try to make things darker and grittier. Dorothy Gale invariably gets turned into a sexpot and the Tin Woodsman invariably gets turned into a killing machine, hacking up anybody that comes within arm's reach."

It got me to thinking about different ways that an artist could interpret the Oz characters that might be modern without taking the typical sexpot/killing machine route. It struck me that a defining characteristic about the characters is their particular neuroses...cowardice, self-confidence, emotional detachment, etc...and that perhaps reimagining the characters with this in mind might have interesting results. Immediately came the following sketches. Please keep in mind that this is in no way meant to be serious; I don't really want to see Oz done up this way. It's just for fun, and for Mr. Larsen, who might enjoy his Oz a little more neurotic....

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