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Bungle of Oz

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Bungle OZ Glass Cat Cover
Written by  Carrie Bailey
Illustrator  Carrie Bailey
Published  2013
Publisher  PPM Press


Bungle of Oz is an Oz novella written and illustrated by Carrie Bailey. It was published by PPM Press in March 2013, one hundred years after The Patchwork Girl of Oz, the original book by Frank L. Baum from which it draws its inspiration.

Summary

Bungle, The Glass Cat, had been living at the Royal Palace of Oz in comfort until she was bothered by a group of Munchkins petitioning Ozma for a new sign warning travelers about the dangerous Poppies around Munchkin Country. After a series of failed attempts to prove that she was an important and highly esteemed member of Ozma's court, Bungle met with an accident and she was rendered breakable by a unknown magic called the Paradox Potion.

Ozma temporarily repaired the glass cat and sent her on a quest to track down Dr. Pipt and his wife Margolotte with the help of a kitchen hand from Munchkin Country. The boy, named Igi, was unusually tall and un-Munchkin-like, but helped Bungle pass by the Field Mice, a two-headed dragon and board an underground train to the Land of Ev. At the castle of Jinnicky the Red Jinn, Igi discovers his true identity and Bungle is faced with a choice to either remain a little bit damaged or become a real cat.

Characters

Background

Bungle of Oz proposes resolutions to three "problems" left unresolved in canonical novels by Frank L. Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson.

1. Dr. Pipt or Dr. Nikidik? - In the first mention of the Crooked Magician by Frank L. Baum in The Marvelous Land of Oz, the creator of the Powder of Life is given the name, Dr. Nikidik. All other books refer to the Crooked Magician as Dr. Pipt. Bailey proposes that Dr. Nikidik is an alias used by Dr. Pipt. In Bungle of Oz, the Crooked Magician has an identical home in both Munchkin and Gillikin Countries, one for each alias.

2. The tragic life of Victor Columbia Edison - In The Patchwork Girl of Oz, the Crooked Magician accidentally brings a phonograph to life with his magic powder. It attempts to play music for Bungle, Ojo, and Scraps multiple times, but only makes a nuisance of itself and is chased away. In Bungle of Oz, Victor, the phonograph is found living in the home of Dr. Nikidik in Gillikin Country with his true love, a three-legged chair named Squatolotte. The chair was also created accidentally by the Powder of Life and was named for Dr. Pipt's wife, Margolotte.

3. Slavery in the Land of Ev - Whether or not Ruth Plumly Thompson intended to create a race of dark-skinned slaves whose rebellion was crushed in The Silver Princess in Oz is highly contested. One theory claims that the characters Thompson created, called gravel men, were modeled on slaves in the American South. They are dark-skinned and illustrated by John R. Neill as anti-black caricatures. Another theory based solely on Thompson's writing suggests that they were not inspired by American history, but rather Middle Eastern mythology about the Jinn also called genies. The gravel men, in this theory, are inspired the would-be masters of Jinnicky the Red Jinn. Thompson simply reversed the roles of slave and master for the story. In Bungle of Oz, the gravel men have been fighting a civil war in the absence of Jinnicky who has been in his cellar drinking wine for some time when the glass cat and Igi arrive at the Red Castle. With the destruction of the magic dinner bell, the gravel men hold the first random election and chose a new leader, Arbu.

Unlike most non canonical literature about the glass cat, Bungle of Oz does not emphasis or resolve the cat's perceived personality flaws of arrogance and vanity.

Notes

-Dr. Pipt is explicitly described as requiring a wheel chair.

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