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The Wonderland of Oz

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The Wonderland of Oz was a comic strip adaptation of L. Frank Baum's Oz books, drawn by artist Walt Spouse and distributed by C. C. Winnigham, Inc., of Detroit in 1932 and 1933.

Spouse produced a very faithful adaptation of Baum's stories; his artwork was strongly influenced by the originals of John R. Neill. Spouse adapted five of the Oz books into comic form — The Marvelous Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, and Tik-Tok of Oz. The comic strip was cancelled after that point.

Spouse's strip has often been considered a failure by commentators, since it did not achieve great popularity or long-term viability. Spouse's adaptation of Baum's stories was so direct and detailed that many of his individual four-panel strips convey little action.

Spouse structured his strip in an outdated format, with blocks of text at the bottom of each panel — a format employed three decades previously in comics like the early Little Nemo in Slumberland, but generally out of use by the 1930s. When Spouse's strip was reprinted in comic-book form in 1939 (by Dell, in The Funnies), it was restructured with the speech balloons standard in comics. Some of this re-formatted version was reprinted in Oz-story Magazine between 1995 and 2000. This re-issue brought new attention to the quality of Spouse's graphic art.

References

  • David L. Greene and Dick Martin. The Oz Scrapbook. New York, Random House, 1977.

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