Well my summer is almost over, I start a new school year next monday. I will be studying a lot of new things, chemistry, computer science and drama classes. I am looking forward to it.
This past summer, I choose to read smaller books, and a lot of graphic novels. They are just easier for busy days when you really don't want be sitting around indoors. So I thought I would share the best ones out of the bunch.
Marvel's Wonderful Wizard of Oz Graphic Novel by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young
Reviewed by Darcy Low
Growing up, my mom loved this movie. We watched it every time it came on. I am sure everyone has seen it, so nothing I will say here should be a spoiler to anyone.
The story is about Dorothy, a young farm girl from Kansas. Her parents are gone and she is being raised by her Aunt and Uncle. She seems like she loves it there and has fun with her cute little dog named Toto. One day when she is out, a big storm comes up. Her Uncle, who is sitting on the front porch see far off that the storm clouds are getting intense. He calls out, that everyone should take cover in the cellar. There is a huge tornado coming their way!
Dorothy, who is outside playing; scoops up her dog and runs for cover. But just as she is at the door to the cellar, Toto becomes frightened and bolts from her arms. He runs under the front porch and Dorothy has to crawl in after him. The tornado is almost there, and time is running out for getting to safety. She finally gets him out, just when the storm is right on top of them both. Having no time to get to the cellar, Dorothy runs inside the house.
As the storm reaches it's full strength, sounding like a train rushing by. The old farm house is lifted up and carried away inside the heart of the tornado.
Waking up hours later, Dorothy opens the front door. But instead of seeing the dusty old farm that she grew up on. She finds herself looking at green fields, blue skies, a group of funny dressed little people who are all cheering her. To quote the movie, "I don't think we are in Kansas anymore." Boy, was she ever right.
The little people of course are the Munkins, and the reason they are so happy is because Dorothy's old farm house landed on the wicked witch of the east, killing her. She had been enslaving and terrorizing them for a long time. They explain to Dorothy that she is in the land of Oz, and seeing how she is dressed as a good witch; (White.) and she is also wearing colors that the munkins wear themselves, they want to make her their new ruler.
The real good witch of the north shows up, and explains more to Dorothy, telling her there used to be evil witches from the east and west, and now with this one dead the witch of the west is all that remains. With the death of her sister, she is more powerful that ever and will come seeking out the person who killed her sister. Dorothy, a very small and innocent young girl, is very hurt that she has killed anyone. And says it was just a mistake, all she wants to do is to return home to her Aunt and Uncle's farm. The good witch and the munkins have never heard of Kansas, but tell Dorothy there maybe one man in all of Oz wide enough to help her find her way home. The wonderful Wizard of Oz.
They tell her in order to find him, she must stay on the yellow brick road, which will lead her straight to him. But the road is full of danger, and she has to be very careful. Plus the witch will have minions about looking for her. Before setting out alone, Dorothy is given the silver shoes worn but the wicked witch, because the shoes she has on will not last the long journey. (They is no way I'd wear shoes off some dead body, gross.) She is also given a kiss by the good witch, who tells her this will protect her somewhat upon her journey.
Now we all know how Dorthy met her friends along the way, the Scarecrow, the Coward;y Lion and the Tin Woodsman. This book though, goes into more detail of their backgrounds. The Tin Woodsman story really stands out at being very sad and tragic. As they journey on, they meet other munkins and have to get pass a lot of dangers. But as they do, each character becomes stronger in himself and as a team working together.
When they finally reach the wizard and his city, they find it and him not at all what they were expecting. When asked what they want from him, they each tell what they are seeking. He agrees to help them all get what they are , but instead of just giving them each item; he sends them out on a series of quests. Each one harder than the last. Can they all gain what they want? Will they find courage, gain a heart and gain knowledge? will Dorothy ever make it back home?
I loved this book. The drawings in it really brought the characters to life for me. Dorothy looked just how she should have to me, more of a young innocent girl than Judy Garland's character in the movie. I have never read any of the Oz books, but really want to now. Dad said they are what this book is based on and not the movie so much. There are a lot of differences here, as I said; there is more detail into each character's life and why they are seeking what they are from the wizard. The Emerald city is that color for a very good reason, and Dorothy has a lot more power than she realizes.
The book also tells the story of the flying monkeys, and how the witch came to gain control over them.
This graphic novel is perfect for anyone that has seen the movie or read the books, and wants to remember this great story. But more than that, this would be perfect if you have young kids that would be bored with the movie, but you want to share this with them. They would love this book and could act as a gateway to get them to read the novels.
The graphic novel is put out by Marvel, and comes in a hard bound edition. In the back you will find a sketch book and various covers they were thinking of when they came up with the book. You can also see the next graphic novel which continues in the Land of Oz, "Jack the Punkinhead." I will be looking for that one myself.
Seek this one out guys, i think everyone will enjoy it.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Graphic Novel) by Eric Shanower, Illustrated by Skottie Young
Hardcover: 192 pages
Publisher: Marvel Books; 1st edition (September 2, 2009)