Stuff for the Teen Age
Great Graphic Novels For Teens: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Some of you might think that you already know the story of the Wizard of Oz. But if you're basing that assumption on your memories of the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland, then some of you are wrong. However, it's not too late to catch up with the REAL story of what happened in the land of Oz. Eric Shanower's graphic novel version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is incredibly faithful to L. Frank Baum's original story ... which means that it demonstrates all the ways in which the land of Oz was wonderful, magical, unusual, and sometimes dangerous.
L. Frank Baum's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900, and ever since that time the land of Oz has been the subject of books, movies, stage productions, websites, and more. Most of these creations have taken some liberties with Baum's original stories: changing or eliminating plot points, combining characters, or even making the ending "just a dream." It was an eye-opening experience for me to read Baum's original Oz book and to learn that Dorothy wore silver shoes instead of ruby slippers, that everyone had to wear green goggles when they entered the Emerald City, and that the Tin Man didn't start out that way (I'd tell you the rest of that story, but you need to read it for your self!) Reading and seeing different versions of the Oz stories made me appreciate Eric Shanower's version because in this book we once again get to see the silver shoes, and the field mice, and how the Tin Man ... no, never mind. I said I wouldn't tell you that part.
Eric Shanower does an excellent job adapting a story that's over a century old for a modern audience, and artist Skottie Young superbly captures the spirit of these characters (especially that adorable puff ball known as the Cowardly Lion).
If you'd like to know more about L. Frank Baum's most famous creation and what it has inspired over the last hundred years, you can also check out:
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 100th Anniversary Edition by L. Frank Baum [Absolutely worth it for all of the amazing pictures!]
Memories of a Munchkin: An Illustrated Walk Down the Yellow Brick Road by Meinhardt Raabe [He played the Munchkin coroner in the 1939 film! It's part biography and part movie scrapbook.]
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire [This book was adapted into the Broadway show of the same name.]
Dorothy of Oz Vol 1 by Son Hee-Joon [This is the beginning of a manwha (Korean manga) series that puts a new spin on the classic story]
The 2-disc special edition of The Wizard of Oz with Judy Garland [Make sure you see the documentary, deleted scenes, and the rest of the extras on the second disc!]
The Wiz [Featuring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, amazing music, and scenes shot all over New York City.]