Dorothy’s adventures in Oz continue in this collection of comics which have all the heart and soul of those penned by creator L. Frank Baum. First Dorothy and the Scarecrow encounter a mysterious castle while out on a walk. It turns out that the castle is there to protect the Enchanted Apples of Oz. If those apples are picked, all of the magic of Oz will disappear, but the Wicked Witch of the South intends to get those apples for herself. After that excitement, then the Ice King comes to visit, but his icy heart holds dastardly plans for Dorothy and Ozma–he’s looking for a bride!
In the late 1980s, publisher First Comics released five new Oz stories, written and drawn by comic creator Eric Shanower (probably best known now for his Age of Bronze series for adults). The stories were later collected into one oversize omnibus volume which was published by IDW in 2006. Now, IDW has decided to re-release these stories in a smaller, more up-to-date format in multiple volumes. This new format keeps all of the charm of the original omnibus, losing only the hard-to-shelve size. This change makes them more likely to appeal to children–who are, after all, the intended audience for the Oz tales–and also brings the price down to a budget-friendly level. IDW has done a careful job of reducing the comic art, though, so the text is still easy to read and the artwork does not appear squished.
Shanower’s stories are so close to the feel of the Oz stories that I had to go and check to make sure that they weren’t simply adaptations of Baum stories….
Little Adventures in Oz, vol. 1
IDW, January 2010