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About Yellow Brick Ramble

John R. Neill illustration with humorously altered text

L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz is the sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and it's where we meet Tip, a farm boy who spends most of the book completely ignorant of his true identity as Ozma: the lost princess of Oz.

If you haven't read Marvelous Land of Oz, please forgive me for spoiling a 120-year-old book without warning! It's necessary, though, because the entire premise of this webcomic is that Tip is Ozma, has always been Ozma, and would still be Ozma even if she had been born as Tip.

Ozma's story is a transgender one even if that wasn't Baum's intention. She was assigned male in infancy (albeit by magic), raised as a boy, and voluntarily became a girl. It's difficult to see her story any other way.

another John R. Neill illustration with humorously altered text Like many closeted in-denial trans girls growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, Ozma was the only transgender character I saw in media who wasn't a villain, a punchline, or both. She was my only positive trans role model and I loved her and her queer friends.

At this point, I should probably also mention the biggest and potentially most controversial change I've introduced: the romantic focus between a teenaged Tip and Logan, another teenager who just happens to be a living sawhorse. This isn't weird at all and is actually super cute. Trust me.

The main source for this comic was, of course, the original text, which can by found here on Project Gutenberg. Additionally, I brought in characters from Baum's other Oz books (he wrote 14* of them), and even a few characters exclusive to the 1902 stage adaptation and silent movie adaptations. I'll cite my sources in more detail in the news posts for those of you who love that sort of thing.

Alfredo Alcala illustration with humorously altered text In writing and designing the art, I took inspiration from John R. Neill's illustrations, Oz no Mahōtsukai (the anime series), Disney's Return to Oz, the 1933 Wizard of Oz cartoon, and various other interpretations of Oz.

The one incarnation of Oz I actively avoided as an influence was the 1939 MGM movie. It's a very good movie and was my first exposure to Oz, but it's just not what Oz looks like to me.

Sorry this description is so long! I tend to ramble sometimes...

self portrait by the artist Daisy Finch McGuire is a queer lady webcartoonist living in Minneapolis.

You might know her from Gastrophobia, her webcomic about a single mom Amazon warrior in Ancient Greece. She's also done freelance work for Nickelodeon Magazine, Spongebob Comics, What Pumpkin Studios, and Iron Circus Comics.

She is the one typing this. She is speaking in third person right now.

* Technically, Baum wrote 17 Oz books if you count Little Wizard Stories, The Sea Fairies, and Sky Island.

Art credit:
John R. Neill for the first two images, from the original edition of Marvelous Land of Oz (1904).
Alfredo Alcala with colors by Michele W. for the third image, from the Marvel Treasury Marvelous Land of Oz (1975)
The fourth image is, of course, a self-portrait.

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