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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.

Isn't Ozma the best? Isn't she great? Isn't she marvelous? As a closeted in-denial trans girl 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.

Surely, Baum never intended to write a trans character, yet there's no cis explanation for a character who was magically assigned male in infancy, raised as a boy, and transformed into a girl.

another John R. Neill illustration with humorously altered text In this reboot, I specifically wrote Tip as a gender dysphoric teen with a clear desire to be a girl because I wanted to give Tip the chance to decide to become Ozma without being told to.

Though, the biggest change I've introduced is the romantic focus between Tip and Logan, another teenager who also just happens to be a 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 stuff from Baum's other Oz books (he wrote 14 of them) and related official materials of the day. 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, Dick Martin's illustrations, Oz No Mahoutsukitai (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.

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)

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