Wizard of Oz as adapted by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young is, in one word, charming. There’s something about it that warms your heart even when it keeps the death and killing of the original story.
Speaking of which, Eric Shanower does a very faithful interpretation of the original material clearly separating itself from the film. I like the film, but I like the book even better. One time, for the hell of it, I read it in 7th grade because the class wasn’t challenging enough. So, Shanower keeps the best parts. I have to give him complete props for keeping my favorite part of the entire novel in the comic adaptation: everyone wearing green tinted glasses to make the Emerald City appear green when it is, in fact, just a normal city.
At first, I was a little struck by how simple and repetitive the writing can be, then I was reminded by the Eisner Award gracing the front cover that this is a publication for kids. Sure, it deals with some dark themes that may be a bit scary, but it’s mostly for children. It still succeeds gallantly in its task of coming off as all sorts of appealing.
Perhaps the thing that most people will talk about is the art. Skottie Young is clearly one of the most imaginative people with his beautiful dreamscapes of Oz. There’s so much quirkiness to his fine line that you can just feel him coyly smiling at his artist’s table. Sure, there is the occasional problem with continuity between panels, there are sometimes way too many curls on things, and sometimes the panels seem impractical if only for composition, but it’s all about the style. To that effect, the style clearly shows great care and attention. This can be shown even more with the bonus material in the back which includes character designs. The most surprising one was for the Cowardly Lion. I really loved the Lion that he settled on because he’s just so lively.
Oh, and they kept the silver shoes. Thank goodness.
All in all, it is a fantastic read for both children and adults alike.
For more Wizard of Oz splendor check out this post here.