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Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Oz by Joe Brusha
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I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In short, this has to be the strangest retelling of Oz I've ever seen or read. The storyline was okay for what it was, but there were several leaps of logic that didn't make any sense, which made the story that much harder to follow. The artwork was okay, but the cover should give you some idea of what to expect: Dorothy and the witches are all drawn as sexpots, Toto is a huge wolf, the cowardly lion is a warrior, and the flying monkeys are great apes.

Overall this wasn't bad, and it's a quick read. I've seen several, but I haven't read any of the other books with the Grimm imprint, so this was new to me. Not entirely sure I'd pick up any of the others. ( )
  ssimon2000 | Jul 17, 2014 |
I'm a big fan of Zenescope's Grimm and related Universe tie-in's. I really like what they did with this retelling of the OZ story. This book covers the main theme of OZ as most people know it through the 1930s movie. Much has been changed that the plot hardly resembles the original and yet many key characters, events and scenes are included to pay homage to the original. My favourite character portrayed is the warrior Thorne, who is the last of his lion race. How he relates to the original "cowardly lion" is not revealed until near the end of the book. I enjoyed all the characters and as usual the art is very pretty from this publisher. The lead up to who the traitor in their midst is comes as a fine reveal. This volume is very toned down on the violence compared to many of the other books I've read, but that's not exactly saying much; it is still violent. One must be aware that Zenescope is a publisher that produces comics with a huge cast of buxom females attired in impossibly unrealistic garments that defy gravity. This is the escapism of Zenescope. If scantily, gratuitously clad females offends you, this publisher will not find favour with you. However, some people like their 50 Shades of Grey-type literature, me, I prefer the fun and beauty of Zenescope's titillation. Back to the book. The book ends having wrapped up the traditional Oz story but has left several threads open for a possible sequel to continue into new territory. ( )
  ElizaJane | May 12, 2014 |
Definitely not a fan of this one. I gather it's part of a wider 'verse of stories, which might have helped my opinion of it, but I wasn't enchanted by the rewrite of Oz (though I'm not a big fan of Oz to begin with either, so maybe my reaction is somewhat to be expected).

I'm not a great fan of the art: the faces never seem to stay quite the same, and while scantily clad women are a common problem in comics, that doesn't make it any less wearing. I mean, what the hell is Dorothy supposed to be wearing? How does she get a bra on invisibly under that get up? Etc.

So yeah, thanks for the Netgalley access, but in general, no thanks. ( )
  shanaqui | Mar 26, 2014 |
This review also appears (with sample images) on my blog.

The evil daughters of Zamora, intent on conquering the world, seek the Viridian Scepter, a powerful magical artifact which was used to destroy their mother. It has been broken into three pieces, and its handle stolen, taken by a ghost wolf to another world, the nexus. There, it is found by a girl who can, mysteriously, wield it, although it should be possible only for the most powerful of Highborns.

Does this story sound familiar to you? Let me describe it again.

Young Dorothy Gale, who lives on a farm in Kansas, finds a wolf, which she names Toto, and determines to keep it as a pet. Soon after, her house is lifted by a tornado and Dorothy finds herself in the land of Oz, where the Wicked Witches of the East and West terrorize the land. Dorothy accidentally kills the Wicked Witch of the East using a rod that Toto carried, which is sure to cause the witch's sister to target her. So Dorothy sets out on a journey across Oz to complete the scepter, of which Toto's rod was a part, and use it to destroy the Wicked Witch of the West and return home.

That's probably more recognizable, isn't it?

Grimm Fairy Tales presents Oz is a hardcover collection of the six issue miniseries of the same name from Zenescope Entertainment. The series ran from July 2013 to February 2014, and was written by Joe Brusha, with pencils by Rolando di Sessa, inks by Glauber Matos, and colors by Ulises Grostieta.

The Grimm Fairy Tales series presents re-imaginings of fairy tales, set in a crossover-friendly universe consisting of Earth (called the nexus) and four other worlds: Myst, Neverland, Wonderland, and Oz. The miniseries in this book, as the title implies, is concerned only with the final of these. I've never read any other entries in the Grimm Fairly Tales series, so I can confidently say that this book works as a standalone story.

The story is, in broad stokes, the one we're all familiar with. Dorothy from Earth shows up in Oz, meets some traveling companions, and eventually defeats the wicked witches, freeing Oz from their tyranny. At last, Dorothy goes home. All of the details, though, have been changed.

Rather than setting out alone, Dorothy begins her quest in an RPG-approved cliche party consisting of a magic user (Glinda, the Good Witch of the North), a warrior (Thorne, a member of the lion-like Kavari tribe), and three short comic-relief types (Sparky, Crumb, and Crank, who are Boggers--don't call them munchkins!).

Unfortunately, cliche is rather the name of the game, for this story. Dorothy is mysteriously very powerful. Glinda, the knowledgeable, powerful, and very useful leader of the party (at the outset), ends up conveniently unconscious for the latter part of the story. The third chapter's opening is narrated by a positively painful letter home from Dorothy, in the venerable writing-that-everything-is-fine-while-actually-in-a-pitched-battle style. And the ending is rather spectacularly unsatisfying.

The adaptation isn't without its clever bits, and in particular it does a reasonably good job with the lion, scarecrow, and tin woodsman, but overall the writing is just not up to par.

The artwork is fairly good, but quite variable. Dorothy, in particular, never seems to have quite the same face from panel to panel.

I've seen some complaints about the sexualized outfits and poses of the female cast of this book, and I gather that it's something of a staple of the series. The characters certainly wear impractical clothing, and the artist is clearly not above taking advantage of this.

This is certainly not a problem that's limited to this book--it's a common (and valid) criticism of comics in general. That said, I don't think that it's the biggest problem the book has, nor a particularly egregious example of it. The worst of it is all in the alternate covers, but that's not an issue, here.

Grimm Fairy Tales presents Oz is not by any means an excellent comic, but it's not a terrible one, either. It's worth the 45 minutes or so it takes to read, if only that.

Grimm Fairy Tales presents Oz is available in hardcover starting today, March 18, 2014. ( )
  Sopoforic | Mar 18, 2014 |
Toto finds Dorothy which causes the witch to send them to Oz in this rendition.

Beautifully rendered though physically exaggerated graphics add depth and spice to the plot and characters. Characters are authentic for their reality, flawed, and multi-layered.

Overall, an interesting read. ( )
  catya77 | Mar 3, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Brushaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tedesco, RalphCreatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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