Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast 2012! The Marvelous Wizard of Oz by Thomas, J. Buscema, DeZuniga, and the Tribe

Cover art by John Romita
Happy Thanksgiving from the U.S. of A. from Ol' Groove to Groove-ophiles everywhere! Usually, the Thanksgiving Feast here in Groove City consists of several classic comicbook dishes served up every few hours, but this year we're changing things up. Today's feast is a feast, indeed--72 pages of perhaps the greatest comicbook adaptation of one of the most beloved movies of all time, Marvel and DC's The Marvelous Wizard of Oz (Fall 1975)!

Yeah, Ol' Groove said "Marvel and DC's The Marvelous Wizard of Oz"! 'Tis true! Long before Marvel and DC co-published the first-ever inter-company superhero crossover between Superman and Spider-Man, they co-published this tabloid/treasury-sized adaptation of the MGM classic we all grew up with. How'd that happen? Well, according to an interview with writer/editor Roy Thomas in TwoMorrow's fabamundo Back Issue #61 (grab it now!), both Marvel and DC were on the verge of publishing their own separate Wizard of Oz adaptations (inspired by the popularity of the then-annual TV airings and the (then) upcoming Mego WoO Toy Line). The powers that were decided to join forces on the publishing end, while Marvel did the heavy lifting creatively (perhaps that's why they were able to pull off the "Marvelous" Wizard of Oz title?) with Roy Thomas writing, John Buscema penciling, and Tony DeZuniga and his tribe inking this mammoth, magnificent, mightily faithful adaptation (right down to the sorta sepia Kansas scenes) of L. Frank Baum's beloved creation.

Not only did Young Groove love it, but I later fell in love with it again as a father. In 1989, MGM released a special 50th anniversary edition of MGM's Wizard of Oz on VHS (y'know, the tapes that came before the dvds and blu-rays). My daughter, Jessica-1, at the time a mere two-and-a-half years old adored that movie. She loved it so much and watched it so many times that she literally had it memorized. Now, Ol' Groove loves that flick, too, but sometimes Dad needed a break from it. So I pulled out my WoO Treasury and shared it with my baby girl. She loved that mag so much she slept with it until it fell apart. So pitch-perfect was Roy and John's adaptation, that Jess had folks convinced she could read it! Y'see, she'd memorized the dialogue from the movie and would recite it as she looked at the pictures.

Yeah, Ol' Groove loves that flick and that comic. Here's your chance to either fall in love with it all lover again...or for the very first time. Enjoy it with your family if you can!


  1. Neato!

    Given I read Back Issue's tabloid special just yesterday and I learned about how this surprising two-company event came to be, it's sweet fun to find it easily available to eye this morn.

    Happy Thanksgiving Groove!

    Rip Off

  2. Ok Groovster you got me! Ironic my friend Joe recently owned almost this complete stories original art. But sadly he just sold it off before we connected. He owned everything but it's cover & the splashes I believe. Beautiful book. Funny my memory of this story & espically the Tinman. Got warped after reading a SF novel Weird Heroes with Doc Phoenix in the Oz Fact by I believe Ted White & Marv Wolfman. Doc Phoenix the man who enters the mind. I'd love to see u feature it here. But you'll have to find a really beat up copy.

    To beable to scan the really beautiful artwork by Stephen Fabian.

  3. We have collected Oz books and memorobilia for our little girl since she first showed an affinity for the "Oz"-verse when she was a toddler. I was lucky enough to snag a pristine copy of this adaptation as well as its sequel, "The Marvelous Land of Oz" many years ago (our daughter just turned 14, and she has a pretty extensice Oz collection). How'z about posting some of the other great DC Treasury editions that haven't been republished? SUPERMAN v. WONDER WOMAN, THE FLASH, SHAZAM!, etc. I would love it!

  4. Many thanks for this -- I remember it fondly!

  5. Great post, I've been meaning to read this for a while! Here's a question you may be able to answer - I heard that Buscema was basically given a plot, or maybe even plotted it himself, and drew it without a full script. The only catch? He hadn't seen the movie since it was first released in 1939 and re-created it all from memory. Is this true? If so, it's a magnificent achievement on his end.

  6. thanks for sharing.

  7. I loved rereading this post Groovy one! That's so cool your little girl loved this movie & book so much. That she even slept with this book. Darn it I wish I could had met my friend Joe a few months earlier. I'd be the owner of 90-95% of the art then! Sigh! I never owned this book I was short on $$. When it came out & was long gone by the time I went back to buy it. Sigh! So it's now to me even a bigger honor now. To be working on a personal project with Roy! Who woulda thunk it huh? As a boy/teen one day I'd be working on anything withe The Roy Thomas!! As we'll as be friends with John Romita SR, Herb Trimpe, Marie Severin, Joe Sinnott, Rich Buckler & Frank Brunner. Knew Gene Colon & Dave Cockrum too before we lost them! Nuff Said Pretty Awesome huh?!!



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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