Jasper Frizzle had one ambition in life, to continue in the footsteps of L. Frank Baum and become the new “Royal Historian of Oz”. The problem is that in the year 2050, after over a century of countless re-imaginings and retellings, the dastardly “Official Oz Society” has issued a strict cease & desist order to make people STOP using Baum’s creations. When Jasper discovers that Oz really exists, he makes a rather large error in judgment. Now Jasper is a criminal in two worlds and it is up to his son Frank to help him find a way out of it.
The Royal Historian of Oz is a new five-issue mini-series coming from SLG Publishing, written by Tommy Kovac and Illustrated by Andy Hirsch. Kovac was the writer of SLG’s acclaimed Wonderland series which imagined that mythical land as a real place and told the story of what happened after Alice left. With his attentions turned to the land of Oz Kovac found a new set of challenges. “Oz is a uniquely American fairy-land, an actual place that is mapped and labelled with names for the different territories and peoples.” said Kovac as he pointed out that the movie version of Oz was different than the way the land was portrayed in the books. “Oz is different from Alice’s Wonderland because it is a real place, Dorothy actually travels there, and in a later book (“The Emerald City of Oz”) even brings her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry to live in Oz with her in the royal palace, thereby rescuing them from the suckfest of living in poverty on the Kansas prairie.”
Kovac built his story around the notion that people feel very pasisonate about OZ and have mixed feelings about the many interpretive works that have come up around it “I thought it would be fun to address, through the character of Jasper Fizzle, my mostly-rhetorical question about original ideas. My version of the dastardly “Official Oz Society” is poking fun at the feverish ownership some people feel towards Oz, or any classic work like that. Of course I’m poking fun at myself, too.”
The first issue of The Royal Historian of Oz will be released in June 2010 with a low cover price of $1.00 to encourage sampling on behalf of both retailers and comic book fans. “Many of our new series releases have done poorly, or at least below expectations” said SLG publisher Dan Vado ” I am hoping that the low cover price will get both retailers and readers looking at this comic and supporting the entire series”. Vado added that the remaining issues would be priced at the more traditional $2.95 price.
The Royal Historian of Oz #1 will be a 24 page black and white comic book. Illustrated by Andy Hirsch. Issue #1 ships in June 2010.