The Characters of Oz
Essays on Their Adaptation and Transformation
Edited by Dina Schiff Massachi
When L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, he created an American myth that has endured the test of time. Echoes of Dorothy and her friends are everywhere: popular television shows often have an Oz episode, novelists borrow character types and echo familiar scenes, and every media—from Broadway to The Muppets—has some variation or continuation of Baum’s work. This collection of essays follows Baum’s archetypal characters as they’ve changed over time in order to examine what those changes mean in relation to Oz, American culture and basic human truths. Essays also serve as a bridge between academia and fandom, with contributors representing a cross-section of Oz scholarship from backgrounds including The International Wizard of Oz Club and the Children’s Literature Association.
Angelica's chapter discusses Oz's main villain, the Nome King (Baum altered the spelling of "gnome" to make it easier for children to read), who rules underground and tries repeatedly to take over the Emerald City. Angelica compares Baum's Nome King to the character in the movie, Return to Oz, and to the villain in Danielle Paige's harrowing modern continuation of the Oz series, Dorothy Must Die.
The book, to be published by McFarland, will be launched at CharlOz, a national Oz convention to be held September 27-29, 2024 at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, hosted by the energetic Dina Massachi, the book's editor. For information see https://charloz.charlotte.edu/.