Recreating Oz in Comics
September 29, 2009 – January 31, 2010
This exhibition, a collaboration with the K-State English department, is an exploration of the ways in which artists have adapted the Oz story to the comic book form. It is being presented in conjunction with “Recreating Oz,” the annual meeting of the International Wizard of Oz Club, a San Francisco-based educational organization of Oz scholars, collectors, and enthusiasts. The children’s literature program of the English department is hosting the meeting, which will be on the K-State campus October 2-4. Topics to be addressed in panel presentations include stage and screen adaptations of Oz, the marketing of Oz, histories of Oz, and the reexamination of earlier critical interpretations of Oz. (For more information, see The Kansas State Department of English Web site.)
“Recreating Oz in Comics” features the work of artist, writer, and Oz historian Eric Shanower and Marvel Comics artist Skottie Young. Among Shanower’s Oz-related works are Adventures in Oz (1986-92), a series of five graphic novels; The Giant Garden of Oz (1993), an illustrated children’s novel; and a collection of short stories, The Salt Sorcerer of Oz and Other Stories (2003). Comic book artist and illustrator Young works exclusively for Marvel Comics. Titles on which Young has worked include Cable & Deadpool, New X-Men, Human Torch, New Warriors, and Spider-Man: Legend of the Spider Clan. In late 2008 Marvel released the first issue of Shanower’s and Young’s adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as part of the Marvel Illustrated line, a series of classic works of literature adapted to comic form. The Oz series, with scripts by Shanower and drawings by Young, has been wildly popular among fans and critics alike. Currently Shanower and Young are at work on an adaptation of a second Baum Oz novel, The Marvelous Land of Oz. The two artists will be the featured speakers at the International Wizard of Oz Club annual meeting in October.
In addition to Shanower’s and Young’s work, “Recreating Oz in Comics” will include selections of Oz-related comic books and graphic novels from the L. Frank Baum Collection in the Morse Department of Special Collections K-State Libraries.