Best 1904 Adventures (6)
February 10, 2019
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1904 adventure novels. Happy 115th anniversary!
L. Frank Baum’s Oz fantasy adventure The Marvelous Land of Oz (ill. John R. Neill).
In the first sequel to the bestselling The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), an orphan named Tip cobbles together a wooden scarecrow of sorts, with a pumpkin head — in order to startle his guardian Mombi, a cruel witch. Mombi uses a life-giving powder to animate “Jack Pumpkinhead,” thus introducing one of L. Frank Baum’s great characters. Tip steals the powder, animates a wooden sawhorse for Jack to ride, and flees for his life before he’s transformed into a garden ornament. Baum wrote The Marvelous Land of Oz with a stage production in mind, hence Tip’s encounter with General Jinjur and her chorus line-like female army… who are headed to the Emerald City to depose the Scarecrow. During the ensuing chaos, Tip and Jack help the Scarecrow flee; they head to the castle of the Tin Woodman, who now rules the Winkie Kingdom. Jinjur recruits Mombi to help stop the counter-revolution, so Tip and his friends must recruit more unlikely comrades — including Mr. Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug, Thoroughly Educated, and a field-mouse army. In the end, the good witch Glinda informs the counter-insurgents that the rightful ruler of Oz is Ozma… a princess who’d been turned into a boy! But what’s become of her?
Fun facts: Elements from The Marvelous Land of Oz were incorporated into the 1985 movie Return to Oz — whose stop-motion animation (by Will Vinton) and animatronics are, at times, truly terrifying.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.