May 31, 2004

What’s the Obvious Question in this Story? [8:50 pm]

The question — why is there no copyright dispute discussed in this article? Following a Wiz to a Far-Out Oz

Mark Bode (pronounced BO-dee), also a cartoonist, recently completed his father’s interrupted work “The Lizard of Oz,” a raunchy departure on the “Wizard of Oz” that features the older Bode’s premier creation, Cheech Wizard. Fantagraphics Books of Seattle will publish the book next month.

[...] Mr. Bode decided to start the “Oz” project in 2000, with a $1,000 commitment from Fantagraphics and a concept cover illustration by his father. “It’s the last thing my father planned,” said Mr. Bode, who wrote the story.

When the elder Bode reinterpreted the legendary story theme, he added several twists to Dorothy’s tornadic dream, which he related to his son. Judy Garland’s juvenile character becomes Poppy, a not-so-nice, beer-drinking, thieving, 4-year-old orphan thief. She romps with Cheech (the Wizard); a hemp-stuffed scarecrow; a mangy, homosexual lion; and a tin man obsessed with an oil drum.

So, why no copyright fight in the article? L. Frank Baum died in 1919, 85 years ago.

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