Superman and Oz

When is the Oz Chronicles not the Oz Chronicles?  When you compare my Oz Chronicles to the legendary L. Frank Baum’s Oz Chronicles.  I’ve been asked on a number of occasions if I was influenced by Baum’s work.  My answer is not intentionally.  I’m not blind to the similarities.  In some cases, they are starkly similar, but my experience with Baum’s series begins and ends the Wizard of Oz film.  As a kid growing up in the 70’s, I saw the movie every holiday season for years, but I was not aware that there were other stories featuring Oz.  When I settled on the name “The Oz Chronicles” after deciding The Takers would be the first in a series, I had no idea that Baum had already created an Oz Chronicles series of books.  I was just naming the series after the main character in my story.

Believe it or not, Superman is probably more of an influence behind my Oz Chronicles than L. Frank Baum’s books.  I devoured comic books as a kid and Superman was my go to superhero.  I loved the Fantastic Four (particularly Thing) and the Hulk, but Superman was always the first new comic book I would look for at the newsstand.  I’ve always said that to me the story of Oz Griffin is at its core a superhero’s origin story.  Thanks to the Délons, he even has the ability to call up superhuman strength, although he has to become something he hates in order to do so.

If I had a pot of gold, after I publish the seventh and final book, I would hire an illustrator and editor to release the series in comic book form.  I would even consider putting together a team to release comic books that extend beyond the seven books.  I don’t have the resources or expertise to do it on my own, so don’t look for it anytime soon.

However you can look forward to the new Superman movie this month.  Here’s a behind-the-scenes extended featurette about the summer blockbuster film.  I CANNOT WAIT!!!!

Oz Chronicles T-Shirt?

The following comment was posted by Laura on the blog last week.

This just came to me as I was reading this entry. I would SO purchase an Oz t-shirt or sweatshirt if it looked really cool. Have you thought of creating them? At the very least, what about CafePress…put your web site on it…OH! Make it like a concert t-shirt, with the names of the books on the back!! And a cool picture of the Oz gang on the front…or the monsters…

I attempted to do t-shirts years ago, but I wasn’t happy with the way they turned out, so I never really promoted them.  But, Laura has planted the seed in my head that I might need to give it another try.  Here’s my first design attempt for the front pocket area.  What do you think?

Possible t-shirt design

Also, Laura suggested putting the titles of the books on the back.  That’s an idea, but if you have any thoughts, let me know.

Lou’s Diary – Entry 3 (text version)

This morning I woke up and there was another pack of crackers lying on the ground next to me.   I would have thought it nothing more than an incredible stroke of luck or some intervention by the Storytellers if it hadn’t been resting on top of a note that read, “You are being watched.  F.T.”

I ate my crackers with a knot in my stomach.  I’m guessing this F.T. person… I hope it’s a person… thought they were doing me a favor by giving me a heads up on being watched, but frankly, I’d rather not know. What good does it do me?  I don’t have any weapons.  I’m weak from hunger.  I’m pretty sure my insides are frozen solid.  Worrying about being watched is just one more layer of crap I’ve got to deal with.

And what’s with this F.T.?  Why don’t they just show themselves?  It’s creepy and rude to sneak up on me at night, even if you’re leaving me food.  So, help me God… if I catch up to this F.T. and they’ve got something better to eat than stale, frozen crackers, I’m going to punch them in the face.  I guess I should be thankful, but screw that.

I’m laughing at my lack of gratitude.  It’s really all I have the strength to do right now.  This F.T. probably expects a big hug and kiss from me if we were ever to meet, but instead he’ll get a good dressing down from a bratty little made-up girl for failing to recognize that I needed a good sight more than crackers and a warning.

I need someone to end my misery.

Is it bad for me to talk like that?  I don’t think so because no one is around to care… except for F.T., and they only care enough to spare some barely edible crackers.

I hear something.  And this time I know it’s not the wind.  It’s a grunt… almost a growl.  I want to shut my eyes and pretend none of this real.  I just want it all to go away… The growl again.  It sounds big.

It’s a funny thing about being scared.  I’ve completely forgotten about being cold and hungry.  I don’t know who F.T. is, but they were right.  I am being watched.

Lou’s Diary – Entry 2 (text version)

I don’t know where I am.  I’m still in the mountains.  I’ve been following a path, and I’m pretty sure I’m heading north… pretty sure.  I may not be real, but I’m hungry.  That doesn’t seem fair. There should be some advantages to being a fictional character.  I shouldn’t have to eat or sleep or… other stuff.

I slept under something that looked like a park bench made out of sticks and logs off the side of the trail last night.  I must be in some kind of national forest or something.  There are mile markers all up and down the trail.  This morning when I woke up there was a pack of crackers under the bench.  I couldn’t believe it.  I don’t know how old they were or how they got there, but I have never tasted something so delicious in my life.  They were stale, frozen, and insanely good.

The only problem is they just made me hungrier.  I haven’t seen a store or house or…. Anything at all in days. If I had my crossbow, I could hunt, but I don’t even know if there’s anything to hunt.   I hear noises, especially at night, but I’m pretty sure it’s the wind.  That’s that I tell myself, anyway.

Why didn’t I keep the crossbow?

I know why.  I thought I’d be dead by now… no, not dead.  That’s the wrong word.  I thought I’d stop existing.  What’s the point without the others… without him?  I miss oz…

No.  I can’t go there.  I won’t be able to breathe if I do.  If I have to live for another second without him, I have to forget about him.  That’s the way it has to be.   I am not real.  I can’t be a part of his world.  It will cost him his life.  It will cost the others their lives. I know it.  From this moment on, I have not past.