Title: Grimm Fairy Tales – Oz
Author: Joe Brusha
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Release Date: 18th March 2014
Genre: fairytale retelling
Page Count: 156 (paperback)
An adult re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz, a skimpily-dressed adult Dorothy finds herself embroiled in the battle of a foreign land where it is revealed she is the only one who can stop the Wicked Witch of the West from destroying Oz.
As far as re-imaginings go, this one was a little ‘out there.’ I loved the new backstories for the three main companions Cowardly Lion (now called Thorne), the Tin Woodsman and the Scarecrow. Glinda was boosted from guest appearance to main supporting cast, which I think is awesome, because even in a film about two women fighting over a pair of shoes (which make no appearance in this novel, by the way) Dorothy spends an awful lot of time in the company of men. It was nice to see it switched up a bit and have Glinda be more of a leader than in the original work.
I have to mention the artwork. Yes, most of it was really beautiful. A lot of it flowed really well. Sometimes I was a little confused over what was happening with panels set within panels but that might just be because a) I’m not normally a graphic novel reader and b) I read this on a computer so I didn’t get the full visual impact of the book in my hands.
The thing I had a problem was the skimpiness and utter ineffectiveness of the clothing. Yes, I know graphic novels are catering towards the male gaze and thus they have barely-dressed women and totally ripped men, but it was just so strange to see enormous perky breasts unsupported by the barest scrap of clothing bouncing all over the page. The Wicked Witch of the East is fully clothed if a little revealing so the mind boggle as to why they decided to cover her sister the Witch of the West with a single long strip of fabric. The characters may as well be naked; the book may as well be soft pornography with all of its titillation and promise. But you know what they say – treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen. No actual nudity was present in this novel. It’s not a question of it being ‘unreasonable’ or ‘unbelievable’ but more of a ‘why would you do that?’ Just why? Why are they wearing next to nothing? Does no one care for armour? Does no one care that skin is sensitive to scratches and scars? OF COURSE NOT. Their skin is utterly flawless. Just go with it.
Hell if I was that sexy I might walk around in a mankini as well.
I have recently come to love retellings and this was another instance of reaffirming my love for both the original work and the re-imagining. I think adult readers who enjoyed The Wizard of Oz in their youth will get a kick out of the twists in the novel and appreciate that it’s fallen more firmly into the typical quest fantasy novel genre.
Thanks to Zenescope Entertainment and Netgalley for providing this review copy for an honest review.