Such a Baum Bugle! The Autumn 2018 cover story, an interview with Stephen Schwartz, is a remarkable feature illustrated and supplemented with fascinating content the Wicked fans in our Oz community are sure to enjoy. You’ll find the very first outline of the first act, handwritten lyrics, and table top models of set designs. We are thrilled that member Brady Schwind was generous enough to provide us with this in-depth look at his friend, the renowned writer of this milestone musical.
MGM fans will appreciate Willard Carrol’s tribute to his friend, Jerry Maren, the last of the Munchkinland cast, who crossed the rainbow May 24th. Authors Jay Scarfone and Bill Stillman walked readers along their journey to create the new MGM reference book, The Road to Oz (Lyons Press 2018). Most enthralling of all, Randy Struthers shared the story behind his discovery of the wand that served as a Glinda costume accessory for Billie Burke. He was able to acquire it and it is currently on display at the Smithsonian. With so many collectors reading the Bugle, his story will no doubt set minds dreaming of other long-lost props.
Editor Sarah Crotzer contributed an appreciation of her own, a “fact file” about Rob Roy MacVeigh’s animated version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that was never completed, while Michael Gessel, a past Bugle editor himself, reflected on the late Harlan Ellison’s contributions to Oz. With more pages still to turn, the Bugle continued to meet the varied interests of our Oz fans with Angelica Carpenter’s feature story about writing her biography of Frank Baum’s mother-in-law, Born Criminal; Matilda Joslyn Gage, Radical Suffragist. After all, what’s a Baum Bugle without a visit to Baum topics?
The Bugle always includes a “bulletin” of short news items, and a number of reviews. In this issue those included two puppet shows, three stage musicals, three non-fiction and three fiction books. The four central pages are designed for you to pull out and hand a young fan; The Oz Gazette is intended for our youngest members. An additional enclosure will no doubt attract both the young and the young-at-heart. David Kelleher created a charming Jack Pumpkinhead string puppet to cut and color. We had hoped you’d have it in hand before Halloween, but with the vagaries of printing and mailing services that was not to be.
We did have some pixellated photos miss the “update” command, and some spacing went rather off the mark in a place or two. Apologies and promises to be more diligent in the future; we’d all love to deliver a flawless publication, and we always keep that as our goal. Which reminds me, Michael Gessel learned too late that Harlan Ellison actually died June 28, not the 27th. I believe our editor has a date correction notice planned on that point for the Winter Bugle.
The Oz Club has experienced a significant membership surge this year, so I know this was a first issue for many members. I hope you enjoyed it and will continue to share our fascination with all things Oz for many more issues to come.