Today I emailed our 2019 members a link to the Winter 2019 issue of The Baum Bugle online. We’ve never done anything like this before. We’ve never even emailed all our members before! But we are living in challenging times. No, we are not replacing the printed Bugle with a digital version, but we can’t anticipate when that printed copy will arrive in your mail. So off it went in a way that would have seemed like magic to L. Frank Baum. Email.
First, let me tell you about the Bugle! This issue celebrates the publication centennial of L. Frank Baum’s The Magic of Oz. A cover story “Pyrzqxgl: or, How to Do Things with Magic Words” by Dennis Wilson Wise presents Baum’s unique word in the context of other magic words in classic literature. “The Believing Child” then puts that very word on the lips of a child in a fascinating story by Zenna Henderson. The Bugle re-publishes her story, with permission, for the first time since it appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in June 1970.
The magic continues with a report on a time Baum saw a famous magician perform at a meeting of the Uplifters. I contributed a bit about monuments of Magic Land, as Oz is known in Russia. The world’s best known magic shoes also get their due as Jonathan Shirshekan wraps up his two-part feature about Judy Garland’s famous Ruby Slippers.
Departments are packed with news and reviews. Speaking of which, Scott Cummings shares reviews that followed the original release of The Magic of Oz, and Brady Schwind dives into Dick Martin’s design of a new Magic of Oz dust jacket in 1960. Collectors can take a look at a few pieces of 1939 MGM merchandise that have led many collectors down a yellow brick road to collecting Oz merchandise. Cindy Ragni writes about the convention we’ve planned for August, and Zoe O’Haillin-Berne wraps up the issue talking about the Chesterton Wizard of Oz Days festival—planned to bring the long-popular festival back to Indiana.
Which gets us back to these unpredictable days. The Bugle went to the printer in March. We expected you to have it by now. Our editor moved on to the Spring 2020 issue. Then the coronavirus crises led to the shutdown of our Chicago-area printer. They thought they’d reopen and get to it in April, then in May. Now? Well, they’re just not sure. Rather than leave our members entirely Bugle-less any longer we opted to share it digitally. We sent all members who’ve given us an email address a link to read it online. Members will get the printed one, too, of course. We just don’t know when.
Similarly, Chesterton Wizard of Oz Days rescheduled from the May dates reported in the Bugle for July 11-12. Our August convention is still planned in Denslow’s old stomping grounds of the Roycroft campus in East Aurora, NY; we’ll decide in late May if that’s possible or if we need to reschedule it for next summer.
That’s the news for now. I hope you’ll appreciate seeing the Bugle online. When I first joined the Club back in the 1970s, an option like this was pure science fiction, and now here it is solving our dilemma as easily as clicking our heels.
If you didn’t get an email from admin@OzClub.org with your link to the digital Bugle, write that address and let me know. It may be that you are one of the 80 or so members we have who’ve never given us an email, or one of the 21 emails that bounced back as undeliverable. I’m happy to work through whichever it to ensure you are included.