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Queen Zixi of Ix

Publication Date: March 26, 2011

Chapter: The Wonderful Comics of Oz

This is only the first of many Saturdays to come with bonus comics, because you are all generous souls, and I love you. There might be Sunday strips too, but those are less of a guarantee. It all depends on what kind of free time I have.

To begin our Super Terrific Saturday Fun Time Slot, here's a request that came from... well... me. A few weeks ago, I was feeling a bit down in the dumps. A kind reader kicked in a donation that day, telling me to cheer up and just draw about whatever made me happy. Well, in the literary world, few things make me happier than L. Frank Baum.

Lately, I've been exploring Baum's literature outside of Oz. His is a oeuvre with high highs and low lows. The highs are brilliant (he wrote the Wizard of flippin' Oz, people), but his lows are pretty dismal (go to hell and die, Dot and Tot). In the case of Queen Zixi, however, he hit a pretty high note. It's actually been said that Queen Zixi is Baum's "best" book, from an objective and critical point of view. I'm not sure I'd agree with that entirely. I think Sky Island has it beat, for one. It's arguably better structured than the Wizard, though.

In any event, critical merits aside, it's a pretty great book. Long story short: a girl named Meg (nicknamed for no particular reason "Fluff") finds a magic cloak that grants the wearer a single wish (usually on accident); meanwhile, her brother Tom (nicknamed for no particular reason "Bud") is declared the king of Noland (because the people in charge of Noland are phenomenally stupid). Wackiness ensues.

As an aside, I'm pretty sure that "Princess Fluff" isn't a nickname any girl would want these days. Poor Meg.

Author: L. Frank Baum • Year: 1905 • Info: Wikipedia

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