Royal Oz News 2009-2010



11/2/10 I added The Undead World of Oz to the Dark Side page. I just popped it in my Amazon cart, as it looks like it could be fun. In addition, all of you interested in a more traditional Oz RPG,'s got one I just discovered (which means in all likelihood that it's old news by now) called: Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond The Yellow Brick Road. I see that Nathan DeHoff and Eric Gjovaag helped out on this, so it's bound to be good! The layout is well-done and the interior illustrations look great. I'm considering this a must-have for me!


9/18/10 Hi! After the loss of my computer and numerous programs and files, I'm back with a new computer. I'll be repairing my hard-drive to get back all my lost images and files from this site and others, but in the interim, I figured I'd pop by to say -- yet again -- that I haven't forgotten my fellow Oz enthusiasts. I am still at work on my book, though progress continues, and I'm preparing to begin the third draft. Once it's complete, I'll be returning to this and my other sites to begin updating, and eventually, rereading everything to ensure placement. Anyway, some of you've already heard this, but I like to reiterate it from time to time to let y'all know that I'm still committed to the timelines here. 


7/15/10 This is more of a blog type entry than proper "news," but it's a bit overdue, and is something I'm writing (albeit with variations) on most of my sites. I wanted to address my ever-lengthier spans of time between posting updates, my departure from the Bugle as reviews editor, and when we can look forward to more regular updates.


As most of you know, I've been working hard on a book ( that I hope to see published this year or next. It's been a lot of work, more than I anticipated, and it continues despite my two trusty editors currently going through it. But the big factor, and the reason I had to step away from my Bugle duties and allow the excellent Atticus Gannaway to take my place, is that I had to get another job, two in fact! While I don't begrudge webmasters, who like PBS stations, feel the need to ask for money from their visitors from time to time, I'm personally loathe to do that myself. I feel that as Oz fans, we spend more than enough on books, comics, magazines and other ancillary items without having to feel additional pressure to help our favorite websites. This isn't a job for me. This is my hobby, something I get a lot of enjoyment from, and which helps keep me sane. If I ever get around to reworking my story ideas for a book, that's different. I'll be happy to take your money then :) But I won't be asking for any contributions for something I've voluntarily offered and will continue to. I'm grateful to have found good jobs that will keep me afloat, even though it means not having as much time for the site. As I said, I don't begrudge any webmaster who feels they have to ask for contributions. Many can't find work despite trying. But that's not the case here.


Ok, so all well and good, you say, but when am I going to get back to regular updates on this site? It's a great question and one that I don't have a definitive answer to. I can roughly state that my hope is that it'll be within a year's span. When my second draft is completely edited, I'll do a third and final draft. I'm still searching for more artists and photographers. And I need a publisher (else I self-publish, which will mean more time and effort). But the book will be finished at some point, and I will return to my favorite pastime, which is working on this and my other timelines.


I do intend to continue writing reviews for the Bugle, if Atticus will have them, and lending my assistance if/when needed. But to remain as reviews editor would mean continuing to make issues late, something nobody wants (and especially not me). I loved doing it for the time I did, and am grateful to Bugle editors Sean Duffley and Scott Cummings. I couldn't ask for two better editors to work for. I'm also indebted to all of my great reviewers, past and present, without whom I couldn't have done it! You guys were all great!


This may be a bit of a tangent, but it bears saying. Having entertaining and thoughtful literature to read/watch/study is important to many of us, and there's a reason for that. Because of the nature of my book, I've recently had to immerse myself in hardcore reality (specifically history and current events, for the two are intertwined). That's not a bad thing. In the past, I may have shied away from that too much. I've learned a lot as a result, for instance, I've seen how even well-meaning individuals and institutions (be they political, commercial or religious) can cause tremendous suffering and damage in this world when people blindly place their trust in them. I've seen how there's no end to man's capacity for brutality and evil. With knowledge comes power, particularly over one's own life, but also as a means to give assistance to the powerless, those without a voice (which can mean our animal neighbors with whom we share this planet, as well as the disenfranchised, the poor, the exploited, women, children and minorities, any who are excluded from the powerful and wealthy elite of this world.) But as valuable as that knowledge is (and will continue to be), a balance must be struck. Feeling the effects of what's essentially post-traumatic stress from the many things I've seen, I can state more forcefully than ever the importance of the Arts, music, literature, illustrative works, film and others, as a means of maintaining equilibrium. Thee Arts, when done with honesty, care and creative skill, can bring a bounty of pleasure and wisdom, truth and strength. It's a worthwhile goal to keep such things intact and harmonized alongside the reality (and, indeed, horrors) of this world...


-- Joe


6/02/10 Well, it's six months since my last update, and time to say I'm still here and I'm still sorry I can't quite bring the site up to speed just yet. As you know from my 7/24/09 post, I'm still hard at work on my book, with the 2nd draft complete and currently being edited/proofread. Once the third draft is complete and I have all the illustrators I need, I'll be ready to get back to Oz, even if it's only for a day a week, which should bring me back on track. Apologies to all you hardcore Ozophiles. I haven't abandoned you! I just ask for you patient indulgence whilst I do what needs to be done elsewhere. I shall return.


1/28/10 Still way behind in my updates, but occasionally an author sends me info that I can post, and occasionally I remember to do so! Marcus Mebes has brought back several out-of-print gems that you should check out on his page, including the Oz Toy Book. Also, author James C. Wallace II has informed me that Shadow Demon of Oz will be available on March 21st.


As to those curious about my personal progress, I've completed the second draft of the manuscript, polished it up a bit, and am sending it off to a third-party editor/proofreader. In the meantime, I'll be looking for an agent/publisher (so if anyone knows a good publisher, let me know!) and getting more artwork. In about a month, I'll do the third and final draft.


After that, I know a certain Oz site that needs serious updating!


7/24/09 The Other Oz


For those curious on what I've been working on these last six months or so, the site for my upcoming book is here. While it's still way to early for me to begin promoting the book, just thought I'd share the site and the fact that I've completed the first draft. You can see some sample illustrations that will be in the book, as well as latest news, a list of artists, and soon, some sample text. Much more work ahead, but progress is being made.


6/09/09 Fans of Phil Lewin's The Witch Queen of Oz rejoice! Lewin's newest volume is back from the printer! The Master Crafters of Oz!

In The Witch Queen of Oz we learned that Lurline cast her spell to counter the dark magic of her sister, Enilrul. Now it is time to learn how Lurline’s magic continues to work to this day to shape the land of
Oz. Undertake a magical journey with Dorothy and her companions. Meet Remy, a young Oz boy who plays a mysterious violin made by a master crafter and filled with unexplained magic!

Tik-Tok is broken and only a Master Crafter, perhaps even the legendary Smith & Tinker can be found to fix the Clockwork Man. But who are the Master Crafters of Oz? Is their purpose sinister? Why did Enilrul cast her dark spell so many ages ago that changed the course of Oz history!  Dr. Nikidik has been in the shadows of Oz since the beginning. Why?

The answers to these questions and more can be found in The Master Crafters of Oz!

For information on where to purchase this book, contact the author at:

5/25/09 Two bits of exciting news: The late Mark Haas will see his final Oz book published in 2010! The Emerald Mountain of Oz was supposed to see publication in 2007, but due to problems with the illustrator, was never completed. The illustration chores have been taken over by Dennis Anfuso, and the cover will be completed by Anna-Maria Cool, both of whom have illustrated Oz books before. Having proofread and edited the manuscript for Mark in , I can say that fans are in for a treat! This will prove a lovely legacy for a lovely man who left us too soon...

The second bit of news is rather exciting as well! Fans of Caliber Press (and Arrow's) Oz and Dark Oz series will two reasons to rejoice! The comics are being prepared to be turned into a movie trilogy! Yep, you heard right! For those who don't know, this comic book series, while diverging from the books, utilized the book series for its inspiration, telling a tale in which Scarecrow, Nick Chopper and Lion are magically transformed into opposite versions of themselves, as the Wickedest Witch of Oz and the Nome King return with an army to destroy the land of Oz! While this was a more Tolkienian take on the series, it was highly received by fans, and a film -- if done right -- could bring in a new generation to the original books! On top of that, the material is ripe for an exciting film trilogy! In the interim, the series' original creators, Stuart Kerr and Ralph Griffith (who have been shaping the scripts) have teamed up with producer Aaron Denenberg to produce a novelization of the series, which forms the basis of the script!


Check out the links here for more information:


3/31/09 Some good news: Tales from Magic Land 2 is now available from!


3/25/09 The new game, Emerald City Confidential is available to play. I've added it to the Deadly Desert. It looks like a lot of fun (and Ozma seems to be in it!) Those of you have time to play, enjoy!


No other updates to be had. Sorry! I do know I'm behind! I have to buckle down for awhile as I'm writing a book on one of the non-Ozzy Ozzes, this one the former member of Black Sabbath. The book is due out next year and is called: Black Sabbath——The Illustrated Lyrics: Surreal Sojourns Behind the Wall of Sleep. It's a project I've wanted to pursue for years, and with next year being the 40th anniversary of the first two albums, it was the right time.


What does this mean for this site? Good question; Thanks for asking! Basically I've had to rethink my approach to things. My focus until 2010 will have to be my book (and possibly another project if that gets off the ground more on that when the time is right). As some of you know, my time had already been taken from Oz with the revamping of my Star Wars Timeline, a rather extensive project, to say the least. My thinking at the time was to devote as much time to accomplishing that as possible, and then turn my attentions back to Oz. Well, with the advent of this new endeavour, my new idea is that when I complete the Sabbath book, rather than diving exclusively back into the Star Wars revamp, I may instead switch off. Do a portion of work there, and then a portion of work on the Oz timeline. At this stage, that only means getting the timelines back up to speed. There's a lot of books and things I've failed to include on the timeline which need to be included. And not a few things that I need to read. I think this way, things will be more balanced and Oz won't stay as neglected for so long. A major revamp of the timeline may have to wait a few years longer, but I think it's the best way overall.