Sunday, January 11, 2015

Mister Meanie

The Nome King lends his villainy to many an Oz book -- that's NOME as in No-Men, not GNOME as in Little People. He's a Bad Dude: short-tempered, egotistical, and with a sense of entitlement that frequently puts him at odds with Ozma, Glinda and the Good People of Oz. Here we catch him in one of his worst moods. Expressing her disapproval in the lower left corner is the great silent comedienne Bebe Daniels -- one of the first Dorothy Gales to grace the silver screen.

The Nome King always got what was coming to him, but one of my favorite resolutions happens in the book The Emerald City of Oz. All through the whole book the Nome King and his Nomes dig their way under the Deadly Desert to launch their invasion of The Emerald City... but when they finally reach their goal, all of the Nomes are so thirsty that they immediately rush to and drink from The Forbidden Fountain -- and promptly forget the reason for their invasion and what they're doing so far from home! There's a reason the Fountain is Forbidden after all: drink from it and you'll get the worst case of amnesia this side of Winkie Land. What an elegant solution to the problem! There are a few politicians I'd like to ladle some of that stuff into.

-- Freder.