Tomorrow, August 21st, is generally considered to be Princess Ozma's birthday. In a manner of speaking, it might even be considered her 100th birthday. Even though the character was introduced in 1904's The Marvelous Land of Oz, we don't see her birthday celebrated until 1909's The Road to Oz. Since Road is celebrating it's 100th year, that would make 2009 the 100 anniversary of Ozma's birthday. It's circuitous and momentous at the same time.
While I did mention doing some kind of video, getting the finishing touches on the game has taken a good bit of energy on my part. Only within the last few days could I really consider myself done with the project. And even then, the project is not done. While I have concluded my writing duties, it still needs to go past my editor, then my layout person. If my layout person is doing their job right, they will spot locations where I need illustrations. Which means I will have to commission new pieces, which will take more time before the book can be released.
It is also time to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the premiere of the MGM film "The Wizard of Oz." On August 23, 1939, this classic film premiered in theaters across the country. While the movie does get props from me for introducing a lot of people to Oz over the years, it presents a very limited version of Oz. What's worse is that people tend to think that the movie is all that there really is of Oz. And the majority of adaptations and "sequels" tend to support this idea.
In slightly related news, Loraine Sammy has both of pieces of cover art that I commissioned posted on her site. One is for my game and the other is for my edition of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Seeing both of them together makes it fairly easy to see what I did there.
One of the big challenges I'm facing in making this game successful is that there are really two audiences that I'm trying to reach out to: The Oz audience and the non-Oz audience. The game cover art is really an attempt to reach out to both. Each character in the illustration is similar in concept or role to one of the classic four Oz characters (Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion), but different enough that the non-Oz fan is going to look twice. Since they are established characters from later stories, the Oz fans get a little Easter egg that makes them look twice.
Having the cover art for the story be so similar helps reinforce that "Oz, but different" vibe and also serves as a bit of branding, letting readers know that they are from the same publisher.