Writer Eric Shanower and artist Skottie Young are preparing a faithful 8-issue Marvel Illustrated version of L. Frank Baum's classic tale about a girl from Kansas.
This December, Marvel Illustrated will release an eight-issue adaptation of The Wonderful World of Oz, scripted by Eisner Award-winner Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze) with art by fan-favorite doodler Skottie Young (New X-Men).

Shanower told CBR News's JEFFREY RENAUD that it’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for his life-long love of L. Frank Baum's classic Oz book series, which he parlayed into an award-winning body of work, writing and illustrating multiple books (including The Giant Garden of Oz and The Salt Sorcerer of Oz) and graphic novels (such as The Ice King of Oz and The Forgotten Forest of Oz) throughout the '80s and into the ‘90s, as well as scripting audio CD stories.

But he took a stab at an explanation anyway. "Part of it is that they’re full of adventure and humor. Part of it is that there’s always a child who’s in charge of running things. Part of it is the illustrations by John R. Neill, who illustrated most of the Oz series, although not the first book. Part of it is the idea that being unusual is a fine thing to be and often more interesting than being average. Part of it is the view that there’s always a way to solve problems, to reach a goal, as long as one is willing to seek the answer and not give up."

Despite the fact that the original Oz story has been told countless times in print, film and animation, Shanower insisted that he and Young will keep the Marvel version fresh by ignoring all previous adaptations and returning to Baum's original. He added that the miniseries will retain all elements of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, even the parts most often excised, including the origin of the Winged Monkeys.

The presence of such an astounding number of characters makes Shanower's reluctance to choose a favorite understandable.

"But in this project, my favorite character is probably Dorothy, because she is the character the reader identifies with, the character the reader goes on the journey with," said the writer, who attended the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in New Jersey. "When we’re reading this story, our sympathies lie with her."
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