The Evil of Oz


By Ryan Fuller & Sanjana Baijnath (CreateSpace)
ISBN: 978-1-49351-704-6

Depending on your outlook, you’re either going to adore or despise this one…

We all know the story of The Wizard of Oz – or at least the bare bones of it harvested to make the admittedly stunning 1939 film – but the truth is there’s a vast amount from that legendary 1900 novel by jobbing journalist and prolific author Lyman Frank Baum that remained unfilmed and unaddressed.

In recent years a number of books, comics, films and stage productions have taken another look – and many liberties – with the modern myth, but this is one of the most forthright, unrepentant and engaging – especially if you’re a lover of gory horror stories.

It begins at the scene of bloody multiple homicides in ‘Kansas’. A maniac has brutally ended the lives of an old farmer and his wife and their niece Dorothy Gale isn’t making a bit of sense over the crime.

Then again there’s not much sense to be had when the perp steals hearts after crudely removing them with an axe…

Once the cops have gone, however, the survivor undertakes a strange course of action. Activating her silver slippers, she summons a raging storm and, gripping the gory murder weapon, heads back to ‘Munchkinland’ in search of answers and justice…

Her return to the beautiful happy place she once liberated is a nightmare of shattered dreams. The wonderful kingdom is dark and blighted, reeking of decadence, decay and death. Dorothy isn’t surprised when she is mobbed by disgusting diminutive aberrations. She just wields the axe with terrifying dexterity in a deadly dance of destruction…

Grimly retracing her steps on a once-golden path she makes her way to ‘The Emerald Stockade’, encountering en route an old friend brought low and made example of.

He relates the reason for Oz’s decline but does not accompany her as she moves on to ‘The Stumps’ and a shocking confrontation with another beloved former comrade fallen on hard and mercilessly uncompromising times…

Having dealt justice to her guardians’ murderer means nothing after Dorothy learns who has overseen the tainting of the magical land and she struggles onward, enduring a similar heartrending reunion in ‘The Petrified Forest’ before reaching ‘The Bright City’ and a final battle with the avaricious traitor who instigated the corruption…

However, even after winning her last smidgen of scarlet retribution, Dorothy still has one last happy memory to ruin and betrayal to avenge when she meets ‘The Man Behind the Curtain’

Bleak, nihilistic and superficially feeling like Titus Andronicus meets I Spit on Your Grave, Ryan Fuller’s sparse, spartan and extremely evocative violent chiller is realised with lush and lavish painted artwork by Sanjana Baijnath and carries a subtle but venerable message: be careful what you wish for…

The acquisition of all those so-long-desired and hard-won gifts did nothing but sour and poison the once-noble champions who strived so mightily to attain them and now the heroes are monsters who need to be put down…

Visceral, unflinching, possibly exploitative but with a moral subtext that cannot be denied, this is a terror tale to tantalise fans with adult tastes and post modern sensibilities.

No copyright notice that I could find so I’m assuming Text © 2015 Ryan Fuller and Illustrations © 2015 Sanjana Baijnath.
The Evil of Oz is also available as a Kindle edition.