Oz Footnotes: The Ozmapolitan Newspaper


The 1904 Ozmapolitan (1st issue)


This four page “newspaper” was issued by Reilly & Britton and written by L. Frank Baum in 1904 as part of the publicity surrounding The Marvelous Land of Oz.  It is the first of eleven Ozmapolitans to follow. The first two and the last six represent in-universe newspapers published in Oz for citizens of Oz (and interested readers in the outside world).  Issues 3-5 are also in-universe, but represent publications written in the U.S. by the Royal Historian for readers in the outside world interested in Oz.


The newspaper heading indicates that it's the fifth day of the third period.  The following Ozmapolitan indicates that it's the fourth period.  Given that the first Ozmapolitan was issued during the "second year of Ozma's reign" (as per the in-universe Royal Proclamation announcing the coming of the Ozian visitors to Earth), the first period would indicate the first year of Ozma's coronation ("election" as the 1965 Ozmapolitan puts it): 1902, the second period: 1903, and the third (which is in the second year of her reign (which runs from July 1903 to July 1904): 1904.  Additionally, the issue indicates that the Ozmapolitan started in Oz on the 14th day after Ozma took the throne (in period 1) in July. The sixth issue appears to give an Ozian year: XZYIII for this period, but how it corresponds to our dating methods is unknown.  [Some have attempted to relegated a period to a month, but this is disputed by the article itself which states that the Tin Woodman, being Emperor of the Winkies, does not feel justified "remaining over a period."  Considering that it takes the month of August just to reach the U.S., and that they stay until after the Christmas holidays, it's clear that a period does not equate to a month, but a year.


Several interesting continuity facts are presented in this issue:


1. L. Frank Baum is for the first time deemed the "official historian" of Oz.  Thus, The Marvelous Land of Oz is said not to be a sequel, but a biennial. John R. Neill is inducted as a Chevalier in the Ozly Order of Okmoks of Oz. A similar induction will be held for the authors of Merry Go Round in Oz in the 1963 Ozmapolitan.

2. The Emerald City has been expanded since Ozma came to the throne.  This event is discussed in Oz and the Three Witches.

3. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman believe that Oz is flat, as the visitors seem surprised that the Earth is an orb.  Baum confirms that it is an orb in a discussion of the Hollow Tube in Tik-Tok of Oz.

4. Ozma allowed the visitors to go to Earth on March 4th, 1904, after receiving a plea from Dorothy (and is the first letter she'd ever written to Oz; it is likely she got it to Ozma by means of L. Frank Baum).  They will first visit the planets, and be received by the mayor of Jupiter.

5. Ozma received advanced sheets of Baum's books prior to their publication, although their own editions are published separately afterwards.

6. A "few years" have passed from the events of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to the publication of the Ozmapolitan

7. H.M. Wogglebug T.E. is the editor of the Ozmapolitan. (He'll later go on to become production manager of The Emerald City Mirror).

8. The Cowardly Lion who has grown larger has raced against creatures called guaggas.

9. Dorothy's Kansas Letter, which was written some time earlier than the publication of the Ozmapolitan, details how she looks forward to meeting the Wogglebug. after reading about them in the pages of The Marvelous Land of Oz, which she must have read as a manuscript draft from Mr. Baum.  She had met L. Frank Baum (and Walt McDougall), and her plea to Ozma was the reason she allowed the visitors to come to the U.S. As she'd already met Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse, her letter must have printed with an error, and should be read "I know I love Jack Pumpkinhead and his Sawhorse" (instead of "I know I would love Jack Pumpkinhead and his Sawhorse").  Dorothy is also aware of The Wizard of Oz musical extravaganza and is hoping to go see it, though it has not yet come to Kansas.  The Visitors are also planning to see it.

10. General Jinjur is preparing to travel to the Winkie country, after which she wishes to write a book explaining her side of things.  Part of this can be found in "Jinjur's Journal," (which shows that she settled in the Munchkin Country) in Oziana 2005.

11. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em's farm is near Topeka in Kansas.  This is confirmed in The Emerald City of Oz, when Dorothy invites Ozma to live with her.

12. One article mentions a terrible struggle occurring on the Earth, but not in the United States, but on the opposite side.  This is a reference to the Russo-Japanese War which ran from February 1904 to September 1905.


The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.








The 1905 Ozmapolitan (2nd issue)


This front page “newspaper” was published in Publishers’ Weekly on 10/21/1905.  It is the second Ozmapolitan issued by Reilly & Britton (and contained far less material than its predecessor).  It mainly contains a report of the doings of the Wogglebug in the book of his own name.


While all the Ozmapolitans are written in-universe, this is the last Ozmapolitan that represents a newspaper from Oz to citizens of Oz until the sixth issue.  The next three Ozmapolitans will be about happenings in Oz, written by the Royal Historian to U.S. readers. 


The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.






The 1926 Ozmapolitan (3d issue)


Twenty-one years after the last Ozmapolitan, Reilly & Lee issued this third issue of the Ozmapolitan in 1926 to advertise the new Oz book of the year, The Hungry Tiger of Oz.  The dating on the magazine has been repurposed to represent the first issue of a new American Ozmapolitan (the first of three), as it is written from Ruth Plumly Thompson to Oz fans (specifically members of the Ozmite Club) in the Outside World (as opposed to the first two Ozmapolitans which were daily Ozian newspapers for residents of Oz.)  As with the original issue of the Ozmapolitan, this iteration establishes some interesting bits of continuity:


  1. Thompson is indeed considered the "Royal Historian of Oz," like her predecessor, L. Frank Baum.  She visits Oz once a year, and writes down a new story.

  2. John R. Neill is here called the "Royal Photographer of Oz."

  3. Reilly & Lee are listed as the "Royal Publishers of Oz"

  4. The events of Thompson's book The Curious Cruise of Captain Santa are referenced, although the "news story" indicates that this is a return trip to the Lost Islands.

  5. Thompson indicates that a revised  map of Oz is being prepared, and invites readers to send in information, noting that locations like the Wicked Witch's castle and Yoop Castle are difficult to place.

  6. There is a crossover with Frank King's Gasoline Alley comic-strip and books, in the character of Skeezix who writes about the circus for the OzmapolitanGasoline Alley is the second longest-running strip in the U.S., and the first to introduce real-time continuity by having characters mature and age over the years.

  7. There is a crossover with William Donahey's Teenie-Weenies comic-strips (which Reilly & Lee collected in several books), with a story from Teenie-Weenie Land posted as news from the Ozmapolitan Foreign News Service.  The strip ran from 1912 to 1970 baring nine years (from 1924 to 1933) when it was on hiatus.

  8. The issue includes a Society Column and Sports Column in which the Hammerheads play against the Hoppers.


The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.









The 1927 Ozmapolitan (4th Issue)


This fourth issue of the Ozmapolitan was issued by Reilly & Lee in 1927 to advertise the new book The Gnome King of Oz.


As with the last issue, this Ozmapolitan is written by Thompson to fan-club members in the Outside World about happenings in Oz, unlike the original issue which was a daily newspaper in Oz.  News in this issue includes some major and minor events, including information new to readers about the Gnome King from the upcoming book in his name, and the disappearance of Scraps (also from that book), but also events that can be seen as taking place more recent to the magazine's publication date, such as Scarps' upcoming plans with the Scarecrow for a carnival event at the Munchkin River:


  1. Report of the Winkie River overflowing, and the Wogglebug's attempt to figure out why.

  2. Professor Wogglebug's visit to Professor Nowital and a trip with Ozian friends in a riverboat up the Munchkin River.

  3. Professor Wogglebug converting his learning pills to learning crackers. These "wise-crackers" are expected to make learning more palatable.

  4. Omby Amby cutting his beard, losing the respect of his peers, and deciding to grow it back.

  5. The Ozmapolitan readership is said to be at 65,000.

  6. The clown Notta Bit More and Bob-Up started a circus to tour Oz.  Several Ozian celebrities have agreed to perform, such as the Cowardly Lion, Hungry Tiger, Doubtful Dromedar, Comfortable Camel and Tik-Tok.

  7. Sir Hokus is heading up repairs on the Yellow Brick Road.

  8. A new law was passed -- per Dorothy's request -- increasing the number of mortals allowed in Oz from 50 to a 100.

  9. Some news items from the first issue of the Ozmapolitan are repeated or expanded on (such as General Jinjur seeking to write her version of events).

  10. The crossover with the Teenie-Weenies continues from the last issue.

  11. The aftermath of the Unfinished Story Contest—later known as "The Enchanted Tree of Oz"—is made known.


The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.










The 1928 Ozmapolitan (5th issue)


Fifth issue of the Ozmapolitan was issued by Reilly & Lee in 1928 to advertise the new book The Giant Horse of Oz. It is the last issue written by Ruth Plumly Thompson.


As with the last two issues, this Ozmapolitan is written by Thompson to fan-club members in the Outside World about happenings in Oz, unlike the original Ozmapolitan which was a daily newspaper in Oz.  It will be the last Ozmapolitan in this format.  The next issue, the 1963 Ozmapolitan, is once again written as an Ozian newspaper. 


News in this issue includes major and minor events surrounding the then current book even though the events of that book, according to Thompson's chronology, occurred some years earlier.  This issue also contains several events that might be seen as taking place closer to the magazine's publication date, including: information new to readers about Jack Pumpkinhead from the upcoming book in his name, and the following:


  1. Ozma responds to questions asking whether she prefers to be a boy or a girl.

  2. Sir Hokus going on a quest.

  3. Kabumpo visiting the Emerald City with the Prince and Princess of Pumperdink.

  4. Scarecrow and Scraps preparing a costume ball in their honor.

  5. Grampa sending the Cowardly Lion rare tobacco to help cure him of his nerves (thankfully it didn't become a habit)

  6. An advertisement for the Jean Gros French Marionettes performing "The Land of Oz."

  7. Scraps preparing for a six-day bike-ride.

  8. Glinda experimenting on a magical formula to send residents of Oz to the U.S. to meet with fans (given that several have already been to the outside world, and that Ozma can simply whisk them there with the Magic Belt, it's uncertain why she'd have to bother).

  9. The Roundabouties heading up an upcoming street carnival.

  10. One of the Emerald City Palace towers is being remodeled as a "frowning room" to punish those who don't smile in the Emerald City.

  11. Because of Ruggedo's good behavior (after drinking the Waters of Oblivion at the end of Gnome King of Oz), Ozma is considering appointing him "a high office in the Emerald City." This news event has to be regarded as an older unpublished article from before 1925, as Ruggedo was back in bad form again in Pirates in Oz (which Thompson wouldn't write about until 1930).



The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.










The 1963 Ozmapolitan (6th issue)


Sixth issue of the Ozmapolitan was written by Dick Martin and issued by Reilly & Lee in 1963, thirty-five years since the last Ozmapolitan to advertise the new book Merry Go Round in Oz.


Akin to the first two issues, this Ozmapolitan is once again presented as a daily newspaper in Oz.  Thus, news in this issue includes major and minor events surrounding the then current book, including:


  1. Ozma praise the new book, and gives a royal ceremony in the Emerald City for Eloise Jarvis McGraw and Lauren McGraw, inducting them as Dames of the Ozly Order of Okmoks of Oz, and Dick Martin as Chevalier of the Ozly Order of Okmoks of Oz, a similar award given to illustrator John R. Neill in the first issue of the Ozmapolitan.

  2. The Wizard of Oz praises the International Wizard of Oz Club for "promoting interest in Ozian matters." He and Dorothy wish it success in the future.

  3. In the Society Page, Prince Jules of Halidom and Lady Annette are announced as engaged.

  4. Although Scarps is writing the fashion column, there is mention of Jenny Jump's Style Shop being heavily patronized due to the upcoming wedding of Jules and Annette.

  5. The Wogglebug gave a lecture on his travels across the U.S. (as detailed in Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz and The Wogglebug Book).

  6. In Sports news, the Sawhorse is to race Miss Merry Go Round.

  7. Queen Ann Soforth posted a want-ad for a husband to do work around the castle.

  8. The "Bossa Ozza" is the latest dance craze with the younger set in the Emerald City.



The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.






The 1965 Ozmapolitan (7th issue)

Seventh issue of the Ozmapolitan was written by Dick Martin and issued by Reilly & Lee in 1965 to advertise the new white editions of the Oz books.


As with the first two issues, and the last one, this Ozmapolitan is once again presented as a daily newspaper in Oz.  Thus, news in this issue includes major and minor events surrounding the then current book, although several articles are clearly dated to the time periods of much older books.


  1. Oz is celebrating the "Emerald Jubilee" of Ozma's "election" to the throne. Ozma says that she was elected to rule "in the first period, seventh division," which would be July 1902 (as per the 1904 Ozmapolitan, the third period is 1904).  She says that it was exactly 720 moons ago (60 years).  If one reckons this celebration by the year of this issue 1965, that brings her ascension to the throne in July 1905, which is three years too late.  It seems more likely that this issue of the Ozmapolitan, although celebrating the 1965 releases, is reprinting older news, and that the Jubilee year was three years earlier.  Ozma says that she's commissioned Reilly & Lee to publish a new Ozzentential edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  While there is a 1965 white edition, there was also a new Dick Martin cover edition in 1964.  If she's just appointed this book, that could date this news article to 1962, which would bring us to the correct year.  There is precedent for this, as many of the articles that have appeared in Ozmapolitans were years behind their actual events.  This very issue includes two articles dated to the time of The Emerald City of Oz and The Scarecrow of Oz.  That it establishes July as the month that Ozma was "elected" likely indicates this date as her appointment as ruler of Oz, and may have included a popular vote by the citizens of the Emerald City.  

  2. The Wizard of Oz is enjoying his tenth annual balloon flight, meanwhile, his Ozoplanes and Scalawagons are being "sold" used.

  3. A tournament between Sir Gauntlet and Sir Greves of Halidom has been called off, as the former has agreed to go dragon-hunting with Sir Hokus of Pokes.

  4. The Frogman and Scarecrow are planning a "thinking contest."

  5. In sporting news, the chief of the Equinots has planned polo matches to take place at the Royal Athletic College.

  6. Professor Wogglebug completed his Who's Who in Oz (which apparently Jack Snow assisted with).

  7. Captain Salt and his crew are planning on setting sail from Elbow Island on a voyage through uncharted areas of the Nonestican Ocean.

  8. Handy Mandy is looking for occupation in the Emerald City.



The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.









The 1970 Ozmapolitan (8th issue)

The eighth issue of the Ozmapolitan from 1970 marks the final one written by Dick Martin and the final one published by Reilly & Lee.  It advertises the reprints of The Sea Fairies and Sky Island.


This Ozmapolitan utilizes the same 1965 date as the last issue (though the volume number is different), and the news is even more contained to the time periods of older books, particularly the celebrations following the events of Sky Island, and it appears that this may represent a "reprint" issue of sorts, intended to reflect news from around the time of Sky Island.  As always, there are some minor additions to continuity, including:


  1. A very short story from Trot called "Life Among the Mermaids," though it's mainly a recap of her adventures in The Sea Fairies.

  2. An exclusive poem from the Scarecrow "An Ode to Straw."

  3. In the Society Notes, Queen Aquareine invited the Ozites to spend some time underwater. Whether this is an event dated to 1970, 1965 or 1908 (after the events of Sky Island) is not certain.

  4. Tik-Tok, Dorothy and Billina are heading back to the Nome King to obtain new cog-wheels for Tik-Tok. Again, it's unsure when this might occur. Tik-Tok had visited Roquat on his own and for a similar purpose back in 1905 (see Little Wizard Stories' "Tik-Tok and the Nome King"). At this period of time (1908), Kaliko would be king.

  5. In sporting news, the Gump is set to race Johnny Dooit, who will use his Sand Boat to race across the Deadly Desert while the Gump flies overhead. Given the Gump's distaste for being part of the Thing Tip created, this seems somewhat unlikely, though he did allow himself to be reassembled in Ozma and the Wayward Wand (to help Dorothy) and Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz. So, it's possible (even probable given the appearance of Johnny Dooit) that this took place in 1905 before the Gump requested himself disassembled for the last time.

  6. The Six Snub-Nosed Princesses were the sole contestants and join-winners of the annual beauty contest.

  7. King Rinkitink is looking to take a vacation.



The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.






The 1995 Ozmapolitan (9th issue)

The ninth issue of the Ozmapolitan is the first one published in 25 years, for the first time by Hungry Tiger Press, and written by Eric Shanower and David Maxine.  A lengthier entry that includes comic-strips, stories and poems, it advertises the new Oz-Story Magazine #1.


This new Ozmapolitan follows Baum's model as an in-universe newspaper of the Land of Oz that announces books about Oz from the outside world to citizens of Oz. Much of this takes the form of short reprints from Oz-Story Magazine #1 itself, including excerpts of "Percy and the Shrinking Violet," "Gugu and the Kalidahs," "The Balloon Girl of Oz," "The Pathetic Losers of Oz," "Sam Steele's Adventures on Land and Sea," "The Wonderland of Oz," and "Billy Bounce Circus and Zoo." The two exclusives include:


  1. an article on Miss Cuttenclip petitioning Glinda to issue a cease and desist to Hungry Tiger Press for their Oz Toy-Book Vol. 2.

  2. A Tiger Talk column in which the Hungry Tiger answers food-related issues.



The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.






The 1998 Ozmapolitan (10th issue)

The tenth issue of the Ozmapolitan by Hungry Tiger Press is written by Eric Shanower and David Maxine, and advertises the new Oz-Story Magazine #4.


While this new two-page edition of the Ozmapolitan retains the same volume and number as the prior 1995 issue, it's definitely intended to cover the July 10-12, 1998 Winkie Convention, which included an "expose" of Ozma by David Maxine (a Winkie!), who proposed that Pastoria had a love-child named Princess Wienieetots who's the half-sister of Ozma. One report details the Palace's response to the scandal, while another looks at the benign rule of Ozma over the ages. The issue also acknowledges a personals invitation for all "Friends of Dorothy."


The Ozmapolitan is available to read here.







The 2000 Ozmapolitan (11th issue)

The eleventh and final issue of the Ozmapolitan by Hungry Tiger Press, written by Eric Shanower and David Maxine, advertises the final Oz-Story Magazine #6.


While this new two-page edition of the Ozmapolitan retains the same volume and number as the prior 1995 issue, it's intended to cover the release of the final issue of Oz-Story Magazine, and includes excerpts from Rachel Cosgrove's The Rundelstone of Oz, Edward Einhorn's Paradox in Oz and Glen Ingersoll and Eric Shanower's Trot of Oz.  It is the only issue of the Ozmapolitan to have no exclusive content.


The Ozmapolitan is available exclusively here.







The 2014 Ozmapolitan (12th issue)


This two-page twelfth issue of the Ozmapolitan was produced digitally by The Royal Publisher of Oz, written by Joe Bongiorno to advertise the revised, expanded & illustrated version of Sam Sackett's Adolf Hitler in Oz.


From an in-universe perspective, the volume number in Roman numerals reveals the paper's actual date of 2014, indicating that this is likely a reprint of an earlier Ozmapolitan that would have been released in 1945 (the magazine's stated number and year of event). 


Several Ozian newspapers are revealed in this issue, apart from the Ozmapolitan itself, the Emerald City Mirror, Oogaboo News, The Quadling Quarterly and Pumperdink Press.


The articles include, Hitler's invasion, Ozma's decree to not use force, Hitler's "time machine" found in Lake Gillikoo, the reaction in the Quadling Country to Glinda's seeming absence, and the older news that Queen Ann has moved—along with the entire country—to the Gillikin Country on holiday.


The Ozmapolitan is available exclusively to read and download as a PDF here






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