Sunday, March 1, 2020

FLYING GUMP COMING; ASK THE WOGGLE BUG

By L. Frank Baum (maybe)
Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Boy Fortune Hunters in the Yucatan, Daughters of Destiny, etc.

Originally published in the Chicago Record-Herald, August 26, 1904.

[The following story is the fourth in a series of short faux newspaper articles, all uncredited, leading up to and publicizing the debut of L. Frank Baum and Walt McDougall's weekly newspaper comic page Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz (1904-05). The first seventeen episodes of Queer Visitors end with the catch-phrase, "What did the Wogglebug say?" The articles in this series end similarly. This series seems to have been exclusive to the Chicago Record-Herald. A different series of articles, also uncredited—detailing a flight of the Oz characters through outer space—publicized Queer Visitors in newspapers elsewhere. Did L. Frank Baum write these stories? Or did someone at his publisher Reilly & Britton create them? Or did a writer at the Chicago Record-Herald come up with them? Baum did not clip examples for his scrap book, so maybe he isn't the author. The conception of the Land of Oz in these stories diverges from the one Baum later developed in his Oz books, so maybe he isn't the author. They were written before Baum's conception of Oz was fully formed and any differences may mean little, so maybe Baum is the author. Baum's presentation of his Oz characters in Queer Visitors also differed from his later conception, so maybe Baum is the author. Specific details of the Oz characters in these stories match their book counterparts, so maybe Baum is the author. The tone of the stories is as confident and as engaging as Baum's writing could be, so maybe Baum is the author. Maybe we'll never know.]

Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, September 1, 1904.

FLYING GUMP COMING; ASK THE WOGGLE BUG

Most Wonderful Air Ship in Existence Is on Its Way to Chicago With Party From Princess Ozma’s Domain.

Definite news came to the Oz colony in Chicago yesterday that the party which is on the way from Princess Ozma’s marvelous domain is to arrive in the Flying Gump. Those who have seen it describe the Gump as being the only perfect air ship in existence. They say it is so safe that the smallest child is able to reach the very farthest stars in it, while to fly around the sun is scarcely more of an undertaking than to visit the Lincoln Park zoo.

The Gump, however, had not always so great a reputation. When it first appeared in Oz people were afraid to venture in it.

“I am entirely safe,” declared the Gump. “It’s impossible for me to fall, while if anyone tumbled out of me they’d have the funniest time of their lives.”

No one was convinced, however, except the Woggle Bug. He took his seat in the Gump. They flashed upward, while all the children of Oz shouted.

Up and up they went. Suddenly the children saw the Woggle Bug rise to his feet.

“This is too tame,” remarked the Woggle Bug to the Gump. “I’m going to jump out.”

“Take care you don’t hurt yourself laughing,” said the Gump.

And to the children’s horror they saw the Woggle Bug plunge into space. Instead of falling down, however, he fell up. Three seconds later he vanished behind a golden cloud.

Such sorrowing as there was in Oz! The children wept for the wonderful Woggle Bug, while they were most severe to the Gump. But four days afterward there was wild rejoicing. The Woggle Bug suddenly appeared at the children’s great national playground. He was laughing uproariously.

“The Gump’s a splendid fellow!” he cried. “It was the funniest place in the world.” And he roared again with laughter.

“Where have you been?” shouted the children.

“I’ll tell you,” said the Woggle Bug. He sprang on the horns of the Gump, amid breathless silence, and spoke rapidly for six minutes.

“What did the Woggle Bug say?” asked the children as he finished.

For the Woggle Bug had talked in Greek.

Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, August 31, 1904.


Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, June 24, 1917.

A Rainy Day in Supposyville

A rainy day to most folks
Is a dreary stay-indoors affair;
Or else with big umbrellas
They go bobbing crossly here and there;
They shake their heads at all they meet,
And mumble ’bout the awful weather,
Or mope around the house and get
Their griefs and grievances together;
But pshaw, now! In Supposyville
They chuckle when the rain comes pelting;
You see, Supposies aren’t one bit
Afraid of just entirely melting.
“ ’Tis very plain we must have rain
To wash the trees and towns and houses;
To make the gardens bloom again
And wake the seedling where it drowses!
“Come on!” they cry. “Come out! Come out!
Let’s help the storm clouds clean up town!”
Then every one comes splashing out,
And why on earth should any frown?
But frowns on rainy days, I s’pose,
Are oftenest a case of clothes;
And here these quaint and jolly folks
Are sensibler still;
They all wear woolen bathing suits
In dear Supposyville;
They throw hot suds upon the walks
And fences, and the trees,
And splash around with brush and broom
As gayly as you please;
The spigots of the sky pour down
A plenteous supply
Of water; come to think of it,
I really wonder why
We do not do the same? Well, after
All the work is done
They patter here and there, and have
The greatest sort of fun;
They paddle down the lanes and paths
And revel in free shower baths;
The lads and lassies sail their boats
And seem to have much more
Enjoyment than some little folks
I know have at the shore;
And when they’re dried and brushed and dressed
They look as fresh and blowsy
As garden flowers after showers.
Wish I were a Supposy.
(Don’t you?)


 Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

FEAR FOR THE OZITES IN STATE STREET RUSH

By L. Frank Baum (maybe)
Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Boy Fortune Hunters in the Yucatan, Daughters of Destiny, etc.

Originally published in the Chicago Record-Herald, August 25, 1904.

[The following story is the third in a series of short faux newspaper articles, all uncredited, leading up to and publicizing the debut of L. Frank Baum and Walt McDougall's weekly newspaper comic page Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz (1904-05). The first seventeen episodes of Queer Visitors end with the catch-phrase, "What did the Wogglebug say?" The articles in this series end similarly. This series seems to have been exclusive to the Chicago Record-Herald. A different series of articles, also uncredited—detailing a flight of the Oz characters through outer space—publicized Queer Visitors in newspapers elsewhere. Did L. Frank Baum write these stories? Or did someone at his publisher Reilly & Britton create them? Or did a writer at the Chicago Record-Herald come up with them? Baum did not clip examples for his scrap book, so maybe he isn't the author. The conception of the Land of Oz in these stories diverges from the one Baum later developed in his Oz books, so maybe he isn't the author. They were written before Baum's conception of Oz was fully formed and any differences may mean little, so maybe Baum is the author. Baum's presentation of his Oz characters in Queer Visitors also differed from his later conception, so maybe Baum is the author. Specific details of the Oz characters in these stories match their book counterparts, so maybe Baum is the author. The tone of the stories is as confident and as engaging as Baum's writing could be, so maybe Baum is the author. Maybe we'll never know.]

Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, September 1, 1904.

FEAR FOR THE OZITES IN STATE STREET RUSH

Former Inhabitants of Land Remember Jack Pumpkinhead and His Plight and Wonder “What Did the Woggle Bug Say?”

Children who formerly lived in Oz are expressing fear lest accident befall some of the less clever members of the party which is coming from the marvelous land to Chicago. They recall the scrape their old friend Jack Pumpkinhead, in particular, got into at the time of Princess Ozma’s coronation, and they hope his comrades will see to his safety on State street.

It seems that he was intrusted with the crown to take back to the palace after the coronation. “It’s easy,” he thought, trundling off confidently with the silver wheelbarrow, in which was the crown, covered with cloth of gold. He had not gone far, however, before he met a wayfarer, also pushing a silver barrow, in which lay something hidden by gold cloth. Jack stopped, wondering.

“Have you got a crown too?” he asked.

“I should say so,” said the stranger, “and it’s worth five million dollars.”

“This one is only worth one million,” said Jack disgustedly.

“Well, you’re such a fine fellow that I’ll give you this crown in place of yours,” declared the other. “Think how pleased the princess will be.”

“Splendid,” cried silly Jack, seizing the barrow and running off, with never a look at the supposed crown.

The instant he reached the palace the royal chamberlain dashed down the steps.

“Delighted to see you,” cried the chamberlain, and threw back the cloth of gold. He and Jack both bellowed. Nothing was there but a huge jam tart.

Jack was instantly dragged before the lord high chancellor.

“You’re sentenced to be fed on dry soda crackers for the rest of your life,” shouted the chancellor, “unless someone answers this riddle. If a green sugar chicken costs seven cents how many blue gingerbread apples can you get for a dollar?”

The Woggle Bug sprang forward. He spoke to the chancellor.

“Correct,” pronounced the great dignitary, nodding his head.

“What did the Woggle Bug say?” demanded grateful Jack.
 

The chancellor only laughed.

Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, August 30, 1904.


Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, June 17, 1917.

The Troubadour of Supposyville

The troubadour sang blithely
As he passed the castle gate;
The Queen leaned out the casement
And entreated him to wait;
So, springing from his saddle,
He struck his sweet guitar;
The little birds a-hearing him
Sang loudly near and far;
And, just as he had ended up
His merry, merry lay,
Down tripped the Queen, and, if it were
Not too far from his way,
Begged that he take some posies
To poor lame old Mistress Sue,
And leave her pony at the blacksmith’s,
“See, he’s lost his shoe;
And tell the tailor please to put
Blue buttons on this coat;
And if you pass a postbox will
You kindly mail this note;
And will you leave this flour at
The miller’s? And please take
These berries to the baker, for
I want a berry cake;
And would you buy for me a spool
Of yellow thread, and one
Of tea rose pink? That’s all, I think.
I thought it would be fun
To give the folks a holiday,
And they’ve already gone;
And dear knows what I should have done
Had you not come along!”
The troubadour, who’d listened
In a daze—sprang on his horse,
Taking one thing, then another,
And murmuring “Of course,”
“Oh, certainly, your highness,”
And “Blue buttons for the cake;
Delighted, I assure you.”
Off he galloped—mercy sake!
The pony trotting after
And the flour on his knee,
The berries in his bonnet,
And the Queen’s coat flying free
From the saddle; and he sang a tune
That sounded monstrous queer,
“Sweet miller for the flour,
And buttons have I here”;
He hailed the postman lustily
And flung the Queen’s coat down;
“Just mail this please!” Next minute he’s
The other side of town.
Still singing gayly, on he hurries
To the blacksmith’s, leaves
The posies on the forge, then quite
A sigh of pleasure heaves;
“I’m almost finished,” chuckles he
And while the posies scorch
He drags the pony firmly up
On Madam Sue’s front porch,
Opens the door and shoves it in;
Next minute he’s away,
Taking no note of noise or din;
“A cake without delay;
With buttons blue, and hurry, too!”
He calls to the tailor man;
And dumping down the flour
To the baker shop he ran
And left the letter. “See you put
Blue berries on this flour!”
Slam went the door, my dears, before
The baker man had power
To raise a hand. The troubadour
Now paused and waved his hat,
Then caroled off contentedly—
What do you think of that?


 Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

WHO WON GREAT RACE? WOGGLE BUG CAN TELL

By L. Frank Baum (maybe)
Author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Boy Fortune Hunters in the Yucatan, Daughters of Destiny, etc.

Originally published in the Chicago Record-Herald, August 24, 1904.

[The following story is the second in a series of short faux newspaper articles, all uncredited, leading up to and publicizing the debut of L. Frank Baum and Walt McDougall's weekly newspaper comic page Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz (1904-05). The first seventeen episodes of Queer Visitors end with the catch-phrase, "What did the Wogglebug say?" The articles in this series end similarly. This series seems to have been exclusive to the Chicago Record-Herald. A different series of articles, also uncredited—detailing a flight of the Oz characters through outer space—publicized Queer Visitors in newspapers elsewhere. Did L. Frank Baum write these stories? Or did someone at his publisher Reilly & Britton create them? Or did a writer at the Chicago Record-Herald come up with them? Baum did not clip examples for his scrap book, so maybe he isn't the author. The conception of the Land of Oz in these stories diverges from the one Baum later developed in his Oz books, so maybe he isn't the author. They were written before Baum's conception of Oz was fully formed and any differences may mean little, so maybe Baum is the author. Baum's presentation of his Oz characters in Queer Visitors also differed from his later conception, so maybe Baum is the author. Specific details of the Oz characters in these stories match their book counterparts, so maybe Baum is the author. The tone of the stories is as confident and as engaging as Baum's writing could be, so maybe Baum is the author. Maybe we'll never know.]


Advertisement from the Chicago Record-Herald, August 30, 1904.

WHO WON GREAT RACE? WOGGLE BUG CAN TELL

Neck and Wheel Dash of the Animated Saw-Horse and the Automobile Described by Small Boy From Oz.

“Automobiles are silly, old-fashioned things,” declared a small boy, who formerly lived in Oz, on Michigan avenue yesterday. “Chicago boys and girls will have their eyes opened when the tourists come from Oz. They have the most wonderful machine that there is anywhere. It is called the Animated Saw-Horse.”

“Tell me about it,” said the Chicago boy with him.

“I’ll tell you about the great race the Saw-Horse ran for the sake of the Oz children,” said the other. “It was just last year that a big French racing automobile was brought to Oz by the horrid old Lord High Chancellor. He told us children he would put a tax on toys and make them too expensive to buy unless we found a machine to beat his.

“We were almost crying, when some one remembered the Saw-Horse. ‘Here’s our champion,’ we shouted.

“All the children, every boy and girl in the whole land of Oz, gathered at the big playground to see the race. The Woggle-Bug was chosen for judge. Suddenly he gave the word—the race was on.

“The rivals reached the first turn together, but the Saw-Horse swung out. The auto got near the inside rail, while we children groaned.

“ ‘Clevah! Most clevah,’ we heard the Chancellor murmuring.

“Down the back stretch they swept. Slowly our champion began to gain. ‘Go on,’ we all shouted. ‘Go back,’ muttered the Chancellor. The racers shot around the far turn. Suddenly they were in the home stretch.

“ ‘Come on, Saw-Horse!’ shrieked the children. He was at the auto’s front wheels. On they darted. Saw-Horse showed in front an instant. We yelled like mad. The auto poked a lantern ahead. O, it was a lovely race.

“So they tore down the stretch. As they flashed past the Woggle Bug they seemed like a team. Neither we children nor the Chancellor could tell which had won. We all held our breath and turned to the Woggle Bug.”

Here the boy’s voice stopped.

“What did the Woggle Bug say?” asked the Chicago boy.

But the child from Oz had vanished.





Originally published in the Philadelphia Public Ledger, June 10, 1917.

The Birthday of the Queen

It was the birthday of the Queen,
And in the courtyard all
The gifts from the Supposies were
Heaped high against the wall;
The bands went marching up and down,
And all the flags were fluttering;
While in the castle kitchen
All the cooks were buy buttering
The cake tins, basting birds and roasts,
Preparing for the feast;
For every one’s invited, and
They come from west and east;
The Queen unties the lovely gifts
Where every one can see;
But first they try to guess
And puzzle out what each can be;
And, Oh! The chuckles, and the fun,
And how the people cheer;
Dear me, it’s just too bad
That birthdays come but once a year;
And when the last has been admired,
And each Supposy kissed—
Yes, every one; the dear old blacksmith
Even, wasn’t missed—
They all sit down to ninety tables
Spread upon the lawn;
And fifty cooks and serving men
Bring all the goodies on;
When ready for the birthday cake,
With all its candles lighted,
A box big as a house arrived,
Another gift benighted;
“Oh! Open it! Please open it!”
The Queen cries; twenty do,
With hammers, axes, and so forth;
And then, my wordy! Whew!
Out bounced a creature huge
As several elephants in one;
Down went the tables, down the chairs,
And everything just spun;
Some climbed the trees some ran away;
At last the thing sat still;
The Queen crept to its box and read:
“Dear Queen, I hope you will
Love this small puppy—it’s the smallest
I could find.” ‘Twas signed
“Your Giant Neighbor.” “How delightful;
Why, how awfully kind!”
The Queen exclaimed, and coming out
From under several chairs,
The damage to her wardrobe
She most hastily repairs;
Well, well; that giant puppy
Now became as good as gold,
And all the people flock around,
Nor had the heart to scold;
They fed him with a tub of scraps;
“The carpenter must measure him
For a huge kennel,” said the Queen,
“For really I shall treasure him.”


 Copyright © 2020 Eric Shanower and David Maxine. All rights reserved.