Editor’s Note: Longtime FOG! Columnist Steve Ahlquist is the creator/writer of the cult classic comic book series, OZ Squad, a reimagining of the Baum mythos that was far ahead of it’s time (OZ Squad premiered in 1991).
After having his comic published by two small independent companies, I’ve Got Art columnist Adam Miner took over, releasing several issues under his Patchwork Press banner. Steve has the complete series available in two paperbacks (available HERE) and Adam was gracious enough to provide the previously unseen art from the never published zero issue that you will see today and in the next I’ve Got Art column).
Here are the first 9 pages from OZ Squad Zero, a never before published origin of Ozlem the first queen of OZ. Written by series creator Steve Ahlquist and drawn by my very good friend David Ray.
This was Steve’s idea for an origin of how humans started out in OZ and takes place approximately 2,000 years ago before the Emerald City was constructed. It ties into actual OZ history, and therefore OZ Squad history. The intention was for the story to also provide origins for the more powerful magic objects in OZ, including the slippers.
Unfortunately Steve lost the script years ago and Dave only completed the first 17 pages of a 24 page script. Nevertheless, I’m proud to finally present, OZ Squad Zero!
|Jack Pumpkinhead asks his mother Queen Ozma for a bedtime story|
|A young Ozlem and the evil Phanfasms|
|Innocence lost as Ozlems mother and sibling are killed by the callous Phanfasms|
|Older Ozlem with her son Evrett|
|Ozlem fears for her son’s life|
|Ozlem goes on the offensive as the king of the Phanfasms wishes for something interesting to happen|
|You should never make a wish when you happen to be made of pure wish|
|Ozlem remains resolute in the face of certain death|
|The leader of the Phanfasms summons all of Ozlems tribe to share her fate|
Next week I’ll premiere the remaining pages from the book.