And Then I Read: THE BAUM BUGLE and MIXED MOSS

The Baum BugleThese are not magazines you’ll find in any shop or bookstore, they’re club publications focused on the work of particular authors. This one is published by the International Wizard of Oz Club, and dwells on the work of L. Frank Baum and all things Oz. I’ve been a member since the 1970s, and enjoy their handsome, well-produced magazine, which comes out two or three times a year. This particular issue is focused on a series of books for girls, “Aunt Jane’s Nieces” written by Baum under the name Edith Van Dyne, which I’ve never read and don’t plan to, but the articles are still interesting. And other articles feature other series books by Baum aside from his most famous fantasy creations, as well as reviews and Oz news. Most issues have more Oz content. And comics folks show up from time to time. The back cover on this issue is by Eric Shanower, long-time member and Oz illustrator, and last year one issue had a cover and article about William Stout. The magazine is only one aspect of this very active club, which has several regional meetings annually around the country. You can learn more on their WEBSITE. Mixed Moss“Mixed Moss” is the annual square-bound collection of articles focusing on the life and work of British author Arthur Ransome, published by The Arthur Ransome Society, or TARS. Ransome’s famous children’s series beginning with “Swallows and Amazons” is a major focus, but his other works are also well covered. One of the fun things about Ransome’s novels for children, most of which involve sailing, is that they take place in a melange of real locations around England that can still be visited. The Society, of which I’ve been a member since the mid 90s, has lots of information about this, and I’ve used it to visit many of the sites myself. They also have many meetings and activities for kids and adults in England, and a few elsewhere in the world, including the U.S. You can learn more on their WEBSITE also. I’m sure there are other author groups of equal merit, but these two have kept my long-term interest with their well-crafted magazines.

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