The collected and complete "Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz"
In which is related the strange and wonderful adventures of the Scarecrow and his companions the Tin Woodman, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Sawhorse, Professor H.M. Woggle-bug T.E., and the flying Gump during a visit to the marvelous fairyland known as the United States of America
BY L. FRANK BAUM
Newspaper reports of the Queer Visitors
How the Adventurers Lost and Found Themselves
How the Tin Woodman Escaped the Magic Flood
How the Strangers Found Themselves Between the Auto and the Deep Sea
How Uncle Eli Laughed Too Soon
How the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman Met Some Old Friends
How the Sawhorse Saved Dorothy's Life
How the Ozites Met a Beauty Doctor
How the Adventurers Encountered an Unknown Beast
Jack Pumpkinhead and the Scarecrow Win a Race and Incite a Riot; the Wogglebug Restores Harmony
The Scarecrow Becomes a Man of Means in Spite of the Girls at a Church Fair
How the Wogglebug Proved His Knowledge of Chemistry
How the Wogglebug Got a Thanksgiving Dinner
The Scarecrow Tells a Fairy Tale to Children and Hears an Equally Marvelous True Story
Jack Pumpkinhead Pawns the Sawhorse
Dorothy Spends an Evening with Her Old Friends and is Entertained with Wonderful Exhibitions
How the Wogglebug and His Friends Visited Santa Claus
How the Wogglebug Found a Lost Child and Gave a Lesson in Heraldry
The Scarecrow Presents a Magic Automobile to a Little Girl
How the Tin Woodman Became a Fire Hero
The Two Wishes
Tim Nichols and the Cat
Mr. Wimble's Wooden Leg
A Magnetic Personality
Nan's Magic Button
Eliza and the Lozenges
The Wogglebug Encourages Charity
What Did The Woggle-Bug Say? song lyrics
L. Frank Baum’s Queer
Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz
is a curious piece of Oziana. Queer Visitors
was a series of comic strips that advertised The Marvelous Land
of Oz from 1904 to 1905. The strips were actually full-size
newspaper pages, with a story by Baum, and illustrations by Walt
McDougall, which would include speech balloons.
The Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Jack Pumpkinhead, the Sawhorse, and the Woggle-Bug visit America in the Gump, arriving at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, where they get into mischief. The visitors take time heading from St. Louis to somewhere in Kansas, where the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are reunited with Dorothy and Toto.
As they visit with Dorothy and travel across the United States even more, more mischief ensues as the visitors attempt to do good deeds, or just visit.
Baum pays special attention to the Woggle-Bug's adventures. Many of the early newspaper stories featured the "What Did The Woggle-Bug Say?" contest, in which the Woggle-Bug solved a question, or showed off his knowledge. Later, the Woggle-Bug is instrumental in resolving plots, or carries them alone. The answers to the “What Did The Woggle-Bug Say?” questions have been edited into the text in this edition.
The Woggle-Bug Book follows up Queer Visitors, giving the Woggle-Bug a misadventure that reads like a "highly magnified" story from the series, and is also considered Baum's worst story. The visit's conclusion was never properly revealed. The Oz characters are next seen back in fairyland and never speak of their adventures again.
What I find most interesting about these stories is that they turn the conventional idea of Oz on its head: usually, someone from America goes to visit Oz. Now we have people from Oz visiting America.
The stories, Queer Visitors and The Woggle-Bug Book, have been questioned when it comes to continuity with the other Oz books. While the proper Oz books seem to say that magic doesn't work outside of Oz, Jack, the Sawhorse, and the Gump are alive outside of Oz, the Woggle-Bug maintains his immense size, and only here, the visitors practice magic. One could argue that they are actually ambassadors, so technically, wherever they are is counted as part of Oz, and Glinda gave them magical charms to use to keep them out of trouble, or to help people. However, though these explanations are reasonable, they require validation, and the stories offer none.
In the Oz books, Baum indicates that Oz is on a hidden continent on Earth somewhere. Promotional material for the series told of the visitors visiting other planets, however, Baum may not have written these. They are, however, included just before the stories begin in this edition.
Another is that, given that her old friends visit, it is odd that Aunt Em doesn't believe Dorothy's tales of Oz, which is a factor that comes into play in The Emerald City of Oz. Once again, one could argue that Baum, not quite catching all the details, added Aunt Em's skepticism, given that Dorothy relayed the Oz stories to him, in-universe.