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Skottie Young revealed over the weekend that, after nearly six years, he has finished work on Marvel’s Oz series, his Eisner Award-winning collaboration with writer Eric Shanower and colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu. The final issue, The Emerald City of Oz #5, arrives Dec. 11.
“I’ve never been emotional about a book I’ve worked on,” Young wrote on his blog. “As an artist in today’s comic landscape, you get used to spending 6-8 months on one title and then moving onto another. The long run of characters being yours and yours alone is very rare. To come to work every day for nearly 6 years and spend time with the same characters in the same world is something I grew to love and depend on. Leaving it behind is bitter sweet. I’m excited face new challenges but a bit sad to leave one of the most reliable things in my life.”
Marvel’s adaptations of L. Frank Baum’s novels launched in 2008 with the eight-issue Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and continued with The Marvelous Land of Oz, Osma of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, The Road to Oz and, now, The Emerald City of Oz. Although Baum wrote eight more books in the Oz series, this is the end of the journey for Young.
Whether there will be more Oz adaptations from Marvel remains to be seen. It’s certainly worth noting the publisher is releasing a new hardcover collection of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, complete with a new cover by Young, in January.
“A giant thanks to Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, CB Cebulski, David Bogart, Axel Alonso and David Gabriel for being my champions,” Young wrote. “The word ‘cartoony’ can be a four letter word in our world and these gentlemen carved out a little corner for me to throw that four letter word around as loud as I wanted.”