The web comic Skin Horse clearly takes initial inspiration, at least as far as its initial cast goes, from The Wizard of Oz. There's a scarecrow, a tin man, a little dog, and, um, a dorothy of sorts. And the first storyline involves a cowardly lion.

(This thought isn't just mine — the "Cowardly Lion" reference is overt, and there are some others mentioned on TV Tropes. I'm curious how deep it goes, though.)

I'm not really familiar with the Oz universe and books, beyond the pop-culture absorption of the movie that I can't help but having. Are further storylines in this comic also Oz-inspired, or are there at least further Oz references? Or does it really just diverge from there?

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  • Funny...I never recognized the cast as being Oz-related...though there isn't really a 'Cowardly Lion' in the cast as of right now...and I'm not sure who would count as the Wicked Witch (Dr. Lee, maybe?) – Zibbobz Apr 10 '14 at 14:40

Well now tags you mentioned it, Tip might well be a reference to the boy character who transformed into Princess Ozma - hence the crossdressing.

Note that in the book Tip's caretaker had a Powder of Life that he used to animate Jack Pumkinhead and a Sawhorse and a Flying Gump - making life just like the clients in the comic. ;)

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    Having gotten curious about Ozma, apparently the original Ozma WAS a boy named Tip for a good portion of her early life, so there's some credit to this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Ozma – Zibbobz Sep 3 '14 at 18:04

Skin Horse doesn't directly parallel The Wizard of Oz, and only you mentioning the main cast's relevance to the main characters (plus the cowardly lion) even brought to mind the idea that there could be parallels.

There certainly hasn't been a specific "Wizard of Oz", Dr. Lee could be the wicked witch but that's questionable, and there's definitely no quest to return home after a long dream. And I can't even imagine what Oz character Tigerlilly would be related to.

It seems like the only connection is the initial cast having something of a resemblance to the Oz main characters.

Though with Artie starting to show up more frequently, you could mistake him for the 'cowardly lion'.

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    No Wizard? Then what do you call the guy who owned the Theme Park they were trying to save? And Unity is a pretty clear reference to the Patchwork Girl from Oz. – FuzzyBoots Apr 10 '14 at 17:41
  • @SeanDuggan I call him Walt Disney. And, I still argue that Dr. Lee is more the Wizard than that guy. And, unless I'm mistaken, this comic started long, long before Oz came out in theaters (unless you're referring to a book I'm unfamiliar with, which might be the case). – Zibbobz Apr 10 '14 at 17:43
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    Sorry. I missed a bit of capitalization. The Patchwork Girl of Oz is a book within the Oz series. Honestly, most of the references are in the TVTropes page he listed. :) – FuzzyBoots Apr 10 '14 at 17:45
  • @SeanDuggan There is absolutely no way you're going to get me to open up the TVTropes page at work...least of which because it's blocked. My point still stands that any resemblance to Ozworks are probably referential, and not a direct parallel...if you have a better understanding of Oz works and can show differently though, or more throughly, then I recommend writing out an answer about it - my own answer is admittedly sparse. – Zibbobz Apr 10 '14 at 17:48

The Oz re fences in Skin Horse are clear, but they are not with the original Oz characters. Tip, as someone said, is the name of the future Princess Ozma when she she is in the form of a boy. Given Tip's gender bending identity, it's a good fit. Mustachio is an analog for Tick Tock, not the Tin Woodman (more on him later). Mustachio not only looks like Tick Tock, who appears from the third Oz book on, but he speaks and behaves similarly. Nick, the sentient airplane is inspired by he Tin Woodman, whose name is Nick Chopper. My favorite Oz parallel is ?Unity, who fits closely with The Patchwork Girl (7th Oz book). She's sewn together from scraps and has a sassy, joyful and rather crazy personality - just like Unity. You have to love her. Of course, Sweetheart is what Toto would be if he were female and chose to speak. As we learn in a later Oz book, Toto can speak but chooses not to. And Gavotte may reference the swarm of bees in the first Oz book. Fun stuff. There are more references, I'm sure, but I don't have time to go into it.

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