Of the 14 books in L. Frank Baum’s beloved Wizard of Oz series only one was illustrated by W.W. Denslow. As it turns out, it was a big one. For it was Denslow that illustrated the first volume, Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, and visually introduced us to Dorothy and the gang.
Though many of us think of John R. Neill when thinking of Oz illustrators it was Denslow’s “depictions of Dorothy, Toto, and all the other creatures and landscapes of Oz have become so iconic as to be inseparable from Baum’s story.”1
“The success of “Oz” was due as much to Denslow’s pictures as to Baum’s story”, says Michael Patrick Hearn, author of the scholarly “Annotated Wizard of Oz”2
It has remained the most popular of all OZ books.
Hats off to The Public Domain Review for gathering Denslow’s seminal illustrations for our enjoyment.
See them all here.
Classic Comics No. 1. The Three Musketeers, 1941. Cover art by Malcolm Kildale
For almost 30 years Classic Comics brought the hi-spots of literature to our nations youth via the comic book. First published in 1941 the series changed hands a few times, beginning as Classic Comics and ending as Classics Illustrated in 1969.
Classic Comics No. 26: Frankenstein December, 1945. Cover art by Robert Webb and Ann Brewster
Over 150 issues were published before the demise of the series. Each issue featured author profiles and an ad for the next issue.
Classic Comics No. 18. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Cover art by Allen Simon
Classics Illustrated No. 23, Oliver Twist. July, 1945. Cover by Arnold Hicks
Classic Comics No. 4. The Last of the Mohicans, 1942. Cover art by Ray Ramsey
Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History