Awesome picture book illustrators #1: John R. Neill

John R. Neill (1877-1943)
best known for: the Oz series

Ozma of Oz

Most of the books illustrated by Neill are actually “chapter books” and not picture books but some are so heavily illustrated as to feel like picture books. Neill is most famous for illustrating the Oz books created by L. Frank Baum. He actually illustrated a whopping 35 of them over over four decades. His work is exquisite and has a strong turn-of-the-century feel. The women look like Greek goddesses with long, delicate features and flowing robes.

Ozma of Oz

Patchwork Girl of Oz

The Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger

Neill also illustrated non-Oz fantasy books by Baum, worked extensively for periodicals, and even had a couple of his own comic strips (Nip and Tuck and Toyland).  However, he is best known by far for his Oz work, creating the visual designs for iconic characters like Jack Pumpkinhead, Ozma, the Nome King, Patchwork Girl, and many others.

Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse

The Road to Oz


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4 responses to “Awesome picture book illustrators #1: John R. Neill

  1. This dude has always been a favorite. Probably because he’s amazing.

  2. I’m looking for somebody by the name of Natalie M. If you can help, shoot me a message. Thanks so much.

  3. Natalie! I found online that a few months ago you posted that you were selling some CDs, among them the Expanded edition of Alligator by The National. I’ve been looking for that album for forever and am wondering if you still have it for sale. Thanks for responding, even though I can’t see the response here!

  4. John R. Neill produced some seriously amazing work during his career.

    I have quite a lot of his work over on my blog if you’re interested in seeing more of his Non-Oz Illustrations.

    I’m glad folk are mentioning his name more and more these days.

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