W.W. Denslow (1856-1919)
best known for: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Denslow’s Picture Books, and Billy Bounce
Denslow’s most famous work by far is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum. Denslow was the first illustrator to portray the book’s many iconic characters, including Dorothy Gale, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, Wizard of Oz, Wicked Witch of the East, Glinda, Winged Monkeys, etc.
Denslow co-owned the copyright to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and continued to illustrated the characters in a newspaper comic strip. He created another newspaper strip entitled Billy Bounce, starring a mischievous, lighter-than-air imp living in a fantasy world.
Denslow was also known for his lengthy series of picture books that took well-known fairy tales and recast them in a new light. Some of these books have been compiled and reprinted in various editions over the last few years.