Eric Shanower is one of the newest Imperial Illustrators of Oz. He enjoyed the Oz books as a child, became a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club at nine years old, and began attending Oz conventions in the 1970s.
As a cartoonist, he first became prominent for a series of Oz graphic novels published from 1986 to 1992. Praise from professional critics brought Eric’s fine work to the attention of new fans. This series is, perhaps, Eric’s greatest contribution to the Oz saga. Twenty years after the series debuted, these five books were republished in a single hardcover volume, Adventures in Oz.
In 1993, Eric illustrated Rachel Cosgrove Payes’s The Wicked Witch of Oz for the International Wizard of Oz Club. In 1995 he edited and illustrated John R. Neill’s fourth Oz book, The Runaway in Oz, for Books of Wonder. In 2001 he illustrated and co-published Eloise Jarvis McGraw’s third Oz book, The Rundelstone of Oz, for Hungry Tiger Press.
He co-founded Hungry Tiger Press with David Maxine in 1994 and served as co-publisher until leaving the company in 2003. The press’s dissemination of rare Baum stories such as the Boy Fortune Hunters books, Oz sheet music, recordings of rare Baum and Oz music, and six annual numbered editions of Oz-story Magazine have made Hungry Tiger Press a company of significance to the Oz community.
Beginning in 2009, he wrote a series of graphic novel adaptations of Baum’s first six Oz books drawn by cartoonist Skottie Young. Published by Marvel Comics, the series brought L. Frank Baum’s name to the New York Times graphic novel best seller list for the first time.
In addition to Eric’s many other Oz projects, he produced the first fully-staged revival of Baum’s 1913 musical extravaganza The Tik-Tok Man of Oz for Winkie Con 50 in 2014. For the International Wizard of Oz Club, Eric has contributed to The Baum Bugle, Oziana, and other publications, and served a decade as art director of the club’s annual pictorial calendar.