Originally published to great admiration in 1900, L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” has since secured itself as one of the most recognizable children’s classics of all time. While the beloved story has stood the test of time HarperCollins teamed with Austin-based artist Michael Sieben to update the illustrations, and his charming but mature graphic edition will drop 19 February.
As longtime supportes of Sieben’s artistic endeavors—Internet Shack, Okay Mountain Gallery, Roger Skateboards—we were more than excited to hear he’d be illustrating such an iconic volume. After flipping through the new hardcover we can confidently say, we approve. Sieben’s unique style gives life to each individual object, turning everything from Dorothy and Toto to the trees and houses into intriguing characters.
Encouraging one’s imagination to take control, Sieben’s illustrations and hand lettering pepper the more-than-200-page book with cartoonish figures and colorful landscapes that are at once cute and vaguely macabre—a distinct style that seems to compliment Baum’s admittedly dark tale rather well. This balance of slightly dark and playful imagery is only enhanced by Sieben’s choice of colors, resulting in a highly stylized aesthetic that appeals to adults and children alike.
Set to publish 19 February 2013 by HarperCollins, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is avialable now for pre-order from Amazon for around $12. For more information visit HarperDesign online, and for a closer look at Sieben’s illustrations have a look at his personal site and the slideshow.
Images by Graham Hiemstra