SAN DIEGO, DAY 3: Eisner-Winner Eric Shanower Returns to Oz ... Sort of

It's probably safe to say that Eric Shanower had a good weekend at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

First, he won the Eisner award for Best Writer/Artist for his work on "Age of Bronze." (Click here for CBR News' complete coverage of the 2001 Eisner Awards.)

"I was hoping I would win, but I thought the competition was too stiff," Shanower told CBR News on Saturday. "I thought 'Safe Area Gorazde' would win."

Then, following hard on the heels of the announcement that Image Comics would be reprinting "Leave it to Chance" next year is the news Saturday that Shanower's Oz works would be following suit, a deal worked out Saturday at the convention.

Shanower wrote and illustrated five Oz graphic novels starting in 1986. The first four were published First Comics, with the fifth going to Dark Horse Comics along with the reprints of the first four after First went under. But all five have been out of print since the mid-1990s.

"He wants to issue them with uniform dress" on a quarterly basis, starting in the spring. The plan is for the books to alternate with the reissued "Leave it to Chance." But unlike that reprint series, which will lead into new stories, Shanower is not going to be writing more Oz stories.

"I'm absolutely committed to ['Age of Bronze']," Shanower said, "Which is going to be another 10 years or so."

Given the age of the graphic novels – which were well-received at the time of their original publication – means that new readers shouldn't look on them as state of the art Shanower.

"I'm proud of it, but I look at it and say 'eh.'"

If Shanower is committed to "Age of Bronze," it's a commitment that only extends through the end of the Trojan War.

"By the time this ends, I'll probably be sick of Greek mythology," he said. "I don't know what I'm doing after 'Age of Bronze' because it's so far off."

But at the moment, Shanower knows what he wants.

"I've gotten critical acclaim my whole career," he said. "But I'm getting tired of critical acclaim. I want people to read my books. I want popular acclaim."

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