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This week not only marked the 109th birthday of Little Nemo in Slumberland, it saw the debut of Winsor McCay’s revolutionary strip on Universal Uclick’s GoComics.
“Little Nemo in Slumberland was the greatest comic strip of its day, perhaps the greatest of all time,” the announcement states, “acclaimed the world over for its artistic majesty, unbounded imagination and groundbreaking techniques that helped define a new art form.”
[Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss “The best in comics from the last seven days” — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]
At the start of the week, Locust Moon launched their Kickstarter for their Winsor McKay tribute book Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, and in less than 48 hours, they passed their $50,000 goal. Currently breaking $75,000, the shear care and beauty of this project is breath-taking. The final book will be a giant hardcover at the oversized 16” x 21” dimensions of McKay’s original comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, and will sit perfectly beside the award-winning two-volume Splendid Sundays reprint series from Sunday Press.
As we reported in July, West Philadelphia retailer turned indie publisher Locust Moon is putting together an impressive-sounding (and -looking) anthology called Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream that pays tribute to Winsor McCay’s pioneering comic strip. The talent roster includes such names as John Cassaday, Bill Sienkiewicz, Paul Pope, Becky Cloonan, Mark Buckingham and David Petersen — and it’s the Mouse Guard creator who brings us to this post.
Locust Moon has debuted Petersen’s contribution to the book, a strip that — fittingly enough — features helpful mice (“royal field mice,” we’re told), an aggravated goose and a gramophone-carrying locust. As you can see, it’s beautiful.
Age of Bronze creator Eric Shanower and Locke & Key artist Gabriel Rodriguez will produce a series for IDW Publishing based on Winsor McCay’s pioneering early 20th-century comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland.
Debuting in 1905, and unquestionably decades ahead of its time, the surreal Sunday strip initially followed the nightly dreams of a little boy named Nemo as he attempted to reach the realm of King Morpheus, who wanted him as a playmate for his daughter. Each installment ended with Nemo abruptly waking just as he was about to experience a mishap in dreamland. The strip, later retitled In the Land of Wonderful Dreams when it changed newspapers, ran until 1914 before being revived from 1924 to 1947. (ROBOT 6 contributor Chris Mautner provided an overview of McCay’s work in a March installment of “Comics College.”)
Titled Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland, the IDW series will launch next spring, with Nemo setting out on a new voyage. “However,” the publisher’s press release states, “everything else is different, even Nemo himself—in search of a new playmate for the princess of Slumberland, King Morpheus enlists the Candy Kid to help bring the latest playmate, our titular Nemo, into the dream realm. There, Nemo embarks on a visceral journey full of adventure and danger.”
“There are people like Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Hayao Miyazaki and Winsor McCay that can grasp what dreams are made of, transform them, and share that with all of us,” Rodríguez said in a statement. “I think we’re lucky that McCay not only left us his wonderful stories, but also created a whole universe filled with windows opened for every one of us, inviting us to explore it, too. And Eric and I are taking the challenge, not trying to redo what he previously did, but trying to invite kids and adults from today to enjoy and have fun in of the Land of Wonderful Dreams.”
Comics College is a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work.
After a longer hiatus than was initially intended, I’m happy to sayComics College is back and ready to give you the sequential-art schooling you so desperately need. This month we’ll be looking at the output of one of the most important — if not THE most important — figure in the early history of comics, Winsor McCay.
As visitors to the Google homepage have already noticed, the company is celebrating the 107th anniversary of Winsor McCay’s groundbreaking comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland with an amazing interactive Doodle.
Debuting Oct. 15, 1905, the surreal Sunday comic — much like McCay — was years ahead of its time, initially following the nightly dreams of a little boy named Nemo as attempted to reach the realm of King Morpheus, who wanted him as a playmate for his daughter. Each installment ended with Nemo abruptly waking just as he was about to experience a mishap in dreamland. The strip, later retitled In the Land of Wonderful Dreams when it changed newspapers, ran until 1914 before being revived from 1924 to 1947.
Michael Cavna of The Washington Post has more on McCay, Little Nemo and the Google Doodle.