Winsor McCay: Remembering the artist behind Little Nemo (+video)
Winsor McCay's 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' celebrates its 107th anniversary today. So who was Winsor McCay?
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In 1905, he debuted "Little Nemo in Slumberland," his master-work, which would appear in various papers for the next two decades. The title character of McCay's strip was a young boy, always drawn tousle-headed and in his pajamas. Every night, Nemo would be sucked down into the land of dreams, toward the domain of King Morpheus and his daughter, Princess Camille. (Camille is featured prominently in Monday's Google Doodle.)Skip to next paragraph
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"Little Nemo in Slumberland," McCay's biographer John Canemaker has written (hat tip to the Ohio State University Libraries), "unlike any comic strip before or since... [I]t represented a major creative leap, far grander in scope, imagination, color, design, and motion experimentation than any previous McCay comic strip (or those of his peers)."
As David Clark Scott of the Monitor notes today, McCay eventually moved on to animation; his movies "How a Mosquito Operates" and "Gertie the Trained Dinosaur" are still cult classics.
In 1989, the American director Chris Columbus helped write an animated adaptation of the McCay strips. Directed by Masami Hata and William Hurtz, "Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland," discarded McCay's soft palettes for a big, vibrant, cartoonish style. Still, "Adventures in Storyland" received a generally friendly reception from critics, with Roger Ebert calling it an "interesting if not great film." It will be released on Blu-Ray early next month.
Fan of the Little Nemo strips or the Columbus cartoon? Drop us a line in the comments section. And to receive regular updates on how technology intersects daily life, follow the Horizons team on Twitter @venturenaut.
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