A Big Little Nemo Collection

Posted by Michael Pinto on Apr 9, 2007 in Comic Books |

The Complete Little Nemo in Slumberland

The animation fanboy in me has always respected Winsor McCay (September 26, 1867 – July 26, 1934) for his ground breaking work on Gertie the Dinosaur back in 1914, however his work on the newspaper comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland is a cornerstone to the world of comic books. What shocks me when I look at his work is that even though he was a pioneer, his comics looks very sophisticated in terms of draftsmanship and sorytelling. Years before the fine art world began to explore themes like surrealism and dadism, McCay’s strips show an ordinary world turned upside down.

So with the above in mind I was pretty happy to read that the Checker Book Publishing Group will be publishing a series of books showing all of McCay’s comics. I have a few examples of his work in a few books on the history of cartoons, but having a full collection of his work will be on the Christmas list this year for many a fanboy like myself. Here’s the full press release:

Winsor McCay Releases from Checker

Checker Book Publishing Group, the Graphic Novel Specialists, announces the release of two seminal works by groundbreaking early 20th Century comics artist, Winsor McCay.

The Complete Little Nemo in Slumberland, Volume One, arrives in May 2007, as the first part of a two edition set that collects the entire run of McCay’s most famous work, in full-color and printed to their original size and a new softcover edition of Dream of the Rarebit Fiend: The Saturdays is released in June 2007.

Checker’s edition of Little Nemo begins with McCay’s early strip, Tales of the Jungle Imps, that foreshadowed Nemo, and featured many of his recurring characters. These strips have hardly been seen since their publication in the Cincinnati Enquirer from 1903-1905, and have never been collected in their entirety. Their popularity caught the attention of newspaper publisher James Gordon Bennett, who hired McCay to work for his New York papers, the Herald and the Evening-Telegram, where he began Dream of the Rarebit Fiend and Little Nemo in Slumberland.

The Complete Little Nemo in Slumberland, Volume One collects the world-famous strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland from 1905 -1909, about a boy who experiences vivid dreams, in addition to Tales of the Jungle Imps, in full-color and printed in an oversized hardcover edition. Also included is rare McCay promotional material for the Nemo strip.

Dream of the Rarebit Fiend: The Saturdays collects in a softcover edition for the first time, McCay’s groundbreaking Saturday strips from March 1904-October 1911. These were wild, imaginative fantasy strips, with no recurring characters, which featured the protagonists having a dream caused by eating ‘rarebit’. Each cartoon was self-contained and ended as the dreamer awoke from his or her nightmare. Checker’s new softcover edition of Dream of the Rarebit Fiend makes this collection available to the book trade and collectors since the very limited edition hardcover edition was released only to comic book stores, and just as quickly sold out, in 2006.

The Checker Book Publishing Group, in Dayton, Ohio, is committed to publishing dormant, unpublished, and under-published serial comics and cartooning in affordable editions.

The Complete Little Nemo in Slumberland, Volume One by Winsor McCay $49.95, ISBN 1-933160-21-7, 280 pages, full color, Humor. May 2007

Dream of the Rarebit Fiend: The Saturdays by Winsor McCay $19.95, ISBN 1-922160-65-9, 200 pages, full color, Humor. June 2007

(Checker also publishes eight volumes in the Winsor McCay Early Works series.)

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