Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Little Nemo in Slumberland - Winsor McCay


I recently read comics of huge dimension, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, written back in the early part of last century, when Gibsons, big-brimed hats and a "new, columnar silhouette" defined women's fashion. Nemo is a young boy who when asleep travels to Slumberland, and begins to have adventures with the Princess of Slumberland, Camille. They pick up Flip as a traveling companion after having some altercations with him, which I did not read about, but were briefly mentioned. Flip in turn picks up a young black boy who is member of a tribe, and is known as The Imp.

I didn't start at the beginning, though. Apparently I lack a lot of contemporary historical knowledge, as the stories get really absurd at one point, and as much as I loved Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in 2009, I'm still not ready for a re-read of that!

That aside, the illustrations are the real reason I looked into these comics in the first place. The perspective and is incredible, and the detail in every single page are really worth peeking at in a quick Google search, if nothing more.

Nemo's traveling companions are like-wise caricatures of their time. Princess Camille, incredibly passive yet wise, left after a while and Flip, green in the face from too many cigars, one supposes, took the comics from a serialized story format and into that which resembles the modern Sunday comics of today.

One is always amazed at the treatment of dark skinned characters in older works; while there is some attempted cannibalism when they go ashore in the pseudo-Pacific, the chief of the tribe speaks impeccable English. A member of the tribe accompanies them as Flip's ... property... for a while, then when Flip is separated from this caricature, Nemo travels with him, and finds him creating trouble slightly less often than he is helpful. He and the Imp, never mind the language barrier, are pretty evenly matched.

The illustrations are the real reason I looked into these comics in the first place. The perspective and is incredible, and the detail in every single page are really worth peeking at in a quick Google search, if nothing more.

Originally serialized in New York Herald from 1905-1911, but then switched to the New York American newspaper, where it was re-titled: In the Land of Wonderful Dreams; it ran there until 1914.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Google+ Badge