Saturday, June 02, 2007

Little Nemo and Gertie

Poster from Gertie the Dinosaur 1914
Page from "Little Nemo in Slumberland" by Windsor McCay
I have always loved the comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland" by Windsor McCay. He created the strip from 1905-1911 for the New York Herald. His superb sense of design and his subtle, mischievous humor never goes out of date. It's classic! Just look at the beauty of this full page example (above). It is surreal and abstract at the same time- making use of geometry, forms and color while telling a fantastic story. I think I've seen some of those drippy backgrounds in some art being done today (green dreamy drips above). His bio says he never completed grade school, but he certainly completed a lot of great art.
"Winsor McCay (1869-1934) was one of the founding fathers of the US newspaper comic. His 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' Sunday page, with its world of magic, fantasy and dreams, visual virtuosity and inventive use of frames and page lay-out has not been equaled. But also McCay's other comics, like 'Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend' still stand out for their originality and artistic quality. In addition, McCay was a pioneer in animation art as well, and his 1909 film 'Gertie the Dinosaur' stands as the first commercial successful animated cartoon."-read more here: and about Gertie here: McCay
The Art of Amy Crehore

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