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Daydreams and Nightmares: The Fantastic Visions of WInsor McCay, 1898-1934 Paperback – December, 2005


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About the Author

Winsor McCay died in 1934, but not before leaving his mark as a pioneer and visionary of the American comic strip and animation mediums. His creations, from Little Nemo in Slumberland to Gertie the Dinosaur, have endured for a century.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 173 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; 2nd edition (December 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560975695
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560975694
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 11.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,541,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By seekerotruth on December 27, 2005
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The editorial "cartoons," reprinted in this book, which are really dignified, highly elaborate philosophical/social illustrations are truly in a class by themselves. They evoke a by-gone day when human dignity was at the forefront of our social consciousness. Things have changed in this regard and not for the better. The themes of youth and old age, duty, the vice of envy, the worlds each of us live in, are all profoundly and beautifully treated in these matchless illustrations. This is one of the best books of illustration that I own.

It's a little ironic that Fantagraphics has published, and now republished the book, given that the company publishes THE COMICS JOURNAL, which often seems to me to have "a libido for the ugly," both physical and spiritual, and thus seems the polar opposite of McCay's uplifting aesthetic and moral outlook. Fantagraphics is to be applauded greatly for this one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christian Hartwig on August 27, 2006
What a major disappointment. I'm a huge fan of Winsor McCay, and much of the comments here seem to focus on the fact that Fantagraphics is reprinting this book. Well, great, but I wish that they would have taken some more time in writing it. This book is for people who can't get enough of McCay's marvelous work but the Little Nemo collections and John Canemaker's definitive biography would be a much better place to start.

The book is large and all the prints are in black and white (as they were originally, unfortunately no color Sunday additions). While McCay is known for his use of color, it's a welcome addition that Richard Marshall has put together a book focusing on McCay's black and white work. Unfortunately, the images are rendered little more that wallpaper since they are presented without any context. The forward, preface, and two pieces by McCay himself do next to nothing to help us understand the images on any level. The forward gives four paragraphs about his life, an interesting preface by the editor cries out against the "neglect" of McCay's contributions, yet all this book does is present them in a cold, museum-like atmosphere. If this were my first introduction to McCay I don't think it would have resonated with me much. McCay's two included essays on animating are interesting and slightly illuminating to his process but don't really seem to be pieces of the big picture onto themselves.

This book is an empty shell: When (year, point in his career) and why did McCay create these? Would we see some of these motifs recycled later? Many of his editorial accompaniments are vivid, but were those really his views or just images meant to go a long with the editorialist's ideas? What was the topic that went with them?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thelonious on February 22, 2006
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Beautiful reproductions of some great work by McCay. Lots of good stuff here, from Rarebit and the later editorial work, to other short-lived, but interesting strips - all in high-quality reproductions big enough to really appreciate. some of the editorial work is quite stunning and some of the "dream" strips are among his best.

A generous sampling of McCay's work outside Little Nemo - not to be missed for fans of his work or of early 20th century America
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