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Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) Hardcover – April 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Do Your Happy Dance!
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Dream big, try your best, then do your happy dance. This special board book is the perfect gift for graduates of all ages — and for anyone who needs a little inspiration to put on their dancing shoes. Board book | Kindle book | See more ages 0-2
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Product Details

  • Series: Evergreen
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822863009
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822863008
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.2 x 12.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,124,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This Taschen book adequately reprints the first run of Winsor McCay's seminal comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland. Little Nemo is a 9-year old who drifts off to sleep each night only to be transported to Slumberland, a hallucinogenic world of circus performers, royal court attendants, exotic personages of all stripe, and animals both tame and wild. I loved looking at these strips as a child, but I didn't understand them until much later.
McCay worked on an epic scale. Each strip ran to dozens of dialog baloons and hundreds of clearly rendered people and things, and often involved a half dozen characters or more. The most notable denizen of Slumberland other than Nemo is Flip, Nemo's arch-nemesis, who is set on nothing more than casting Nemo out of Slumberland by tricking him into waking up. The stories are scary in the amorphous manner of dreams -- characters grow large and walk over cities, or so small they are dwarfed by raspberries, inducing a dreamlike sence of vertigo and plasticity. Another recurring dream-like theme is flight, effected by baloons, stars, giant dragonflies or even Nemo's own out-of-control bed.
The strips, originally filling a 15x23 inch newspaper page, are perhaps the most intricate and well rendered comics ever to be produced. At just over 12 inches tall, these reproductions are disappointingly small. And although the text is clear, it is tiny. Each panel is exquisitely composed and could stand on its own as a compelling work of graphic art, drawn with a beautiful art nouveau line and a rainbow pastel palette that makes one wonder what they knew about printing comics in 1905 that's been since forgotten.
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Format: Hardcover
After balking at the beautiful but costly and somewhat unwieldy format of the complete Little Nemo series from Fantagraphics Books (and watching the first few volumes go out of print), I decided to give the much less costly Tashcen complete edition a try. I was fully prepared to send it back, but instead I was quite pleasantly surprised!
The strips are presented on a higher-quality white gloss paper. Colors, for the most part, are bright and clear. It's true some strips look a bit faded but I have no idea if it is just due to natural aging or production cost-cutting. However, these are thankfully relatively few in number, and even the worst of them is far from unreadable. The binding seems a tad fragile. Bill Blackbeard's introduction, although insightful, is very brief and provides little info on Windsor McKay.
Still, to have all of the Little Nemo strips in an more economical and user-friendly format is a revelation. With few exceptions, McKay's imagination is consistently fresh and inventive. He also includes some unfortunate portrayals of racial sterotypes -- but given the period in which these strips originally appeared, this was hardly unique to Windsor McKay.
Still, to be able to hold all of McKay's Little Nemo strips in your lap and browse through them at your leisure makes you realize he does deserve the reputation of being a master of the graphic story form. Like all of the great comic strip artists, he really does take you into another world. Breathtakingly rendered, these strips represent a level of execution that we may never see in the "Sunday Funnies" again.
Buy it before it goes out of print!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Little Nemo in Slumberland was introduced to America over a century ago, and these pages still have the power to astonish and touch anyone that reads them. The utter timelessness of this strip, both in artwork and vision, is the kind of testament to genius that very few graphic artists ever receive. Winsor McCay was such a genius and his major work, Little Nemo in Slumberland, is a vastly rich exploration of human dreams.

What is it about Little Nemo that was so special? First and foremost, we have the pure draftsmanship of Winsor McCay. The man could (and with his imagination, often did) draw anything. Where a great deal of comic art from the time was somewhat static and stiff, McCay's figures had fluidity. His characters seemed to be caught in motion, captured in very difficult angles and postures to draw. McCay handled it all with incredible ease. When McCay drew Little Nemo climbing over a wall, it captured perfectly the struggle of a nine-year-old boy, fighting both his own small size and his pajamas. The man had a sense of perspective and composition that was nearly superhuman. He could portray an entire make-believe city, with shimmering towers and distant castles, in a single panel and give it a quality of detail and depth that barely seems possible.

Secondly, of course, was the breadth of McCay's imagination. Sometimes little Nemo dreamt beautiful fantasies, sometimes disturbing nightmares (Nemo's journey toward Slumberland at times resembled Dante's journey through the nine circles). Suffice to say that the details of these dreams are simply mind expanding. One can only imagine the impression they made on a 1905 comic strip reader.

Lastly, and for me most importantly, was the character of Nemo.
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