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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Reproductions of McCay's Seminal Strip
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...
Published on April 27, 2002 by Bob Carpenter

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15 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Important for Reference and Historical purposes
This is an excellent collection to own.

The visuals in Little Nemo are excellent, leaps and bounds above what most filmmakers can do, even with technology and money.

And Little Nemo was probably one of the ten most important comic strips of the early part of the 20th century.

And this is a reasonably affordable edition that contains all...
Published on February 18, 2007 by Nolan J. Werner


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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Reproductions of McCay's Seminal Strip, April 27, 2002
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This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (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. Although numbered for readers at the time, McKay's control of flow leaves no doubt as to the order of panels in the mind of the modern comic entusiast; he would routinely stretch time and space, and think nothing of propelling action from one panel to the next -- tricks in the bag of every modern comic artist. (As an aside, Scott McCloud's book "Understanding Comics" is a most excellent treatise on comic book art in general and page flow in particular.)
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant (and economical) surprise., January 11, 2001
This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (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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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Dreams May Come!, December 11, 2006
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This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
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. McCay's portrayal of a six year old boy was completely spot on and timeless. Anyone that has ever had a boy child will instantly see their own son in Nemo, and this superb characterization was done more visually than with text or dialogue (if this doesn't make sense, have a look at the strip to see what I mean. Nemo's very posture suggests all the heartbreaking vulnerability and innocence of a young child). There is a subtle and complete sweetness that underlies the entire work that makes it emotionally memorable and captivating. The staggering beauty of McCay's panels often overshadows the fact that Nemo was nearly always the terrorized victim of his dreams. Yet no matter how hostile and threatening his dream world became, he never responded with anything but trust and hope (amazingly, this quality never seemed sentimental but always rang true - such was the power of McCay's art). It is the kind of work that has a place in both your heart and your mind.

This is a very affordable and worthwhile edition of McCay's historic series. The colors are well reproduced, the paper stock is excellent, and the binding is superb. Lovers of the graphic arts should be very grateful to Evergreen for producing this well-done and reasonably priced book. I highly recommend it. ---Mykal Banta
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intensely imaginative and creative road, though with some bumps along the way, November 29, 2006
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This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
Little Nemo has been praised as one of the most original comic strips ever created, and it certainly is. It is surreal, imaginative, and very well-drawn and colored. It doesn't keep up all these qualities through to the end, but there is tremendous gold to be found in this treasure.

Little Nemo is a comic strip about the adventures of a young boy as he encounters a great many surreal situations in his dreams. Each comic starts off with Nemo either in the dreamworld at the start, or in bed, and about to enter it. Each comic contains one final panel of Nemo waking up, often startled by what happened in the dream.

Things start out on a fantastic note. In one early strip, Nemo is taking a walk through a forest made of giant mushrooms. He is told not to touch the mushrooms, because they are very delicate. At one point, he accidentally bumps into one, and it breaks neatly into several giant pieces, which then fall and hit another mushroom, which in turn breaks onto another, and so on, thus starting a chain reaction. Another early comic has Nemo accidentally causing disaster in a world made out of living glass people.

The early strips are more about individual surreal adventures rather than telling a continuing story, and they work quite well. At one point, however, McCay must have decided that he had to create a storyline to tell, and that is where each comic tends to be directly related to the story in question.

That's not a bad thing. The stories at first are generally used as vehicles to get him from one original dream sequence to another. Sometimes these sequences are directly related to the story at hand, but oftentimes they are detours. The comic continues in this style for a long while.

At one point, the character of Flip the clown is introduced, and quickly becomes one of the main characters. Flip is a troublemaker who is not allowed to join the Princess of Slumberland, but he eventually does so anyway after a great many failed tries. He soon joins Nemo as a constant companion, with plots that occasionally result in him being thrown out of or separated from the group, with him later either trying to rejoin, or just causing trouble on his own.

Once Flip gets involved in the comic, the comic begins to slowly revolve more and more around him, but for a long time, the stories continue to be largely Nemo-centric affairs about the strange and unusual experiences he has in Slumberland. One wonderfully creative plot had Nemo and the Princess visit the North Pole, and experience, among other things, a snowmaker, which ends up causing more trouble than it's worth when Nemo climbs up a tower to see it in action. During this plot, Flip constantly tries to catch up with the group, often getting thwarted, and serving as a mild sideshow rather than the main attraction.

Later in the strip, though, McCay begins to have an increasing reliance on story arcs. That becomes a problem, however, when some of these story arcs don't really fit in with the dream-like stories that make the comic so original. For instance, at one point there is a story arc that revolves exclusively around Nemo and a crew on an airship traveling to famous cities around the US and Canada, visiting them, and learning facts about them. There is nothing surreal or dream-like that happens in these stories, and they contribute nothing to the comic. As if realizing this, McCay later had Nemo and his crew land on Mars, where the story becomes wonderfully surreal and creative again.

After continuing that re-energized creative spark, McCay loses it again late in the book. During the last two years of Little Nemo, the comic degenerates into slapstick comedy involving Flip and his efforts to break into Slumberland. The title begins to reflect this. This is where "Little Nemo in Slumberland" is now known as "In the Land of Wonderful Dreams", and each story now has its own title. Each title tends to be about Flip; i.e. "Flip Breaks In", "Something's Up, Must Be Flip", etc., sadly showing that Flip has succeeded in hijacking the comic, derailing it from its original form, the story of Nemo's trips through surreal dreamscapes. Some surreal dreamlike elements continue to present themselves even after this transformation, but the story had gone downhill, and the collection ends on a sour note.

I loved this comic collection and I'm very glad I got a chance to read through 10 years worth of the most original newspaper comic I'd ever seen. Even so, I did notice the comic's bumpy quality, ranging from just plain fantastic to downright bland.

I still recommend you check out this collection. There's a lot going for it, and don't let the later drop in story quality get to you - all great things go through that kind of phase. McCay may not have kept up his creative spark forever, but when he had it going for him, he turned out wonderful, amazing, truly original work, work that was ahead of its time, work that's rare and original even in our time, work that is worth seeing for yourself.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comparison with the Checker two volume set and Fantagraphics six volume set., March 31, 2011
This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
I've had the pleasure of owning the Fantagraphics Books six volume set (since lost to a house fire), the Evergreen/Taschen "complete" volume and now the Checker volume two since learning that it contains the Nemo strips from the 1920s.

The Evergreen/Taschen single volume contains the same content as the early six volume set. These are missing the 1920's strips. However, contrary to Checker's claims (and they could have easily 'checked'), the Checker volume two is missing several strips.

By Evergreen page number and newspaper publication date they are:
pg.259 7-31-10
pg.350 6-23-12
pg.351 6-30-12
pg.352 7-07-12
pg.353 7-14-12
pg.407 8-31-13

In addition, if the original publication dates noted by Evergreen are correct, two sets of reversed order pages in the Checker volume these are pgs.164 and 165, and 284 and 285. The Evergreen volume has these swapped correctly with dates.

Despite the absence of these six pages, the Checker book is very nice and contains no less than 127 (!) extra pages never before reprinted from the 1920s and that is reason enough to buy this volume at the excellent value it is. The content of these 127 pages is top notch - excellent and imaginative art.

The printing quality is only marginally less than the Evergreen volume - certain black outlines of borders and such are slightly blurred. This difference is fractional and will hardly be noticed. The color itself is not so much better or worse as it is different. Some pages are better than Evergreen, but others look a little "hot" and this will offend those readers accustomed to a more flat, 'antique', gentle and pastel-like look from the earlier collections.

For the sake of future fans I hope Checker will consider a reprint of volume one and an update of volume two so we may finally have a nearly complete collection of Little Nemo strips. The six strip ommision in their current volume two was completely unnecessary and truly regrettable.

*********************************************************************************
I have now gone through and compared this Checker Nemo v.1 with the Evergreen collection. Though a few strips are misplaced in the Checker volume, it is as complete as the earlier release by Evergreen.

My only disappointments with this Checker volume one in comparison with earlier efforts at reprinting the series is that the colors, especially in volume one, are so saturated and "hot" that they look ugly and frequently muddy, and there is an everpresent yellow haze over almost every page - noticeable in the Evergreen volume as well but not quite as offensive. In cases where yellow and magenta inks combine to form rich sunny yellows and oranges, the individual colors actually contrast against each other rather than blend.

I have a background in pre-press color tweaking and it seems the saturation was simply cranked up in an effort to make the strips look new and bright on white paper. But inks contained lead up until around 1971 which gave the color a rich and dense, almost matte, look as can be seen in any old magazine. Trying to make these old strips, which resemble stained glass in pastel, look modern is a mistake and removes their trademark gentle quaintness.

For a striking contrast in what I mean, inspect any Marvel comic book pre-1970 with those published after, like in the 1980s.

My final recommendation is to purchase the Evergreen volume for the bulk of the collection and the Checker volume two for the 1920s pages. This volume one does have some additional pages that make it worth getting, but not at the current price point of over $100.00.

*********************************************************************************
I have now also reacquired the original six volume set by Fantagraphics edited by Rick Marschall with Bill Blackbeard on volume six, and the Evergreen volume is the same yet without the ten plus pages of extra images and essays by the editors.

The six volume set has wider margins making the book itself larger, but the images are the same size as the Evergreen volume. Though almost certainly run on a different press, the color between the two editions match excellently and are much more pleasing to the eye than the Checker volumes and truer to the newsprint originals. Though they ususally sell by third parties for well over their 1990 $35.00 cover price, occasionally a deal may be found as I acquired all six in mint condition for $140.00 shipped. So hang in there if you want the essays that the Evergreen volume omits.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Bargain, June 30, 2000
This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
One of the all time classic comic strips is reprinted here in a hardback color edition that publishes every Sunday strip from 1905-14. While the reproduction of some of the pages is slightly blurry and faded which takes away some from McKay's very detailed artwork, the sheer amount of material one gets here for such an inexpensive price makes this a must have if you are at all interested in comic strips. Get this and discover why McKay is regarded as one of the masters.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winsor McCay, an artist for all times, June 28, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
Paging through this book is a completely humbling experience. Today, anyone with even a modicum of Photoshop chops can wow the folks back home with glitzy effects or totally synthesized environments and interfaces. (--Not that that is entirely a bad thing.) But long before computers, Winsor McCay was making vivid, fevered, fully realized jaw-dropping dreams with india ink, brush and a scratch pen. (Leave it to the psychedelic 60s to rediscover this trippy gem of the comics.) And it isn't just the narrative content, as singular as that is, that begs our attention: Even in an age of artists like J. C. Coll, Franklin Booth, Willy Pogany, Charles Dana Gibson, Rose O'Neill and other masters of illustration, Winsor McCay was a titanic genius.
The obsessive level of McCay's detail cries out for a larger sized reproduction of these great Sunday Pages. But for the price, this collection is unbeatable.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding collection, August 30, 2006
By 
Bhaskar R. Chaudhuri (South Plainfield, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
If you are looking for a great, affordable complete set of the Little Nemo comics, this is it! Taschen always does a great job and this book is no exception. The quality of the images are excellent and the reproductions, though not the same size as the originals, are large enough to easily read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) is a lot for the money, February 16, 2008
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This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
I discovered Winsor McCay only 2-3 months ago when reading the Sunday book review supplement in the San Francisco Chronicle. The column was about several different books and authors, however one of them was about the recently (July 2007) published Dream of the Rarebit Fiend (complete), edited, published, masterminded, etc. by the German Ulrich Merkl. I probably wouldn't have noticed the review but for a graphic showing several of McCay's sketches. It turns out that they were from the front cover of Merkle's book. They are, of course, illustrations from McCay's Dream of the Rarebit Fiend series. I was immediately taken with McCay's obvious genius and I immediately looked up McCay at my local library and checked out a copy of Little Nemo in Slumberland, the "Best of..." book edited by Richard Marschall. I was highly impressed by this and looked online and bought this Taschen/Evergreen version and at the same time the inexpensive but very nice reprint of the 1905 book published by Frederick A. Stokes of early Dream of the Rarebit Fiend strips.

The Taschen/Evergreen (the book reviewed here), it turns out, has renderings of Little Nemo in Slumberland that are evidently taken from the same source as those in the Richard Marschall book I just referred to. The colors and even the occasional imperfections are the same, as well as the size. This volume, however, has many more episodes, over 400, probably. The Marschall has a few that are not in this, but they appear to be mainly late (after 1920) episodes, and are generally not up to the quality of the earlier work.

Looking at the reviews of the Peter Maresca 2005 version of Little Nemo in Slumberland ("So Many Splendid Sundays"), I was highly impressed and I discovered that my library had a copy, and of course I checked it out. The full size presentation and superior production was so astonishing that I decided to buy a copy of my own, and it arrived yesterday. I'm still glad I have the Taschen/Evergreen because it has more than three times as many episodes as the Maresca (which has about 110 episodes) and it's nice to have that for continuity (there are often serial runs of episodes). This book is adequate to get the stories and conveys a lot of the majesty and McCay's genius, but having seen the Maresca it's hard to be satisfied with the 2:1 reduction and the inferior colors. They are certainly OK, but the Maresca is breathtaking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing artwork and spectacular imagery, May 21, 2013
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This review is from: Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) (Hardcover)
this was light years ahead of its time. each page is a feast for the eyes. i have to say i was a little surprised by the racism in the book. the way black people are depicted in a minstrel type fashion took me off guard. it shows just how casual racism was taken back in 1905-1914. Asians and native americans are also drawn in stereotypical renderings. however if you can accept this work of art for what it is and a reflection of the times then you should have no problem enjoying this head trip of a comic.
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Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen)
Little Nemo: 1905-1914 (Evergreen) by Winsor McCay (Hardcover - April 1, 2000)
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