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

4.5 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,025,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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
If you bought the previous "Nemo" collection from Sunday Press, you know it was a whopper. And weren't all the "Nemo" pages worthy of a giant-sized book included in that volume? This book doesn't have a parade of sequences to match Nemo's journey to Slumberland, Befuddle Hall, nor the Flight to Mars, but you'd be hard-pressed to find another book that had 120 pages as fanciful and beautiful as those in this follow-up volume.

The terrific sequences weren't all swallowed by the first volume. "Many More Splendid Sundays" includes the Ice Palace, the Pirate Abduction, and the Airship Tour continuities, as well as representative selections from the "In the Land of Wonderful Dreams" and the second "Slumberland" series. There's also the very last "Wonderful Dreams" page from July 26, 1914, that eluded the diligent editors of the Remco and Checker "Nemo" collections, so if you're a Winsor McCay completist, this book is a must.

It's a must anyway, because try as they may, the smaller-proportioned collections just can't do justice to the magnitude of McCay's art. True, the storylines grew weary as the years went on; the strip was never the same after Nemo changed from wide-eyed adventurer to the man-child in charge. But when you see even the later strips in their true dimensions, when the draftsmanship and colors unfurl and work their magic, these pages become a circus of visual wonders. Even the final round of "Slumberland" strips have the ability to captivate.

In addition to the "lost" finale to "Wonderful Dreams," there are also samplings of McCay's other dream-themed strips, as well as a "Gertie the Dinosaur" flipbook (do-it-yourself) insert, and editorial contributions from Jeffrey Stanton, Brian Walker, and Ron Goulart, among others. This book is a treasure-trove companion to the previous "Splendid Sundays" volume. The only heartache it will give you is in finding a place big enough to store it.
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