Winsor McCay, His Life and Art

John Canemaker, Author, Maurice Sendak, Introduction by Abbeville Press $65 (223p) ISBN 978-0-89659-687-0
McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland, introduced in the New York Herald in 1905, has been called the most beautiful comic strip ever drawn. A pioneer film animator (Gertie the Dinosaur and cartoonist whose works border on surrealist dream fantasies, McCay profoundly influenced artists ranging from Walt Disney to Maurice Sendak. At every turn, Little Nemo confronts irrational taboos and forbidden places; his Slumberland is a Freudian landscape. Another eerie strip, Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, cheerfully portrays the irrationality and instability of everyday life. Sendak, in his introduction, rightly calls McCay ""one of America's great fantasists.'' That this strange, elfin man (18671934) was also a political cartoonist who, at his best, rivaled Daumier is clear from animator-film historian Canemaker's authoritative, richly illustrated, oversize biography. A rare treat. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
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