Launched in 2005 to produce full-size hardcover reprints of classic broadsheet newspaper comics strips, Sunday Press Books is now going digital. The specialty publishing house plans to offer Windsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland along with a free mini-book preview, Little Nemo In Christmasland, as applications for the iPad in November.

Sunday Press titles on the iPad will offer three volumes priced from $3.99 to $4.99. The free preview, Little Nemo in Christmasland, will offer a dozen pages of holiday strips taken from across the ten years of McCay’s Little Nemo series.

Launched by Peter Maresca, a former digital comics creative director at GoComics and a longtime collector of classic newspaper comics strips, Sunday Press Books has specialized in the painstaking digital restoration of classic broadsheet newspaper comics strips and the publication of these strips in full-size full-color hardcover editions. Since the launch of Sunday Press in 2005, the specialty publisher has won three Eisner Awards for its publications. In addition to publishing two oversized volumes of McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland, Maresca has also published digitally restored hardcover editions of George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, The Upside-Down World of Gustave Verbeek and Frank King’s Sunday’s with Walt and Skeezix (designed by Chris Ware).

Working with CarbonSeven, a company specializing in digitizing comics, Maresca plans to bring the complete line of Sunday Press hardcover comics to the iPad, including adding new material and multimedia content. CarbonSeven president Jeff Weber said, “Peter and Sunday Press are known worldwide for publishing definitive collections of classic comics. Their Little Nemo series is unparalleled in print and we want to ensure that the iPad version lives up to that high standard.”

Despite the irony of porting broadsheet-sized hardcover comics strip collections to a small computer screen, Sunday Press publisher Pete Maresca said that the iPad has changed the digital landscape for offering digital versions of classic comics reprints. “For a strip like Little Nemo, with its huge panels and incredible detail, it was out of the question,” said Maresca about reading Little Nemo on a screen.

“But with the large screen and multimedia possibilities of the iPad and other devices, I’ve come full-circle, now bringing my print efforts to the digital screen,” Maresca said.