Thirty-one graphic artists pay homage to newspaper cartoonist Winsor McCay.
In the early 1900s, Winsor McCay’s “Little Nemo in Slumberland,” a comic strip about a young boy’s fantastical dreams, was a hit for the New York Herald. A century later, Locust Moon Press commissioned 118 artists to draw fresh takes on “Little Nemo”—31 of which are collected here. Each contribution riffs off the signature elements of McCay’s work, including the cast of characters, the full-color art nouveau drawings, and the imaginative paneling and layouts. (The collection is practically a master class in the structural possibilities of graphic storytelling.) The comics will work best for slightly older readers. While young children will enjoy some of the stories (Maris Wicks and Joe Quinones’ amusing comic takes Nemo through a dinosaur’s digestive track), strips by Bishakh Kumar Som, Marc Hempel, and others have an adult sensibility. Also, because these works were commissioned at a much larger broadsheet size and later shrunk for this showcase, some feel slightly crowded on the page and require a little extra patience to read. Fans hungry for more should investigate the complete collection, Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream (2014), in its massive, oversized glory.
Inventive work by some of comics’ most distinguished artists makes these tributes a triumph. (foreword, introduction, contributors’ bios, bibliography) (Graphic anthology. 12 & up)