Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hypnotico Vamooso Skiddeeski Twentolio


Until somewhat recently, Winsor McCay had been an obscure figure beyond the cartoonists' buffalo lodge. He's gotten better play in the last few years, especially with the publication of the complete Nemo anthology at scale, but it will be a while yet before he's properly recognized as one of the most accomplished and significant American visual professionals. I'd say "artist," but for reasons I'll articulate in a coming post [on the subject of object taxonomies in the art industry] let's go with "cartoonist," for now anyway.

At the top of this post, a sequence of panels that anticipates McCay's work in animation, with a hilarious incantation by the scarlet magician fellow.

McCay is the creator of the most visually sophisticated comic strip to ever appear in mass circulation, "Little Nemo in Slumberland," whose glory years were with the New York Herald between 1906 and 1911, after which he moved to Heart's New York World and resumed the strip as "The Land of Wonderful Dreams." He went back to the Herald in 1914.


Above, a detail from a Nemo "strip" (odd to call it a strip, really, because it covered a broadsheet page and romped all over it, quite variably--McCay was a formal scientist as much as an entertainer with panache.) Below, the full feature in question. Not by the way a good example of the formal innovation to which I just referred.

McCay was also a pioneer of animation. Last September 11 in a somber mood I quoted his Sinking of the Lusitania (1918), a very affecting piece of propaganda, though dissimilar from his other animated works, which tend toward the vaudevillian, especially Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) and my favorite, How a Mosquito Operates.


At any rate, McCay passes the desert island test by a mile. I didn't bring any with me to this desert, but I surely would have if I were looking at a long term engagement. McCay pays dividends, as a draftsman and as a creator of adventurous fictions and oddball alienated fantasies.

Images
: Winsor McCay, Little Nemo in Slumberland, New York Herald, detail, November 11, 1906; McCay, detail and full feature, date currently unavailable (away from my library); McCay, animation still, How a Mosquito Operates (1912).

4 comments:

herd.kill.sheep said...

Hey DB, just wanted to let you know I've been reading your blog religiously for a year now and I've never left a response. How rude of me - it's like eating dinner as a guest without saying how much I enjoyed the meal.

I blame Google Reader.

In any case, I wish you taught at my school and I love your blog.

DB Dowd said...

Hey HKS (charming pen name, truly) thanks for leaving a note. It's funny--I write this stuff and sometimes wonder if it's a bit silly to sink the time in. So it really does help to hear that you're a regular reader. You've made my day!

Any more about you? Which school, what area of study, etc.?

Best,DB

Scorcha said...

Aw, DB, you know your students are silently stalking you through your blog.


Hope you're enjoying your trip. Mexico was awesome, btw.

ed said...

A片,A片,A片,A片,A片,A片情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣商品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品.情趣,情趣,情趣,情趣,視訊聊天室,情趣,情趣用品,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,遊戲,線上遊戲,cs online,搓麻將,矽谷麻將,明星三缺一, 橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,電玩快打A片,A片,A片下載,做愛,成人電影,18成人,日本A片,情色小說,情色電影,成人影城,自拍,情色論壇,成人論壇,情色貼圖,情色,免費A片,成人,成人光碟18成人,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人圖片,成人貼圖,成人圖片區,成人影片,成人文章,成人小說,微風成人區,成人交友,成人文學,成人漫畫,成人遊戲,免費成人影片 ,成人論壇,愛情公寓,情色,色情網站,情色A片,色情小說,情色文學