It’s been roughly a century since Winsor McCay unveiled Little Nemo in Slumberland, his gorgeous Sunday newspaper comic. A tender exegesis of how that strip came to be — and how its success helped McCay make and lose a fortune — forms the emotional center of John Canemaker’s superb biography-cum-coffee-table treat. First published in 1987, the book has been lovingly revised, with two dozen added images. Coolest bonus: newly unearthed drawings and notes from his pioneering 1914 animated short, Gertie the Dinosaur. Better still, nearly every picture from the first edition has been scrupulously improved and Nemo pages showing off McCay’s staggering skill at rendering massive cityscapes now glow with original printing details. In an era when digital art is supplanting handcrafted work, this celebration of a great draftsman feels more relevant and precious than ever.

Winsor McCay
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