||This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2009)|
|Current status / schedule||Discontinued|
|Launch date||October 15, 1905|
|Preceded by||Dream of the Rarebit Fiend|
Little Nemo is the main fictional character in a series of weekly comic strips by Winsor McCay that appeared in the New York Herald newspaper from October 15, 1905 – July 23 and in William Randolph Hearst's New York American newspaper from 1911 – July 26, 1914.
The strip was first called Little Nemo in Slumberland and then In the Land of Wonderful Dreams when it changed papers. A brief revival of the original title occurred from 1924 to 1927.
Characters and story 
The original set-up of the comic revolved around the nightly dreams of a little boy named Nemo (meaning "nobody" in Latin). The purpose of his early dreams was to reach 'Slumberland', the realm of King Morpheus, who wanted him as a playmate for his daughter, Princess Camille. The last panel in each strip was always one of Nemo waking up, usually in or near his bed, and often being scolded (or comforted) by one of the grownups of the household after crying out in his sleep and waking them. In the earliest strips, the dream event that woke him up would always be some mishap or disaster that seemed about to lead to serious injury or death, such as being crushed by giant mushrooms, being turned into a monkey, falling from a bridge being held up by slaves, or gaining 90 years in age. Later on, when Nemo finally did reach Slumberland, he was constantly being woken up by Flip, a character who originally wore a hat that had 'Wake Up' written on it. Flip would go on to be one of the comic's seminal characters. Other notable recurring characters included: Dr. Pill, The Imp, the Candy Kid and Santa Claus as well as the Princess and King Morpheus.
Although a comic strip, it was far from a simple children's fantasy; it was often dark, surreal, threatening, and even violent.
The "Slumberland" of the title soon acquired a double meaning, referring not only to Morpheus's fairy kingdom, but to the state of sleep itself: Nemo would have dream-adventures in other imaginary lands, on the Moon and Mars, and in our own "real" world, made fantastic by the dream-state.
The surreal fantasy of the strip was a contrast to the slapstick antics of other strips of the time, such as Katzenjammer Kids, Happy Hooligan, Buster Brown, and Krazy Kat. During the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the strip received renewed recognition and attention. In 1966 Woody Gelman discovered many of the original strips at a cartoon studio where McCay's son worked. Many of the original drawings that Gelman recovered were displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art under the direction of curator A. Hyatt Mayor. In 1973, Gelman would publish a collection of Little Nemo strips in Italy. Among the most noticeable of its qualities were its intricate visual style – often with high levels of background detail – its vivid colours, fast pace of movement from panel to panel and the huge variety of strange characters and scenery.
Certain episodes of the strip are particularly famous. These include the Night of the Living Houses wherein Nemo and a friend are chased down a city street by a gang of tenement houses on legs; the Walking Bed, in which Nemo and Flip ride over the rooftops on the increasingly long limbs of Nemo's bed (see illustration); and the Befuddle Hall sequence, wherein Nemo and his friends attempt to find their way out of a funhouse environment of a Beaux-Arts interior turned topsy-turvy. McCay's mastery of perspective, and the extreme elegance of his line work, make his visions graphically wondrous. The eccentric dialogue is delivered in a dreamy deadpan, and often appears to be hastily jammed into tiny word balloons that can scarcely contain it. A typical line: "Whoever named this place Befuddle Hall knew his business! I am certainly befuddled."
The strips, along with most of the rest of McCay's works, fell into the public domain in most of the world on January 1, 2005, 70 years after McCay's death (see Copyright and the EU's Directive harmonizing the term of copyright protection for details). All of the works published before 1923 are in the public domain in the United States. The complete set of Little Nemo strips is available in a single volume from Taschen: Little Nemo 1905–1914 (ISBN 3-8228-6300-9), leaving out only the later revival from the 1920s, which is still under copyright in the U.S.
110 of the most famous strips have been reprinted in their original size and colors in the 2005 collection Little Nemo in Slumberland, So Many Splendid Sundays (ISBN 978-0-9768885-9-8), a 16×21 inch hardcover book from Sunday Press Books and its sequel the 2008 collection Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, Volume 2 (ISBN 978-0976888550) with 110 more images.
An 'operatic spectacle' was based on the strip, with music by Victor Herbert (composer of Babes in Toyland) and lyrics by Harry B. Smith. This lavish production opened on October 20, 1908 in the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York, ran for 111 performances, and closed January 23, 1909. The opera introduced a new character called 'the dancing missionary', who was to appear in several episodes of the comic strip during 1909, and the word whiffenpoof.
In spring 2007, an operatic adaptation of the comic strip was announced to be presented in spring 2009 by the Sarasota Opera, composed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ned Rorem. However, on July 20, 2008, he announced that he would not be able to complete it. In January 2010, the company announced that New York composer Daron Hagen and librettist Sandy McClatchy would create the work instead. It will be given its premiere in November 2012 by the Sarasota Youth Opera. The Princess, as Adriana Fernandez,in World Premiere, and KC Herbert, the following day. Pablo Gonzalez as the lead role, and the first role as "Nemo" and Katherine Powell as the following "Nemo" the next day. Sophia Materson as "Flip" and Natalie Almeter as the following "Flip"
Toronto based theatre company Frolick adapted the Little Nemo in Slumberland comic strip for presentation at the Lagoon Theatre, Olympic Island, Toronto Islands running from July 1 until August 26, 2012 under the title "Adventures in Slumberland". The presentation includes giant puppets, smaller puppets, masks, stilts and original art and music. Artistic director Matthew Krist and director Amira Emma Routledge adapted the scripts into a four-part series featuring characters and plot points from the first 25 comics along with the company.
James Stuart Blackton and Winsor McCay directed a ten-minute short film based on the comic strip, of which two minutes were animated. The film was first released on April 8, 1911. The first animated effort of McCay, it later achieved the status of an early animated classic. Its on screen title is Winsor McCay, the Famous Cartoonist of the N.Y. Herald and his Moving Comics, but it is usually referred to as Little Nemo. This version was named to the National Film Registry in December 2009.
In 1984, Arnaud Sélignac produced and directed a film called Nemo or Dream One, starring Jason Connery, Harvey Keitel and Carole Bouquet. It involves a little boy called Nemo, who wears pajamas and travels to a fantasy world, but otherwise the connection to McCay's strip is a loose one. The fantasy world is a dark and dismal beach, and Nemo encounters characters from other works of fiction rather than those from the original strip. Instead of Flip or the Princess, Nemo meets Zorro, Alice and Jules Verne's Nautilus (which was led by Captain Nemo).
An animated feature film entitled Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (known simply as Nemo in Japan) was finally released in Japan in July 1989 and in the US in 1992. It was directed by Masami Hata and William T. Hurtz from a screenplay by Chris Columbus and Richard Outten. Originally conceived in 1982, this Japanese-American co-production had a long and tumultuous history which included a 1984 pilot by Ghibli director Yoshifumi Kondō.
Though regarded as a commercial failure in the US, it won several industry awards for its animation quality. Initially released on VHS in 1993, it was later released on DVD in October 2004 and January 2009.
Other media 
In 1990, Capcom produced a video game for the NES, titled Little Nemo: The Dream Master (known as Pajama Hero Nemo in Japan), a licensed game based on the 1989 film. The film would not see a US release until 1992, two years after the game's Japanese release, so the game is often thought to be a standalone adaptation of Little Nemo, not related to the film. An arcade game called simply Nemo was also released in 1990.
Throughout the years, various pieces of Little Nemo merchandise have been produced. In 1941, Rand, McNally & Co. published a Little Nemo children's storybook. Little Nemo in Slumberland in 3-D was released by Blackthorne Publishing in 1987; this reprinted Little Nemo issues with 3-D glasses. A set of 30 Little Nemo postcards was available through Stewart Tabori & Chang in 1996. In 1993, as promotion for the 1989 animated film, Hemdale produced a Collector's Set which includes a VHS movie, illustrated storybook, and cassette soundtrack. In 2001, Dark Horse Comics released a Little Nemo statue and tin lunchbox.
The character and themes from the comic strip Little Nemo were used in a song "Scenes from a Night's Dream" written by Phil Collins and Anthony ‘Tony’ Banks of the progressive rock group Genesis on their 1978 recording, ...And Then There Were Three... Another progressive rock group, from Germany, called Scara Brae also recorded a musical impression of the comic on their rare self-titled disc from 1981 (the track was actually recorded 2 years earlier). Their concept piece was revived on the second album by the Greek band Anger Department, oddly called 'The Strange Dreams of A Rarebit Fiend', again after a McCay-comic. Their 'Little Nemo' was chosen for a theatre play, which was suggested for the cultural program for the Olympic Games in 2004.
At Universal's Islands of Adventure, at the Toon Lagoon section, Little Nemo can be seen falling out of his bed near a shop.
In the 2012 film Cabin in the Woods, one character is seen reading Little Nemo.
Cultural influences 
Since its publishing, Little Nemo has had an influence on other artists, including Alan Moore, in Miracleman #4, when the Miracleman family end up in a palace called "Sleepy Town", which has imagery similar to Little Nemo's. In Moore (and J.H. Williams III)'s Promethea, a more direct pastiche – "Little Margie in Misty Magic Land" – showed Moore's inspiration and debt to McCay's landmark 1905 strip. The Sandman series occasionally references Little Nemo as well. Examples include The Sandman: The Doll's House, where an abused child escapes into dreams styled after McCay's comics and using a similar 'wake-up' mechanism, and The Sandman: Book of Dreams (pub. 1996), which features George Alec Effinger's short "Seven Nights in Slumberland" (where Nemo interacts with Neil Gaiman's characters The Endless).
In children's literature, Maurice Sendak has said that this strip inspired his book In the Night Kitchen, and William Joyce included several elements from Little Nemo in his children's book Santa Calls, including appearances by Flip and the walking bed.
In 1984, Italian comic artist Vittorio Giardino started producing a number of stories under the title Little Ego, a parodic adaptation of Little Nemo, in the shape of adult-oriented erotic comics. Brian Bolland's early comic strip, Little Nympho In Slumberland employed a similar technique.
The 1980s teen comic book Power Pack ran an issue which paid direct homage to one of McCay's Nemo storylines, featuring a castle that was drawn sideways and Katie Power re-enacting a classic Nemo panel with a sideways-drawn hallway that served as a bottomless pit with the line "Don't fall in, y'hear?"
The comic strip Cul de Sac includes a strip-within-the-strip, "Little Neuro", a parody of Little Nemo. Neuro is a little boy who hardly ever leaves his bed.
In 2009, the Pittsburgh ToonSeum established its NEMO Award, given to notable individuals "for excellence in the cartoon arts". Recipients to date include veteran comic-book artist Ron Frenz, editorial and comic-strip artist Dick Locher, cartoonist and comics historian Trina Robbins, and comics artist, editorial cartoonist and artists' rights advocate Jerry Robinson.
On October 15, 2012, celebrating the 107th anniversary of the first Little Nemo story, Google displayed an interactive animated "Google Doodle" called "Little Nemo in Google-land" on its homepage. The doodle showed a typical Little Nemo adventure through a series of panels, each featuring a letter from the word "Google". The doodle also ends in the same way as the comic strips, with Nemo falling from his bed.
- Little Nemo 1905–1906, Nostalgia Press.
- Little Nemo in the Palace of Ice and Further Adventures, Dover, ISBN 0-486-23234-4.
- Little Nemo In Slumberland, 1905–07, Fantagraphics, ISBN 0-930193-63-6.
- Little Nemo In Slumberland, 1907–08, Fantagraphics, ISBN 0-930193-64-4.
- Little Nemo In Slumberland, 1908–10, Fantagraphics, ISBN 1-56097-025-1.
- Little Nemo In Slumberland, 1910–11, Fantagraphics, ISBN 1-85286-153-3.
- Little Nemo In Slumberland 1, Blackthorne Publishing, 1986.
- Little Nemo in the Land of Wonderful Dreams, 1, 1911–12, Fantagraphics, ISBN 0-924359-35-8.
- Little Nemo in the Land of Wonderful Dreams, 1, 1913–14, Fantagraphics, ISBN 1-56097-130-4.
- Little Nemo, 1924–25, Fantagraphics.
- Little Nemo, 1926–27, Fantagraphics.
- Little Nemo, 1905–14, Evergreen/Taschen, 2000, ISBN 3-8228-6300-9.
- Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays, 1 (1905–10), Sunday Press, 2005, ISBN 0-9768885-0-5.
- Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays, 2 (1906–24), Sunday Press Books, 2008, ISBN 0-9768885-5-6.
- Best of Little Nemo in Slumberland, Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, ISBN 1-55670-647-2.
- Little Nemo in Slumberland, 1 (1905–1909), Checker Books, ISBN 1-933160-21-7.
- Little Nemo in Slumberland, 2 (1910–1926), Checker Books, ISBN 1-933160-22-5.
Full Little Nemo in Slumberland strips:
- Jamieson, David ‘Dave’ (2010), Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession, New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press, imprint of Grove/Atlantic, p. 126, ISBN 978-0-8021-1939-1.
- Frolick, CA.
- "Little Nemo", IMDb, retrieved December 19, 2009.
- Thriller and 24 Other Films Named to National Film Registry, Associated Press via Yahoo News, December 30, 2009.
- "Nemo", IMDb.
- "Nemo (pilot; 1984)" (World Wide Web log), Ghibli con, Google, 6 2006.
- "Nemo – Videogame by Capcom". Klov. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
- "LM", Angel fire.
- Uricchio, Marylynn "ToonSeum cartoon museum holds annual Ka-Blam! fundraiser" Pittsburgh Post-Gazette June 9, 2009 Retrieved December 21, 2010
- JimHillMedia.com "Legendary Cartoonist Dick Locher Receives ToonSeum's Nemo Award" March 30, 2011
- trinarobbins.wordpress.com "Fear of Blogging Gets Around" June 1, 2011
- Riggenberg, Steven "Jerry Robinson: January 1st, 1922 – December 7th, 2011" The Comics Journal December 13, 2011
- "Winsor McCay 's Little Nemo" (HD 1080p). YouTube. Google. Retrieved 2012-10-15.
- "Google celebrates 107th anniversary of Winsor Zenic McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland", Times of India, October 15, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Little Nemo|
- "Winsor McCay" (biography), JVJ Publishing Illustrators (BPib), retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "Meeting McCay", Blog spot, Google.
- "Doodle for the 107th anniversary of Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland" (video), YouTube, Google.
- Little Nemo at the Internet Archive
- "1911 short film" (profile), Internet Movie Database.
- "1984 movie Nemo or Dream One" (profile), Internet Movie Database.
- "1990 video game" (profile), Internet Movie Database.
- "1992 feature film" (profile), Internet Movie Database.
- Wolk, Douglas (December 3, 2005), "Finding 'Little Nemo'" (review of So Many Splendid Sundays!), Salon.com.
- "Interview with Peter Maresca (editor of So Many Splendid Sundays) and Art Spiegelman" (radio show), Bookworm, KCRW.
- "Little Nemo" (sound), Dial a book, KCRW.
- Little Nemo (digital comic books), Devil's Due Digital.
- Heer, Jeet (Spring 2006), "Little Nemo in Comicsland: Winsor McCay's influence on comics", Virginia Quarterly Review.
- Comic Strip Library – archive of many strips in high resolution.
- "Little Nemo reference" (iPhone App), iTunes, US: Apple.