Portal:Animation/Selected biography/27

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Winsor McCay

Zenas Winsor McCay (c. 1867–71 – July 26, 1934) was an American cartoonist and animator. He is best known for the comic strip Little Nemo (1905–14; 1924–26) and the animated film Gertie the Dinosaur (1914). From a young age, McCay was a quick, prolific, and technically dextrous artist. He started his professional career making posters and performing for dime museums, and began illustrating newspapers and magazines in 1898. He joined the New York Herald in 1903, where he created popular comic strips such as Little Sammy Sneeze and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. Between 1911 and 1921 McCay self-financed and animated ten films, some of which survive only as fragments. McCay and his assistants worked for twenty-two months on his most ambitious film, The Sinking of the Lusitania (1918), a patriotic recreation of the German torpedoing in 1915 of the RMS Lusitania. In his drawing, McCay made bold, prodigious use of linear perspective, particularly in detailed architecture and cityscapes. He textured his editorial cartoons with fine hatching, and made color a central element in Little Nemo. His comic strip work has influenced generations of cartoonists and illustrators. He pioneered inbetweening, the use of registration marks, cycling, and other animation techniques that later became standard.