Google Doodles Celebrates Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo Cartoon [Video]

Google has celebrated the 107th anniversary of Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland with one of the search engine’s most elaborate doodles ever.

The interactive Google Doodle recreates the adventures of the main fictional character from the illustrator’s comic strips, which first appeared on 15 October 1905 in the New York Herald.

The cartoonist McCay was born in either 1869 or 1871 (the exact date is not well-known). In 1889, McCay studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He got some basic art training while attending business school before going to work in the printing and engraving industry in Chicago.

Because of lack of funds, he had to find a job. After working for two years, Winsor moved to Ohio. Here he started working as an artist for Kohl and Middleton’s Vine Street Dime Museum.It is in Ohio where he married Maude Leonore Dufour. Later McCay moved to Cincinnati.

His first major comic strip series was A Tale of the Jungle Imps by Felix Fiddle, which appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer over more than 40 instalments. The doodle is the first of its kind to feature an interactive, motion picture comic strip, reports The Telegraph.

Later McCay was hired by William Randolph Hearst in 1911.  He worked on  a morning newspaper Hearst’s New York American as an editorial cartoonist. McCay also began to experiment with animated cartoons and created the classic Gertie the Dinosaur as well as a short Little Nemo film.

Little Nemo ran in the New York Herald from 1905 to 1911. It is about the adventures of a boy of around six-years-old. The strip ran only on Sundays.  Nemo tried to reach the Princess of Slumberland, who was daughter of King Morpheus. He  wanted Nemo to be a playmate.

It’s an amusing piece of animation, perhaps one which  a pioneer of animation in the early 1900s McCay would enjoy. It is known that due to certain legal reasons, Winsor worked under the pen name Silas on the comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.

As IBN Live reports, Winsor McCay was originally named Zenas Winsor McKay, in honour of his father’s employer, Zenas G. Winsor. But later he  dropped the name Zenas.

But, Windors’s strips Little Nemo and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, which was published under the pseudonym Silas, were both set in the dreams of their characters. Inspite of the fact that McCay’s cartoons were never highly popular,  they always had a strong following because of his expressive graphic style.

In the different panels of the Winsor McCay Little Nemo Google doodle the letters of the Google logo – G-O-O-G-L-E – appear in a chronological order. So Winsor McCay was not only a newspaper cartoonist, but he always considered to be a pioneer of animated films.

The way to success was far from easy. He started off as a poster and hoardings artist and after moved to newspaper cartooning. Winsor McCay died on July 26, 1934 of a cerebral embolism.

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