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Classic! Watch Winsor McCay draw Little Nemo

What a cool video. This is not the first animation of its kind, but it was a pioneering effort by Winsor McCay in 1911. The LA Times gives a bit context to how the animated film was conceived:

McCay claimed that he got the idea for an animated film from flip books his son made. But his former assistant John Fitzsimmons told animation historian John Canemaker that McCay?s first film grew out of a saloon bet with George McManus, the creator of ?Bringing Up Father?: ?I think McManus kidded McCay because he was such a fast worker?. Jokingly, McManus suggested that McCay make several thousand drawings, photograph them onto film and show the results in theatres?. McCay claimed he would produce enough line drawings to sustain a four- or five-minute animated cartoon showing his ?Little Nemo? characters and would use the film as a special feature of his already popular vaudeville act.?

As I watched it, one thought came to mind – you know how many web cartoonists use live sketching and coloring to connect with their fans? While this certainly isn’t live – I suggest this might contains the first “watch me draw” video produced.

Community Comments

#1 Jon Morris
April/12/2011
@ 11:19 am

Sorry to address the format of the article before the content, but it is “Winsor”, not “Windsor”. Common mistake, but one of my pet peeves.

#2 Alan Gardner
April/12/2011
@ 11:27 am

Good catch. Thank you.

#3 Henry Clausner
April/14/2011
@ 7:25 am

This one was fun to watch!
The lettering quill is not dripping either…impressive! Those were the days..smoking cigars while you worked..
and remember the ol’ India Ink and pen sets?

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