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Little Nemo: After Winsor McCay by Frank Pé

Here’s a book that just came to my attention.

Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo comics strip is in the public domain, and French artist Frank Pé applies his reinterpretation in Little Nemo: After Winsor McCay.

There is no denying that Little Nemo: After Winsor McCay is an example of beautifully designed and gorgeously structured comics storytelling; truthfully, I could look at the book all day. Pé’s dedication to reflecting McCay’s obsession with spatial organization and productive page layouts is evident in nearly every page.

It’s hard to argue with the beautiful artwork.

But Pop Matters reviewer Zachary Rondinelli is is not happy with all of it:

Little Nemo: After Winsor McCay is Pé’s attempt to “pay Winsor homage by approaching the adventures of Little Nemo in [his] own way” (p. 5). While much in his gorgeously illustrated volume demonstrates Pé’s commitment to McCay’s vision, some rather substantial alterations ultimately give his version of the work a feeling of inauthenticity. Sadly, it is these changes, sometimes necessary but other times puzzling, that subsequently makes for an uneven return to McCay’s surreal playground of Slumberland.

The book is available this month? next month?

See more of Frank Pé’s Little Nemo and other art.

Community Comments

#1 Brian Fies
August/19/2021
@ 10:06 am

As a big fan of interesting reinterpretations of work that are in the public domain, I’m glad the book exists. It’s beautifully done. This is what public domain is for.

As a big fan of McCay and Nemo, I’m not particularly interested, and would have rather seen such talent in the service of original characters. But if that’s what Pe wanted to do, I’m happy he did it.

#2 Kip Williams
August/19/2021
@ 10:17 am

I am hard pressed to say why I like some things and not others. From what I see, I’d be complaining when he’s too different from McCay, and complaining in a different tone when he’s too much like. I don’t suppose I’m the audience for it, but I expect it will create some new fans of the original without hurting me in any way.

#3 Joseph Nebus
August/21/2021
@ 12:03 am

Those are *gorgeous*, though. Wow.

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