Google Logo Celebrates Pioneer Animator Winsor McCay
Google went all out on their Doodle today for the 107th anniversary of iconic animator Winsor McCay, known for his "Little Nemo in Slumberland" fantasy strip and numerous cartoon creations that revolutionized the film and print industry. “Unlike any comic strip before or since, Little Nemo represented a major creative leap, far grander in scope, imagination, color, design, and motion experimentation,” wrote McCay’s biographer, John Canemaker, in Winsor McCay: His Life And Art (2005).
Google artist Jennifer Hom, the visionary behind some of the company's best logo designs, set to work to reproduce the whimsy of McCay's own doodles, drawing on saturated colors, Art Nouveau style and a surrealist bent to recreate the artist's “ravishing images that stay in the mind like remembered dreams.” The result is an intricate sequence of panels that unfolds, one after the other, as you click on the logo's re-appearing arrow; and is titled "Little Nemo in Google-Land." The original McCay strips, which were published every Sunday in The New York Herald from 1905 to 1914, featured the imaginary adventures of 6-year-old Nemo, who envisioned playing with the Princess of Slumberland in King Morpheus' castle—and awoke, just in time for the last panel, after a magical journey. McCay, who eventually went on to produce pioneer animation starting in 1911, years before Disney even tackled it, has left us a range of masterpieces like "Gertie The Dinosaur" and "Sinking of the Lusitania."
Born sometime between 1867 and 1871—the exact date was buried in a pile of ashes after a Spring Lake, Mich., fire burned his birth records to the ground—the legendary animator perished in 1934 in Brooklyn of a cerebral embolism; but his influence has spanned the ages, and can be seen in the works of the late Maurice Sendak ("In The Night Kitchen") and Chris Ware ("Acme Novelty Library"). Of his legacy, Canemaker wrote: “As fantasist, draftsman, observer and reporter, satirist, innovator and developer of new forms, McCay must be ranked among the greatest figures of 20th-century popular art."
Discover the story of "Little Nemo in Google-Land," here:
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