Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (lost comic installments; 1924-1926)

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Picture of a strip from February 11th, 1906.

Status: Lost

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland was an old newspaper comic created by American cartoonist Winsor McCay.[1] The comic had three runs - the first from 1905 to 1911 in the New York Herald, the second from 1911-1914 in the New York American, and the third and final after a ten-year hiatus from 1924-1926 when he returned to the New York Herald.[2]


The plot of the comic revolved around a little boy named Nemo and his strange, bizarre, and at times fantastical dreams he had each night before awakening from bed in the very last panel of each comic.[3]

The comic was one of the earliest to feature an ongoing plot. At first, Nemo's goal is simply to enter a kingdom in the dream world known as Slumberland, where the princess waits for him and enlists the aid of several characters to do so. At first, these efforts prove disastrous, usually ending with some event that causes Nemo to awaken in his bed. Eventually, however, Slumberland is reached, Nemo meets the princess and king, along with several other characters, most notably including s villain-turned-friend Flip, who accompanies Nemo on most of his adventures from that point onward.

Yet, the strip was far from a fairy tale. Many strips often dealt with darker and more surreal, threatening themes that, although hardly the focus, didn't always have a happy resolution.

The comic is notable for the fact that, unlike most comics of its time, which often adopted a minimalistic art style, McCay's comics often used large amounts of color with heavy detail to the bright, dark, fascinating, and often surreal imagery of the dream world.[4]

However, be warned that there is one character, "The Imp", that is very much a racial archetype, as was the case with many comics at the time.


The Final Run (August 3, 1924 - December 26, 1926)

The earlier runs of the comic from 1905-1914 have archives that can be located pretty easily on the web. The third and final run between 1924 and 1926, however, is not in the public domain, and as such, most comics of this run, though existent in the Library of Congress, are not directly accessible to the public.


  2. Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 241. ISBN 9780472117567.

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