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 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.
Widely regarded as one of the great figures in the comics form, McCay’s bold and stylistic innovations in the early part of the 20th century redefined what the medium could do and set a standard followed by Walt Disney in decades that followed.
Born in Michigan in either 1869 or 1871 – the date is disputed – McCay received some basic art training while attending business school before going to work in the printing and engraving industry in Chicago. He later moved to Cincinnati, where 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.
Little Nemo, based on the adventures of a boy of around six-years-old, ran in the New York Herald from 1905 to 1911. The strip, which ran only on Sundays, features Nemo’s adventures as he tries to reach the Princess of Slumberland, daughter of King Morpheus, who desires Nemo for a playmate.
McCay was hired by William Randolph Hearst in 1911 and went to work on Hearst’s New York American, a morning newspaper, as an editorial cartoonist. He also started to experiment with animated cartoons and creating the classic Gertie the Dinosaur as well as a short Little Nemo film.
McCay died on 26 July 1934 of a cerebral embolism.