old cartoon art, mostly in french
September 27, 2003 11:11 AM   Subscribe

The Life & Art of Winsor McCay... part of Coconino Classics, "ressource encyclopedique sur l'histoire de la narration graphique."
posted by crunchland (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is very nice. Odd, I was just thinking of Cliff Sterretts's Polly And Her Pals the other day. I once had a job stripping off linoleum in an old office building and came across, in the newspapers padding it, a wad of Sunday comic sections from the 20s. One of them was a wordless
Polly and Her Pals. I still have it.
posted by y2karl at 12:09 PM on September 27, 2003

this is great! thanks crunch
posted by amberglow at 12:12 PM on September 27, 2003

How lovely! Thanks so very much, crunchland! This'll make my weekend.
posted by cookie-k at 12:16 PM on September 27, 2003

Winsor McKay is a giant. Although largely forgotten by pop culture, his "Little Nemo in Slumberland" Sunday strip makes him one of the handful of artists most frequently acknowleged as an influence by comic artists and publishers, and the strip usually lands within the top five positions in "greatest comic of all time" lists. The influence is unmistakeable on Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes, for example.

That site is French but he was American and the strip was published in the New York Herald and syndicated to the world. In addition to the exquisite, distinctly art nouveau beauty of the strip, which really has to be seen in full-page Sunday form to be appreciated, they're humorous and a peculiar window through time. They're just about 100 years old now, and our culture and speech are quite markedly different from what they were; as different as any two countries are from each other today. You could never update them or translate them to a new medium today, because we are not as we were and their essential character is of their time. I hope to god no one ever tries.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:44 PM on September 27, 2003

Well, of course, there was a Little Nemo movie a few years ago. I couldn't bear to see it. (Note my user name and domain name... I have a certain interest in the topic.) I can't imagine how the comics could be changed to suit a modern audience.

There was also a Little Nemo video game or two. Very, very strange.
posted by litlnemo at 2:45 PM on September 27, 2003

litlnemo, I might have known. The relentlessness with which media companies plunder the past is matched only by their insensitivity to the inherent qualities of the original. Still, I'd be curious to watch about one minute of it, just to see what kind of effort it was. It might be interesing to see it translated to an animation by someone who was prepared to not update it, but depict it faithfully. I don't know what filmmaker you could trust with it. Terry Gilliam springs vaguely to mind but given the syrupy excesses of Baron Munchausen, probably not. Best not done really. The 1980s ressurection of Pogo is a good example of why these things are not worth doing even when they're done as well as can be expected. Some things are bound to their time and best left that way; some things belong to their creator, and are best not usurped.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:51 PM on September 27, 2003

I don't know what filmmaker you could trust with it.

Hayao Miyazaki.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:09 PM on September 27, 2003

dammit, crunchland, I don't know how you do it, but you've done it again.

This makes up for the whole let's-rake-Miguel-over-the-coals-again thing, at least for me.

Winsor McCay is, yes, a giant (let's not forget a shout-out to Gertie), but the larger site has plenty of other great stuff - Opper, Herriman, etc.

crunchland is to be commended.
posted by soyjoy at 6:17 PM on September 27, 2003

Coconino Classics has some great content (in English), particularlyH.W. Phillips & T.S. Sullivant's "Fables for the Times", many of which are so well attuned to these times, it's hard to believe they were copyrighted 107 years ago:
The Old Man, his Son and the Ass
posted by wendell at 3:31 AM on September 28, 2003

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