Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays -- a new gigantic collection of Winsor McCay's lush and surreal comics

I am prone to fits of lust over really, really beautiful books, and no one gets me lustier faster than Sunday Press, publishers of the gigantic, marvellous "Little Nemo: Splendid Sundays" collections. These books collect the Sunday Little Nemo comics of Winsor McCay, a surrealist watercolor genius whose weekly strips were lush, gigantic paintings that took us through the dreamscape of Little Nemo, a charming and enigmatic boy living in turn-of-the-century America. And now there's a second volume: "Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays."

I grew up seeing the Little Nemo strips reproduced in "large-format" hardcovers, typically 8.5x11, and I confess that I didn't really get what the fuss was about. The strips were small and smudgy, the type spidery and illegible. Then I saw the first Sunday Press collection, "So Many Splendid Sundays," and I experienced enlightenment. Publisher Peter Maresca has scanned, cleaned up and reproduced his favorite Nemo pages, at full size, 21" by 16", and at that size, Nemo is a completely different experience.

First of all, you can't read a book this big the way that you normally would. I couldn't read it at my desk chair -- even in my reading chair I barely fit (as you can see from these photos). The only way to really read these books is lying on your stomach on the carpet, the book open, chin propped on your hands, and you are, once again, 10 years old, reading the funnies on a lazy Sunday.
This second volume is every bit as charming and magic as the first. Mostly, of course, it's made of Nemo strips (120 of them!), but there are a handful of sweet little essays describing McCay's relationship to Coney Island (it was his muse) and to William Randolph Hearst, his publisher (and nemesis). There's also a Dinosaur Gertie flip book for you to cut and assemble, the perfect aperitif for your lazy Sunday with the funnies.

Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays on Amazon, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, Sunday Press publishing, Sample pages


  1. I adore large, lush books. I’ve bought the odd book based on the stock and the feel above the content.

    A few useless but gorgeous architecture annals lying around the place.

    As for Nemo, I’ve only seen the smeared, smudgy, dull repros mentioned. Be curious to see what the fuss is about.

  2. Looks cool – I’ve never read Little Nemo (never saw it in my Sunday comics) My 6 yr old has been devouring the Tin Tin collections – maybe this would be a nice diversion for her.

  3. Ah I will buy once Big River starts selling them. Already got the First Volume, and have made present of same to several.
    This is good news.

  4. I want to hear more about William Randolph Hearts — he sounds like such a nice guy, with a name like that!

  5. I saw a copy of this at Lambiek, the comic shop you must visit if you’re ever in Amsterdam, and I totally agree it’s awesome. “Little Nemo” is unsurpassed to the present day. A humbling experience for anyone who would try his hand at comics.

  6. I clicked on the Amazon link and as the page was loading I thought to myself “That looks like a hundred dollar book”, sure enough. Can I borrow yours?

  7. This is just splendid! Maybe there will be a lower price after Xmas. As a young art student and apprentice signpainter, I studied every McCay panel I could find; he was a master of perspective. The Sunday comics once boasted draughtsmen instead of smart-mouthed little animals with round tummies.

    “Hearts.” I once screwed up a review by writing “Charles Foster Hearst.”

  8. This has been an awesome couple of years or so of Winsor McCay’s work – these two volumes of Little Nemo, the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend large format earlier, and also the Sammy Sneeze/Hungry Henrietta book! Fantastic work in it’s original visual presentations are sooo much more exciting.

  9. Winsor McCay is amazing. I’m a graphic designer and can’t draw very well, but I love WMc’s stuff. I will be drooling over this next time I hit a bookstore.

    Is that a Sleestak mask in the background?

  10. This is wonderful. I’m a pretty big Nemo fan (as well as a fan of Mercer Mayer and Maurice Sendak who were both influenced by McCay’s work).
    I recently re-read volume 1 of the Nemo collection (I think published by fantagraphics, not sure). I’m definitely going to check this out.

  11. My parents had a wonderfully big book of older comic strips, a great portion of which was devoted to Little Nemo. That book was the springboard for many a fantastical journey around the house and yard.

  12. Cory:
    So where do you score your comics?

    I get mine at that comic place in Camden, which is decent as far as I can tell.

    Is there something better in North London?

  13. I got this book from my bro for Christmas last year. It is just gorgeous. I used to read it to my boyfriend at bed time.

    Its sitting by all my French Tin Tin books. Any artist/designer should have this.

  14. You are right, these books are a dream (pun intended). I prefer to read mine lying on the couch, with the books on the ground (on a newspaper to protect).
    There is also a Frank King Walt & Skeezix in the same size.
    Sunday press have promised to make at least 8 of these books.
    (Another Lambiek frequent visitor)

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