Thursday, April 1, 2010

Winsor McCay: Early Works III Review

Winsor McCay: Early Works III
Checker Book Publishing Group
Softcover Trade Paperback
200 pages
ISBN: 9780974166490

Reprints: Dream of the Rarebit Fiend 1907 - weekday & Saturday strips, New York editorial period 1904-1917, Little Sammy Sneeze 1904-1906, and A Pilgrim's Progress 1907.

Synopsis: The third volume (of ten) of early works by legendary artist Winsor McCay includes another round of strips and editorial works.  Most notable are the editorial images which remain iconic and used to this day to represent their period/events.  Dream of the Rarebit Fiend (DOTRF) is an especially well-liked strip centering on the strange dreams of a sleeper brought on by a rich, late-night meal of Welsh rarebit (primarily melted cheddar cheese over toast).  Every strip featured a new sleeper in a bizarre new dream sequence.

Pros: Great Saturday strips of DOTRF, editorial work is classic (many I recognized from school history textbooks)

Cons: Reproduction quality varies from page to page presumably depending on the original source, a lot of panels in the Saturday DOTRF strips

Mike Tells It Straight: Winsor McCay (born Zenas Winsor McCay) was the most prolific, advanced illustrator of his time.  The sheer volume of work he produced is amazing and the level of creativity is staggering.  Truly inspiring for any new or old artist.  While owning this series may not be very practical it's absolutely worth looking him up on the internet or your local library.

TO BUY and Recommendations: