Google’s homepage today celebrates the 107th anniversary of Winsor McCay’s long-running newspaper strip “Little Nemo in Slumberland,” and if you don’t know who McCay is or how to work the interactive homepage, you came to the right place.
Winsor McCay was born in 1869 in Michigan, and is best-known for the newspaper comic strip “Little Nemo in Slumberland” which originally ran in newspapers from 1905 to 1914. Nemo’s page-long adventures would see him adventuring through the eponymous Slumberland by the side of Princess Camille, the daughter of the dream-realm’s king, Morpheus. At the end of each adventure, Nemo would re-awaken in his bed, confused.
The strip was adapted into a 1989 animated film, which also inspired a 1990 video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System titled “Little Nemo: The Dream Master.” The latter-two may sound familiar to some Generation X folks (and were my introduction to the character as well).
But the newspaper strip, published more than 100 years ago, was revolutionary for its time, and has impressed comic book creators to this day with beautiful art, thoughtful storytelling, and occasional adult themes. “Unlike any comic strip before or since… [I]t represented a major creative leap, far grander in scope, imagination, color, design, and motion experimentation than any previous McCay comic strip (or those of his peers),” McCay’s biographer John Canemaker wrote of the “Little Nemo” series.
“McCay’s work is thought to have influenced generations of animators, including future stars of the industry such as Walt Disney,” wrote the Telegraph.
If you have the coin, the complete “Little Nemo” collection is a fantastic read and an even better coffee table book (I picked one up myself several years ago).
Now to Google’s homepage: The interactive page is modeled after a full strip of the “Little Nemo” comic, complete with similar artwork and familiar visual themes. To get started, simply scroll over the image and wait until the little colored tag/banner drops from the right side. Click on it, and continue doing so until the banner shows a magnifying glass. If you click on it at that point, you will be re-directed to a Google search for Winsor McCay.
What do you think of Google’s homepage? Are you familiar with Winsor McCay and Little Nemo?