Roeder, Katherine: Wide Awake in Slumberland. Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor McCay. (Great Comics Artists.) Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2014. (221 S.)
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|Resource type: Book
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 978-1-61703-960-7
BibTeX citation key: Roeder2014
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Keywords: "Little Nemo in Slumberland", Comic strip, McCay. Winsor, Modernity, Popular culture, USA
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi (Jackson)
Cartoonist Winsor McCay is rightfully celebrated for the skillful draftsmanship and inventive design sense he displayed in the comic strips Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. McCay crafted narratives of anticipation, abundance, and unfulfilled longing. McCay’s role as a pioneer of early comics has been documented, yet no existing study approaches him from an art historical perspective, giving close readings of individual artworks while situating him with regard to the larger visual culture and the rise of modernism.
In Wide Awake in Slumberland: Fantasy, Mass Culture, and Modernism in the Art of Winsor McCay Katherine Roeder explores McCay’s interest in dream imagery in relation to the larger societal preoccupation with fantasy that dominated the popular culture of early twentieth century urban America.
From circus posters and vaudeville skits to department store window displays and amusement park rides, McCay found fantastical inspiration in New York City’s burgeoning entertainment and retail districts. Wide Awake in Slumberland connects McCay’s work to relevant children’s literature, advertising, architecture, and motion pictures in order to demonstrate the artist’s sophisticated blending and remixing of multiple mass cultural forms.
Studying this interconnection in McCay’s work and, by extension, the work of other early twentieth-century cartoonists, Roeder traces the web of relationships connecting fantasy, leisure, and consumption. Readings of McCay’s drawings and the eighty-one black and white and color illustrations reveal a man who was both a ready participant and an incisive critic of the rising culture of fantasy and consumerism.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction (3)
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