Winsor McCay Little Nemo/Rarebit Fiends Original Artwork at Auction

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We've been looking at the 2021 June 17 – 19 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction #7244 auction from Heritage, which may be their most significant comic book auction to date with some insanely valuable, desirable, and influential examples of original comic book artwork. Such as three original pages from over a hundred years ago by Winsor McCay from his Little Nemo In Slumberland and Rarebit Fiends strips from the Sunday papers. Real history in your hands from one of the masters of cartooning, the earliest of animator innovators, and an early example of what would be seen a century later as the origins of graphic novels and the comic book auteur. And two concurrent Little Nemo strips from 1911 as well! The auctions all end on Thursday, the 17th of June.

Winsor McCay Little Nemo/Rarebit Fiends Original Artwork at Auction

Winsor McCay Little Nemo in Slumberland Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 1-22-11 (New York Herald, 1911). Winsor McCay is one of the most influential comic strip creators of the Platinum Age. In addition to Little Nemo, he created Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, was a prolific editorial cartoonist, and pioneered the entire animation industry with his short feature Gertie the Dinosaur. The classic format for this iconic strip features Nemo in a fanciful situation that gets more and more outlandish as the strip goes on, only to suddenly end when he awakes (usually by falling out of bed) from his dream. In this Sunday, McCay uses Nemo to take the readers on a tour of Montreal! A big beautiful example of the form, it was created in ink over graphite on two pieces of Bristol board with a combined image area of 21.75" x 27.75". Signed in the last panel. There is edge chipping and small pieces missing on the toned boards. There is also a tear in Panel 5 mended with tape, some tape on the left edge, and an abrasion in Panel 4. The full Sunday is mounted on a 24.5" x 32" green matboard. In Very Good condition. NOTE: The following week's Sunday is in this same sale!

Winsor McCay Little Nemo/Rarebit Fiends Original Artwork at Auction

Winsor McCay Little Nemo in Slumberland Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 1-29-11 (New York Herald, 1911). In the previous Sunday (Offered in this same auction!), Little Nemo and his friends toured Montreal. In this Sunday, they see the sights of Quebec! Winsor McCay's influence on the world of comic strips and comic books, through his strips Little NemoDream of the Rarebit Fiend, and Little Sammy Sneeze were far reaching. It's not hard to see the influence reach all the way to Hergé's Adventures of Tintin. This Sunday was created in ink over graphite on three pieces of Bristol board with a combined image area of 21.75" x 27.75". Signed in the last panel. There are original art paste-ups in Panels 1 and 9, with some residue staining and discoloration. There is a rip-up into Panel 10 that is mended with tape. The full Sunday is mounted on a 24.5" x 32" green matboard. In Very Good condition. NOTE: The previous week's Sunday is in this same sale!

Winsor McCay Little Nemo/Rarebit Fiends Original Artwork at Auction

Winsor McCay Dream of the Rarebit Fiend Sunday Comic Strip dated 10-21-1904 (New York Evening Telegraph, 1904). A surreal example of the inspired lunacy that was the standard for this innovative strip from one of the fathers of the comic strip medium. Windsor McCay always signed this strip as "Silas," as he was doing Little Nemo in Slumberland for a different syndicate. Like several of McCay's various comic strip series, this series was built around a standard setup. Unlike his other strips, there were no recurring characters in this one. Just the gimmick that a scene would start and spin wildly out of control before ending with someone waking up from the bothersome dream. Part of the gag was trying to guess who's dream it was before you get to the last panel. Created in ink on illustration board with an image area of 13.25" x 18". The title/logo is a paste-up. There are missing and chipped corners, with creasing along the edges. There are holes in the top and right margins and an indentation in Panel 3. Minor staining and handling wear are visible. Signed "Silas" in the last panel. In overall Very Good condition.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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