Windsor McCay is a very popular cartoonist and animator. In McCay’s early career he started out slow, working on small projects for company’s such as the Kohl and Middelton Dome Museum and Heck and Avery’s Family Theater in 1896. He made advertisements and posters for 9 years, slowly being introduced into film. Through the time period of 1903-1911 Windsor McCay worked on many comic strips, including one of his most popular, Little Sammy Sneeze, made in 1905. One of his most longest running strips was Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, made to attract adult viewers and being showed on the Evening Telegram in 1904. Making this piece made McCay agree to a contract that he not use his real name in his works, instead use the pen name Silas. His animation was what he was most proud of, animating 10 films in 10 years, with three more films known to have been planned. Some of his most famous works are of Little Nemo (1905), and Gertie the Dinosaur (1913), and The Sinking of the Lousitania (1918).
McCay’s style of comic strips varies within the size and shape of the panels. He does this for more of a dramatic effect, and does it frequently in he installment of Little Nemo. He experimented with the size and shape of his panels, perspective, and architectural and other detail to find a style that suited him. When I looked at Little Nemo the varying the panel size to accommodate the size of the mushrooms was very clear in this piece of work. When the panels shrank so did his mushrooms. McCay mastered perspective and that was very clear in Little Nemo. He also had the speed and accuracy with which he could draw. He was so good at what he did people would stand around and watch him while he drew. McCay also uses crude dialogue in many of his works.
In the comic strip I made I was trying to convey the emotions rather than the drawings for example, in Gertie the Dinosaur you can clearly see her personality, as being a little mischievous at times, but also extremely loyal to her master. In my flipbook I focused more on the emotions, rather than the drawing. I had happy and sad faces, and different emotions mixed into my drawing, like Gertie the Dinosaur.
I don’t think I was as successful as I would have liked. In order to improve next time I think I would of made an animal, or a different adaptation of it, then added human emotions to it. I think I succeeded in getting the emotions into my flipbook, and you could see what feelings were included.
Canemaker, John. Windsor Mccay, His Life and Art. New York: Abbeville Press, 1987.