Just in case you're not up to speed on classic newspaper strips, Winsor McKay's Little Nemo is one of the most innovative comics of the 20th century. Originally running in newspapers from 1905 to 1926, it was arguably one of the first real masterpieces of the form, with McKay's surreal dreamscapes taking the form of beautiful imagery and page layouts that creators are still trying to recreate today.

Now, Nemo is returning to the comics page in Return To Slumberland. Not to be confused with the forthcoming Dream Another Dream anthology, this new series from Eric Shanower, Gabriel Rodriguez and Nelson Daniel launches this week from IDW Publishing, and it is beautiful. Seriously, just hands down one of the prettiest comics I've seen in a long time, and even though the first few pages don't quite get into the strangeness of walking beds and stair-step city skylines, I get the feeling that all of that stuff shows up right where the preview ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One interesting thing about the new setup is that it's a legacy book, and while it's not actually mentioned, there's a pretty heavy implication that the original Nemo is dead as a doornail. This isn't surprising, what with his slumberland adventure starting a hundred and ten years ago and all, but I'm curious as to why Shanower chose to go that route rather than going with a hard reboot -- and wondering if that'll come into play as the story continues. Here's the official solicitation:

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1
Eric Shanower (w) • Gabriel Rodriguez (a & c)

An all-new, all-ages series full of magic and whimsy from award-winning creators Eric Shanower (Adventures in Oz) and Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke & Key)! Spinning out of Winsor McKay’s brilliant early 20th century strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland sees King Morpheus’ daughter, in the Royal Palace of Slumberland, select her next-playmate: Nemo! Only Nemo has no interest in being anyone’s playmate, dream or no dream!