If you like comics with real scope, a brilliant illusion of reality, and glorious levels of craftsmanship that are also the products of a truly weird imagination, then Winsor McCay is the best thing that could happen to any day. And if you are a fan of the Google Doodle as well, this clever tribute to the master was one of the very best:To see it animated, visit the Doodle archives at Google here, or just Google it.
If meeting this doodle on Google today was your first encounter with McCay, I envy you a little. You have a chance to see something utterly titanic for the first time. My advice to you is to seek out the large scale archival reprint collections that have been published in recent years. (A well-equipped library should have some for you to look at, although they probably won’t circulate. Another option is too hunt up someone you know who really loves comics …) The original comics were printed on a full page of an old fashioned broadsheet newspaper– these are big comics and are best appreciated in as close to their true size as possible. Remember, McCay made one of these massive drawings *every week*, and each one is a complete story, or a freestanding episode of a longer one.
And yes, they are some of the greatest comics ever made, even though Winsor McCay couldn’t letter worth a darn. That makes all of us humble, but lets all of us hope.