Thursday, April 14, 2011

Winsor McCay- Animator/Cartoonist

I am enthralled with the early twentieth century cartoonist and animator, Winsor McCay, especially Little Nemo in Slumberland. (Sendak admits he stole much of his imagery from McCay.) Without McCay we would not have had Felix, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Buzz or Woody. It is the 100thanniversary of the first Little Nemo animation. You can read more about McCay in this article. What I connect with most is the following quote:

“The principal factor in my success has been an absolute desire to draw constantly. I never decided to be an artist. Simply, I could not stop myself from drawing. I drew for my own pleasure. I never wanted to know whether or not someone liked my drawings. I drew on walls, the school blackboard, old bits of paper, the walls of barns. Today I’m still as fond of drawing as when I was a kid — and that’s a long time ago…”

Now, replace “draw” with “write,” and you get the idea.

And check out one of the first animations of Gertie, the dinosaur. He drew ALL those images by HAND in 1914!! Thousands and thousands to get a five minute segment. That’s gotta hurt the wrist!


  1. Lisa, Thank you. I confess I'd not heard of the guy. Both article and clip were fascinating (though I know I'll have the Gertie soundtrack roiling my brain all day).

  2. It also reminds me of being very much in the present. Word by word we write a book. Just as McCay drew image by image. Thanks for the inspiration, Lisa.