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Winsor McCay: How the doodle was created

Updated: October 16, 2012, 11:10 AM IST
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Winsor McCay: How the doodle was created
The doodle was the first of its kind to feature an interactive, motion picture comic strip.

New Delhi: To honour Winsor McCay on the 107th anniversary of his comic strip series Little Nemo in Slumberland, Google on Monday posted an animated, interesting doodle on its homepage. The doodle was the first of its kind to feature an interactive, motion picture comic strip. But do you know that how much did the Google doodle team struggle to design and finalise that doodle? Jennifer Hom, the visionary behind some of the company's best logo designs, said in a blog post that in the early stages of planning, he had a long debate with over whether to cling to McCay's classic vertical composition, or tailor it to horizontally oriented computer screens.

Below is a cannon ball alternative story (…without an ending. Jennifer Hom decided against this format before he could complete this direction).

Here are very rough plans for the comic – the first sketch and a more fleshed-out colour script.

Jennifer Hom fiddled around with a pencil test for the third row of the final comic.

Finally, below is the full comic in static form.

Winsor McCay was an artist and visionary. As a storyteller, his imagination reached beyond the confines of reality and even the technology of his time. ”Paying tribute to such a creative giant and body of work, however, is intimidating for any artist. Little Nemo in Slumberland is an undertaking in itself, but the doodlers and I wanted to approach this doodle as McCay might have. What if McCay composed a Nemo comic for the internet? What if he had Google engineers to back his creativity? We may never know how far he would have pushed the resources and technology available today, but his work will continue to inspire generations of dreamers,” said Hom in his blog post.

The interactive and animated Google doodle celebrating the nightly dreams of the little boy called Nemo begins with Nemo dreaming about falling from his bed into a hole and being rescued by Princess Camille. After a series of little adventures, through Google-land (the interactive doodle strip is titled Little Nemo in Google Land) Nemo, as in the actual comic strip, falls out of his bed.

In the different panels of the Winsor McCay Little Nemo Google doodle the letters of the Google logo – G-O-O-G-L-E – appear in a chronological order. Winsor McCay was not only a newspaper cartoonist, but also a pioneer of animated films. He started off as a poster and hoardings artist and later moved to newspaper cartooning.

Winsor McCay died on July 26, 1934 of a cerebral embolism.

First Published: October 16, 2012, 11:10 AM IST
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