Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez breathe new life into Winsor McCay’s classic Little Nemo with his Return to Slumberland #1-4 collection. King Morpheus, king of slumberland, waits on his advisers for their announcement of his daughter’s newest playmate. Unable to pick a name unanimously his daughter picks for them, James Nemo Summerton, in hopes that he can live up to the Nemo before him. Morpheus sends for Nemo at his daughter’s behest only to find it a challenge. Under the care of the Candy Kid they encounter so many obstacles before Nemo is finally able to arrive and meet with the princess.
Those familiar with the original stories know that there is always one man who seeks out adventure when the talk of tea parties is among them – Flip. Escaping with Nemo the kingdom follows in a series of cat and mouse hijinks. While in pursuit the princess becomes an accomplice in their adventures – oh what fun!
It’s with a heavy heart that I must share my disappointment with this new Nemo. He lacks the humility and amiable quality that I loved in my Nemo. My Nemo being the 1989 theatrical film Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. To Winsor McCay’s Nemo he says mostly true with Nemo’s inability to get to Slumberland and his fast friendship with Flip. What I don’t remember was Nemo running from the princess – Was Shanower using Nemo’s reluctance to separate himself from the original, or am I missing this relationship with McCay’s Nemo and the princess. This collection is reminiscent of McCay but still feels distinctly Shanowers’ in terms of writing.
Gabriel Rodriguez, of Locke & Key fame. captured the silliness of Slumberland in addition to flexing some serious detail into the layers of each page. The world of Slumberland is multidimensional. Nemo’s adventures were the perfect place for Gabriel to continue his amazing work. Each time you look there’s more to the page to see, more to discover.
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland is available now from IDW. You can find it here.