Little Nemo in Slumberland is a full-page weekly comic strip that was created by the American cartoonist and animator, Windsor McKay in 1905. In each instalment, a boy named Nemo ("no one" in Latin) dreams up a wild adventure which always ends with him waking up at home, in bed. The first episode begins with King Morpheus of Slumberland commanding one of his Oomps to bring Nemo to Slumberland. 

Readers eventually learn that Nemo has been summoned to be the playmate of Slumberland's Princess, although this dream-quest is constantly interrupted. Along the way, Nemo encounters a green, cigar-chewing clown named Flip who wears a top hat emblazoned with the words "Wake Up." Nemo and Flip become companions, and are joined by a caricatured African character named Impie, whom Flip discovers in the Candy Islands. The trio travel far and wide.

Portrait of Winsor McCay from 1906 which appeared in the New York Herald on February 17, 1907.

Portrait of Winsor McCay from 1906 which appeared in the New York Herald on February 17, 1907.

The first Little Nemo in Slumberland cartoon, appearing in The New York Herald, October 15, 1905.

The first Little Nemo in Slumberland cartoon, appearing in The New York Herald, October 15, 1905.

 

Some of the comic strip's ornate visual architecture was inspired by McCay's memories of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (which celebrated the anniversary of Columbus's "discovery" of the New World in 1492). The theme of voyaging and discovery which was so central to Little Nemo in Slumberland was also at the heart of the Chicago Exposition.  

The strip ran in the New York Herald from October 15, 1905, until July 23, 1911. It was briefly renamed In the Land of Wonderful Dreams when McCay took it to William Randolph Hearst's newspaper, New York American, where it ran from September 3, 1911 until July 26, 1914. McCay eventually returned to the Herald in 1924, and revived the strip under its original title until December 1926.

Each of the Little Nemo in Slumberland strips has been digitized and archived in The Comic Strip Library.