See the Comics That Inspired the New Netflix Movie ‘Slumberland’

John Cutrone

John Cutrone, director of FAU's Jaffe Center for Book Arts, with “Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays!” and “Little Nemo in Slumberland: Many More Splendid Sundays!” Both limited-edition items will be on display at the Center until Dec. 18.

By lisa metcalf | 11/17/2022

What do the new Netflix movie “Slumberland” and FAU Libraries’ Jaffe Center for Book Arts have in common? The inspiration for the movie, based on the comic strip “Little Nemo in Slumberland” by Winsor McCay, can be found at the Jaffe Center, as the story’s original comics are part of the collection at the Boca Raton campus. To commemorate the film’s release, these limited-edition items will be on display until Dec. 18.

“Slumberland,” released on Friday, Nov. 18, is directed by Francis Lawrence, written by David Guion and Michael Handelman, and stars Jason Momoa as Flip, an eccentric half-man, half-monster who guides Nemo (Marlow Barkley) through the land of dreams and imagination for a chance to see her late father one more time.

FAU’s Jaffe Center for Book Arts has two Sunday Press limited-edition books of the original comics, published in 2005 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of “Little Nemo in Slumberland.” “Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays!” and “Little Nemo in Slumberland: Many More Splendid Sundays!” contain complete, full-color reprints of the best comic strips in the same size as early 1900s newspapers, allowing modern readers to have the same experience as their counterparts 100 years ago.

“FAU Libraries benefactor Arthur Jaffe loved the original comics as a child and purchased the books as soon as they were published, eager to add them to his growing collection,” said John Cutrone, director of the Jaffe Center.

McCay, an American cartoonist and animator, created Little Nemo’s character in 1905, and the full-page, weekly comic strip ran in the New York Herald and New York American for the next 20 years. The comics became McCay’s best-known work and are considered a masterpiece for their use of color and perspective and the author’s skills in visual storytelling.

The comics depict Nemo having fantastic dreams that take him into “Slumberland,” or bring fairytale characters to the familiar streets of New York City. Each strip ends with the boy waking up in the final panel.

The Jaffe Center is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and appointments are recommended. For more information, contact John Cutrone at 561-297-4189.