I’ll be honest: I’m not very familiar with Little Nemo. I’ve seen the film once a very long time ago, but I’ve neither read the original comics nor played the apparently cool NES game either. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t check it out and see what this is all about. Is it good?
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1 (IDW Publishing)
At the Royal Palace of Slumberland, King Morpheus’ advisors are unsuccessfully attempting to agree on who will be the Princess’ next playmate. They got a ton of names for kids they want to pick, but no one can agree on anything and the last few playmates have been very disappointing. However, one person named Snitikus has a person that may fit the bill, a kid named James Nemo Summerton. The fact that the kid has ‘Nemo’ in his name is good enough for the princess and she wants him as her next playmate.
Your majesty! I don’t have a name, but could help me get out of this long scroll that has me tied up?
Like I said, I don’t know a lot about Little Nemo, but the plus side of this is that you don’t need to to enjoy this comic. As long as you have a passing familiarity with the premise of the original story and you are fine with things being very weird, you’ll have no problem with this comic at all. It’s a sequel, but still new reader friendly, explaining important things you need to know so you are not lost.
As for the story itself, it’s not bad. It’s a decent setup for following up on the original story and I’m curious to see how this “Nemo” will deal with the situation he’s getting into. Honestly though, it doesn’t get much into any of the characters or even Nemo that much (it does a little bit, to get the idea of who the character is) and the story itself doesn’t progress all that much. Heck, most of the comic is just trying to get Nemo to Slumberland and by the end of the issue, he hasn’t even stepped one foot through the main gate! As such, even though I’m intrigued about what happens next, the comic gets off to a slow start.
Now Nemo, slowly reach for the bat behind your bed and get ready to swing before the creepy man gets closer.
Little Nemo is written by Eric Shanower, and his work here is pretty good. I’m not sure how accurate it is in capturing the look, feel, and personality of the original series, but I do like the dreamlike feel and tone. The dialogue is solid, with some good humor and occasional personality to liven it up. The pacing is fine, even if the story doesn’t advance far for a first issue, and keeps the story going without any overtly slow moments. The story structure works and doesn’t feel disjointed or poorly put together at any point. The ending does feel rather abrupt though, stopping before anything really big or surprising happens. Heck, with the way the comic is setup up, you would almost expect it, to keep going for another few pages.
What I like the most about the comic though is the artwork by Gabriel Rodriguez, the artist who did Locke & Key (talk about your drastic change of tone). Rodriguez really brings to life the creativity and imagery of the story and world into every page he draws. There are a lot of really creative and memorable images in the book that really draw your eye and make you want to take a moment to take everything in (pretty much the entire journey to Slumberland and what Nemo encounters on the way is pretty neat).
Besides, there are also the characters, who all look unique and easily distinguishable. The scenery is fantastic and best of all, every panel has a background in it (no boring colorless void for this comic), while the layouts are really impressive and well put together. The fantastic artwork on this comic really gives it a big boost.
Also, a pony would be make feel better as well.
Is It Good?
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1 is a solid start to the series. It may not be the most face-paced opening I’ve seen, nor did it dive into the characters all that much, but just about everything else really excels. Easily accessible for a wide audience, Little Nemo presents us with some great writing and absolutely stellar, downright gorgeous artwork that brings this comic to life. For fans and non-fans, especially for those with children, this may be the comic for you.