Dinomania – The Lost Art of Winsor McCay, the Secret Origins of King Kong, and the Urge to Destroy

New York
Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2015
40,4 x 30,2 cm, 296 Seiten, 675 Abbildungen
ISBN 978-1-60699-840-3


Winsor McCay, creator of Little Nemo in Slumberland, is internationally renowned as a pioneer in comics and animation.

Ulrich Merkl’s dedicated sleuthing has unearthed a never-before-published strip by McCay that was lost following the artist’s untimely death. Titled simply Dino, it opens a new window into McCay’s life and work, and showcases his exquisitely beautiful and delicate delineations, exactingly reproduced from the original art.
The author explores the ideas McCay brought to the strip (including some from the artist’s own Gertie the Dinosaur animated cartoons), and how the growth of New York City from the Holland Tunnel to the Empire State Building played a vital role.
The author also reveals the surprising influence McCay’s work had on the visuals of 1933’s King Kong and traces the history of Hollywood’s irresistible urge to destroy New York City.

Each page of this monster-size volume overflows with stunning images – more than 670 photographs and illustrations – 80 % of them seen here for the first time in a century.
An essential volume for everyone interested in comic strips – and in our continuing fascination with dinosaurs and movie monsters.


“My personal ‘Book of the Year.’ A gift to humanity!”
– Mark Frauenfelder, www.boingboing.net

“This stunning book presents a visual history of dinosaurs and giant monsters in comic strips and popular media, offering superb scholarship, great image restoration, and an engaging design. A gold-standard, intelligent art history approach to comics and popular culture!”
– Paul Tumey, co-author, The Art of Rube Goldberg; creative director of www.presentationtree.com

“I am even more impressed by the contents of this book being almost totally new to me. I thought I had seen just about everything created by Winsor McCay, owning many collections on his work and his life. I am also very knowledgeable about early newspaper comic strips. I also thought I had seen just about every image available on dinosaurs and King Kong, being a fanatic of both for over 60 years! This book is a perfect combination of top notch research information and entertaining pictures / information.
I have already read the book thoroughly, but I’m going to check every word and image in this book again right after writing this review because this book is too special to miss a single image or word!”
– Jerry Edwards in a review on www.amazon.com