Our first two MASTERS SERIES prints are now available for pre-order!
If you order before January 20, 2015, you'll get two 18 x 14 inch, 2 sided prints for $12.50 each, plus shipping. That is a $15 savings!
Each of these limited edition of 1000 copies are hand signed & numbered by Michael Kelleher to authenticate this first run restoration.
Shipping will begin on January 27, 2015.
Here is an in-depth look at the first print and the work that went into restoring this masterpiece...
Original publication date October 29, 1905
Our first restoration is the third Little Nemo Sunday strip produced by McCay and marks the first time that we get to see Nemo's Mama.
Being the first illustration that we tackled for this series, we quickly realized that restoration would not be the cake-walk we were expecting.
Back in 2012… After almost a decade of working on 'Marvel Masterworks' and 'Dark Horse Archives' series, we thought that we were more than ready to handle work on a dream project of mine… Little Nemo.
With a little research we were able to obtain high quality scans of the original art and an original printing of the Sunday comic strip, which is very similar to how we handle our Marvel and Dark Horse projects… the similarities ended there.
In a standard comic book, the colors are broken up into ( usually ) easy to decipher patterns of dots or lines which translated into a percentage of color. For example, Caucasian skin color in most comics consisted of 0% Cyan, 25% Magenta and 25% Yellow… The sky was often a 25% or 50% cyan… Brown hair was 25% cyan, 50% magenta and 100% yellow. Very simple formulas, all limited to 0, 25, 50 or 100 percent of the colors cyan, magenta and yellow. That standard was used throughout just about all of Marvel comic history up until the 1980's.
Well, it turns out that back in 1905, those percentages were far from standard.
It took us years of research to find out how colors were laid out for print in the early 20th century, and the results of our research taught us that color separations ( the process of creating a separate plate for each of the CMYK colors ) was a literal art form in itself.
I'll save that story for another post. For now, lets talk about the artwork on this strip...
The first thing we noticed on this piece was the background of the first panel. The details of the bushes, pillars and fence were mostly obliterated in all of the original printed copies that we found. The black dots added in the coloring process, which were supposed to ad a little darkness to the green color, obscured a lot of wonderful line work.
Check back with us soon as we unveil details on the second print in this set, Little Nemo in Slumberland dated July 15, 1906.