WINSOR MCCAY Biography - Fictional, Iconical & Mythological characters


Biography » fictional iconical mythological characters » winsor mccay


Name: Winsor McCay                                                                   
Born: 26 September 1867                                                             
Died: 26 July 1934                                                                   
Winsor McCay (September 26, 1867 - July 26, 1934) was an American cartoonist         
and animator.                                                                       
A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films far outshone the work     
of his contemporaries, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in     
later decades. His two best-known creations are the newspaper comic strip Little     
Nemo in Slumberland, which ran from 1905 to 1914, and the animated cartoon           
Gertie the Dinosaur, which he created in 1914.                                       
His comic strip work has influenced generations of artists, including creators       
such as Moebius, Chris Ware, William Joyce, and Maurice Sendak.                     
McCay was the son of Robert McKay (later changed to McCay) and Janet Murray         
McKay; Robert at various times worked as a teamster, a grocer, and a real estate     
agent. Winsor's exact place and year of birth are uncertain he claimed to have       
been born in Spring Lake, Michigan in 1871, but his gravestone says 1869, and       
census reports state that he was born in Canada in 1867. He was originally named     
Zenas Winsor McKay, in honor of his father's employer, Zenas G. Winsor. He later     
dropped the name Zenas.                                                             
In 1886, McCay's parents sent him to Cleary's Business College in Ypsilanti,         
Michigan to learn to be a businessman. While in Ypsilanti, he also received his     
only formal art training, from John Goodison of Michigan State Normal College (now   
known as Eastern Michigan University). Goodison taught him the strict               
application of the fundamentals of perspective, which he put to significant use     
later in his career. Goodison, formerly a glass stainer, also influenced McCay's     
bold use of color.                                                                   
In 1889, McCay moved to Chicago, intending to study at the Art Institute of         
Chicago, but due to lack of money had to find employment instead. He worked for     
the National Printing and Engraving Company, producing woodcuts for circus and       
theatrical posters. Two years later, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and went to       
work as an artist for Kohl and Middleton's Vine Street Dime Museum. While in         
Cincinnati he eloped with the 14 year old Maude Leonore Dufour.