The 107th anniversary of Winsor McCay’s meticulously surreal newspaper comic Little Nemo In Slumberland is an oddball thing to celebrate, but if you’re Google and you’re looking for an excuse for a colorful, attention-grabbing gimmick of the day, it’s as good as any. Today’s Google Doodle—the elaborate little icon at the top corner of a Google search page—expands into an interactive pastiche of a Little Nemo cartoon, from the usual beginning—Nemo in bed—to the usual ending, where his experience in a dream turns out to map directly onto his falling out of bed. (Usually in the comic, an off-panel voice then chided him for making so much noise and failing to get to sleep. Back in 1905, when the strip started, children were supposed to be seen and not heard—and to be neither seen nor heard yelling for Mama at bedtime, as Nemo often did.)
At any rate, today’s a good day for Nemo fans to visit Google’s home page for the full version of the Doodle, which expands level by level to cover Nemo’s latest night-time misadventure. Next challenge for Google: A Doodle mimicking McCay’s pioneering animation project “Gertie The Dinosaur,” a hand-drawn cartoon that let McCay interact onstage with a drawn image, then pretend to step into the screen and ride his dinosaur away. The next generation of Google technology will let us step into the screen and interact with their creations, right?