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Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #4

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by Eric Shanower, Gabriel Rodriguez and Nelson Daniel

It’s time for Nemo to awake, for the story to end, and for the adventure to conclude. Eric Shanower with Gabriel Rodriguez and Nelson Daniel have brought readers, new and old, back to the world created by Winsor McCay these past few months. The fourth issue finishes the miniseries, but fortunately, not the story. A more linear issue this time, Shanower and company finish strong and leave readers with a tease of what lies ahead.

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland has been an absolute delight from the very first page. Shanower strikes a perfect tone for the series and the universe and makes the experience of following this young boy on his adventures in this dream world all the more exciting. From young children to adults, Slumberland is escapism in pure form. Paired with it has been absolutely stunning artwork from Rodriguez and Daniel. With the third issue, the two combined to take readers on a dizzying journey in paying homage to M. C. Escher. And in the fourth, they introduce some new creatures and, even in the most routine of moments, fill out the panel and world with impeccable detail.

The princess saves Nemo from the firework he was strapped to and attempt to return to the palace, with Flip at Nemo’s request. The Princess has begun her search for a new playmate. After all, Jimmy insists to be called by his given name and wants to return home pretty badly. Suddenly, as the princess insists that they grant his wish, the boy reflects on the grand adventures he has seen. Shanower is rather influential with his writing, and readers are able to follow and sympathize with the boy throughout the series. As he is finally given was he was asking for all along, it becomes all the more obvious that staying and have more adventures is the only real option.

Rodriguez and Daniel have a chance to flex their artistic muscles yet again, as their return trip hits a few bumps in the road. Though the encounters are brief, the journey introduces entirely new settings and creatures and they will leave many with their imaginations running. The fantasy world that is presented on these pages is so intrinsically rich that stories and possible adventures generate almost immediately upon seeing these enchanted lands. The creativity on display in Slumberland is infectious and stunning.

With this the final issue of the mini, Shanower manages to include some elements of what is to come next. The creators acknowledge their intentions to return soon with more stories. After such a phenomenally successful opening mini, there is no question that there is an audience anxiously awaiting that next release. For now, the depth of this world leaves enough in re-reads to hold everyone over. A strong finish to an excellent book, Return to Slumberland is a must for nearly any reader or individual with a fondness for imagination.

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