Shanower is really dedicated to giving Little Nemo a narrative and it doesn’t help the comic at all. Jimmy (or Nemo) is an annoying kid who Shanower has throughout the entire issue–he’s not having a little adventure and then waking up, he’s around the reader for page after page of adventure and he’s always got something annoying to say. Instead of turning these brief annoyances into the punchline, they’re the pulse of Return to Slumberland.
It’s a far from ideal situation.
Similarly, having this kid be so upset about having to hang out with a girl (the princess) is perfectly appropriate… if Shanower wants to fit into the sexism of previous generations. It would have been something if he hadn’t wanted to embrace that deficiency.
The gorgeous Rodriguez art, meticulous not just in detail but in functioning the same way as McCay’s originals did in reading style, helps immeasurably.
Writer, Eric Shanower; artist, Gabriel Rodriguez; colorist, Nelson Daniel; letterer, Robbie Robbins; editors, Michael Benedetto and Chris Ryall; publisher, IDW Publishing.