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Winsor McCay

Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, Little Nemo in Slumberland) and the most important founding father of movie animation (Gertie the DinosaurThe Sinking of the Lusitania). His work remains enormously influential in both comics and animation, and he directly inspired Walt Disney, Max and Dave Fleischer, Chuck Jones, Federico Fellini, Art Spiegelman, Carl Barks, Maurice Sendak, and Robert Crumb, to name just a few.