Cover art: homage, thievery, or inspiration?

YouTube channel NES Friend uploaded a new video today talking about Little Nemo for the NES.  He’s a good guy and I’d appreciate it if you would give it a watch.

This reminded me of something that I never fully figured out.  Little Nemo was released in September of 1990.  Here’s the cover art.

43186-little-nemo-the-dream-master-nes-front-coverThat’s Nemo riding a sentient(?) bed away from danger, towards adventure.  Pretty nice, dreamlike cover actually.  

Well also around that same time period, late 1990 to sometime in 1991, although it’s a little tougher to pinpoint exactly when, Disney was producing a series of Roger Rabbit comic books.  Two different books to be precise, Roger Rabbit, and Roger Rabbit’s Toontown. Well across these books, two of the covers always reminded me of Little Nemo’s cover.

Especially the first cover, the same general composition and similar bed leg position.  I always assumed one of two things.  Either the cover for Little Nemo was an inspiration for the Roger Rabbit cover artist, or they both are homages from some unknown third piece of media.  I never fully figured it out, and it’s one of those arcane pieces of trivia that, for some reason, still resides in my brain.

What do think?  Have you seen another illustration that would shed some light on this mystery?  Or is it as simple as it seems?  Let me know your thoughts, thanks!

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