Day #111: Lobsters, and Turkey, and Pig! Oh My!

"Little Nemo in Slumberland" dated November 24, 1907:


Transcript of Tweets by @LittleNemo1905 (SEPTEMBER 15, 2020):


McCay is on a roll with these last few strips and this one is no different! It's subtle, but it does some really neat things with form that I like. - 1/20

So, visually, each tier *could* be said to form diptychs. Notice in tier 1 how the rounded edge of the pool and the columns line up nicely so as to depict a near continuous image from 1 to 2? The same happens in tiers 2 and 3. - 2/20

The effect is such that if you were to remove the central vertical gutter, the image actually wouldn't change at all. So, what one must ask themselves anytime they see polyptychs of any kind… why this composition? - 3/20

I think the simplest answer here is that the narrative progression of this strip is largely predicated on the characters movement through the space of the palace and the easiest way to demonstrate that was with two panels. - 4/20

Now, I'm not going to suggest that repeated figures to depict motion in a single panel was a foreign concept in the early 20th century because, well, participant @ben_towle has already written a wonderful piece that makes it really clear that's not true: - 5/20

http://www.benzilla.com/?p=7330

But, I think that it’s safe to suggest that separating by the gutter was the *common* way to do so at the time… that said, I think that the polyptych design is really powerful none-the-less. - 6/20

If we can image panels 3-6 in a straight line, we'd get a really cool hallway effect with each door separated by one column… something like this: - 7/20 [INSERT IMAGE]

Personally, I think that imagining it this way makes each new moment more pathetic than the last… Nemo, Flip, and Impie are DRAGGING themselves bit by bit to each doorway that, rather than being separated by long corridors, are actually very close. - 8/20

With each grueling inch they push on, starving so much that each footstep feels like a thousand. I read the polyptych design as aiding and strengthening the effect that their hunger has on their movement! - 9/20

The fact that it's Thanksgiving day is also great. This is how you do a holiday strip! It isn't a "smack you in the face with the holiday" kinda strip, but more of a subtle version. - 10/20

When Flip cries out that it's Thanksgiving, I felt for them; Thanksgiving is a day to overeat and enjoy oneself… these poor fellas continue to literally waste away! - 11/20

Which makes me wonder about what is actually going on in the final strip… has Nemo fallen asleep at the Thanksgiving table *before* eating?! BLASPHEMY! - 12/20

But, why else would he be dreaming about being hungry? If he had eaten a healthy, holiday meal… wouldn't he be dreaming about being full? - 13/20

On the other hand, his plate *looks* as though it has had food on it… and the turkey is most certainly half eaten… maybe Nemo's dreaming about being hungry because he didn't eat *enough* dinner? - 14/20

Regardless, this might be my favourite final panel of the strip so far… it even beat the one where the elephant tossed him through the window! - 15/20

Nemo hasn't, to our knowledge, fallen asleep and dreamed of Slumberland anywhere besides his bed before… so this is something really novel that I appreciate! I'd be eager to see *more* like this! - 16/20

Finally, I think I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention the massive mammals, crustaceans, and fowl who dominate the penultimate panel. - 17/20

I count a Quail, Turkey, Goose, Duck, Rabbit, Lobster, Pig, Crab, and some Clams. Do we all concur on the animals (wasn't positive about some…). - 18/20

That this one leads to one of my all-time FAVOURITE #LittleNemo strips also puts it real high-up in my book! I can't WAIT for tomorrow! - 19/20

This is my reading of "Little Nemo in Slumberland" #111. What's yours? - 20/20

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