Day #384: War Breaks Out, and Flip Saves Gulliver City

"In the Land of Wonderful Dreams" dated May 18, 1913:


Transcript of Tweets by @LittleNemo1905 (JULY 5, 2021):


While I don't want to glorify the act of war in anyway with these comments, this strip does end with the gang coming back victoriously as heroes to the Lilliputians. - 1/17

Even Impie, who appears only in the final tier, has a heroic (if unnamed and undepicted act). - 2/17

Panel 10 sees him running towards the Princess, Pill, and the Lilliput Royalty with a bucket of water. In panel 11, the flames that were roaring previously are now put out and Impie is resting where the fire was only a panel ago. - 3/17

My reading is that he broke out of his confinement and, wishing to be of assistance and possibly win back some favour, got to work doing good. - 4/17

I appreciate the Princess' remarks and excitement at Impie's return. It is nice to see him appreciated in this way. I wish his heroism has been depicted on panel rather than imagined within the gutter, but it's a start. - 5/17

Flip and Nemo, on the other hands, have two panels in which they shine. Panel 9 is especially heroic as Nemo swings a tree down on the Runt army and Flip reaches out to grab the Runt King. - 6/17

I'll admit, though I wasn't expecting the allusion to Shakespeare's "Richard III", I found it delightful. This isn't the first time McCay has referenced Shakespeare but it was particularly appropriate here. - 7/17

I was also somewhat caught off guard by Nemo's willingness to go off to war. Timing is interesting here, as the onset of WWI was just over a year away… this strip again feels prophetic as the US would soon be sending many of it's young men off to join the Great War. - 8/17

That said, Nemo and Flip end it almost immediately upon entering it. That they come back carrying the entire army and the King in their arms is a sign not just of their prowess, but also gives them a moment to shine. - 9/17

Impie's massive smile and gestural motion towards the Runt King adds to the celebration that many young readers would likely be feeling… the heroes were triumphant; the good guys won… - 10/17

Only, I'm not entirely sure that that is the truth… In Swift's original tale, the Lilliputians were "typically greedy, jealous, manipulative, conniving, violent, selfish, and untrustworthy…" - 11/17

https://gulliverstravels.fandom.com/wiki/Lilliputians

Now, I understand that McCay's Lilliputians might *not* be Swift's Lilliputians; even if they are the inspiration for McCay, it doesn't mean that they are identical in all respects. - 12/17

But, at the very least, it opens the door for consideration about why the Runts declared war in the first place… what is the background relationship between these two nations? What is the history of conflict been like? Why did the Runts attack now? - 13/17

All this to say that even though we might *want* our group to be the heroes… I don't see any way that we can confirm it with any certainty. - 14/17

Now, the beginning of the strip is anything but heroic (at least for Flip)… the heroism and bravery depicted at the end works, I think, in large part because of the juxtaposition of his laziness. - 15/17

I guess "lazy" isn't being entirely fair… I mean, I'm a very sound sleeper, as well, but I don't think I would call myself lazy… That said, he *was* sleeping on the job, so… - 16/17

This is my reading of "In the Land of Wonderful Dreams" #384. What's yours? - 17/17