Day #394: Flip Gets Mad and Becomes King of the Runts

"In the Land of Wonderful Dreams" dated July 27, 1913:

Transcript of Tweets by @LittleNemo1905 (JULY 15, 2021):

Well, Flip's insecurities are showing in this week's episode of #LittleNemo. That said, the Lilliputians seem to have a pretty short memory… - 1/20

I mean, Flip *did* do some rather important things for them in the rather recent past… like stop an invasion? That doesn't deserve a bit of musical leeway? - 2/20

It's interesting that he is described as "that banjo playing fiend" and not, oh, I don't know… Chief or Duke of Gulliver City? Has his tenure in these stations come to an end? They haven't been mentioned in weeks and he's being treated much like he was pre-promotion... - 3/20

I wonder if this plays into Flip's motivations this week? His facial features in panel 3 seem to scream shock and utter disappointment… - 4/20

Maybe Flip was trying to take the high road; not abuse his new powers of late… that could explain why it has been less of a focus. But, I don't think Flip is the kind of person to simply forget that he's been granted these stations. - 5/20

After his (perceived) accomplishments, I read panel 3 as him feeling incredibly disrespected… he tried not to flaunt his stations and it seems that has led the short-memoried Lilliputians to forget what he did for them… and the titles they bestowed on him in return. - 6/20

This could be the fuel that ignites his anger this week… is it a coincidence that he goes over to the Runts, A nation that he just defeated in a war, in order to become their King? A coincidence that he positions himself in direct opposition to Lilliput? - 7/20

This is also supported by the end of the strip. Flip claims that he smashed Impie with the banjo, not because the music is annoying, but because he instructed him to stop and he didn't. - 8/20

The moment is meant to be a humorous callback to the reason why Flip left Lilliput in the first place. The reader is meant to equate Impie's banjo music to Flip's and see that he was in the wrong for his behaviour throughout this strip because it is annoying. - 9/20

But… It isn't entirely the same… though I do not condone the violence done to Impie here (as always, he is the one who bears the brunt of Flip's attitude), it isn't the banjo music that gets him worked up. - 10/20

When Impie begins playing, Flip is making a speech; the music isn't annoying him so much as it is making his proclamation difficult. He whacks Impie with it in the following panel because he felt disrespected by having his instructions ignored. - 11/20

Impie kept playing (obviously as they moved inside), which, exacerbated by the disrespect he'd already felt that day from the Lilliputians, he reacted in anger. - 12/20

No excuses; his behaviour was wrong. But, that said, I sort of understand why he's so upset (in general). The strip wants you to laugh at and blame Flip for his short temper (which we should, partially)… I also think the Lilliputians play a huge role in what happens in this strip… - 13/20

Visually, the strip is quite well done. It isn't even the artistry of the panel content that stands out to me, but the precision and intelligence through which the pacing and timing of the strip is created. - 14/20

Nemo decides that he is going after Flip (against the Princess' wishes) to either stick by his buddy's side or see if he can talk some sense into him. Unfortunately, he is always one panel behind Flip and Impie. - 15/20

He arrives in time to see the immediate destruction that Flip and Impie have left in their wake… a ripped up bridge, a demolished city entrance, and houses and buildings turned upside down… but he only reaches the pair in the final tier. - 16/20

It reminds me somewhat of the slow escalation that we saw yesterday in #393, but utilized differently. There is no escalation to a single incident, these are compounding incidences that reveal the depth of Flip's frustration. - 17/20

Lastly, I'm interested to know where the previous King of the Runts is… was he captured in Gulliver City with the rest of the Runts who lost the war? Does Flip know this, hence why he's come so brazenly (not that he'd need to be worried either way…)? - 18/20

We never see the old king in this strip and I find that fascinating… it seems very much to me like an open throne at the moment… I wonder if he will come back and challenge Flip for his place? - 19/20

This is my reading of "In the Land of Wonderful Dreams" #394. What's yours? - 20/20