Day #437: Little Nemo and the Royal Jewel Thief

"Little Nemo in Slumberland" dated November 16, 1924:

Transcript of Tweets by @LittleNemo1905 (SEPTEMBER 02, 2021):

My, my! McCay has been holding out on us! The intrigue? The suspense? The adrenaline? He was a stellar creator of mystery! - 1/23

Seriously, I found this strip to be incredibly well-paced; each panel, as a new character is added, also added to my interest. - 2/23

This is, of course, by design. As each character appears, they are no longer capable of being the culprit contributing to the "whodunit" style mystery and its incremental and palpable tension. - 3/23

I went through the wringer on this one… in panel 1, I thought it must be Flip… but then he's with us. Next, I moved on to Impie, but he appears in panel 5. - 4/23

I wondered if maybe Dr. Pill got locked out, but he shows up in panel 6. My final guesses were either that Morpheus was coming in for a late night appreciation of his collection or that the Princess was putting away her jewels for the day. - 5/23

While I didn't know the culprit, I knew that a "misunderstanding" was coming; by this I mean that I knew it wasn't a real thief. - 6/23

This made the moments of intense fear that our characters feel in panel 8 (and the ensuing destruction of the jewel room in panel 9) hilariously funny. I actually chuckled out loud when Figures mentioned being murdered. - 7/23

Of course, having Blutch be the guilty party was a stroke of genius. He's been an absolute tag along for the last few strips and has been involved very, very little. - 8/23

In truth, I didn't even notice his absence throughout the strip; I genuinely believed that it had to be the Princess of Morpheus because they were all the characters McCay had left… - 9/23

He's even involved FELIX in this strip… remember, Felix? The guy whose nose Flip exploded with a strawberry? - 10/23

At least it seems as if he has fixed his nose/lightbulb? So that's nice to see. - 11/23

Other points of interest for this strip include the sleeping arrangements in the palace. - 12/23

Each of the characters that join our band of protectors has their own room; we know this because Flip knocks on each door in turn to have them come out and join. This includes Slivvers, Felix, and Impie (!!). - 13/23

But, Nemo seems to be sharing a room with Flip. - 14/23

My read of that first panel is that Nemo is calling to Flip while listening to the sound and looking in its direction past the door… I don't think he's calling to Flip through the door (which seems to make little sense). - 15/23

The second panel, then, occurs after the two boys have left their room and sauntered over to Slivvers' (the room with the open door being their shared one, which they've both just left). - 16/23

This means that when Nemo calls him to kick off the sequence, Flip is most likely off-panel just behind Nemo in a second bed. The question is… why? - 17/23

Beyond the psychoanalytic discussions that (seem so long ago, but) we've had in the past (Flip = Id / Nemo = Ego) I think they're sharing a room also indicates their co-protagonist role in the strip. - 18/23

It's undeniable that Flip has become as central (if not more central in many ways) than Nemo in the last 130+ strips. Having them share a room sort of makes sense in that regard and emphasizes McCay's commitment to both boys. - 19/23

I also wonder… is this how Nemo's adventures in Slumberland always begin now? With him waking up in his own bed inside the palace? - 20/23

There is something slightly "meta" about this moment… a sleeping boy dreaming about waking in the palace… knowing what we know of the #LittleNemo series, I was immediately reminded about the comics conceit. - 21/23

This isn't a bad thing; I actually quite liked it. I know that I'm a bit more neurotic than most when it comes to contemplating questions about Slumberland/the Dreaming's make-up, but this was one of the best strips we've read in a while. - 22/23

This is my reading of "Little Nemo in Slumberland" #437. What's yours? - 23/23