Day #449: Little Nemo and the Skating Rink Ballroom

"Little Nemo in Slumberland" dated February 08, 1925:

Transcript of Tweets by @LittleNemo1905 (SEPTEMBER 14, 2021):

I really enjoyed this strip because, rather than singling out one or two individuals to be the butt of a joke, (almost) the entire group was a part of it! - 1/18

For the first three tiers though, I was worried that McCay was going to leave Impie out of the fun here. He isn't involved in the shenanigans that lead to the ballroom rink at all. - 2/18

It isn't until the last tier that he appears. We could probably read this two ways. - 3/18

First, we could criticize the strip for it's unwillingness to allow Impie to participate in the hijinks of the other boys, which continues to foster the perpetual theme of Impie's segregation we've discussed many times. - 4/18

Alternatively, we can read his one-panel appearance as including him in the fun while leaving him out of the trouble. - 5/18

If we go with the second reading, it demonstrates the groups commitment to Impie (because he was included in the skating) even if it also demonstrates their exclusion of him in the planning stage. - 6/18

I think it's probably a mix of both readings, but I guess the point that I'm making is that I don't think his not being included in the hose gag is immediately a negative thing. - 7/18

The negative that I do read with the hose gag is how Nemo seems to shrink behind Flip's boldness here… - 8/18

Again, this can go probably two ways… first, the old Nemo *might* have said this was a bad idea (asserting some sort of attempt at controlling the narrative). - 9/18

That Nemo (who was fearful of pretty much everything) has been gone for quite some time, so I'm not surprised that he likes the plan… but I am surprised by how willing he is to just go along with Flip. - 10/18

True, he does offer *some* suggestions on how to enact the plan and his loyalty to Flip (especially in panel 8 is commendable), I just can't help but read this strip as another example of Flip's shift into centrality. - 11/18

All that said, the strip does end on a really positive note. I like how close Nemo and the Princess have gotten over this revived series… they have danced together, skated together, and just… all around felt a bit more connected. - 12/18

I'm wondering if McCay was fooling around with elements of "maturity" in this series… Nemo's willingness to go along with Flip's plan (symbolic of the ego accepting the temptations of the id) could be read in this way. - 13/18

Similarly, Nemo's ever-growing closeness with the Princess could also be read as a young, adolescent boys growing interest in romantic relationships. - 14/18

I'm not suggesting anything untoward; just that it is common for boys around Nemo's (assumed) age to become interested in the prospect of dating or relationships. - 15/18

As an indication of the way that more maturity might impact our sleeping and dreaming unconscious, McCay could be using these elements to signal Nemo's waking world growth (something we never get to see). - 16/18

I'm eager to hear everyone's thoughts on this one! Share away! - 17/18

This is my reading of "Little Nemo in Slumberland" #449. What's yours? - 18/18