Day #455: Little Nemo and the Coffee Urn Catastrophe

"Little Nemo in Slumberland" dated March 22, 1925:


Transcript of Tweets by @LittleNemo1905 (SEPTEMBER 28, 2021):


At first glance, if one doesn't think to much about it, one *might* be forgiven for thinking that this strip is about Flip's incompetence… - 1/15

But it isn't. It very clearly demonstrates that Dr. Pill is a fraud! I've believed it for a while now, but it's nice to have it actually spelled out here! - 2/15

I'm disappointed that it comes at Impie's expense (mostly)… as Impie tries every one of Pill's concoctions they do THE EXACT OPPOSITE of what they're marketed to do. - 3/15

The hair tint is bleaches Impie's hair, the fat reducer makes him grow larger, and the hair tonic makes him go bald! Way to go, Pill… - 4/15

Part of me wonders if this is commentary on adult's claimed/supposed superiority? Children as forced to recognize adults as figures of authority and thus it is often strange for them to conceive of adults being wrong. - 5/15

This dream of Nemo's might have been prompted by an adult failure in his waking world that caused his subconscious mind to recognize that adults can, indeed, make mistakes and even be fraudulent. - 6/15

Even in the end though, the fraud doesn't really take any responsibility. The people of Slumberland or (Dre)America (wherever this store is) are complaining about the PRODUCT they bought, not the service they received… - 7/15

Yet what draws our attention is the explosion (a result of Flip's negligence with the coffee urn) as opposed to anything else. Indeed, Flip even claims that he knows he's fired… well… Pill should be too! - 8/15

All the pomp and circumstances surrounding the service Flip is providing throughout the comic is really just meant to cover up, or make it a little less obvious, that Pill is the real problem here. - 9/15

Impie silently experiences all these awful side effects and doesn’t make much fuss about it at all. In fact, no attention is even really drawn to it until panel 8! - 10/15

Furthermore, it isn't even really clear who the other people who have suffered at the hand of Dr. Pill's products are even mad at… is it Flip? Pill himself? - 11/15

The only clue we really have is the woman on the right saying "Good! I'm glad of it!" in response to Flip being fired… it feels like they are blaming Flip over the creator of the product!? - 12/15

Now, an alternative reading could say that they knew the place was Dr. Pill's; his name is on the door. So I'm not sure… the ambiguity is there intentionally, I think. - 13/15

There really is a lot going on in this strip; it feels claustrophobic at times. I know I've missed some elements that you all will pick up on! So I'm excited to hear your thoughts! - 14/15

This is my reading of "Little Nemo in Slumberland" #455. What's yours? - 15/15