Day #454: Little Nemo and the Birth of Spring

"Little Nemo in Slumberland" dated March 15, 1925:


Transcript of Tweets by @LittleNemo1905 (SEPTEMBER 27, 2021):


Though the strip is written in the much more rigid spatial grid style, I actually find that it works quite well for this one. - 1/20

Our top tier ushers out the personification of Winter; we witness him slowly melt away into nothingness as the Spring thaw reduces him to less than a puddle on the floor. - 2/20

Tier two presents the opposite. Where we just watched Winter die, Spring is now born. She emerges from the same spot Winter disappeared to gloriously open her wings and curtsy to the new friends she meets. - 3/20

Clearly our friends are not fans of Winter. As Winter melts, he gives a speech about all that he has given them… almost as though he must justify the good that came form his tenure in Slumberland. - 4/20

But, the characters (especially Flip) aren't having it. He doesn't particularly care about the good things Winter gave them (I sure recall Flip enjoying the skating strips when we read them…), instead he is bitter about the runny nose and colds. - 5/20

Yet, when Spring comes in, they all sing a very different tune (pun intended). Doctor Pill wants to introduce himself and the entire group to her that she might know and be friendly with the gang! - 6/20

His introduction of Flip, Impie, and Slivvers is terse and not very flattering… he mentions that Flip is now 29-years old (last time we had mention, I think he was 23-years old?) which is interesting. - 7/20

Flip's age is a moving target, so I don't buy in to wholly to what Pill is saying here… for all we know, he is exaggerating to insult Flip? But, it does continue to signal that he is older than his compatriots, at the very least. - 8/20

It does make me wonder about Slivers age, though? I always assumed he was a young boy like Nemo, but it's easy to make that assumption about Flip too and the text would suggest that isn't true. - 9/20

When Pill introduces Nemo, he says that his name is Latin for "Little Somebody -- we know not who!" … This is also interesting because it's not true. - 10/20

As we all know, "Nemo" is Latin for "nobody"… Why is Pill changing it up here? - 11/20

I can't imagine that he considers "somebody" and "nobody" to be the same… so what's going on? Is he trying to impart some importance on Nemo beyond his position as playmate to the Princess? - 12/20

Finally, as if it's obligatory, the strip ends with Impie being walloped by Flip again… this time for claiming to know how to play a flute and not actually being able to. - 13/20

As Flip, Impie, and Slivvers attempt to make music for the newly born Spring, Flip chastises Impie for claiming to be able to play eliciting a huge "OUCH" from Impie! - 14/20

While I hate to see this, the "OUCH" is very interesting because it is represented in four separate speech balloons. - 15/20

I can't quite make out what McCay was going for with this little experiment though… was it enunciation? A representation that the whack was so painful that it required four entirely separate balloons? - 16/20

That reading is complicated by the "CH"-sound… which cannot be made any way other than together… yet the C and the H are separate. - 17/20

I'm sort of caught in the middle here… sure, I like the idea (the colours are nice and the pictorial alteration to give the balloons spikes to indicate pain is good), but I'm not sure if it sticks the landing… what do you all think? - 18/20

Lastly, I regret that, as I write this, I am not near a piano and so can't present you all with the music that Slivvers' bagpipes are making… though, if I have some time this evening, I will ask my wife to help me and share it then. - 19/20

This is my reading of "Little Nemo in Slumberland" #544. What’s yours? - 20/20