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Jeet Heer

Jeet Heer is journalist who writes extensively on arts and culture. He is the editor of Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium (Mississippi, 2004) and wrote the long introduction for Chris Ware’s edition of Frank King’s Walt and Skeezix (Drawn and Quarterly, 2005). His essays have appeared recently in American Prospect, the Los Angeles Times, and The Walrus. He also writes regularly for the Boston Globe’s Ideas section.


Little Nemo in Comicsland

Spring 2006 | Essays

At the beginning of the last century, a little boy named Nemo was haunted by recurring nightmares of a bizarre and unruly land where the conventions of everyday life were turned upside down. By day, the boy was firmly lodged in the respectable and decorous world of middle-class white America. His frumpy parents kept up appearances in a solidly genteel household, complete with a white picket fence on the outside and an African American maid toiling away in the kitchen. The family’s regular rounds included hosting cousins and in-laws, going to church on Sundays, and making the occasional jaunt to the department stores—which were just starting to emerge as palaces of consumption.