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Winsor McKay

Little Nemo in Comicsland

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.