Dutiful Dreamer

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Here’s another Sunday from 10 years ago. So, “Little Nemo in Slumberland” would be 110 years old this year. Winsor McCay was one of the greatest comic strip artists of all time, not to mention one of the first. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s been downhill ever since, but no one has ever surpassed McCay in drawing, scripting, dialog, creativeness, pacing… the list goes on. “Little Nemo” only ran on Sundays, beginning in The New York Herald in 1905. In the day, Sunday funnies were the new technological marvel. Seriously. Many cartoonists then were little more than overworked and underpaid cogs in a giant newspaper machine, but the popular ones such as McCay and Rudolph Dirks and Richard Outcault became wealthy celebrities. Outcault pretty much invented the art form in 1895 with “Down in Hogan’s Alley” and later invented the modern comic strip with “Buster Brown.”

78 responses to “Dutiful Dreamer”

  1. Coming on the heels of discussing cartoon strip minimalism is Our Humble Author’s hat tip to groundbreaking cartoon art.

    Bill Watterson could certainly turn on the art for “Calvin and Hobbes,” but his flame burned very, very brightly… and he was done. Given how labor-intensive C&H was, one wonders what he does with his time now.

    “Arlo and Janis” has always had a good, steady balance of detail and minimalism, dialogue and sight gags, whimsy and observation. OHA has run the race as a marathon, not a sprint, and the quality has remained good throughout. One day, cartoonists of the future will devote a Sunday strip to “Arlo and Janis.” They will!

  2. Good morning Viet Nam! And you too, Sand!

    Great tribute strip, JJ, despite fact I wasn’t there of course? Not quite antiquarian enough but I do know who Little Nemo was. Always wondered about the Finding Nemo movie too. Was that a tribute as well?

  3. Jackie, I’m guessing Nemo the clown fish was a tribute to Jules Verne. I didn’t originally know that Nemo means No One or No body. I suppose it could go back to the Latin version of the Odessey. When Ulysses tells the cyclops his name it may have well been Nemo.

  4. Loved Jules Verne. And H.G. Wells. Early science fiction geek as a kid, tried to copy the writing style. Loved the movie too although not as exciting upon watching it as an adult? Thought the undersea adventure at original Disneyland was amazing.

    We were easily amazed and entertained by things in days of old.

    Ordered my boat plans and shocked my editor no end, as he also owns the chandelry. Spellcheck can’t spell it either. He wants columns but thinks I should run it by and offer it to my other editor also who has a different audience. He also thinks that should I choose, there is probably a book in there.

    Who says geezerhood has to be boring? Only thing left is getting dressed now and driving off.

    Love, Jackie

  5. Debbe

    Ran this yesterday but far enough back you may have missed it.
    If you don’t have heavy wire take 3 of what passes for hangers these days
    and twist (put one end in vise or clamp and use cordless drill) then bend.

    Do you have a catching hook?
    Made from #9 wire ( all farmers know of #9 wire)
    about 4 feet long the hook is “U” shaped 1 leg about 6 inches long,
    the width is chicken leg wide. The end is flared out to about 3 inches.
    The fancy ones have a eye bent at end of wire and a dowel(broomstick)
    for a handle. Otherwise fold the handle end wire back on itself for a grip.

    Lets you get the little blighter when they think they are just beyond your reach.

  6. OF due 1140-noon. Foggy but visible.

    Today’s A&J is profoundly true of so much behavior today. On the other hand, it would be a neat way of showing that an egg sunny side on hashbrowns [or some other common dish] is a better deal at P*rk*ns than at a pretend upscale restaurant in the same town.

    9CL drags along. And there’s still that mystery grave marker. Are there two Bills? Is there no body under it? Is it Martine?


    Peace, emb

  7. EMB, I keep repeating, it will take a stake through the heart.

    Sand, I knew that. Sort of a declaration of moving forward on my part. Still one of my favorites. Movie, not Viet Nam.

    Debbe, hen catching loops are also useful for snagging feral cats (or not feral) and wild animals.
    Sometimes feed and seed stores have them but i BET Mark can link you to an online source. I have never seen one in a Petsmart or other big box store, not that I go often. I use my local F and S store in town, ditto pet supplies at another F and S.

    Try to be a locavoire. Well, spend my money where it does more good.

    Love, Jackie

  8. Charlotte, glad to hear you came through the snow okay; hope the same is true for Neal and other friends up there. Jerry mentioned hauling the fridge contents outside in coolers, but in my experience, plastic storage tubs work well and stack inside each other when not being used. The coolers probably keep a more constant temperature, though.

    About the rules for the Navy—so THAT’S why my Dad drank so much coffee! It was the eight years afloat. And here I thought all he did was salute, paint, and drive small boats very fast!

    Jackie, I love your boat building stories! My Dad built his own Criscraft, took it out a few times and didn’t like the way it handled, and rebuilt the bow. That was in the mid-fifties, and that boat is still on the water.

  9. Jackie, about the Disney rides. Walt Disney World did away with the ride entirely, filling in the lagoon to build something else. And Disneyland changed it to a Finding Nemo themed ride. Too bad.

    As for chicken catchers, might try Tractor Supply Company.

  10. Several years ago the Milwaukee Art Museum had a special exhibit on the history of cartoons. That was the first time I saw the works of the pioneers in the industry. It was an interesting experience. Until then I only knew Buster Brown as a shoe company not as a cartoon.

  11. I have several book collections of Krazy Kat, that is one weird but intriguing strip, especially since Krazy was sometimes he and sometimes she. The earliest Sundays are only black and white. Hearst loved the strip but it was too weird for most of his papers, so he compromised and told them they had to carry it, but they could put it in the Sunday variety section and not have to print it in color in the comics

  12. I’ve always enjoyed the Sunday efforts, both the ones here at A&J – I particularly loved the Wyeth tribute a few years back – and the other cartoonists who used Sunday strips to get out of the story running in the Monday through Saturday strips. Some cartoonists really used the space to expand the genre, as McKay did, or my favorite of the ‘old time,’ Cliff Sterrett, who did “Polly and her pals” for many years. Well worth learning about. Check out the Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics for a nice overview of some of the biggies.

  13. In the ’30s, I think KK was in the regular, color comics section in the Saturday evening Journal American, NYC’s Hearst paper. No evening paper had a Sunday edition, to my knowledge. I don’t know when the paper folded, but I expect Wiki does.

    Peace, emb

  14. Am caught up on today’s comments, but don’t know if I will ever get to the last couple of days. I have been just too busy for fun things…

  15. From yesterday:

    sandcastler™ – “Super Storm Juno was like most first dates; full of promise, but rather dull in retrospect.”

    I’ve got a 5-foot snow drift blocking my front door, so speak for yourself! Although… I’m the only one who mentioned it, so…

    I guess of all those Mass. A&J readers, none hangs out here!

    Jackie Monies – “Matt, I will be in Maine in August after the spring thaw at Brooklin for a class at the Wooden Boat School. I am going as much for the scenery and food as knowledge but to also fulfill another Bucket List commitment I made in 1980?s to return to Maine and take a class at the school.”

    That is a beautiful spot on the coast, and a wonderful school… try to learn yourself somethin’ while you soak up the scenery!

  16. Matt said: “sandcastler™ – “Super Storm Juno was like most first dates; full of promise, but rather dull in retrospect.”
    I’ve got a 5-foot snow drift blocking my front door, so speak for yourself!”

    From my own past experience, I’ve never met a non-dull snow drift. By temeperment they just sit in place before slowly dripping to nothingness. If a timely demise of aforementioned drift is called for, assign wife and children the task. Statistics show increased levels of heart attacks in males who shovel snow. Call it a family win-win; they get exercise and freedom while your health is protected.

  17. To Jerry in Fl: Thank you for the suggestion about the picnic coolers … and thanks to Denise in Michigan, too, for the added advice. I will keep your words in mind for next time. Thank goodness, our electricity stayed on, and our friends and family around here, too!

    The Boston Globe has a sad story today of some houses on the coast down there, wrecked by flooding due to the storm.

    Trapper Jean, that’s quite a story about your mother and the burnt on egg pan! My mother and my grandmother used to burn food on now and then … I think after those two generations I have learned not to, so I don’t.

  18. Jackie,
    My hat’s off to you for your kindness to those young police officers. Next to the military they’re my favorite people, even though the liberal press would love to give them a bad name. You are a true Christian person.

    I sure hope everyone has faired well with the Winter storm. We have hurricanes but seldom get any measurable snow here in Big BR,LA. Our high temp has been near 70 all week. We’ll have 4 (maybe 6) grand kids here Friday. Wifey and I are going to a Mardi Gras Ball Saturday(very formal!) and then to my daughter’s Super Bowl Party Sunday. Don’t have a favorite but it’s a good excuse to get together with all the family. We are an unusual American family,i.e., three grown kids,spouses and 6 grand kids (13 to 7) live within 15 minutes of my house! We’re almost like an old Italian family. Makes for some fun times as we age. No amount of money can buy what we have. God bless us, everyone.

  19. Some may recall “The Aubergine Digit Affair” of which I wrote back in mid-September, my adventures in getting my MRSA-infected left index finger treated after it appeared to be trying to turn into an eggplant. As I later mentioned, I lost considerable range of motion in its middle knuckle during the healing process, and that has persisted up until this day. Whereas I can easily bend all my other fingers inwards to touch my palms, that finger fails to do so by about two inches. And it’s somewhat painful to bend it even that far.

    To make a long story even longer, the orthopedist I saw this morning told me the problem was due to internal scar tissue caused by the infection (damn thing was even worse than I thought) that is restricting movement of the tendon in the finger. His opinion is that it will improve with time and occupational therapy should help if it doesn’t improve enough on its own. But now that I know what the problem is, I’ll do my own therapy by simply forcing it to bend repeatedly, with the confidence that I won’t further injure the offending digit. It may be somewhat painful to do so, but perhaps I can find a bullet around here to bite down on.

  20. Bit of reflected glory here (not really) –

    Richard Outcault hails from this town.

    I was unaware that he became wealthy, though.

    For some reason, that fact does not appear in the local history about him.

  21. Good evening all. I am returned from the Big City of Tulsa with wonderful news. I already suspected but having a doc from Mayo confirm it was priceless. Every single number on every single test of everything in and on my body came back normal. The best they have been in 20 years. My diabetes numbers are perfect, my weight is going down, my mobility is coming up and my attitude is stunning, at least to my endocrinologist. He was so happy. Doctors do not often get many opportunities to be happy with their patients nor their patients with them.

    Not only does he approve my proposed “life style” but thinks it is a fantastic thing to do with myself. Turns out besides boats we share an interest in fly fishing, he fishes, I plan to go back to try it again as one of my Bucket List wishes. We like the same clothing stores and covet Orvis. He has Orvis waders, gave me a recommendation for a guide south of us in our famous fly fishing lake and said to say he sent me and I gave him an author friend of mine who writes about fly fishing and life beautifully. A good office visit.

    Then I went to my favorite oriental restaurant (only good one in Tulsa, pitiful choices) and had a lovely flat iron grilled salmon with grilled asparagus, lime vinaigrette on salad, brown rice and over tipped the sweet young waiter. No way was I messing up those numbers!

    A satisfying day out, which proves being good can sometimes be good for you.

    Love, Jackie

  22. Sand, I thought same thing but didn’t say it. I have two “trigger finger” injuries and have for 40 years. They come and go and the surgery and shots into the joints are even worse so I just let them exist. As somewhat of a past expert on hand/finger injuries, having paid for probably a couple thousand, I don’t care if the procedure has improved, I wouldn’t do it.

  23. Jackie: “Then I went to my favorite oriental restaurant (only good one in Tulsa, pitiful choices) and had a lovely flat iron grilled salmon with grilled asparagus, lime vinaigrette on salad, brown rice and over tipped the sweet young waiter. No way was I messing up those numbers! A satisfying day out, which proves being good can sometimes be good for you.”

    Lovely. It is good to see a good person happy.

    Peace, emb

  24. Last time I owned anything from Orvis I was a size 8 or 10 probably. And had more money too probably? But I am going to try the fly fishing again. I have decided at this point style won’t matter much unless I could afford the lodge in Scotland as well. Not own it, just visit it.

    That’s the trouble with having an educated taste in reading! Think I will try for south Oklahoma or Arkansas fishing.

  25. Wow, a robo-hand!

    sand, my right hand is dominate, and my lame finger is on my left hand. That said, I do about a third of my training shooting with my secondary pistol using my left hand, on the premise that one needs not only a back-up weapon but a back-up hand as well.

    In case anyone was wondering about conditions in “Hogan’s Alley” today…


  26. Ghost, I think I read eclectically and then you put some of yours up! I feel like Little Mary Sunshine in comparison.

    I would believe anything about you and I tend to not be gullible.

    I’ve made a couple of decisions and am going to follow through with them, one I am going to clean out my mom’s apartment and offer it furnished to some young officer, I don’t suppose I can pick from a lineup? Then let it be known broadly that I am doing so and also got my gun license, and put stickers to NRA in car windows and house windows. Get myself a gun rack for
    the Ford pickup (which has always been mine anyway) and while I am at it learn to kill targets, as my New Zealand friend told my mom when she asked what he killed?

    My friend is going to build a small boat for me and not have to clone himself for me, so I can learn/relearn to sail something smaller than 37 feet. I own all possible materials for about six or so boats anyway, so I am not going to be in a hurry to get rid of any of them. I intend to put down a deposit on the fiberglass boat I want, whether it is a good idea or not, the worst thing that can happen is I end up selling it or letting others sail it. It will be the prettiest girl at the dance.

    And I am going to do all this in print and in public, a very good way to carry through on commitments, no matter what result is. That is what being fearless is about.

    What this has to do with A and J- Jimmy has given us some fictional characters who are both good, decent, often fearful and often not, very human and real and an example to us all. He has made me laugh and smile so many times, inspiring hope and joy. So, I intend to leave the dock and push away from the shore because I can do it.

    Love you all, Jackie

  27. Jackie, maybe you could get one of the canine officers with his/her partner. That ought to help keep the bad people away. Unfortunately there are no safe places anymore. To paraphrase the character in B.C., “Crooks got cars!”.

  28. And I’m an Aquarius also, turning 60 soon. Maybe why my mind does not travel in a straight line from point A to point B, but I try to enjoy the trip!

  29. Jackie, keep on rockin’ girl.

    Mark, when you get to my age the brain starts doing barrel rolls and inverted loops. Half the doctors say too much medication and the other 75% say not enough. And at the price of the copays, Jack Daniels looks like a cost effective cure. Enjoy your youth.

  30. I am sitting here laughing my head off at you guys again. I had already thought of a canine officer and because I am a dog lover I am more than willing to have canine residents too. As a total aside, I came home to find a note from one of my neighbors who could certainly know who picked up my golf cart. He had come by to talk to me while I was in Tulsa so I will call my new deputy friend with the information. Let us just say, this is not one of our Christian senior citizens but I suspect he likes me because of the little boats. He drew me a nice little red boat on his note. And is praying for me, which I also believe.

    Listening to a long play list of Bruddah Iz who has to be the most amazing uke player I have ever heard, even if you don’t like Hawaiian music he is beautiful musician.

    No, there is no safe place and we can’t let fear or distrust hold us back.

    Love, Jackie

  31. Ghost:

    “I’m a Scorpio. Everything you’ve heard about them is probably true.”

    Are you sure you are still a Scorpio? The Zodiac as usually reported is now actually out of date, because of Earth’s 26,000 year wobble called precession. Sol spends only 6 or 7 days in Scorpio now. 2,000 years ago it was about a month, and included my birthday. It no longer does. If I remember, I’m now a Libra, but don’t much care. There’s also now a 13th sign of the Zodiac. Bootes, maybe, but I’m not sure. All this is on the web.

    Peace, emb

  32. Off the subject, but how long does anyone think it will take Martine to bleed out? We can do a pool of estimates here, purely for entertainment, since Brooke won’t allow comments over on his cartoon.

    I am trying to decide if I want to stay awake that long.

    I have an astrological analysis done for me by a customer long, long ago that totally nailed me far better than a psychological one that cost thousands. The astrological one was free. I kept both.

    Apparently Mike fell in the category of those whose sign might be different depending on which stellar system one used. I never could learn celestial navigation, or even navigation with a GPS, I would end up like Gilligan’s Island on the opposite side of the island, lost forever. We should never have married apparently? I can however read road maps pretty well.

    Love, Jackie

  33. Then sand knows. 🙂

    Jackie, it might (or might not) surprise you to know I literally never think of my age. When I need to know it for a form or something, I go, “Ah…” and have to do some quick arithmetic in my head. I decided a long time ago that one of the worst ways that people limit themselves is the mindset that “I’m too old to do [whatever].” I try never to fall into that trap.

    In the same way, I believe you have made the decision not to limit yourself with concerns about age, health, etc. I hope so, anyway.

    You go, girl.

  34. New A and J is so “right” and hilarious. I usually ask for a take out water for the 10# Rottweiler in car and he checks out what I DIDN’t bring him any of. And when it is a true doggy box I pick through the food to only bring him steak or meat. He will not touch french fries anyway, so I can’t feed him unhealthy, he is smarter than a human.

  35. Debbe

    I would send a couple of my hooks – but I can’t think of a safe way.
    Unless your P.O. is small enough like ours. best order on line or make.
    Commercial drop ceiling wire is good size just don’t get caught above the tiles
    at the local.


    A tendon in the palm of my hand got nicked (another story long ago)
    Every morning for a while I had to bend that finger with the other hand.
    I used a medium soft ball – could use one of those stress relievers – to squeeze
    used it after a broken wrist also.
    Another alternative is milk cows.

  36. Old Bear, in case you missed my cow milking story (not me, I am awful!) one of my roommates was in the Miss Louisiana pageant and was worried about her talent act. I told her to just take one of her family cows and milk it to music (she milked each day before school for their family of 12 children) I told her that when she went on Ed Sullivan show it would be most unique talent act ever done live on television.

    When Sandra Bullock did Miss Congeniality I could not help thinking of my friend. The playing of the glasses in a Swiss milk maid uniform.

  37. Ophiucus is the name of a 13th astrological sign, according to my late astronomer friend & office mate. Perhaps that’s what eMb means.

    I’m Taurus, married to Leo (maybe “Leona?).

  38. Jackie

    I missed the story – or don’t remember I saw it.
    Every once in awhile a NEWS program tries to get a celebrity to milk a cow at
    The State Fair – it is usually a “hoot”.

    Off to Bedfordshire as Vera Lynn sang

  39. Good morning Villagers….

    Old Bear and Mark….thanks for the ideas. as I’ve said my husband has suggested clothes hangers. I think we will make that a project, he is pretty clever. I lost a hen to the pit yesterday morning. I hate that. So it’s time to make a hen hoop! I wonder if I could get the boss to buy the one that Mark posted. My problem would be the teenagers….they would wind up tearing it up. I would need to keep it my Izuzu.

    Jackie…so glad to hear positive news from your doctor…keep it up. You have too many Bucket Lists to fulfill…remember you’re coming to Indiana…and bring me some of those Buffett T-shirts…please.

    The inspection list was what I expected…nothing major, little things…and I mean little things to correct. He has to put something down…nothing is perfect.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day.

    GR 😉

  40. And Debbe, a new reality show challenge, chicken chasing and snagging, as well as juggling.

    Reality shows don’t know what reality is.

    I talked to my only surviving aunt, who is having some serious health issues and told her I was heading her way when the grass emerged from under its’ snow cover in Indiana. She said Farmersburg hardly got enough to cover the grass. She is OK but I try to check on her and touch base, few if any did that for my mom. She has family who stayed to be close to her long ago and that is good too.

    Told her about the chicken ranch I was planning to visit and Debbe. She thought you were a remarkable woman too. For those who do not remember, The Chicken Ranch was probably Texas’ most famous livestock farm/ranch once upon a time.

    I have a tenuous connection, and no Ghost, not that one! One of my church’s members were the parents of the star (not Dolly Parton) and in laws of the producer of the Broadway musical. Coincidentally also the grandparents of Mary Mathieson (spelling?) Anyway, further coincidentally all became floral customers, along with all their movie actors, when they decided to become movie producers and directors. This was long, long, long ago. All really nice people and most dead by now no doubt.

    So, the wig/toupee wearing “evil television” do gooder investigative reporter was also a social acquaintance but somewhat of a pariah, for same reasons as in the musical. I always felt sorry for him because he tried so hard and was so ridiculously sincere. He once “investigated” me, my business and the local PBS station, all at the same time. Never say I have had a dull life.

    The movie isn’t all that good, think Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds, but the Aggie Stomp is worth watching by itself. Google “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and try youtube for the Aggie Stomp. And it isn’t that bad a movie if you aren’t a Broadway fan of live theater.

    Good morning all, thought we’d begin with an interesting anecdote about chickens and this is my favorite but others seem to involve why you don’t walk barefoot in the yard with free range chickens.

    Love, Jackie

  41. Thanks, Bear. I was thinking that some kind of firm rubber ball might be useful for that purpose. I have a friend that runs a medical supply business, and I suspect they may carry something like that. On second thought, I can think of a couple of firm, round items that would be just as therapeutic and much more fun to squeeze. 🙂

    They had actual livestock at The Chicken Ranch, Jackie? I never knew that. (Unless your definition of “livestock” is different from mine.)

  42. c x-p: Thank you, now that you remind me. Ophiucus, the Serpent Bearer. Actually, we once a pet python and a pet boa. I now know better.

    Was the other Chicken Ranch in NV? And it did have chickens. I don’t think a chicken would get you anything you couldn’t do yourself these days. Used to be country parsons got a lot of chickens from their flock [ouch]. Might be appropriate, considering what some were selling. Deacon Mushrat?

    Peace, emb

  43. Well, it was stocked and live, Ghost. And yeah, your therapy would be more fun than a rubber ball. I own two of the rubber balls, the kind everyone recommends, not the kind you want, well this sentence is getting stranger than usual for me! My housekeeper and I were looking at some of the rubber ball variety on cover of Penthouse before we pitched it in trash. I told her in my day you just pushed up the real thing. She thinks I am way funnier than her mama was.

    Back to the soft rubber balls, a medical supply or exercise supply should have them or anywhere selling stuff like that. Not expensive and I think mine may even be weighted slightly for bone strengthening of joints and bone.

    Love, Jackie

  44. Just how many chickens would be required for, ah, never mind.

    I saw one of those “click-bait” online articles earlier today about how Melissa Gilbert, the cute little girl from “Little House on the Prairie”, has had her implants removed, reverting back to a B-cup from a DD (!). Based on one of the accompanying photos, I somewhat suspect that too large a squeezable object might cause me to do more harm to my hand than good.

    Hmm. “Houses” seem to be becoming a recurrent theme today.

  45. Read that one too, Ghost. In interests of research I went and watched Aggie Stomp in Broadway production and then in movie. Movie won hands down as best line dancing I have ever seen in cowboy boots. And butts. I guess I should watch something current like Magic Mike.

    Then in further research I watched Dolly Parton sing “It’s Just A Little Bitty Pissant Country Place” versus the Broadway production and sorry, she again won, or the production did anyway. This seems to be on subject probably of improbable breasts?

    For those of you not of a Texas persuasion, the Chicken Ranch was a famous and real place in LaGrange, TX which was shut down by a television investigative reporter from Houston named Marvin Zindler, often an object of ridicule even before the play or movie. “Slime In the Ice Machine!” was a real song too. I may have to re watch this one out of nostalgia for Texas and Texas A and M, of which I am a graduate of their continuing education department many times and my daughter a true Aggie, plus worked for them after graduation awhile. We get to make jokes.

    Love, Jackie

  46. Did you play football, Sand? In Corps? Doesn’t matter but I respect them for both. Daughter was on suicide and crisis hotline phones when the bonfire fell. She slept in the office for three days straight and took calls, then went on campus as grief counselor. She worked so hard to get to TAM and graduate, was so proud.

  47. Jackie, an Army man here. I just respect all programs that combine quality education with a strong military experience. Just color me an ole gray hog. 😉

  48. So do I Sand. I keep telling you guys, I was ROTC “darling” and marched in Eisenhower jacket women’s uniform and high heels and garter belt.

    Do you mean hog as in “Sooie, hawgs”?

  49. USMA, USRA, go Army! Grads who latter in life embrace the belief that cadet life was a positive experience are called Gray Hogs by those who see it differently.

  50. Good, I concur. Most people I grew up with went to military academies often in high school or even earlier, many went on to academies if they could in college or ROTC at the least. I still have many friends I love who would concur as well.

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