Morning Meta: Winsor McCay’s Fabulist Realism

Just a reminder of Winsor McCay’s genius, this wondrous episode from Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. In other hands the simple furling of the panel would be enough of an inspired use of form. But McCay runs with the creative move to play through the possibilities of reimagining the comic strip frame as an object in the story. And as with all of McCay, the aesthetic innovation is laid atop the journalistic awareness of the real turn-of-the-century world. His middle class characters are just a few steps ahead of the debt collector. McCay’s special talent was for anchoring a fabulist imagination in a draughtsman’s respect for physics and a journalist’s awareness of the world changing around him.

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