Last year, we thought we might present a gallery of comic strips from long ago, on the subject of Christmas, starting with the great Little Nemo, from Winsor McCay, who had just been heralded in the 12/28 New Yorker.
This is what we concluded:
Little Nemo was very racist! Especially the Christmas comic strip. Not maliciously racist, but condescendingly and affectionately racist. Maybe you know what we mean. So we thought, well, maybe we can just cut the racist images out of the strip. So we tried that, and the story didn’t make much sense anymore. And it could have created a cause celebre among McCay-fans, if that were ever noticed, our Bowdlerization of a classic old comic strip.
We considered running the strip with a disclaimer saying that we don’t approve of the racism, but please admire the artistry, which they do with Astro Boy reprints.
But Astro Boy isn’t as racist as Little Nemo, and this was really not in the Christmas spirit, running great art that happens to be condescendingly racist.
So we just published a Christmas strip from the Yellow Kid/ Hogan’s Alley, the first comic strip ever, and one of the most beautiful comics ever drawn.
Maybe out of laziness, maybe out of genuine admiration for The Yellow Kid (or maybe a little of both), we’re running it again.
So here it is. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas.