Thursday, March 30, 2017
Obscurity of the Day: The Man from Montclair
Freshly purchased by Hearst, Winsor McCay's 1912 was a hugely productive year. He kept up his fabulous Sunday strip Little Nemo (now titled In The Land of Wonderful Dreams), produced and toured with his second animated film How a Mosquito Operates, and also contributed a substantial number of weekday strips to Hearst's New York American.
Among those strips was The Man from Montclair, which appeared occasionally from May 10 to December 21 1912. The gag is that this fellow who lives in Montclair New Jersey, who is apparently quite the pillar of the community out there, comes into the city and gets involved in shenanigans, usually related to chasing girls, that he sure doesn't want the home folks to hear about. As Emerson said, "commit a crime and the world is made of glass." It seems like everybody he meets when he's up to no good is from Montclair. Winsor McCay doesn't go for graphic fireworks in the strip, but the perceptive take on what people do when they're away from home is a sharp psychological study.
Other McCay strips can be seen at: