On History: McCay in San Fran circa 1920

By | Tuesday, May 27, 2014 Leave a Comment
I came across an eBay auction for a scrapbook of Winsor McCay related clippings. Most of them are of course his cartoons (though Little Nemo does not seem to make an appearance) but the book also includes articles about him as well. This piece caught my eye...
I've taken the liberty of re-typing the text of the piece itself...
Winsor McCay, famous cartoonist for the Hearst newspapers, paid a fleeting visit to San Francisco yesterday. He came to California especially to see the city. he said there were so many big buildings and houses that he couldn't see it and went on for a rest at the Hearst ranch in san Luis Obispo county.

He will return later to look up the fable city of the Golden Gate which he suspects is hidden away somewhere beneath the chimney tops and among the brick walls.

McCay is the man who uses his pen to make men think. He also likes to make them smile. Among his famous characters of the comic page are Little Nemo in Slumberland, the Rarebit Fiend, Sammy Sneeze, Dull Care, Poor Jake, Hungry Henrietta and the Jungle Imps.

McCay is serious for a purpose in his powerful cartoons. "There are some things men have to be serious about if the world is going ahead," he says. If it were not for theat, he would be entertaining them all the time.

Professionally, McCay frequently thunders, but personally and socially he always smiles.

People sometimes are a little afraid of McCay's cartoons--they hit home so close and so hard. A puppy dog wouldn't be afraid of McCay himself. He is one hundred per cent human. That is why San Francisco will be sure to like him.

McCay did not set out to become a preacher, although his cartoons are the strongest kind of sermons. He made a number of sketches last night to illustrate the impressions some people get of his probably personal appearance. He does not favor these impressions. He says he never claimed that he was handsome, but considers himself better looking than any one expects him to be.
The copy isn't written very well, I don't think, but I get the impressions that McCay was visiting on a business related trip for Hearst. The note about not really seeing the city and dashing off some sketches specifically for the article suggest he was in the newspaper office itself. I'm not sure how much of this would've been consider just filler, and how much they were using to advertise/promote their own paper. In any event, it's an interesting snapshot of the cartoonist outside of what we typically see about him.
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