On September 10, 1904, New York’s Evening Telegram published a new comic strip by Winsor McCay, the talented cartoonist behind the fairly popular strip Little Sammy Sneeze — a boy whose violent sneezes cause catastrophic destruction in every episode. It was an amusing premise, but other than sublime draftsmanship and a tendency to break the fourth wall (in an art form barely ten years old, yet!). it wasn’t anything truly special.
The new strip was definitely something special, though, and it made McCay famous. It was called Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, and much of it is still hilarious.