About the project
- "The Waking Life of Winsor McCay: Social Commentary in A Pilgrim's Progress by Mr. Bunion" was recently published in the International Journal of Comic Art. A version is available digitally on the University of Richmond scholarship repository.
- A PDF version of the catalog is now available in the Resources section of this site.
- A feature story about this catalog was recently published on the University of Richmond website.
- The research process for this project was featured in the University of Richmond magazine.
About the Catalog
What is Dull Care?
The retreat begins with an evening event known as The Cremation of Dull Care, wherein “Dull Care,” represented by a dummy of the human form, is burned in effigy at the height of a druid-like ceremony. The Bohemian Grove members leave their responsibilities, concerns, and most importantly, business matters behind, an act symbolically represented by this opening rite.
While today it is difficult to find common use of the term “dull care” outside of Bohemian Grove references, given McCay’s audience, his use of it suggests that it was at least a commonly understood concept. Throughout the strip, other characters carry burdens and some, even valises, one labeled Hard Knocks and the other Daily Grind. These terms are both synonymous with Dull Care.