“For a bulky segment of a century, I have been an avid follower of comic strips — all comic strips,” [Dorothy] Parker wrote. “This is a statement made with approximately the same amount of pride with which one would say, ‘I’ve been shooting cocaine into my arm for the past 25 years.’”

Tracing the literati’s views on comics over the past century repeatedly reveals the same divisions that Parker located within her own soul: an avaricious appetite for them combined with a feeling that they’re wicked.

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