Created by famed children's book writer/illustrator Peter Newell, The Naps of Polly Sleepyhead was like a cross between Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but with a young girl for a protagonist. Possessed of a much gentler humor than either of the two titles with which I've drawn comparison, Polly is a simple girl with what appears to be a severe case of narcolepsy. She falls asleep instantly and deeply within a matter of seconds, while performing all manner of tasks. The particulars of what she's doing at the time inform the nature of her dreams, which are disconcerting and occasionally frightening.
At the end of 1906, the "Naps" portion was taken out of the concept and the title, and Polly Sleepyhead became a much more run-of-the-mill mischievous child. Several months thereafter, the strip disappeared altogether. It was for the best, however, as Newell went on to create wonderfully inventive children's books, such as Topsys & Turvys, The Hole Book, and The Slant Book, many of which are still in print one hundred years later, delighting the great-grandchildren of the kids who first enjoyed Polly Sleepyhead in their Sunday funnies.
By Peter Newell