Much hay has been made of the "Cult of the Child" that America is in the grip of. Helicopter parents flit above their progeny, obsessively documenting every move their child makes and demanding that the rest of the world be reconfigured to suit their kindercentric outlook. Parents refuse to acknowledge their child's shortcomings or transgressions, insisting that Copernicus was wrong: the galaxy isn't centered on the sun, but rather their son (or daughter).
While it's true that this cult has gained influence and visibility in the last thirty years or so, today's additions to the Comic Supplement offer a chance to trace the origins of this trend back one hundred years. In the first decade of the 1900s, George McManus launched his first regular strip: The Newlyweds' Baby. The strip revolved around Ferdinand Newlywed and his wife as they in turn revolved around their infant son Napoleon. They dote over their boy and refuse to acknowledge the destruction that he leaves in his wake. Another trope that McManus identified in its primitive stages was the addiction to photography that overcomes the new parents, as in this series of "photographs" taken of baby Napoleon as he recreates scenes from the life of his famed namesake, or this series of failed photographs. If the Newlyweds were alive today, their Flickr account would be bursting!
By George McManus