mccayplympton mccayplympton

Winsor McCay’s Hell House, Part Deux

Winsor McCay's Home drawn by Bill Plympton

This is a follow-up to a story that we first mentioned here a couple months ago about the decrepit state of cartoon legend and animation pioneer Winsor McCay’s home in Brooklyn. Animation director Bill Plympton recently visited the home to see it for himself. He has a report on his blog Scribble Junkies and it’s not pretty:

What a dump. Unfortunately the 3 storied mansion has long been abandoned so it now houses 8 families of hispanic descent. And as we entered the front door the spanish families hurriedly scattered to their respective apartments in fear. Apparently the famed animator’s home is now a multifamily squatters shelter.

Plympton is optimistic and thinks there’s hope: “You can imagine the glory that it once was back in the early 1900’s. All the architectural details are still there and with a lot of work it can be restored to its former glory.”

Don’t hold your breath though. Cartoons and animation, and by extension cartoonists and animators, have never merited respect in the United States as they have in other parts of the world. Yesterday I was reading about the Hergé Museum near Brussels and marveling at how they have preserved his legacy and art. It is befitting of a part of the world that considers cartoons the “ninth art.” American cartoon fans have to make do with McCay’s hell house at 1811 Voorhies Ave in Brooklyn. Let us know in the comments if you visit too.