1000 Heads: the book

1000 heads, my illustration book

Inspiring books for the creative type


Rare bits, rarebits, rabbits and fondues

Here's one Rarebit Fiend in action, gulping the nightmare-inducing mealThe Welsh Rarebit meal puzzled the translator of a spanish reissue of the classic Winsor McCay stories, now anthologized in a magnificent volume celebrated here in a previous post.

The translator in the spanish Laertes Editorial (Pesadillas de cenas indigestas, 1984) apparently didn't know what to do with this peculiar recipe. After some investigation, he found that Welsh Rarebit was probably a misspell for Welsh Rabbit (as the recipe is known in some places), but it wasn't a rabbit meal at all. Instead, it is a toast — topped with a sauce made from a mixture of cheese and butter, poured over toasted bread which has been buttered, although there is a number of variations and some more curiosities to take into account. Finally he decided to use tostada galesa (Welsh Fondue), as he dutifully explains in the preface of the anthology.

The basic storyline of each dream of the Rarebit Fiend is very similar to Little Nemo's, but instead of a regular character, each strip portrayed a nightmare experienced by a different protagonist, who (usually) had made the poor choice of consuming too much rarebit before bedtime, something we are aware of in the last panel.

Edwin Stanton Porter even directed a Rarebit Fiend film (a short, around 6 minutes). You can watch it online: just check out this Google Video page.

An example of the pages of this classic in the spanish translation published by Laertes:

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