Even among fans of his comic art masterpiece, Little Nemo in Slumberland (a group of whom I count myself an ardent member), few people are aware of the editorial cartoons of Winsor McCay.
During his stints as cartoonist for The Cincinnati Enquirer and The New York Herald, and through syndicated work for the Hearst papers, McCay did a remarkable series of editorial and allegorical cartoons. More social commentary than topically editorial, they were anti-materialism, anti-laziness, anti-drug and pro hard work and duty.
The best thing about them, of course, is that they were wonderfully drawn by one of one of the best draftsmen in the history of cartooning and comics.
In 2005 Fantagraphics published a terrific collection of McCay’s black and white work, Daydreams and Nightmares: The Fantastic Visions of Winsor McCay, 1898-1934 (more here), that is unfortunately out of print, but can be found used for essentially original cover price ($20).
In addition to McCay’s social commentary/editorial cartoons, the book includes pages of his early strips like Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, A Pilgrim’s Progress, Day Dreams and Little Sammy Sneeze. (Sunday Press published wonderful large-scale version of the latter, with color; my article here.)
Only a smattering of McCay material is online, but the generous and enigmatic “Mr. Door Tree” has published a number of McCay’s editorial cartoons on his blog Golden Age Comic Book Stories. Be sure to click on the initial images to see the large versions of the drawings.