Previously here. From a reader in California:
A point that has fallen through the cracks in the contretemps is that Ferguson's characterization of Felix the Cat is just plain wrong -- he's not lucky, he's plucky and resourceful. His characteristic pose in the early cartoons is pacing back and forth, hands behind his back, deep in thought as he ponders his way out of the fix he's gotten into. Then he brightens, and snaps his fingers -- he's thought of a way out. There's a gag that refers to Felix's trademark pose in Buster Keaton's Go West, which should show you how far back the character goes. Also parodied on The Simpsons, where the earliest Itchy and Scratchy cartoons adopt the style of silent Felix the Cat cartoons.
[Felix post-pacing, having figured out the answer:]
From a reader in Shanghai:
Mr. Fallows, Mr. Ferguson, it sounds like *somebody* needs a beer summit!
1930s Felix from here; animated-pacing Felix here.
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James Fallows is a staff writer at The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter. He and his wife, Deborah Fallows, are the authors of the 2018 book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America, which was a national best seller and is the basis of a forthcoming HBO documentary.