Tuesday, January 21, 2020
The History of Comics :: Comic Strips Books Media Art Essays
The History of Comics Comics: In the Beginning The modern comic, as we know it, began in Joseph Pulitzer's New York World on February 17,1895. The comic, drawn by Richard F. Outcault, was based on the life of Mickey Dugan, an Irish immigrant child in the city. Although the strip had no name, people have dubbed it the "Yellow Kid" because the nightshirt worn by Mickey Dugan was the projection for an experiment in yellow ink by the newspaper. Eventually the comic came to be known as "Hogan's Alley." Soon comics were recognized for the selling potential and were published in newspapers all over the world. After the success of the World, a competitor, William Randolph Herst of the New York Journal, hired Outcault to draw Hogan's Alley for Hearst's Journal. The World continued publication of the strip using a new artist, and both papers were featuring the "Yellow kid." This led to people referring to the two papers as the yellow papers. And as the battle between the press lords became more intense, people began calling it yellow journalism which now has come to mean overly sensational journalism. Although Outcault won the battle over the rights of "Yellow kid," the mass marketing began. The cartoon was everywhere. Products were being produced, even cigars, bearing the "yellow kid." Soon the comic revolution began, and strips were published all over. Of these comics, "Katzenjammer Kids" drawn by Rudolph Dirks in 1897, was one of the most popular and first to regularly use voice balloons for dialogue. Outcault also continued drawing, and began a strip called "Buster Brown" which was to be a tie between the comic strip and the comic book. The mass marketing continued, and "Buster Brown" had his own line of shoes (McHam). Until 1907, comic strips ran only on Sundays. In 1907, the first daily strip appeared. "Mutt and Jeff" by Bud Fisher, began being published daily in the San Franciso Chronicle. Following that was "Bringing up Father," in 1912, and soon many others including: "Barney Google"; "Thimble Theater" forerunner to "Popeye"; "Moon Mullins" "Orphan Annie" and "Andy Gump" which was the first comic to tell a continuing story. Hearst pushed comics in all of his newspapers and began King Features, a syndication service, to deliver comics to his and other papers. King Features continues syndicating today along with company's such as Universal Press Syndicate in Kansas City, Kansas.