Hully Gee … Happy National Cartoonists Day!

Text: Well, Hully Gee, here’s to you!

Today, May 5th, is National Cartoonists Day.

From Days of the Year:

The Yellow Kid, of Hogan's Alley, by Richard F. Outcault
The Yellow Kid, of Hogan’s Alley, by Richard F. Outcault

In 1895 a man named Richard F. Outcault introduced a small bald kid in a yellow nightshirt to the world in an incredibly popular publication in the big apple at the time, the New York World. While the paper itself was looked upon with a sort of disdain by ‘real’ journalists of the time, the yellow kid was embraced by people everywhere. Little did Richard know that when he first created this character, it would lead to a revolution in how stories were told and presented in sequential art pieces (That’s comics kids), but would in fact create a new standard piece of content for newspapers everywhere.

Wikipedia has more about The Yellow Kid:

The Yellow Kid was the name of a lead American comic strip character that ran from 1895 to 1898 in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, and later William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal. Created and drawn by Richard F. Outcault in the comic strip Hogan’s Alley (and later under other names as well), it was one of the first Sunday supplement comic strips in an American newspaper, although its graphical layout had already been thoroughly established in political and other, purely-for-entertainment cartoons. Outcault’s use of word balloons in the Yellow Kid influenced the basic appearance and use of balloons in subsequent newspaper comic strips and comic books.

Although a cartoon, Outcault’s work aimed its humor and social commentary at Pulitzer’s adult readership. The strip has been described as “… a turn-of-the-century theater of the city, in which class and racial tensions of the new urban, consumerist environment were acted out by a mischievous group of New York City kids from the wrong side of the tracks.

The Yellow Kid is also famous for its connection to the coining of the term yellow journalism.

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