History of Comics

History of Comics

  • Submitted By: Betty
  • Date Submitted: 02/11/2009 11:27 AM
  • Category: Book Reports
  • Words: 7595
  • Page: 31
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An In Depth History of Comics.

Part One

The Origins of Sequential Art date back to Prehistoric Man over 20,000 years ago.
From Paleolithic Cave Paintings, to Egyptian Heiroglyphs, to Superman & the X-Men.
This is the Story & History of Comics in Popular Culture.
The comic strip developed in America towards the end of the nineteenth century, originally created as a tool to draw customers to the Sunday edition of the local newspaper and becoming an icon of American culture. Though many contributed to it's format and existence, there are five people directly connected to it's birth. These five men, Richard Outcault, William Randolph Hearst, Joseph Pulitzer, James Swinnerton and Rudolph Dirks are responsible for popularizing what is now a major part of American culture.
Richard Felton Outcault was a staff illustrator at Joseph Pulitzer's "The World" in 1895 when he created a one panel cartoon called "Down Hogan's Alley". Within the panel of the first Hogan's Alley is a homely, bald little boy dressed only in a frock.
Shortly after he first appeared, the World's engravers were experimenting with color inks and in a test yellow was added to his frock (the strip was at first only black & white) and the gap toothed urchin was named the "Yellow Kid" and would go down in history as the first comic strip.

Not very long before the Yellow Kid made his first appearance, William Randolph Hearst's "Journal American" featured a large panel called the "Little Bears", drawn by the 25 year old James Swinnerton. Later on kids were added to the strip and later still tigers. Eventually Swinnerton would transpose his little tigers into the enormously popular "Mr. Jack" featuring a philandering tiger bachelor.

Though both features were the direct progenitors of the American comic strip it would be another cartoonist who would create what is recognized as the first modern comic strip.

It was Rudolph Dirk's "Katzenjammer Kids", which appeared on...

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