Comic Strip / Comics

What Is the Longest Running Comic Strip in History?

Have you ever wondered what the longest-running comic strip in history is? Well, the answer might surprise you.

It’s not Garfield, Peanuts or even Dilbert. The title for the longest-running comic strip belongs to ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ – a classic American comic strip that debuted way back in 1897! Let’s delve deeper into the history of this iconic comic strip.

Origin of ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’

‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ was created by Rudolph Dirks, a German-American cartoonist. The strip was first published in the American Humorist, a weekly magazine. It soon became popular and was syndicated across various newspapers in America.

The Characters

The strip revolves around two mischievous boys named Hans and Fritz. They are always getting into trouble and causing chaos for everyone around them. Other characters include Mama and Papa, their long-suffering parents who are always trying to keep them in line, and Der Captain, a neighbor who often falls victim to their pranks.


‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ was an instant hit with readers and quickly became one of the most popular comic strips of its time. Its popularity led to merchandise such as toys, games, and even a Broadway musical based on the characters.


‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ has had a significant impact on American culture and the world of comics. It is considered one of the first successful comic strips in America and helped pave the way for other popular strips such as ‘Peanuts’, ‘Garfield’ and ‘Calvin and Hobbes’. The strip has been translated into multiple languages and has continued to run in various newspapers worldwide since its creation over 120 years ago.

The Bottom Line

‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ is a classic comic strip that has stood the test of time. Its longevity is a testament to its enduring popularity and the timeless appeal of its characters and storylines. If you haven’t had the chance to read this iconic comic strip, we highly recommend giving it a try and experiencing a piece of comic strip history.

  • Key Takeaways:
  • ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ is the longest running comic strip in history.
  • The strip was created by Rudolph Dirks and first published in 1897.
  • The characters include two mischievous boys named Hans and Fritz, their parents Mama and Papa, and neighbor Der Captain.
  • ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’ has had significant cultural impact and helped pave the way for other popular comic strips.


1. “The Katzenjammer Kids” – Lambiek Comiclopedia

“Katzenjammer Kids” – Ohio State University Libraries
3. “Rudolph Dirks – Creator of The Katzenjammer Kids” – King Features Syndicate.