Comic Strip / Comics

What Is the Oldest Newspaper Comic Strip?

When it comes to comic strips, we all have our favorites. From Garfield to Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes to Dilbert, these comic strips have captured our hearts and minds for decades.

But have you ever wondered which one is the oldest newspaper comic strip? Let’s take a journey through time and explore the answer.

The Yellow Kid: The First Newspaper Comic Strip

The first true newspaper comic strip is believed to be “The Yellow Kid,” created by Richard F. Outcault in 1895. The Yellow Kid was a bald-headed street urchin who wore a nightshirt and hung around in a slum alley with his pals. The strip was originally published in the New York World and later moved to William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal.

The Yellow Kid was an instant hit with readers, who loved the character’s mischievous antics and Outcault’s bold use of color. In fact, the term “yellow journalism” was coined because of the color used in The Yellow Kid.

The Katzenjammer Kids: The Oldest Continually Running Newspaper Comic Strip

While The Yellow Kid may have been the first true newspaper comic strip, it wasn’t the first one to achieve long-term success. That honor goes to The Katzenjammer Kids, created by Rudolph Dirks in 1897.

The Katzenjammer Kids follows two mischievous German immigrants named Hans and Fritz as they get into all sorts of trouble around their neighborhood. The strip was a hit with readers and quickly became syndicated across the country.

What makes The Katzenjammer Kids unique is that it is still running today, making it the oldest continually running newspaper comic strip in history.


So there you have it – while The Yellow Kid was the first true newspaper comic strip, it’s The Katzenjammer Kids that holds the title for being the oldest continually running one. Both strips have left a lasting impact on the world of comics and will continue to be remembered for years to come.

As we move further into the digital age, it’s interesting to think about what new forms of comic strips will emerge and how they will capture our hearts and imaginations. Until then, we can always look back on the classics and appreciate how they paved the way for modern-day comics.

  • Key Takeaways:
  • The Yellow Kid is believed to be the first true newspaper comic strip created in 1895.
  • The Katzenjammer Kids, created in 1897 by Rudolph Dirks, is the oldest continually running newspaper comic strip.
  • The Yellow Kid was an instant hit because of its bold use of color and mischievous character.
  • The term “yellow journalism” was coined because of The Yellow Kid’s use of color.