Comics have become an integral part of our pop culture today, but have you ever wondered what the first comic strip ever made was? The origins of comic strips can be traced back to the early 19th century, where they were created as a form of political satire and social commentary. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of comic strips and find out which one was the very first.
The Early Days of Comic Strips
Comic strips originated in Europe in the early 19th century, with artists using them to comment on politics and society. These early comics were often single-panel cartoons that satirized politicians or lampooned societal norms. However, it wasn’t until the late 1800s that comic strips began to evolve into the multi-panel format that we are familiar with today.
The Yellow Kid
The first true comic strip is widely considered to be “The Yellow Kid,” created by Richard Outcault in 1895. “The Yellow Kid” was a multi-panel strip featuring a bald child wearing a yellow nightshirt and oversized boots. It was originally published in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World newspaper as part of its Sunday supplement.
The Impact of The Yellow Kid
“The Yellow Kid” became an overnight sensation and helped establish the Sunday supplement as a popular feature in newspapers across America. The character’s popularity led to merchandise sales for toys, clothing, and other products featuring his likeness. “The Yellow Kid” also paved the way for other popular comic strips including “Little Nemo in Slumberland,” “Krazy Kat,” and “Gasoline Alley.”
In conclusion, while political cartoons had been around for decades prior, it was Richard Outcault’s “The Yellow Kid” that is widely regarded as the first true comic strip. Its success paved the way for the creation of countless other iconic comic strips over the years. The comic strip format has continued to evolve and remains a popular form of entertainment and social commentary today.