Comic Strip / Comics

What Was the First Comic Strip?

Comic strips have been an integral part of popular culture for more than a century. These strips have entertained people of all ages with their witty humor, engaging storylines, and interesting characters.

But have you ever wondered what the first comic strip was? Let’s dive into the fascinating history of comic strips and find out.

The Origins of Comic Strips

The origins of comic strips can be traced back to the early 19th century when caricatures and satirical illustrations began appearing in newspapers and magazines. These cartoons were usually political in nature and were used to criticize politicians and social issues of the time.

However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that the first true comic strips began to emerge. These early comics were simple, one-panel cartoons that featured humorous situations and amusing characters.

The Yellow Kid

Although there were several early comic strips that could lay claim to being the first, most historians agree that “The Yellow Kid” was the first true comic strip. Created by Richard F. Outcault, “The Yellow Kid” made its debut in Joseph Pulitzer’s “New York World” newspaper in 1895.

The strip was a sensation from the start, featuring a young boy who lived in a tenement neighborhood and wore a distinctive yellow nightshirt. The strip was incredibly popular with readers, who couldn’t get enough of The Yellow Kid’s misadventures.

The Impact of The Yellow Kid

“The Yellow Kid” had a significant impact on the world of comics and popular culture as a whole. It spawned countless imitations and knock-offs, many of which featured similar characters dressed in distinctive clothing.

The success of “The Yellow Kid” also helped to establish comics as a legitimate form of entertainment. Soon after its debut, other newspapers began publishing their own comic strips, creating a new industry that continues to thrive today.


In conclusion, while there were several early comic strips that could lay claim to being the first, “The Yellow Kid” is widely considered to be the first true comic strip. Its success helped to establish comics as a legitimate and important form of entertainment, paving the way for countless other strips that have entertained and inspired generations of readers.