Comic Strip / Comics

When Was the First Newspaper Comic Strip?

Comic strips are a staple of modern newspapers. They provide entertainment, humor, and social commentary all in one small package.

But when did this popular form of media first appear in print Let’s take a look at the history of the newspaper comic strip.

The Early Years

The first comic strips appeared in the late 19th century, around the same time that newspapers were becoming more widespread. These early comic strips were often political cartoons or satirical illustrations that poked fun at current events and public figures. They were usually printed in black and white and contained little to no dialogue.

The Yellow Kid

One of the earliest and most popular comic strips was “The Yellow Kid,” created by Richard F. Outcault. This strip featured a young boy with an oversized yellow nightshirt who lived in a tenement building in New York City. The strip became so popular that it spawned merchandise such as dolls, clothing, and even a stage play.

The Katzenjammer Kids

Another early comic strip was “The Katzenjammer Kids,” created by Rudolph Dirks. This strip featured two mischievous German boys named Hans and Fritz who got into all sorts of trouble. The strip was notable for its use of speech balloons to convey dialogue, which became a standard feature of comic strips.

Modern Comics

As newspapers became more popular and colorful printing technology became available, comic strips evolved into the form we know today. Strips such as “Peanuts” by Charles Schulz, “Garfield” by Jim Davis, and “Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson became household names.

The Digital Age

With the rise of digital media, comics have moved beyond the pages of newspapers and into other forms such as webcomics and graphic novels. The internet has allowed for more diverse voices and styles to emerge, from the feminist humor of “Birch Squares” by Julia Kaye to the surrealism of “A Softer World” by Emily Horne and Joey Comeau.


The first newspaper comic strips may have been simple political cartoons, but they paved the way for a medium that has become an integral part of our culture. From “The Yellow Kid” to modern webcomics, comic strips have entertained and informed us for over a century.