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A breif history of comics

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A breif history of comics

Comics: In the Beginning The modern comic, as we know it, began in Joseph Pulitzer's New York World on February 17,1895. The comic, drawn by Richard F. Outcault, was based on the life of Mickey Dugan, an Irish immigrant child in the city. Although the strip had no name, people have dubbed it the "Yellow Kid" because the nightshirt worn by Mickey Dugan was the projection for an experiment in yellow ink by the newspaper. Eventually the comic came to be known as "Hogan's Alley." Soon comics were recognized for the selling potential and were published in newspapers all over the world. After the success of the World, a competitor, William Randolph Herst of the New York Journal, hired Outcault to draw Hogan's Alley for Hearst's Journal. The World continued publication of the strip using a new artist, and both papers were featuring the "Yellow kid." This led to people referring to the two papers as the yellow papers. And as the battle between the press lords became more intense, people began calling it yellow journalism which now has come to mean overly sensational journalism. Although Outcault won the battle over the rights of "Yellow kid," the mass marketing began. The cartoon was everywhere. Products were being produced, even cigars, bearing the "yellow kid." Soon the comic revolution began, and strips were published all over. Of these comics, "Katzenjammer Kids" drawn by Rudolph Dirks in 1897, was one of the most popular and first to regularly use voice balloons for dialogue. Outcault also continued drawing, and began a strip called "Buster Brown" which was to be a tie between the comic strip and the comic book. The mass marketing continued, and "Buster Brown" had his own line of shoes (McHam). Until 1907, comic strips ran only on Sundays. In 1907, the first daily strip appeared. "Mutt and Jeff" by Bud Fisher, began being published daily in the San Franciso Chronicle. Following that was "Bringing up Father," in 1912, and soon many others including: "Barney Google"; "Thimble Theater" forerunner to "Popeye"; "Moon Mullins" "Orphan Annie" and "Andy Gump" which was the first comic to tell a continuing story. Hearst pushed comics in all of his newspapers and began King Features, a syndication service, to deliver comics to his and other papers. King Features continues syndicating today along with company's such as Universal Press Syndicate in Kansas City, Kansas. Today, a popular comic can run in more than 1,200 newspapers daily. By the Time Buck Rogers started in the 1920's, the comic strip was fully developed. At this time, some of the most popular comics to be were drawn, and continue to this day. "Blondie" started in the 20's is now one of the longest running comic strips. Other comics of that time include: "Dick Tracy"; "Joe Palooka" and "Lil'Abner" which was retired in 1977. These comics led into others continuing today, such as "Peanuts" in 1950, and Gary Trudeau's "Doonesbury" of 1970. The Comic Book Soon after the turn of the century, comic strips were collected into book form. Comic books were then used for promotion, such as "Buster Brown" Shoes, and breakfast cereals. Comic magazines soon followed, the first to be the Famous Funnies in 1934, and by the late 30's comic books were being produced independently of newspaper strips. Action Comics began in 1938, in which Superman was the main attraction, and was in his first appearance. Detective Comics (DC Comics) started a chain reaction in 1938 by devoting each issue to a certain comic or subject, which continues into the modern day comic books. Comic books spread like wildfire, and estimation show that they outsold all magazines combined during World War II. A nation survey conducted by Fawcett Publications in 1943 showed outstanding results. The survey showed 95 percent of all males and 91 percent of all females between 6 and 11 read comic books regularly. They were read by 87 percent of all males and 80 percent of all females from ages 12-17, and by 41 percent of all males and 28 percent of all females ages 18-30 (McHam). Soon comic books attracted national advertising. In the top years of comic book marketing, in the 1950's, the industries income was estimated at $150 million, and combined circulation achieved 90 million. The criticism of these comic also reached a height at about the same time. Much as the television censorship of today, comics then were considered a bad influence on children. Parents and educators were concerned about the content. This issue was taken so far, that the Canadian Parliament outlawed crime in comics in 1949! Individual cities also passed ordinances against the crime and violence in these book. They also tried to curb the sales of these books to minors. Although the technological advances in press had allowed these comics to become popular, technology also put an end to an era. Television of the 50's and 60's attracted the attention of youth all over, and the comic book circulation began to decline. Although circulation has risen again, comic books would never gain the publicity they once controlled. Editorial Cartoons Thomas Nast became the first editoral cartoonist. In 25 years of working for Harper's Weekly more than 3,000 drawing of Nast's were published. Many symbols still used today came from Nast, including the Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant and many renditions of Uncle Sam and Santa Clause. During the Civil War, Nast worked as a recruiting sargent, and plubished several famous pictures for the Union. Presidemt Aberaham Lincoln called Nast "Our best recuiting sargent."(McHam) Nast became publicly famous for his attacks on the Tammany Hall ring after the Civil War. Nast also exposed the Tweed ring, whose boss William Marcy Tweed was sopposed to have said to the Harper brothers "I don't care a straw for your newspaper. My constitutants can't read, but they can't help seeing those damned pictures." Tweed tried to bribe Nast to stop the attacks, but Nast's drawings brought the Harper's circulation to an altime high. Nast was a reformer, and now almost all cartoons follow in that style. Some of the more popular editorial cartoonists today are: Bill Mauldin of the Chicago Sun Times; Herb Block of the Washington Post; and Pat Oliphant of the Los Angeles Times. Most editoral cartoons now are syndicated, and larger papers have their own artists. From the start of comics before the turn of the century to the height in the 1950's comics have undergone many changes. The comic page is still an important part of everyday life, and modern comics show this. We all have our favorite comic strips, and we can't resist ripping the comics out of the paper to read them first. Uses of the Comic Although the comic began as a way for newspapers to increase circulation, it has developed and spread to cover many more purposes. Some of these purposes even came about before the invention of the modern comic, and continue today. An example of the is the Editorial cartoon. The first editorial cartoonist was Thomas Nast. Nast was born in Germany in 1840, and soon after moved to the United States. Nast got a job with the newspaper Harper's Weekly, and worked there for 25 years. While Nast worked for Harper's, more than 3,000 of his drawings were published. A rendition of Boss tweed by Nast. ( Of the most popular of Nast's drawings, were the donkey and elephant for the symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties. He also drew Santa Clause and Uncle Sam, but neither were originated by him. During the Civil War Nast was a recruiting sergeant for the Union Army, and gained national fame when Abraham Lincoln addressed him as "our best"(Mcham). After the Civil War, Nast went back to work for Harper's and began attacking the Tammany Hall ring in New York City. Nast represented Tammany by a tiger, and drew humorus cartoons of William Marcy Tweed and the Tweed Ring. The tweed Ring tried to bribe Nast to stop drawing, and then tried to pressure Harper's from publishing his cartoons, but neither Nast nor Harper's stopped . Today most all newspapers carry syndicated collumns and cartoons by editorialists, and sometimes have their own cartoonist. Comics have also been used for Propaganda. During both the first and second World Wars, cartoonists were pumping out war bond posters and recruiting posters by the ton. Propaganda leaflets were also dropped from airplanes over the enemy territory. These leaflets had pictures depicting a victorious United States, and often contained "tickets of admission" for enemy soldiers to surrender and cross the US borders. In the Second World War, even such characters as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse were featured in cartoons advertising war bonds, recruiting new soldiers, and even showing Mickey or Donald fighting Germans themselves. The A poster published by the US government during World War II The same techniques were also being used on the other sides with pictures of amazing technology that would single-handedly win the war. In fact, the German government did so well with their propaganda , that the German people put faith behind these drawings and even believed, in the last days of the war, that the new "wonder weapons" were waiting to be shipped to the front right then. In the same respects as the World War II propoganda, R Crumb is considered, by some, a propagandist of the 60's. Through out his "Keep On Truckin," "Felix The Cat", and many other cartoons Crumb captured the thoughts and feelings of many teens in the 60's. Today, comics are used to reach kids about topics like drugs, violence, gangs, etc. Some comic characters even rank among movie stars because of the now far reaching grip of television and movies. Some comics, like "Mad dog McGruff" are drawn for the sole purpose of government and private organizations campaigns to fight drugs. Even Garfield The Cat has been featured in several short television commercials promoting education. Comics serve for more than just entertainment, but they still make us laugh. Cartoonists Most people can name a favorite comic before you finish the question, but not very many of them can name the artist. In their own way, comic artists have contributed much to modern art. Charles Shulz (Peanuts) Charles M. Shulz was born in St. Paul Minnesota on November 26, 1922(Mcham). Comic strips appealed to Shulz at an early age, and he aspired to become a cartoonist soon after. Shulz loved comics so much, his parents subscribed to four different newspapers. Eventually he was nicknamed "Sparky" after Barney Google's horse "Sparkplug"(shulz). Shulz's love of comics came from his family. Although the family did not have any artists until Charles came along, they ...

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Keywords: a brief history of comics, a brief history of time cartoon, a history of comics, a brief and selective history of superhero comics, brief history of comic books, origin of comics

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