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Characters from some of The Star's comics cavort on j
these two pages How many of your favorites ore here* L % Are YOU One of the 100 Million? DID you read the comics today? Then you're just like 99.999.999 other Amer icans. One hundred million of you read newspaper comics every day. according to the Newspaper Comics Council, which has designated today as the start of Newspaper Comics Week The color comic section of today's Star contains both the newest and the oldest comics extant— On Stage, which bowed in only four weeks ago. and Mutt and Jeff, which has been amusing newspaper readers since 1907 and still ranks high in most readership surveys Paternity of the comics still is in dispute. One set of heirs contends that James Swinnerton’s Little Beam and Tiger*, drawn for the San Francisco Examiner in 1892. was the first comic: another insists that the birth certificate should credit Richard F. Outcault for The Yellow Kid. which appeared in the New York World in 1896. Actually, neither of these cartoons was a comic in the modern sense: they were, rather, what Darwin might have termed "common ancestors " Whoever fathered the comics, there seems to be little question that William Randolph Hearst was their foster father. He brought to his New York Journal Fred Opper. creator of Happy Hooligan. Alphonse and Gaston and a mule named Maud. James Swinnerton. whose Little Jimmy became one of the longest-lived of all comics, and Bud Fisher, whose Mutt and Jeff tsee "Star Dust.” page 2> is generally recognized as the first successful daily strip. The other newspaper publishers did not stand idly by. The New York Herald introduced three notable comics—Carl Schultze's Foxy Grandpa. Windsor McCav's Little Memo, and Dirk Outcault’s Buster Brown The World came up with a comic genius of its own. Georee McManus, who started 8 By PHILIP H. LOVE with The Newlyweds and wound up with Bringing Up Father, which has outlived its creator, just as Mutt and Jeff has done. Pretty soon, the hassle among the New York newspapers shook down to a contest between Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer Publishers all over the country bought either the Journal s comics or the World's, or else started "funnies” of their own Thus began the age of syndication, which put the same comics in hundreds of newspapers at the same time and made the names of their characters and much of their patois household words. There weie popular songs about Happy Hooligan and Foxy Grandpa Alphonse and Gaston, with their "After you" routine, became synonymous with excessive courtesy. Every policeman was an Officer Crust, every detective a Hawkshaw. every awkward boy a Clumsy Claud, every tall, skinny fellow a Slim Jim. Families living beyond their means were Keeping Up With the Joneses Mothers dressed boys in Buster Brown suits and collars and called babies “Snookums." after the bawling infant in The Newlyweds The funnies have changed a great deal in the 60 or so years since their inception And yet. to borrow a phrase from the French. “The more they change, the more they remain the same." Nearly every old-time strip has its modern counterpart— with refinements, of course Gus Mager's very funny Haiekshaw the Detec tire. for example, has been succeeded by the an.v thing-but-funny Kerry Drake and others, the early family strips by a long list that includes The Berrys. The Toodles and Hi and Lois Even Buster Brown has its modern versions in Freddy and Lulu -although, thank heavdn. mothers haven’t begun to use them as fashion guides, and the kids haven't adopted their lingo *“• SUNDAY ST A» VA» !' 1, As a result of syndication, many comic artists made fortunes As long ago a 1947 Mutt and Jeff appearing in more than 300 papers, was said to have earned more than $1 million for Bud Fisher. Sidney Smith, whose The Gumps was introduced in 1917 was the first comic artist to be guaranteed $1 million The Chicago Tribune gave him a contract assuring that amount over a 10-year period When Smith died in 193;V The Gumps was fetching him SI 50.000 a yea i Among the more modern comic artists who have hit the jackpot is Walt Kelly, whose Pogo. at last count, was appearing in more than 400 papers. Anri Robert Baldwin ißupei. a Washington artist, isn't doing too badly with his Freddy, which nets him about $450 a week The principal criticism of the comics in recent years has been. They're not tunny anymore." This has been true to a certain extent Many fine illustrative artists have entered the field with serious strips, such as Juliet Jones. David Crane. Johnny Hazard and On Stage But there are still plenty of comical "funnies' Pogo. Beetle Bailey. Emmy Lou. Hi and Lois. Mrs Fitz's Flats. The Berrys and Scamp, to name a feu And. ot course, we must not overlook the many comics that are not strips what are known in the trade as panels They're funny, too. What's more amusing, for instance, than From Nine to Five. Mr Tweedy. Famous Last Words. Marmaduke and There Ouqhta Be A Law'' So this is Newspaper Comics Week The Sunday- Star Magazine salutes all the old-timers—not only those that have been mentioned, but the scores that have been skipped for reasons of space—and all the now-timers as well After all to borrow from the French again 100 million Americans ran? be wrong'