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
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
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
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
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'
xml | txt