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Richard Outcault

Richard Felton Outcault (1863-1928) is known as the father of the newspaper comic strip.  He was born in Lancaster, Ohio, and educated in Cincinnati, where he worked painting rural scenes on safes.  He then was hired as a draftsman at Thomas Edisonís New Jersey laboratories, after which he went to the New York World to make scientific drawings.  Outcaultís comic strip Hoganís Alley, which debuted in 1895, is considered the first successful newspaper comic strip.  It featured Mickey Dugan, who is better known as the Yellow Kid.  The popularity of the Yellow Kid fed the rivalry between newspaper magnates Hearst and Pulitzer.  In 1902 Outcault created Buster Brown, which he drew until 1921.

Richard Felton Outcault [undated photograph]


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At the Circus in Hogan's Alley by Richard Felton Outcault, New York World, May 5, 1895. Richard D. Olson Collection.  [AC P13 21]

The child in the blue shift at the lower right of this panel is the first newspaper appearance of the character that became the Yellow Kid.

Hogan's Alley by Richard Felton Outcault, New York Journal, July 12, 1897. San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection.

Mickey Dugan, also known as the Yellow Kid, is front and center in this exuberant spoof of politics in the summer of 1897.


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Buster Brown by Richard Felton Outcault, February 26, 1905. San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection.  [SFS4-8-3]             

Buster Brown was an upper class kid whose mischief was uncontrollable--and each week he resolved to try to behave better. Joined in his antics by his playmate Mary Jane and his dog Tige, Buster was enormously popular for the first two decades of the twentieth century. 


Introduction | Edwina Dumm | Billy Ireland | Winsor McCay | Charles Nelan | Frederick Opper 
| Richard Outcault | Bibliography | Home

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