American Comics, Graphic Humor, American History, Richard Fenton Outcault
Arts and Humanities
On 12 December 1992, before a gathering of the Syracuse University Library Associates, Professor Olson delivered the keynote address that marked the opening of the University Library's Yellow Kid exhibition. The following is an edited transcript of Olson's talk.
What happened nearly one hundred years ago to give birth to the American comics? Who can we thank for having a colorful Sunday comic section to read every week? My analysis ofthe birth of the American comic strip suggests that it occurred as a result of the interaction of three major factors: (I) the natural evolution of graphic humor, (2) quirks of American history, and (3) Richard Fenton Outcault. In what follows we shall take a brieflook at these factors and see how they contributed to the birth ofthe comic strip.
Olson, Richard D., ""Say! Dis Is Grate Stuff": The Yellow Kid and the Birth of the American Comics" (1993). The Courier. Paper 305.