Comic Strip History, Lessons 366 – 370





The Chisholm Kid shows a different color of the American West

The title character of this newspaper cartoon, which ran from 1950 to 1954, is decked out in blue trousers held up by a double-holstered gun belt, a red shirt with a white stylized longhorn skull across the broad chest, a blue kerchief tied at the neck, and — as befitting a true Western “good guy” — a large white hat.

What set The Chisholm Kid apart from all other comic book cowboys was the color of his skin.

“The Chisholm Kid” was the first comic strip to feature an African-American cowboy as its hero.

The Gilcrease exhibit [in Tulsa, Oklahoma] features representations of all the surviving panels of the comic, drawn from the estate of the publisher, the University of Michigan Special Collections Library and the Museum of UnCut Funk, which curated the exhibit.


For more go to Allan Holtz‘s site for articles on The Chisholm Kid, the Pittsburgh Courier, and the Smith-Mann Syndicate.

Tim Jackson‘s Pioneering Cartoonists of Color is recommended reading about the history of black cartoonists.




1961 Archie Comic Strip Sales Brochure

Hat tip to Bob Montana Fan Facebook page.




A Brief History of the Uncle Sam Character/Caricature

Uncle Sam…he is a symbol of America and everyone’s most patriotic uncle. Images of him have been used to recruit people to enlist in the military and to uphold the American ideals. But how did this iconic character come to be? Let’s look at the inspiration behind Uncle Sam.

Karen Harris, by way of, informs us.




“Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel”

Touches, in a sideways fashion, on the funny pages.

The most common and highly used lay down sequence in cold web offset printing is CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). If you’ve ever worked in a shop that laid down differently, you will understand the challenges the wrong sequence can create.

“The ink sequence decades ago was YMCK. This was changed to CMYK due to issues with color reproduction. The reason it was changed was with this sequence, the reds shifted to orange, blues shifted to green. For example, if you run a green screen and use 100 percent yellow and 50 percent blue screen in YMCK sequence, 100 percent of the yellow will print but not all of the 50 percent blue will ‘stick/overprint’ to yellow. There is a significant detail increase and trap efficiency in midtone through shadow tone and solid areas.”

Jerry Simpkins and Editor & Publisher and Everything You Wanted to Know About INK.




The Life and Works of Pat Buttram

Once upon a time radio magazines were very popular and, like newspapers, they used comics to attract readers.

Steven Thompson dug up a strip from the 1930s featuring a popular comedian.

For more you can page through issues of Stand By yourself.



*hat tip: John Wells for opening Little Orphan Annie panels