Comic Chronicles – Those Olde Tyme Comicks


A number of people have recently treated us to a number of old public domain comics.

From the National Institutes of Health and their National Library of Medicine comes
The Tooth-Ache by Horace Mayhew and illustrated by George Cruikshank ca. 1850,
a comic book consisting of forty-four sequential panels.


Still in the 19th Century but after the start of regular Sunday newspaper color comic supplements
comes Kelly’s Kindergarten by one of the fathers of the art form Richard Felton Outcault.
Allan Holtz,from the files of Cole Johnson, rewards us with a lesser known comic panel
by the creator of the famed Hogan’s Alley/Yellow Kid and Buster Brown comics.

Over the next couple weeks we’ll run Kelly’s Kindergarten as a weekday feature of the blog.

The series began on October 16 1898 and was initially set in the classroom though that would eventually become too confining for Outcault. The first installment (above) introduces us to some of Outcault’s new characters.

Kelly’s Kindergarten, later Kelly’s Kids, would run until August 6 1899, and Cole has supplied us with the first and last episodes, and lots in between. So keep reading, and enjoy!

Allan’s blog with the tag “Kelly’s Kindergarten,” and the link to the Stripper’s Guide main page.


Jumping ahead ten years (from The Kelly Kids) is also a presentation in progress.

Peter Maresca’s Origins of the Sunday Comics page at GoComics is currently rerunning his original display of early Sunday comic pages. Recently it came back on Peter’s showcase of the complete run of The Explorigator by Harry Grant Dart. Spoiler – the feature ran for 14 weeks.

Helpful hint: left click on the “Buy a Print of This Comic” tag below the comic, then right click on that next image to bring up a drop box, left click on “open image in a new tab,” and finally left click on that image to supersize. It will make enjoying the comic a better experience.


Here’s a treat! The first year of E. C. Segar’s Thimble Theatre!

Some years ago Michael Vassallo collected, from the files of Bruce Rosenberger, the beginning of one the greatest comic strips of all time. Segar had been a working cartoonist for three and a half years when he created his magnum opus. For the first time anywhere(?) is the almost completely collected Thimble Theatre comic strip from its debut on December 19, 1919 to December 31, 1920.

There are seven missing strips (3/4/20, 3/26/20, 3/27/20, 3/29/20, 3/30/20, 3/31/20, 9/24/20), but rest assured that comic fandom’s finest detectives are, at this very moment, scouring archives around the world and if those missing strips existed they will be found.

3 thoughts on “Comic Chronicles – Those Olde Tyme Comicks

  1. Thanks for the tip! People have asked how to get the best image, and I always referred them to a ‘bookmarklet’ that accomplishes the same thing, which came from a page of useful links at the “World of DT” blog (Dick Tracy fans from GC) titled “Help for GoComics” which include bookmarklets I use to expand comments and activate links.

    Anyway, I posted this method, verbatim from your text, and told them it was easier to explain.

  2. I’m afraid it doesn’t work for Dick Tracy at GoComics.
    GoComics has the “buy a print” link only for Andrews McMeel strips and some independent comics.
    Tribune Content, Washington Post and Creators strips are not part of that deal.

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