Wayback Wednesday – Comic Strips

Eighty years ago Batman and Robin swung from comic books onto newspaper pages on October 25, 1943.

© DC Comics

The 13th Dimension presents the first 13 comic strips by Bob Kane with Bill Finger and Charles Paris.


Further back in time Euronews takes a look at “The day the US invented the newspaper comic strip. Maybe.”

Author Anca Ulea quotes comic strip historian Allan Holtz saying:

“As with most supposed ‘firsts’, the waters are far murkier than busy reporters would like,” US cartoon historian Allan Holtz told Euronews Culture in an email.

“The only really indisputable title given to the Yellow Kid, or more properly Hogan’s Alley starring the Yellow Kid, was the first highly successful newspaper cartoon series,” the author of the book “American Newspaper Comics” continued.

Anca reinforces that thought on murky firsts with his article subhedded, “18 October 1896: The New York Journal [Hearst] published the first ‘Yellow Kid’ comic, often cited as the first regular, ongoing newspaper comic strip.” And then in the third paragraph stating, “The ‘Yellow Kid,’ as he was called, was first created by cartoonist Richard Outcault in 1895, when Outcault was on staff at the World [Pulitzer].”


above image from The Collector

Fun Trivia has an Origins and History of the American Comic Strip Quiz that starts with a Yellow Kid question. The questions are followed with a few sentences explaining the correct answers.


Another contribution from Wayback Whensday regular Todd Klien.

Says Todd in this installment of More Comic Strip Lettering:

… there have been hundreds of fine strips, and many of them have interesting and creative lettering. In this article I’m going to do brief looks at some I admire, mostly more recent strips. There are a few problems I have to overcome. First, strip letterers are never credited, so I’m looking for strips where the lettering and art style match, suggesting they were lettered by the artist. That points toward gag-a-day humor strips.


The original Frontiers of Science strips ran from 1961 and was significant as a means of communicating and popularising science. It was Australian and developed from the University of Sydney, and was produced and distributed by Press Feature Service. The series was co-written and produced by Professor Stuart Butler from the School of Physics and journalist and film-maker Bob Raymond. The early art work in the series was by Andrea Bresciani, continued later by David Emersen.

In total 939 weekly episodes or “pulls” – five strips, one for each weekday, each around a particular topic. The strips were initially published in the Sydney Morning Herald, and were then syndicated to each of the capital city major dailies (except Adelaide). Within a few years it was available throughout the USA and Canada, and was translated and available internationally through over 600 newspapers.

From the University of Sydney is education of a different sort.

Years and Years of weekly installments of the comic strip Frontiers of Science.

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