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Exhibition Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages

R. F. Outcault (1863–1928). Buster Brown. “You Can’t Blame Nora for Fainting, Can You?” between 1908 and 1914. Ink and watercolor over graphite drawing. Art Wood Collection of Caricature and Cartoon, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (008.01.00) LC-DIG-ppmsca-06589

Buster Brown and Trouble

Richard F. Outcault introduced his wealthy character Buster Brown in 1902. Generally seen as a bad boy, Outcault wrote of him, “Buster is not a bad or naughty boy as the thousands of parents of Buster know. He is an industrious person, full of energy and ingenuity.” But here, the scion destroys a painting left to a servant in order to play a practical joke. Despite being forbidden from using his character’s full name after he left the New York Herald in 1906, Outcault licensed a line of shoes named after Buster Brown and his friend Mary Jane.