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Exhibition Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages

R. F. Outcault (1863–1928). “The Opening Night in Kelly’s Bowling Alley,” published in New York Journal, December 20, 1896. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (002.00.00)
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R. F. Outcault (1863–1928). “I Love Winter. . . ,” published in New York Journal, December 6, 1896. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (002.01.00)
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First Successful Newspaper Comic Strip

Following his move to William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal in October 1896, Outcault created three separate series of cartoons featuring the Yellow Kid, beginning with E.W. Townsend’s McFadden’s Row of Flats stories. The Yellow Kid and Townsend’s Chimmie Fadden were both street urchins whose antics were designed to appeal to adults. The Yellow Kid comic would overshadow the stories it appeared with to become the first successful commercial comic strip and a profitable merchandising venture.

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