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Exhibition Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages

Richard Felton Outcault (1863–1928). Copyright deposit for “The Yellow Dugan Kid,” September 7, 1896. Graphite, watercolor, and India ink drawing. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (001.00.00) LC-DIG-ppmsc-00180

The Yellow Kid Makes His Move

Like many cartoonists, Richard Felton Outcault switched from humorous magazine illustration to the newspaper funny pages in the 1890s. In 1896, as he intended to move his ragamuffin character, “The Yellow Kid,” from Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World to William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal, Outcault sought advice from the Copyright Office. He was able to continue drawing the character but could not prevent Pulitzer from hiring George Luks to draw his Yellow Kid for the World. The commercial appeal of this character proved to publishers they could use comic strips to market their newspapers