Saturday, January 12, 2019

Today in the history of the American comic strip: January 12

American cartoonists and writers may not have invented the comic strip, but some argue that the comics, as we know them today, are an American creation. Clearly, the United States has played an outsize role in the development of this underappreciated art form.

1.12.1878: C.W. Kahles, the creator of Hairbreadth Harry, is born in Lengfurt, Bavaria, Germany. The strip depicted Harry’s attempts to rescue Beautiful Belinda from the villainous Relentless Rudolph.

1.12.1891: Raeburn Van Buren, who worked on Abbie an’ Slats, is born in Pueblo, Colorado. The cartoon was syndicated from 1937 to 1971.

1.12.1913: Bringing Up Father, the brainchild of George McManus, premieres. The long-running comic (it ended in 2000) also became known as Jiggs and Maggie, or Maggie and Jiggs.

1.12.1929: Gordon Bess, the creator of Redeye (1967-2008), is born in Richfield, Utah. The strip focused on a tribe of 19th-century Native Americans.

Abbie an' Slats

Most of the information listed here from one day to the next comes from two online sites -- Wikipedia, and Don Markstein's Toonopedia -- as well as 100 Years of American Newspaper Comics, edited by Maurice Horn. Note that my focus is on American newspaper comic strips (and the occasional foreign strip that gained popularity in the United States). Thus, comic books and exclusively online comics are not included here.

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