Resuming our series on Pre-YK “Talking” Comic Strips (sequential cartoons wherein the story is conveyed via pictures combined with in-panel dialogue, published prior to the supposed “invention” of same format in the October 25th, 1896 episode of The Yellow Kid), we return with some more examples found amongst Victorian Age cartoon advertising strips.
Above, the original version of a circa 1870s fold-out trade card, for Hold Fast Chewing Tobacco. Each panel is revealed as the card is unfolded. This particular give-away comic advertisement, was apparently so popular, that it continued being reprinted, and eventually (circa 1880s) had its art redrawn for the below version, which takes advantage of finer color printing techniques, whose cleaner art renders the in-panel dialogue easier to read. This card was highly popular, and long-circulated in the New York City area. (Note the name of the dog — “Tige” — is the same name R.F. Outcault would later give to Buster Brown‘s dog. Coincidence? Or, had Outcault seen these prior to his supposed 1896 “invention” of sequential in-panel dialogue in Yellow Kid? Further note: Outcault himself never claimed to have invented the format — rather, American comic strip historians made the claim years afterward, as part of their premise that the comic strip was invented in the United States.)
Click on the above & below pictures, to see larger, readable versions.
In the next two examples, nineteenth-century American (& European) advertising reflected the attitudes reflected the general racist attitudes of their societies. Below, by artist R.A. Williams, comes a two-panel strip found in the 1892 Barker’s Illustrated Almanac.
In our second unfortunately racist example, we have another circa 1870s-1880s two-panel comic strip ad, this time for Obelisk Pickles.
Finally (for today), we have a three-panel strip found in as part of an 1885 advertising pamphlet for Taits Wire Check Rower.
PreYKStrips AdvertisingStrips NativeAmericanHistory