|Richard Felton Outcault|
This is a close up of the signature.
Here's the whole picture.
I'm bringing this to the blog world because Feb 6 is the anniversary of the birth of C. G. Sweet. This picture hung in the hallway in our house while I was growing up.
This is a strange picture, which may have the source of my original understanding of the underdog phenomena. There is certainly the unsophisticated little guy, who clearly doesn't have "papers" being heckled by lots of other dogs. And the word papers is a clue.
Dick Outcault (January 14, 1863 – September 25, 1928) was a cartoonist at the turn of the 19-20th Century. He worked for Edison first, then Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and then William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal. And he is know as the father of the comic strip, not being the first to use multiple panels and speaking in balloons, but to set the standard for them.
His Yellow Kid cartoons (begun in 1895) were the object of a court battle between Pulitzer and Hearst, and though there is no known settlement of the suit, both of the papers continued to publish Yellow Kid cartoons, only the one in Hearst's paper being done by Outcault. The battle between the two papers over the Yellow Kid (which resulted in greatly increased circulation) was called the Yellow Kid papers, eventually the Yellow Papers, and finally Yellow Journalism...all true.
Because he was the first successful comic strip character, the Yellow Kid was the first comic strip character to inundate the public with his face! Today, Yellow Kid collectibles are all rare, highly desirable, and sought after by a small but intense cadre of collectors. Please remember that the Yellow Kid only appeared in New York City newspapers from 1895 through 1898, and that the merchandising took place in the same time and place, making it very rare today. A variety of items are presented in The R. F. Outcault Gallery to illustrate the variety of Yellow Kid collectibles that still exist today.
In conclusion, R. F. Outcault and the Yellow Kid demonstrated that the Sunday comics could sell newspapers and other forms of merchandise, and firmly established the comics as a permanent part of the American newspaper. The Yellow Kid, coupled with the artist's subsequent creations, Kelley's Kids, Pore Li'l Mose, Buddy Tucker, and Buster Brown, has firmly established R. F. Outcault as one of the most important comic artists of all time.
from "R. F. Outcault, The Father of the American Sunday Comics, and the Truth About the Creation of the Yellow Kid", by Richard D. Olson (Olson Here.)
He also had an Advertising Firm in Chicago. All advertisements used to be formatted (also called layout) by hand before being printed...whether with hand drawn art, or with photography. In 1902 Outcault created Buster Brown, which he drew until 1921.
|This autograph at least has a date, 1915. This is Tige, the dog in Buster Brown.|
Thus Buster Brown shoes must have been his account. I know I wore some of those shoes as a kid (no, not until the 40's probably.
The cartoon picture I own, (Laughing Dogs) and I have reframed, isn't an original drawing, but a print on rather poor paper, and it refers to the Outcault Advertising Agency, Chicago. IL. There are several court cases about this agency, and I can only assume it was related to Mr. Outcault's work.
The actual art of the dogs is similar to Outcault's drawings of Tige in Buster Brown. But there is no other trace of a group of dogs drawn by him, that I can find at this time.
The link with my great-great uncle Chauncey G. Sweet has escaped me. My grandparents thought enough of C.G. Sweet to name one of their sons Chauncey Sweet Rogers. And this picture hung in their home for years, then was in the hallway of my father's home for years. It was always known as the man's picture, but actually Chauncey G. Sweet was my grandmother's uncle.
When my father died, I was so glad to get this cartoon, even without having done any research on who made it or why. It just always reminded me that there's that little wounded child in everyone...so much like the pup who is the brunt of this joke.
I also always think the real message is in the wink by the dog in the upper left hand corner.