Writing Non-Fiction posted September 28, 2023 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 4... 

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How Comics Became Daily Events

A chapter in the book Funny Pages

Mutt And Jeff

by Brett Matthew West

(NOTE: The postings in this book intentially kept short. Enjoy!)

Potentially the first water cooler talk probably centered around the 1907, San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist Bud Fisher's comic he called (Augustus) A. Mutt.

Mutt would bet on a racehorse every day. Readers could find out the next day if Mutt's horse won the race or not. This allowed readers to not only follow Mutt and his horses, but to live with a character each day. (We're all writers here, so am sure you will agree it is one thing to create a character, but it is a completely different thing when you live with such a character every day. In my case, as you all know, his name is Cody Jaxon Schroder.)

In 1908 Mutt's life changed, so did his comic strip. He hooked up with Jeff, an inmate from an insane asylum. Known as Mutt and Jeff, this new comic became the first successful daily comic strip. This occurred because William Randolph Hearst, the recognized Grandfather of Newspaper Comics syndicated Mutt and Jeff.

Because newspaper syndicates were scattered around the country, the same comics could be published across the USA on the same day and everybody could read the same comics.

As Paul Harvey famously said, "Now you know the rest of the story."

Next Time: How Comics Broke The Color Barrier


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