Richard Felton Outcault was one of the great comic pioneers, and often credited as the inventor of the comic strip. Coming from Lancaster, Ohio, Outcault was a graduate from the McMicken University in Cincinnati, who studied art in Paris, and eventually settled in New York. After doing illustration work for publications like The Electrical World, Life and Judge, he was hired by media tycoon Joseph Pulitzer to come and work for the New York World in 1894.
For this newspaper, Outcault made series of often crowded cartoons set in certain quarters in Manhattan, which eventually resulted in the feature 'Down in Hogan's Alley'. Being one of the first continuing series with a regular cast, one character stood out. At the time, it was still difficult to use yellow ink in color printing, since it didn't dry properly. When one of the World's foremen of the color-press room wanted to experiment with a new type of yellow ink, he used the shirt of one of Outcault's characters as a test area. 'The Yellow Kid' was born.
Text (c) Lambiek