The newspaper comics strip has been one of the daily sources of entertainment in any newspaper. It has provided readers with short snatches of humor with some extending to serialized and syndicated forms, creating loyal following in the process. The familiar black and white strips found in daily newspaper as well as its full-page versions on Sunday newspapers are definitely hard to miss.
Comic strips are typically humorous presentations of a story shown as a sequence of interrelated panels featuring artists or cartoonists’ drawings with texts in balloons. The Yellow Kid is acknowledged as the first comics strip to appear in any North American newspaper although its original form was not exactly similar to present-day cartoon strips. It was a “weapon” used in a historic newspaper circulation war which signaled the seriousness of what is commonly dismissed as a minor feature of newspapers.
The longest-running comic strip in the history of US newspapers is Katzenjammer Kids which first saw the light of day in the year 1897. Other noteworthy comic strips by virtue of their staying power include Gasoline Alley as well as Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, which started in 1918 and 1919, respectively. Who can forget Popeye and Little Orphan Annie?
Just like entities frozen in time, most comic strip characters do not age. Their creators continue to present them in their original ages no matter how long the comic strip has been running. This is probably due to the fact that comic strips are primarily intended for entertainment and allowing the characters to have a perpetual look benefits the familiarity factor. There are some exceptions though such as the characters in Gasoline Alley.
Comic strips do not only feature human characters. This is where we will find animals or inanimate things interacting with people as if they had the human attributes of thinking, conversing, dancing, and singing, among others. Judging from the long history of early cartoon strips, we can still expect to follow the life of our favorite cartoon strip characters for a long, long time.