Today in Comics History: Katzenjammer Kids

Today in 1897, Rudolph Dirks’ Sunday comic strip “Katzenjammer Kids” debuted in the American Humorist Sunday supplement of William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal. Inspired by Wilhelm Busch’s German children’s story “Max und Moritz” from 1865 (licensed by The Hearst Corp. for the strip’s creation), “Katzenjammer Kids” starred twin kid brothers Hans and Fritz who rebelled against authority. It was the first genuine comic strip, telling a story in a series of panels using speech balloons. A legal battle in 1912 led to Dirks leaving the strip to create the duplicate “The Captain and the Kids” for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. Harold H. Knerr took over “Katzenjammer Kids” until his death in 1949, succeeded by Charles H. “Doc” Winner, Joe Musial, Mike Senisch and Angelo DeCesare. The strip still runs to this day, written and illustrated by Hy Eisman (who also draws the Sunday “Popeye” strip) since 1986, making it the oldest comic strip still in syndication. (Sources: Katzenjammer Kids, Toonopedia and Wikipedia; image courtesy


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Corey Blake does things on the Internet, and sometimes even in real life.

Posted on December 12, 2006, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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