Richard F. Outcault
January 14, 1863|
|Died||September 25, 1928
Flushing, New York
|The Yellow Kid, Buster Brown|
Richard Felton Outcault (January 14, 1863 – September 25, 1928) was an American comic strip writer-artist. He was the creator of the series The Yellow Kid and Buster Brown, and he is considered the inventor of the modern comic strip.
After graduation, Outcault was employed by Thomas Edison as a technical illustrator, going to Paris as the official artist for Edison’s traveling exhibit of electric lighting. In 1890, he moved to New York City, where he joined Electrical World (a magazine owned by one of Edison’s friends) and became a regular contributor to Truth magazine, Judge and Life.
After he signed on with Joseph Pulitzer's New York World, Pulitzer placed Outcault's comics in a color supplement, using a single-panel color cartoon on the front page called Hogan's Alley, depicting an event in a fictional slum. Hogan's Alley debuted May 5, 1895.
In 1902, Outcault introduced Buster Brown, a mischievous boy dressed in Little Lord Fauntleroy style, and his dog Tige. The strip and characters were very popular, and Outcault eventually licensed the name for a number of consumer products, notably Buster Brown shoes.
In the Journal, Outcault began experimenting with using multiple panels and speech balloons. Although he was not the first to use either technique, his use of them created the standard by which comics were measured.
Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio (Outcault's birthplace) awards the R.F. Outcault Innovation Award to journalism students annually. Betsy Noll (2011) was the first recipient and Riley Theiss and Ohio State Linebacker Luke Roberts were the 2012 recipients.
- Wallace, Derek. Virtue vol. 1, no. 14. July 18, 2005.
- Horn, Maurice. World Encyclopedia of Comics. Chelsea House, 1976.
- Comic-Con: "The 2008 Eisner Awards: Eisner Hall of Fame Nominees Announced"
- "The Eye of the Gale". Lancaster High School Journalism. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
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