Laughing Through the (P)ages

Thiana Suarez, Senior Staff Writer

It’s a New Year, meaning a brand new start for everyone. Everyday is a special holiday. True, there may be other famous holidays people are most familiar with. Everyone knows about Christmas, Halloween, Valentines Day, even Thanksgiving.  But few have known that each day of the year is a random celebration. One of these random celebrations is Cartoonists Day, on Tuesday, May 5th.

It celebrates the anniversary of the publishing of the first ever colour cartoon, “The Yellow Kid”, in 1895. Now cartoons are a core component of many newspapers, publications and printed media, and have had (and continue to have) a huge impact on our culture. This will mark 120 years of this special holiday.

“The Yellow Kid” was created and drawn by Richard F. Outcault whose work aimed its humor and social commentary at Pulitzer’s adult readership.  The main character of this comic strip was Mickey Dugan, better known as The Yellow Kid. He was a bald, snaggle-toothed boy who wore an oversized yellow nightshirt and hung around in a slum alley typical of certain areas of squalor that existed in late 19th-century New York City. “The Yellow Kid was not an individual but a type.” explained Richard F. Outcault, from a 1902 interview, “When I used to go about the slums on newspaper assignments I would encounter him often, wandering out of doorways or sitting down on dirty doorsteps. I always loved the Kid. He had a sweet character and a sunny disposition, and was generous to a fault. Malice, envy or selfishness were not traits of his, and he never lost his temper.”

If it wasn’t for this comic, many other cartoons might not have be on the newspapers, publications or printed media right now. What would it be like without our classical comic strips from the newspaper? No Garfield, no Peanuts – the world wouldn’t be the same.  Sometimes it’s a good thing to remember where our beloved cartoons started from the very beginning.

Anyone can draw a cartoon. They just have to put their mind and hearts into it.  Big Larry’s Comics doesn’t have any plans for Cartoonist Day, however, on March 28, they will be celebrating their 5 years in Leonardtown with a big Blow Out with free stuff and then on May 2, they will be doing free comic book day with free comics for everyone who comes to visit them.  It’s located in Leonardtown Square.