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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A New Art Form

Hogan's Alley, R. F. Outcault, from the colored supplement of The World, May 17, 1896

The transistion into the twentieth century brought spectacular and profound changes to American soceity, changes that gave it vitality. It was the era of the Progressives and "Fighting Bob" La Follette; the bitter war against monopolies and trusts; Socialist, Suffragettes, and Society; Teddy Roosevelt; the Panama Canal; the Chautauqua; the nouveau riche and the American plutocracy; muckrakers, magnates, and Maxfield Parrish prints; technological explosion; the wonder of the cranked telephone; the magic of electric lights and the talking machine: with the fragile wax cylinder whirling, "...everyone works at our house but my ole man!"; Jack London, James J. Jeffries, and William Jennings Bryan; the horseless carriage giving way to the automobile; the miracle of moving pictures and the flight at Kitty Hawk. Above all, it was the era of European emigration of the Irish, Germans, Russians, Swedes, Italians, Catholics, and Jews--whose strange customs and accents were the delight of vaudeville comedians--all participating in the great, gorgeous, bubbling melting pot--the continuing American experiment.

This was the cultural stew that nourished a new American art form which proved to be of unprecedented vigor and longevity: the comic strip. William Laas in the Saturday Review Of Literature observed: "The comic strip is one of the liveliests cultural offshoots of our slam-bang civilization." America and the comic strip were made for each other.

- Jerry Robinson, The Comics: An Illustrated History Of Comic Strip Art

Image taken from The Yellow Kid On The Paper Stage website.


gorjus said...

Wait, I thought this was Spencer Carnage, not Double Articulation!

Spencer Carnage said...

Its all Mark Millar's fault! I have sworn off Marvel comics! For at least a few weeks! Maybe more! Who knows!?