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    Katzenjammer Kids by Rudolph Dirks: Tear Sheet of Second-Ever Installment From 12/19/1897 (New York Journal, 1897). In the opinion of many, The Katzenjammer Kids was the first American comic strip, and this is just the second weekly installment of the feature, which debuted a week earlier on December 12, 1897! Anyone familiar with Wilhelm Busch's Max und Moritz will notice a strong influence of those characters at this early stage of the Rudolph Dirks feature -- and the influence isn't coincidental, as reportedly either William Randolph Hearst or his editor had asked Dirks to do a Max und Moritz-type strip. Dirks put his characters in multiple frames rather than one large panel, either inventing or at least taking another step toward the modern comic-strip format. While the date is handwritten here, we were able to confirm the date by examining the top half of the newspaper sheet which is folded under the half seen here. The two halves are glued together at the corners and glued down to a backing board. As the entire piece is extremely brittle, we did not attempt to separate or remove it. The visible area measures 16" x 11". While some books on the history of comics reprint early Katzenjammer Kids strips, we don't believe we've seen this one (or the first one for that matter) reproduced. A fascinating piece of comics history!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2013
    1st-3rd Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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