Your Thanksgiving Funnies Page: Buster Brown, from November 1903

“Buster Brown” was a popular comic strip created by Richard F. Outcault at the start of the 20th century. The strip first appeared in the New York Herald on May 4, 1902. The main character, Buster Brown, was a mischievous and wealthy little boy who often found himself in humorous and adventurous situations, along with his talking dog (maybe the first talking animal in comic strips).

Outcault was an influential cartoonist of the time, whose earlier creation, “The Yellow Kid,” is considered one of the first comic strips, and was also a significant work of art, superior to “Buster Brown” in every way.

Still, “Buster Brown” is better remembered today because of its role in merchandising, which still continues to this day, and which makes it a particularly good choice for us to highlight during the holiday season.

This particular comic strip puns the name of the Thanksgiving bird with the country of Turkey, which, under the leadership of Sultan Abdul Hamid (who is mentioned in today’s comic strip) was in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire at the time, and not well-respected at all, as you can see from the tone of this particular comic strip.

Comedy is always funnier when you have to explain it thoroughly! Enjoy your turkey, happy Thanksgiving!

^^^

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