5th May, 2017 was observed as World Cartoon Day.
More than three decades ago on May 5, the first colour cartoon ‘The Yellow Kid’ was published.
In 1895 a man named Richard F. Outcault introduced a small bald kid in a yellow nightshirt to the world in an incredibly popular publication in the big apple at the time, the New York World. While the paper itself was looked upon with a sort of disdain by ‘real’ journalists of the time, the yellow kid was embraced by people everywhere. Little did Richard know that when he first created this character, it would lead to a revolution in how stories were told and presented in sequential art pieces (That’s comics kids), but would in fact create a new standard piece of content for newspapers everywhere.
The Yellow Kid was an archetype of the world, rather than a character in and of itself. Richard recounted that as he walked the slums of the city on his rounds, he would discover the kid walking out of houses, or sitting and hanging about on doorsteps. The archetypical “kid” was always warm and sunny, friendly, generous, and free of malice and selfishness. How amazing that Richard saw all the good in the world in the worst parts of it, perhaps that’s a lesson in and of itself.
Cartoonists’ day was created to celebrate this man and his accomplishments, and all the good he brought to the world as a result.