Boys Clothing in Comic Strips


Figure 1.--These American postage stamps show some of the classic American comic strips. Some were about kids and others occasionally featured kids. They varied in how accurately and realistically that they depicted clothing.

Some famous characters have come out of the comics. Two American characters are Dennis the Menace and Buster Brown. One of the best known boy cartoon characters in Europe was the Belgian Tintin. Of course boys appeared in a wide variety of comic strips playing both long and short term roles. All of these strips offer a wide variety of often quite accurate details about boys clothing. As the comic strips were created about the turn of the 20th century, they provide more than a century of drawings oftering fashion details. Other cartoon characters are less famous, but the strips do provide some interesting fashion insights.

Countries

HBC has not begun to resaerach this topic yet, but the comic strip appeas tonbe an American creation. Political cartoons appeared in the 18th century in Europe, but the humerous or dramatic cartoon appears to be a creation of American newsapers in the late 19th century. The "Yellow Kid" was the first, followed by "Buster Brown". One American reader reports that comic strips as opposed to TV, seemed very old-fashioned when he was a kid. Many of the strips, everything from Mutt and Jeff to Gasoline Alley still had boys in knickers in the 1940s and 50s. Comic strips were a major source of entertaiment for American boys in the 1920s through the 40s and there were many adventure strips like "Buck Rogers," "Flash Gordon," and "Terry and the Pirates". Often kids appeared in these strips. American kids in the 1950s abandoned these strips in favor of television. It's the only place I ever saw boys wearing them as a small child. Even though they had only died out a few years before. Of course Tintin continued to wear knickers long after they passsedout of fashion.

Individual Strips

We have some limited information on individual comic strips that have boy characers or are about boys. Some have lasted only a few years and are associated with decades. Other have not only lasted the creators whole career, but even been continued after the creator passed on. In some strips the characters stay the same age. In others like "For Better and for Worse" the characters age. And in some like "Blondie" the characters age and then stay the same. "Most of the comics we are familiar with are American. Hopefully readers will tells us a bit about comic strips in their countries. American comic strips are carried in other counties, but foreign strips with the exception of Canadian are not normally carried in America. Individual comic strips will be listed here in aphabetical order.

Cartoonists

Here we will list especially important cartoonist and especially this who strips have children which show fashions and styltes over time. Some cartoonists move with the fashion trends. Others like Georges Remy retain the same fashions for their chracters, likr Tintin and his trademark knickers. Some famous characters have come out of the comics. Two American characters are "Dennis the Menace" and "Buster Brown". One of the best known boy cartoon characters in Europe was the Belgian Tintin. Of course boys appeared in a wide variety of comic strips playing both long and short term roles. All of these strips offer a wide variety of often quite accurate details about boys clothing. As the comic strips were created about the turn of the 20th century, they provide more than a century of drawings oftering fashion details. Other cartoon characters are less famous, but the strips do provide some interesting fashion insights.






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Created: February 20, 2001
Last updated: 12:38 AM 4/7/2005