'Vulgarizing American Children': Navigating Respectability and Commercial Appeal in Early Newspaper Comics

by III Ralph Suiter

Institution: George Mason University
Year: 2016
Keywords: American history; Armory Show; Comics; Moral Panics; Newspaper Comics; Progressive Era Women's Groups; Yellow Journalism
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2068593
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1920/10409


Between the first appearance of the Sunday newspaper comic supplement in 1895 and the early 1920s, the status of the comic supplement in the field of cultural production was being questioned and navigated by publishers, editors, cartoonists, and the reading public. Looking at the first years of the comic supplements, this dissertation argues that the early supplements, as emulations of comic weekly magazines such as Puck and Life, may have been an attempt to make the yellow journals more palatable to a middle-class audience. This attempt became moot after the “second moral war,” a campaign against the yellow journals undertaken by more “respectable” newspapers in 1897, which made comics a metonym for yellow journalism. Advisors/Committee Members: Petrik, Paula (advisor).