"Early Comic Strip"

Unknown Artist

The invention of printing and the rise of newspapers in the 15th century was accompanied by the appearance of the first comic strips in newspaper Sunday supplements. The "Katzenjammer Kids" was one of the earliest of these "funny papers," or "komischerstreifen" as they were called in Germany where they originated.


Hans and Fritz, the mischievous brothers of the Katzenjammer family, were always up to no good, playing pranks on the other characters in the strip — Mama, der Captain, der Professor and der Inspector, as well as their friends. In the panel shown here, upper left, Hans gives a note to the Flying Goat of the Inquisition accusing several of his schoolmates of heresy. Der Inspector sets off in hot pursuit of the offenders, carrying the scales and sword of his office. In the lower panel we see the heretics being burned in the Mouth of Moloch as Fritz makes off with a bowl of plunder he has swiped from them. He is met by Hans and the Red-headed Duck of the Inquisition. Hans is carrying a denouncement of Fritz as a heretic, and will use the plunder he confiscates to buy candy and other treats.


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Ref: Medieval German Humor Explained by Hensel Doltz, PhD. (London & Bombay, 1938)

 

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