The Comic Page Has Been My Favorite Part of the Sunday Newspaper For Years! I Always Smile!

We’ve always looked forward to the Sunday funnies. The comics section was and remains one of the most cherished parts of the Sunday newspaper. And while the idea of putting comics in the newspaper has been around for more than 100 years, the funnies actually have quite a history!

Almost all of the beloved comic strips you can remember being present as a part of the Sunday paper are brought to us by King Features Syndicate.

In 1896, William Randolph Hearst, founder of the syndicate, realized the potential of the funnies when he ran “The Yellow Kid,” in his New York Journal. This was the first color comic strip, and that issue of the Journal sold more than 375,000 copies!

Hearst actually “borrowed” the comic strip from rival media tycoon Joseph Pulitzer! Hearst realized that, instead of hiring his own comic strip illustrators, he could get a group of newspapers to split the cost, and syndicate the comics nationally.

Many King characters were adapted to animation, both theatrical and television cartoons. Strips from King Features were often reprinted by comic book publishers. In 1967, King Features made an effort to publish comic books of its own by establishing King Comics.

When the King Comics line ended, the books and their characters were picked up and continued by Gold Key Comics, Harvey Comics and Charlton Comics.

Currently, the King Features Syndicate distributes about 150 comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to nearly 5,000 newspapers worldwide.

What do you think of the Sunday funnies now that you know the history behind their development? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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