The Guardian celebrates 100 years of newspaper comics

TC • Media Staff
Published on December 21, 2015

This is a look at some of the faces The Guardian's readers will be seeing in the Pause and Play section of the newspaper.

A smile.

Sometimes that is all we need especially when events of the world seem so bleak.

World leaders struggling to come together on protecting the environment, more war, another mass shooting, debt loads growing … the message seems always bad.

We, in the newspaper business, feel it the same way, especially this time of year.

We long to tell the stories of happiness; of those overcoming the odds to succeed; of those special holiday miracles.

But we can’t ignore what is happening or avoid bringing you the stories you need to know.

So, when we get a chance to share something special with our readers, we jump at the opportunity.

And this year, we get to do just that.

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So take a trip with us this Christmas season to celebrate through the funny pages of the past as we celebrate 100 years of King Features, the comic syndication service that supplies us with our current in-paper and online collection.

Before Zits brought teenage awkwardness to us, or Dennis showed us what a true menace was, or even Beetle Bailey taught us loafing techniques, there was the Yellow Kid, Krazy Kat and Betty Boop.

All of them stars of the newspaper comic strip world in its very early days.

What began in 1896 by California newspaperman William Randolph Hearst as an eight-page comic supplement for his Sunday Journal would turn into a syndication service called King Features Syndicate in November 1915.

Soon, the comic stars of the syndicate would start populating the funny pages of newspapers everywhere.

On Thursday, Dec. 24, we will publish a special historical section in our paper and on our website featuring some of the original strips from the early days of King Features.

Take a trip through comic’s memory lane and join us to celebrate this special event in newspaper history.