The Yellow Kid on the Paper Stage
Introduction Origins of the Kid Class Warfare on the Urban Stage Race and Ethnicity Selling the Kid The Death of the Kid
Poster for the New York Journal, American Humorist
Click on the image above for a larger view, description, and source information.

Selling the Kid

The Yellow Kid was one of the first comic characters used in merchandising, prefiguring the indivisibility today of cartoon figures and commercialism: by using the Kid's image, a product would advertise both the Kid and the newspaper it appeared in, along with the product itself. However, there's evidence that Outcault's own product got away from him and was used without the artist benefitting monetarily in any definable way. Outcault himself posed as both purveyor of consumerism and critic of it; his dual position reveals the newlywed marriage of popular culture and commerce.


Back  Next