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Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968)

Rudolph Dirks (1877-1968)

As the creator of ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’, Rudolph Dirks can be considered as the father of the modern strip cartoon. Although he was not the first to use techniques such as sequential frames or speech bubbles, he is credited with popularising them and influencing their wider adoption.

Rudolph Dirks was born in Heide, Germany, on 26 February 1877. When Dirks was seven years old, his father Johannes, a woodcarver, settled the family in Chicago, Illinois. By 1894, he was producing cartoons for Judge and Life magazines, before moving to New York to join William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal in 1897. When Rudolph joined the Journal, the newspaper was in the midst of a fierce circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World.

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