Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

The Newlyweds and their Baby Were America’s First Comic Book Family (1907)

Share this:

The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

 

In 1904 George McManus ( 1884-1954) scored a job at New York World, Joseph Pulitzer’s innovative and campaigning newspaper – in 1896 the World became the first newspaper to launch a color supplement; it’s biting exposés of tenement abuses triggered housing reform. And there was McManus, who created The Newlyweds, one of the first comic strips to depict the lives of the typical American family. He was plain, thick but kind. She was good looking, well-dressed and a ditz. They had no names. They could have been any number of cartoon and sitcom couples since. When ‘Baby Snookums’ arrived, The Newlyweds became The Newlyweds and Their Baby. The prove popular and New York World compiled the cartoons in a hardcover comic book, which you can read below.

 

The Newlyweds and their Baby-3 The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

 

On the matter of parents and how to raise children, there’s a lovely anecdote about McManus’s early years:

Born in St. Louis, Missouri of Irish parents, McManus had an innate gift for drawing and a sense of humor. He recalled an incident when he was in high school: “My teacher sent home to my parents a picture I had drawn of a classmate named Sweeney. ‘This is what your boy has been doing,’ the teacher wrote, icily. I laid the note in Pop’s lap and headed wearily for the woodshed. But Pop, instead, put on his hat and coat and went to the editor of The Republican. He showed Sweeney to the editor. Next day I had a job on The Republican at $5 a week—as an errand boy.”

 

The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby-35 The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus The Newlyweds and their Baby 1907 comic book George McManus

 

Via Virginia Commonwealth University

  • AlanOne7

    GREAT POST. I’ve loved George McManus’ work since my Mom got the Bringing Up Father hardback book in 1973.
    The BUF comic strip centered around the Married-With-Children couple of social-climber Maggie and moody Jiggs, their arguments and reconciliations, and abundant social commentary surrounding Depression-era Irish families. McManus was a genius at line art; several BUF comics strips hint at his 1940s experimentation with “op art.” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c7dcd4e98a58ed7ef5e7506e3e0b67df635d71523d3f4914f61ca17f23585eda.jpg