YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – At the end of most daily newspapers, there’s still a comic strip section. Now a Youngstown man — famous for his animated drawings — wants to bring back America’s oldest comic strip.
Chris Yambar considers himself a writer, artist, publisher and more.
He’s done work with multiple comics, including The Simpsons, Popeye and Mr. Magoo. Now he wants to reintroduce the original comic strip.
Meet Mickey Doogan — aka the Yellow Kid.
“Anyone who is a student of comic books, and comic art and comic strips knows about the Yellow Kid,” Yambar said.
The comic character is a young Irish boy who lives in the slums of New York City during the late 1800s.
“Things that were funny was getting hit in the rear end with a board with a nail in it or getting kicked in the pants by a donkey,” Yambar said.
The Yellow Kid was published for four years inside of Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. Being one of the only sources of entertainment, it was well-received.
Yambar said there were people who ran to find out what the comic strip was each day.
“If you got a chuckle out of something, it was worth your nickel.”
He wanted to bring the classic comic back so about six years ago, he partnered with editorial artist Randy Bish.
“When I mentioned it to him several years back, he looked at me like he had fire in his pants,” Yambar said. “I mean, it was like, ‘What?’ And I said…’You know the Yellow Kid. It’s kind of a dream project.’ And he goes, ‘I’m in.'”
The plan is to stick to the original cartoon with the yellow shirt that hangs to his feet and displays witty phrases. They’re even keeping his bald head.
“Back then in the late 1800s, almost every child of the slums had their head shaved. Their mothers would shave their head because they didn’t want them to get lice,” Yambar said.
After multiple roadblocks, the pair is almost ready to release the comic book. And turns out, it’ll be right on time.
“Here’s another bit of timing — his official 125th birthday comes in February, so here we go,” Yambar said.
The book will be out sometime next week. If you’re interested in ordering one, you can head over to Yambar’s website.