Art Young on the Columbian Exposition

The very first color supplement produced on a high speed newspaper press was issued by the all but forgotten Chicago Inter Ocean in 1892. The first color supplement was issued to commemorate the Democratic national convention held there. The color supplement became a regular feature of the Inter Ocean, and was produced sometimes as many as three times per week during the Columbian Exposition held in that city in 1893. Most of the color material was in the form of drawings of exposition attractions, but there were also many humor and editorial cartoons printed in color. During this period the color cartoons were mostly produced by a pair at opposite ends of their careers; Thomas Nast and Art Young.

After the close of the exposition, the newspaper changed the color supplement into a children’s section, and soon the very first regularly appearing color newspaper comic characters were cavorting through its pages every week – the Ting-Lings, a group of cute Asian children. Yes, Virginia, they do indeed predate the Yellow Kid.

But I’ll save discussing the Ting-Lings for future blog entries. Today we have a wonderful Art Young cartoon from the Inter Ocean color supplement. My source material is missing the front cover of the section, but I believe this page is probably from the 11/12/1893 section, which was Art Young’s last appearance there before the section changed over to juvenile content.

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