The first Sunday funnies appeared in 1897; probably the following Monday, the first critic snorted indignantly that comics were corrupting the youth of America.

In early 1905, a growing number of newspapers were offering Sunday comics sections that included such gentle offerings as Little Sammy Sneeze, a strip about a small child with high-velocity sneezes, and The Upside-Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo, a novelty cartoon meant to be viewed from both ends. The roughest stuff came from the Katzenjammer Kids (a slapstick cartoon that probably inspired many of the contemporary nickelodeon comedies) and Buster Brown — in the panel to the right, he had just released some mice at a ladies’ party. Both were about pranksters that might have been the great-great grandpas of Bart Simpson, although these rapscallions rarely got away with their misdeeds; Hans and Fritz usually ended up with spankings, and Buster always repented with a final panel reminding kids to obey their parents, tell the truth, or uphold other virtues.

Neither Santa Rosa paper had a Sunday comic supplement in 1904, so the author is probably criticizing funnies that came with the San Francisco Examiner or San Francisco Sunday Call.


The Saturday Afternoon Club held a very interesting meeting Saturday afternoon at the High School… Mrs. C. D. Barnett read a paper on “The Influence of the Funny Paper.” She took the position that the paper had a bad influence on children and they would be better without it.

– Press Democrat, February 5, 1905

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