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Jeff starts as a Pavement Artist

Mutt and Jeff was a long-popular American newspaper comic strip created by cartoonist Bud Fisher in 1907 about “two mismatched tinhorns.” It is commonly regarded as the first daily comic strip. The concept of a newspaper strip featuring recurring characters in multiple panels on a six-day-a-week schedule had previously been pioneered through the short-lived A. Piker Clerk by Clare Briggs, but it was Mutt and Jeff as the first successful daily comic strip that staked out the direction of the future trend.

Mutt and Jeff created by Bud Fisher 1907

Mutt and Jeff created by Bud Fisher 1907

It remained in syndication until 1982, employing the talents of several cartoonists, chiefly Al Smith who drew the strip for nearly 50 years. The series became a comic book (initially published by All-American Publications and later by DC Comics, Dell Comics and Harvey Comics), as well as cartoons, films, merchandising and reprints.

MUTT & JEFF Cartoon Strip: Published in The Daily Mirror, Wed 11th Apr.1923 (click on image to enlarge)

MUTT & JEFF Cartoon Strip: Published in The Daily Mirror, Wed 11th Apr.1923 (click on image to enlarge)

Although this pavement art strip was published in a British newspaper in the 1920’s, it is likely that it was drawn and published much earlier in the US (Cir. 1912) Mutt & Jeff was syndicated out to overseas newspapers in the 1920’s, so old cartoon strips where ‘recycled’

Researched by Philip Battle

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