May 5th National Cartoonists Day

May 5th, 1895 “Yellow Kid” appeared in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World as the first cartoon in a newspaper. It was created by Richard F. Outcault who continued the cartoon strip from 1895 to 1898. It then appeared in William Randolph Heast’s New York Journal. This is the first recognized cartoon in print form. The first moving cartoon was created by Emile Cohl in France in 1908. The day was created by the National Cartoonist Society with Ken Alvine leadership in 1999.

How to celebrate – Look for the funnies in your local newspaper. Watch cartoons on television, usually early morning. Watch for “shorts” at the movies.

October 28th International Animation Day

October 28th International Animation Day


Today was created by the ASIPA in honor of Charles-Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique at the Grevin Museum in Paris where his first animation appeared in 1892. UNESCO celebrates the day as the “art of Animation” in over 50 countries around the world.

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Since animation first appeared it has evolved to the point where some of the art is so real it is difficult to tell it from actual life itself.


How to celebrate – Go to an animated show. Visit Disney. Learn the art of animation.


September 22nd International Rabbit Day

At first, I thought Bugs Bunny created today, but he didn’t. he was created out of the international world’s love for rabbits. The day was created by “Rabbit Charity” in the UK, which sadly seems to have disappeared.


Rabbits are one of the most docile animals in the world. There bear no one, or thing, an ill will. Farmers get ad at them because they eat the fruit and vegetables the farmers grow but it’s not the rabbit’s fault… they are only doing what comes naturally to them.


Bunnies are the third most popular pet in the world, coming in just after dogs and cats. They do bite, but only if you get too close to their food or if you hurt them. They are soft and cuddly and while they probably would rather just be left alone to do their thing, they do make pretty good pets.

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Even most other animals get along with them, though some find them tasty for lunch. There are 49 different types of rabbits. Well 50 if you count Bugs. Most of us can’t name them and most of us don’t care. They have pretty much populated the world and can live in nearly any environment.


And they make most people happy. Real or imagined, and particularly at Easter.

How to celebrate – See how many varieties of rabbits you can name. Get a rabbit for a pet. Admire Mother Nature’s creatures.

May 5th World/National Cartoonist Day

May 5th World/National Cartoonist Day


You might think cartoons have been with us for quite sometime but in fact they actually began in 1895 when Richard F. Outcault created the “Yellow Kid” for the newspaper, New York World.


Since then, the weekly Sunday Funnies have become a regular part of our lives. Some are political, some are social and some are just done for fun.


How to celebrate – Read the Sunday Funnies. Create your own cartoon. Decide which cartoon is your favorite.

May 5th Cartoonists Day

Cartoonists work in a large medium that includes animation, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustration, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

William Hograth is credited with pioneering the Western sequential art. The cartoon we know best is the comic strip.  Many of us remember  “Peanuts”, “Blondie” and  “Beetle Bailey” from the newspaper every Sunday. Some comics came in single panels, reflecting the deeper thoughts of society at the time, such as the featured comic above done by Thomas Nash during the American Civil War. Most are funny, some are political, others are very serious. Nash covered the war from its highs and lows, saying in the newspapers, what others were afraid to say out-loud. He could also be humorous, such as when Nash created the Elephant for the G.O.P..004tnast

Among other great political cartoonists were James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson in 18th century England. In the US, Ben Franklin is credited with being the first editor to put a comic in a newspaper.


The twentieth century was filled with freelance cartoonists such as Charles Addams, Irwin Caplan, Chon Day, Clyde Lamb and John Norment, and of course, the comic strips which we are all familiar with such as those created by Mort Walker, who preferred to produce his comic strips with a studio, and Bill Watterson and Charles Schultz, who enjoyed doing their work alone.political_cartoon_by_queenmari

Marvel, D.C. Comics, Classics Illustrated, and so many other comic book companies have hired, and in some cases still do, so many cartoonists that it would be nearly impossible to list them all. Yet each one of them is truly an artist that creates a world we may not be able to live in, but we sure enjoy looking at.


How to celebrate Cartoonist Day: Look over the comics in the newspapers and magazines that you read, but this time, be sure to make a mental note of who the artist was that created it. Watch an animated movie, make sure you pay attention to the credits at the end of the film.  Try drawing your own cartoon, see just how difficult it can be!