Posts Tagged ‘illustration’

The First real Comic Character – The Yellow Kid


Volume 1, Issue 1

The Yellow Kid was the creation of Richard F. Outcault and is considered to be the first American comic book character. This ‘Bart Simpson’ of the 1890’s was a street urchin named Mickey Dugan, and was the main star of the comic strip ‘Hogans Alley’.

The strip was first published in 1894 with only 4 issues printed in black and white for the ‘Truth’ magazine, before being snatched up by the ‘World’ and printed in colour when the publication got hold of a colour press.

In the era between 1890 and 1900, over 42% of the population were foreign born and uneducated.

The hero of the ‘Alley’ is shown wearing a nightgown probably handed down from an older sister, with a newly shaven head (common sight in the tenements due to lice) plastering statements on his nightclothes addressing current issues with racism, class distinction and the consumerist environment speaking on behalf of those from the wrong side of the tracks. The Yellow kid became a voice for a large percentage of the population who went previously unheard, it also brought some humour and light to their situation.

Vol 1, Issue 2

The sheer popularity of The Yellow Kid ensured it became an overnight success, starting a competitive bid between publications to possess it. At times it was published in multiple publications simultaneously. The design layout, the content and the fact it was in colour started a new trend of controversial comic artworks. The competitive race for sales fostered by this series, coined a new phrase ‘Yellow Journalism’, which describes the nature of two newspapers editorial practices of using ‘ sensationalism and profit to attract readers and increase circulation as priorities in journalism ‘without any regard for truth or fiction. ‘

Here is an awesome radio podcast talking about his. Have a listen.


Memorable album covers catch the eye, dribble it around a little, and then snap it back into place, forever skewed. They can be funny, gross, shocking, stunning, or just plain wrong. They can define artists. That being said, I present to you…

Stanley Donwood

Born September 11, 1968 – Essex, England.

1987 – North Essex College of Art.

1988 – 1991 – Exeter College of Art.
Currently lives and works in Essex, England.
51st Grammy Awards: Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package for art direction on
Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ album.
44th Grammy Awards: Best Recording Packaging for art direction on Radiohead’s,
‘Amnesiac Special Limited Edition’ album.

1994 – now  Artwork for Radiohead, includes all record sleeves, website merchandise, etc.

Stanley Donwood is the pen name of English artist and writer Dan Rickwood. Donwood is known for his close association with the British rock groupRadiohead, having created all their album and poster art.

Donwood is an enigma. His work on Radiohead’s albums and all associated artwork has gained him worldwide recognition. Since 1994, having designed all artwork from the second album ‘The Bends’ onwards, his evocative and haunting imagery has helped to create one of music’s most distinctive brands. In 2006, the release of Thom Yorke’s ‘Eraser’ record brought Donwood’s very distinctive artwork
‘London Views’ into the public eye once again.

Stanley Donwood, is the man responsible for all of Radiohead’s album covers as mentioned above. From The Bends (album cover – 1995) along with most of the band’s artwork to this present day. From the bare, bleak OK Computer album cover to the vibrant shots of color that spray over In Rainbows, Donwood has helped to capture all the alienation and intensity of one of the most celebrated bands of all time.
Plus: Without him, there would be no Radiohead Bear.

THE BENDS (1995)




(The Radiohead Bear is used to illustrate the artwork of Stanley Donwood and Thom Yorke, which was used extensively by Radiohead. The image is representative of the style of the artists, and is an iconic, widely distributed and highly recognisable logo of the band)