New Comic Strip Debuts In New York
George McManus was born in St. Louis, Missouri in January 1884. After being sent home for drawing in class, his father brought him to the local newspaper for a job as an errand boy. It is there he drew his first comic strip ALMA AND OLIVER. In 1904 McManus moved to New York City where he worked for several publications and created the first American family strip, THE NEWLYWEDS about an elegant young couple and their baby Snookums. The popularity of the strip prompted The New York American to invite McManus to join their paper in 1912.
On January 2, 1913 MaManus introduced a new comic strip BRINGING UP FATHER. McManus was inspired by a musical comedy he saw as a child called “The Rising Generation” where a fat Irish-American bricklayer Martin McShayne becomes a wealthy contractor. His society-minded wife and daughter were ashamed of him and his lowbrow buddies prompting McShayne to sneak out to join his pals for poker. In BRINGING UP FATHER, an Irishman named Jiggs doesn’t understand why his ascension to wealth via the Irish Sweepstakes means he can’t hang out with his friends, and his nagging, social-climbing wife, Maggie.