Cream background. Illustration of Buster Brown character and Tige, her dog, on hind legs with gymnastics equipment including rings and parallel bars in the background. Buster Brown is poised to use hose supporters suspended from above for some undefined gymnastic purpose.
Buster Brown and his pit bull terrier Tige were popular comic strip characters created by noted American cartoonist Richard Outcault that first appeared in the New York Herald in 1902. Having no issue with the modern concept of selling out, the artist, known for his successful Yellow Kid cartoon, went to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair to market his strip. He sold licenses to companies to use his Buster Brown characters to advertise a variety of products. The Brown Shoe Company paid $200 for one and launched a successful line of shoes featuring styles for both Buster Brown and his sister, Mary Jane. From 1904-1930 the company recruited actors and dogs to play the parts, touring department stores, theaters and events across the country.
The comic strip featured Buster, another mischievous young boy, but instead of the slums, Buster came from affluent parents. The strip was an instant hit and ran from 1902-1926. Unfortunately, syndication, a new idea, benefited the paper more than the artist and Outcault resigned, moving the comic strip to Hearst in 1906. Repeating the legal battle over Yellow Kid, Outcault renamed his comic strip, leaving "Buster Brown" at the Herald to be drawn by other artists. This time it was dual Busters!
NPR Morning Edition report on Buster Brown - includes history, films, jingle, and photos