Rudolph Dirks

Rudolph Dirks ( born February 26, 1877 in Heide, Germany, † April 20, 1968 in New York ) was a German -American comic pioneer. He invented with The Katzenjammer Kids one of the first and the oldest still published comic strip in the world.


Dirks and his family moved in 1884 to Chicago, where in 1897 his first cartoons were published. When he drew for Randolph Hearst's Journal American, he should design for the magazine a strip that could compete in Joseph Pulitzer's publications with the Yellow Kid. Supposedly, this strip should be designed along the lines of picture story Max and Moritz by Wilhelm Busch.

Dirks thus belongs not only to the first pioneers of the comic strips, but resulted in a form of speech and dialogue within a panel, and the continuity between different panels. Dirks also went into the history of law, since it is after 15 years successfully fought drawing comics for Hearst certain rights to the comic. Ultimately, Hearst retained the right to the name, Dirk but the rights to the characters, which from there first appeared under the name of Hans and Fritz.


  • Rudolph Dirks: The Katzenjammer Kids. (New edition of 1908), Dover Publications, New York 1974, ISBN 0-486-23005-8