Sunday, May 7, 2017

Rudolph and Gus Dirks drew The Katzies of the 90s

[1] Rudy Dirks, photo 1917 
“Hearst took on Rudolph Dirks in 1897 to do the Katzenjammer Kids (German slang for ‘hangover’ kids), and thereby headed toward the first big legal battle of the comics. The World, not forgetting Hearst’s capture of Outcault, enticed Dirks into its camp. The bitter legal controversy which followed finally resulted in Hearst’s obtaining the rights to the Katzenjammer Kids, but not to its creator. Dirks continued the characters in the World under the title Hans and Fritz, which during the World War was changed to The Captain and the Kids to purge it of its ancestry. Hearst’s Katzenjammer Kids (drawn by H.H. Knerr) and United Features Captain and the Kids (obtained from the World upon its death in 1931) remain as the sole survivors of all the strips started in the 90s.” — Men of Comics, by William E. Berchtold, in New Outlook, April 1935 

[2] Ach. Those Katzenjammer Kids Once More! Already Again They Make Troo-o-o-oble! 
[3] Dec 19, 1897
[4] Dec 11, 1898
[5] Dec 26, 1897
[6] Nov 27, 1898
[7] His brother Gus Dirks, photo 1901
[8] Gus Dirks draws Hans and Fritz, Nov 6, 1898
[9] Gus Dirks draws Hans and Fritz, Oct 9, 1898

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[NOTE] There are two biographies of the brothers Dirks, in German only, the latest is Gus Dirks; Käfer, Kunst & Kummer (Gus Dirks; Bugs, Art & Distress) by Tim Eckhorst, published by Ch. A. Bachmann Verlag in 2016.


  1. Nice to see this. I've never seen a photo of Gus Dirks before. In general there's not a lot of information out there on the lesser known but talented Gus.

    Thank you.

  2. Merci pour ces belles pages !

    R. and G. Dirks were very influenced by the german journal "Fliegende Blätter" (Nothing surprising).

    In the 1890's, there's the same scenes presenting animals with human behaviours.

    See also this comic story with tiger skin (1892) that recalls the last one by G.Dirks (1898) :