The way I heard it, - an American publisher/printer with a stack of paper to use up, hit upon the idea of producing a book of reprints of Sunday newspaper strips to use as a free insert into a tabloid newspaper.
This was the 16-page ‘The Funnies’.
Then followed the 36-page one-shot ‘Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics’, which may or may not have been free. After that came ‘Famous Funnies‘ (cover-dated July 1934), a 68-page periodical selling for 10¢.
And that’s how the comics business was born.
They drew their inspiration and built their product on the foundations of the newspaper strips that had gone before. Most of these created, scripted and drawn by the same individual - something the comics-business was to quickly change.
The essential elements of comics, - the sequential narrative, speech-balloons, captions, continuous characters - had all been around and highly developed for some while. The American Sunday newspaper strip had been giving space to some of the most creative and original strip artists EVER!
New Yorkers Rachel Korsen and Marc Goldner appreciate them so much they are planning to publish ‘Sunday Comics’ which will showcase strips from both the hallowed past and the dynamic present. They are to be wished every success. The strips from 1930’s newspapers deserve as wide an audience as possible.
More at their website – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/831309281/the-sunday-comics-are-bac...
I must declare an interest. If it is technically possible there is the chance that my strip ‘Sirius’ will appear in it. As a fervent admirer of Krazy Kat, early Popeye, Little Nemo, Tarzan, Prince Valiant and the rest, it would be a privilege to appear in proximity to them.