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With more than 500 period cartoons, The Goat Getters illustrates how comics were developed by such luminaries as Rube Goldberg, Tad Dorgan, and George Herriman in the sports and lurid crime pages of the daily newspaper. This wild bunch of West Coast-based cartoonists established the dynamic anatomy and bold, tough style that continue to influence comics today, as well as their own goofy slang that enriched the popular lexicon.

The Goat Getters also captures early twentieth century-history through the lens of the newspaper comics: the landmark 1910 boxing match in Reno, Nevada between Jim Jeffries, the “Great White Hope,” and Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion; the nationwide race riots that followed; the San Francisco graft trials that culminated in the shooting of the Federal Prosecutor; and the trial of Harry Thaw for the murder of architect Stanford White, a crime of passion that centered on Thaw’s wife, show-girl Evelyn Nesbitt Thaw—all were venerated or vilified by Nell Brinkley, Jimmy Swinnerton, and their fellow directors of the ink and newsprint stage.


  • Introduction
  • ONE Of the 1,500,000 human beings
  • TWO Move on there, Jimmy Swinnerton
  • THREE While the Lightning Special Sped
  • FOUR Tremendous Race Behind a Locomotive
  • FIVE My Dogs are Barking.
  • SIX The Spotlight for Fitz
  • SEVEN Writhes Under Ordeal
  • EIGHT Thanks for the Lobster.
  • NINE Shock Felt from Coast to Coast
  • TEN Gooseberry Sprig Reveals
  • ELEVEN A Mutt Confesses
  • TWELVE Please Mr Jeffries
  • THIRTEEN Reno Now Center
  • FOURTEEN Likewise, Myrtle
  • FIFTEEN Any Big Fat Boob
  • SIXTEEN Death Hastened
  • Notes, Index


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