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Mr. Skygack, From Mars: Topics in Chronicling America

The newspaper debut of Mr. Skygack marked the 1st feature of an extraterrestial in comics history. This guide provides access to materials related to the "My Skygack, From Mars" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.

Introduction

"Skygack from Mars. He takes wireless observations in his note book on earth customs." January 21, 1913. The Seattle Star (Seattle, WA), Image 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

In October 1907, Mr. Skygack, From Mars made its debut as a comic strip illustated by A. D. Condo and produced/written by Fed Schaefer. Despite being a mostly single panel comic strip, Mr. Skygack was syndicated throughout multiple newspapers leading to a wider audience. The comic was about an extraterrestial named Mr. Skygack who would observe "Earth-beings" while meticulously taking notes. It also marked the first feature of an extraterrestial in comics history. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.

Timeline

October 1907 Mr. Skygack, From Mars,” a comic strip produced by Fred Schaefer (writer) and A.D. Condo (illustrator), makes its first appearance.
June 1908 Mr. Skygack observes the “Second Battle of San Juan Hill”; five panels drawn by George W. Rehse.
February 1912 Fred Schaefer explains Mr. Skygack in his “Who’s Who in the Comics” column.
October 1912 W. Aird MacDonald becomes the illustrator of “Mr. Skygack From Mars.”
July 1913 Last appearance of Mr. Skygack in his own comic strip.
January 1914 Mr. Skygack visits Osgar und Adolf after “Mr. Skygack From Mars” has ceased publication.