The Yellow Kid was the name of a lead comic strip character that ran from 1895 to 1898 in Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and later William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal. Created and drawn by Richard F. Outcault in the comic strip Hogan's Alley (and later under other names as well), it was one of the first Sunday supplement comic strips in an American newspaper. The Yellow Kid is also famous for its connection to the coining of the term "Yellow Journalism".
Mickey Dugan, better known as The Yellow Kid, was a bald, snaggle-toothed boy who wore an oversized yellow nightshirt and hung around in a slum alley typical of certain areas of squalor that existed in early 20th century New York City. Hogan's Alley was filled with equally odd characters, mostly other children. With a goofy grin, the Kid habitually spoke in a ragged, peculiar slang, which was printed on his shirt, a device meant to lampoon advertising billboards.
The Yellow Kid's image was an early example of lucrative merchandising and appeared on mass market retail objects in the greater New York City area such as "billboards, buttons, cigarette packs, cigars, cracker tins, ladies’ fans, matchbooks, postcards, chewing gum cards, toys, whiskey and many other products"[
National Cigarette & Tobacco Company issued a series of 154 Yellow Kid celluloid pin-back buttons with their Admiral and High Admiral brands. The company acquired the rights to market Yellow Kid Cigarettes in the late 1890’s.
1890s postcard from The National Cigarette & Tobacco Company