One of the first, and most successful comic strips, created around 1902 was Richard Outcault’s Buster Brown, a mischievous preteen boy who with his pit bull terrier, Tige, got into all kinds of trouble. This is the same Buster Brown would soon become associated with a leading brand of children’s shoes that dominated the field for decades.
In the episode below, Buster decides to see how a trusting and unsuspecting Chinese laundryman would react if he brought in some laundry in which was wrapped some ink and mice! Buster Brown was not the only perpetrator of often mean tricks on Chinamen. To the contrary, the use of a Chinese laundryman as the victim was a popular theme in the humor of the period.
At the end of each episode, a summary panel would offer some “moral” or “lesson.” For this one, Buster concludes after hearing all the yelling and screaming by the Chinaman under opening the laundry bundle that whereas you can straighten out a shirt with starch and an iron, it would take a steam roller to straighten the Chinese language. Buster was unapologetic and could only think about how much fun he had.