Old Doc Yak
|Old Doc Yak|
|Current status/schedule||Concluded; daily & Sunday|
|Launch date||February 19, 1912|
|End date||June 15, 1919|
|Syndicate(s)||Chicago Tribune Syndicate|
Old Doc Yak is a comic strip by Sidney Smith that centers on a talking goat. The origin of the character was Buck Nix, a goat Smith drew in 1908 for the Chicago Evening Journal. For three years, Nix romanced a she-goat called Nanny.
In 1911, Smith moved to the Chicago Tribune. He introduced a new goat character when Old Doc Yak began as a daily strip on February 19, 1912, with the Sunday page starting a few weeks later on March 3.
Doc Yak was a family man and more mature than Buck Nix. He had a son, Yutch, along with a number of domestic problems. The last daily Old Doc Yak strip, on February 10, 1917, depicted Yak and his family moving out while wondering who might move into the house next. The last panel showed the empty house. The next day's newspapers, in the space formerly occupied by Old Doc Yak, printed the very first strip of Smith's The Gumps, showing the Gumps moving into the house formerly occupied by the Yak family.
Old Doc Yak continued as a Sunday strip until June 15, 1919, when Yak was depicted selling his car to Andy Gump so he and Yutch could move away "to start life all over again". The Gumps likewise took over the Sunday space the following week.
In 1998, Old Doc Yak and Yutch appeared in Valiant Varmints, a one-shot comic book from Shanda Fantasy Arts. A masked figure called Bullethead arranges for the anthropomorphic heroes of the title to be distracted while he goes after a mysterious item; he turns out to be Doc Yak, who just wants his old license plate back (after losing it decades ago to the Gumps).
In other media
In 1913 and 1914, Doc Yak appeared in a series of animated shorts produced by the Selig Polyscope Company. The company further collaborated with the Tribune in the production of The Adventures of Kathlyn.
- Markstein, Don. "Old Doc Yak". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 294. ISBN 9780472117567.
- Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 26. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.