An old comic strip created by Richard F. Outcault. You thought it was just a brand of shoes, right? Well, the brand is based on the cartoon, which makes it one of the most important merchandising successes in comics.

Buster originally appeared in the New York Herald in 1902. Buster was a little kid with a pageboy haircut. He wore kinda sissified clothes -- he always looked like he'd been dressed for church by some old maiden aunt. Buster's best friend was a little dog named Tige. Buster got into trouble constantly, and Tige functioned as a combination conscience/accomplice/commentator. Buster often promised to mend his ways and learn to behave, but every week, he got into new mischief...

In addition to Buster Brown shoes, which survived the end of the comic strip in the 1920s to the present day, there was also a popular children's radio show that featured Buster and Tige. "Hi! I'm Buster Brown! I live in a shoe!" went the show's tagline, "That's my dog Tige! He lives there, too!" The show also featured a troll of some sort named Froggy who had a magic wand. "Plunk your magic twanger, Froggy! TWAAAAANGG! Hiya, kids! Hiya, hiya, hiya!" (No, seriously. You think I could make up a line like that?)

Thanks to my grandma, who remembers the comic and owns a couple of the old strips, and to my dad, who remembers more than he needs to from the radio shows.

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