What the Kaiser Looks Like, by W. K. Haselden

William Kerridge Haselden is regarded as the father of the British newspaper strip. He was born in 1872 in Seville, Spain, were his British parents had met. His father was head of the local Gasworks factory. Haselden was only two when his father passed away in 1874. The Haselden family decided to return to the United Kingdom, where they settled in Hampstead. Financially, they didn't do well and eventually Haselden was forced to leave school at age 16 and take a job as underwriter at Lloyd's in London for 13 years. Never happy with this vocation, he tried to sell his cartoons to publications like The Sovereign, The Tatler and the St. James's Gazette. In 1903, he walked into the office of the Daily Illustrated Mirror with a portfolio of sample cartoons under his arm. The editor was so impressed that he published one the very next day, 'Only Waiting for the Torch'. Hasselden would remain house cartoonist of The Sovereign until 1940. Between 1906 and 1936 his work also appeared in Punch magazine, where he made cartoons depicting theatrical plays. 

Bubbles, by William Kerridge HaseldenIn this newspaper comic strip by William K. Haselden, Kaiser Wilhelm sees the bubble of 'world domination' appear out of the bowl of 'blood and iron' in 1914; then in 1918 the bubble bursts into 'retribution'.

As a newspaper cartoonist Haselden moved away from make mere one-panel cartoons - as was common at the time - and used multiple panels to tell sequential narratives. Because of this he is often named the first newspaper comics artist in Britsh history. 

In 1914 the First World War broke out. Haselden started a satirical comic strip the same year, 'The Sad Experiences of Big and Little Willie' (1914), which mocked German emperor Wilhelm II and his son Wilhelm in a series of daily misfortune. The propaganda comics amused many readers and kept up moral. In 1915 a compilation book was published. A testament to the comic strip's popularity at the time was that a prototype to the first British tank was called "Little Willie". 

Some of his cartoons are interesting in hindsight because they made predictions on how technology and society would evolve in the nearby future. 

In 1940 Haselden retired. By that point he suffered from increasing deafness. He died in Aldeburgh, UK, on Christmas Day, 1953, at the age of 81.

Occupations for Kaiser Wilhelm, by William Kerridge HaseldenHere are some possible activities of Kaiser Wilhelm after 1918, in this strip by WK Haselden.

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