"His purpose was to have a young innocent comment on the foibles of the day, whether it be politics, lifestyle, government corruption, etc.," said Callari. "His intention was to have the kid in every cartoon and the caption would be written on his nightgown. When the print went through the printer, it got a yellow cast, so he was called the Yellow Kid."
According to Callari, the Yellow Kid was the object of rivalry between newspapers, and that is where the term Yellow Journalism came from.
"I wanted to take the idea and modernize it," said Callari. "Editorial cartoons can capture the moment in time you want to critique. You don't have to read the entire op-ed, but the cartoon might be enough to pull you into wanting to understand it more."
Callari has been a freelance writer for 10 years, penning op-ed stories for a number of newspapers and webzines. Kidd Millennium appears regularly on www.scoop.co.nz and www.newsmax.com.
Callari and Pittman have also published Uncle Dubya's Jihad Jamboree (Howling Dog Press), a collection of essays by Callari and Kidd Millennium cartoons that chronicle the Bush Presidency. While Callari admits that his own political views lean left, his goal is to be a chronicler of the times.
"A lot of it is done in humor, and a lot of it is done to wake people up to another way of looking at things," said Callari. "I would hope people would read it to understand what actually took place over the last four years, so they can open their minds to things they didn't get a chance to read or understand."
A self-proclaimed news junkie, Callari said he researched the book online, which gave him access to news sources from around the world. A bibliography entitled "Intel" lists sources for each chapter.
"The internet is your library," said Callari. "Any topic I felt keen about and wanted to expand upon, I'd look up articles from newspapers, websites and weblogs. All the major newspapers throughout the world are available. All my research has been done online."
Callari said that the book should be viewed as a chronicle of the President's first term rather than as a political screed.
"I didn't have a lot of strong feelings for Kerry," said Callari. "I didn't have any misapprehensions about who was going to win either. We've got him for another four years, and we'll be there to critique him."
You can see Kidd Millennium cartoons at www.kiddmillennuim.com. Uncle Dubya's Jihad Jamboree is available at www.kiddmillennium.com/uncledubya.htm.