Gasoline Alley made a low-key debut in The Chicago Tribune Syndicate, November 24, 1918. It was the beginning of a journey, which continues to this day.
Gasoline Alley is credited as the first comic strip in which the characters age normally, and also being one of the first soap operas in any medium.
The strip was created by Frank King with the remit from The Chicago Tribune's publisher, Colonel Robert McCormick, to create a strip to appeal to the new generation of car owners and mechanics. The major characters include:
- Walt Wallet - a car fanatic, head of the family and the strip's central character
- Phyllis Wallet - married Walt June 24, 1926 and died April 26, 2004
- Skeezix Wallet - Walt's adopted son, found on his doorstep February 14, 1921
- Avery - Walt's rather cantankerous neighbor
- Pert - a rich miser and often the villain of the piece