10 Best Public Domain Comic Characters

Here are 10 best public domain comic characters that have stood the test of time and continue to captivate audiences today.


Tarzan, created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the novel “Tarzan of the Apes” in 1912.


First, Zorro was created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley, and the original Zorro stories were published in pulp magazines.

The Phantom

The Phantom comic strip, created by Lee Falk, first appeared in newspapers on February 17, 1936.


Bram Stoker created character (Dracula), entered the public domain in the late 20th century.

Sherlock Holmes

The characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, entered the public domain in the United States in the late 1980s.


Frankenstein became a public domain comic character after the death of Mary Shelley in 1851.


Popeye the Sailor Man is a comic strip character created by Elzie Crisler Segar in 1929.

Dick Tracy

Character created by Chester Gould (Dick Tracy), became part of the public domain after Gould’s death in 1985.

Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle became a public domain comic character on January 1, 1979, due to the lapsing of the copyright.

Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat became a public domain comic character in 1966, after the copyright on the original character and his early cartoons expired.