The Toon Era is a complex and vital part of the Betwixt mythos, as such it will be detailed here - along with the immediate period after, in which the Toon Era was effectively "erased" from the memories of most humans.
Toon Era (1916 to 1945)
In 1916 the first known Toon manifested to the world in the form of Artist (at the time known as Spot) - born from the imagination of a single man, rumored to have been a high-functioning empath or reality-bender (see notes) this mysterious "Old Man" would go on to create many other fantastical Toons in the comfort of a remote cabin, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Knowing that Toons were not able to exist in the "real" world without the psychic energy of others the "Old Man" founded Laugh-A-Lot Studios and within a year he had began to release the first "cartoon" shorts to the world and began a revolution the likes of which the world had never seen.
Soon Toons became part of everyday life and were treated pretty much as living creatures despite the knowledge that they were thought-forms, seeing the "Old Man's" success other people began to create their own Toons using his techniques and the Toon Era flourished.
At first Toons existed in harmony with humans but in 1919 a disturbing and violent revelation was made when Spot was exposed as a psychotic Toon, having murdered a human in a fit of rage and losing himself in delusions, playing the part of the "villain" and causing havoc - ultimately Spot's madness consumed him and the Land of Nowhere was born, serving as a prison for Spot.
From that moment Toons would be faced with their own "mortality" - when they no longer had sufficient psychic energy to stay corporeal they would be consumed by the Land of Nowhere, doomed to be trapped much as Spot was - until the world "remembered" them again.
The Blackout Era (1947 to 1951)
During the Blackout Era the governments of Earth decided that Toons were a danger to humanity and underwent a mass mind-wiping process in which they gathered entire generations of people exposed to Toons and had their memories altered, effectively causing Toons to disappear from the real world as humanity's memories of them were forcibly removed.
However, despite the great efforts used by the governments of Earth to ensure Toons became seen as "fictional" a few individuals escaped the process of "mind-wiping" and would remember the Toon Era, however they kept silent for the most part due to fears of not only Toons but the governments that had enforced such a drastic measure upon the world.
- the "Old Man" was not an empath nor was he a reality-bender, although never revealed until Return of Betwixt the "Old Man" was actually the first human to uncover the Jewels of Imagination, though the contact was brief and he was young enough to forget the experience the contact gave him the power to create the first Toons, as was the "will" of the spirit of imagination, Caprice.