The Origins of Comics

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In English for the first time, The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay is a foundational text that places the beginning of comics well before Rodolphe Topffer.

Author Thierry Smolderen presents a cultural landscape whose narrative differs in many ways from those presented by other historians of the comic strip. Rather than beginning his inquiry with the popularly accepted "sequential art" definition of the comic strip, Smolderen instead wishes to engage with the historical dimensions that inform that definition. His goal is to understand the processes that led to the twentieth-century comic strip, the highly recognizable species of picture stories that he sees crystallizing around 1900 in the United States.

This study remaps the history of this influential art form, including some of the satirical artists who contributed to the famous political humor magazine Puck, which published at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

Hardcover | 200 pages | 160 black & white and color illustrations | 9 x 12