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#6572236 - 04/02/13 08:02 PM ORIGINS of the American Comic Book
BLBcomics Offline
Carpal Tunnel
The Post-man always rings twice. Uhm... ring ring?


Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 1537
Loc: Middle of America
Over in a thread in this "Gold" seciton, Richard Evans
sez not to trust my concepts on aspects of the comic book.
I beg to differ, but that is my own humble opine about comics history research projects
I have been involved with, and have even run "final say" inside Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide
being invited back there over 15 years now. Noting there seems to be an over-abundance of lost comics souls
who no longer use the incredible references in said august annual publication, a concept I can not fathom
as one then does not have an essential tool for this hobby, here are scans of the first half dozen pages for your edification. Quiz is next Tuesday.

Please note the upper right corner in this first section contains
the earliest known English language comic strip published known to exist
which dates to 1656 titled "God's Revenge For Murder" written by John Reynolds,
artist remains unknown much like Jack Kirby remains to most of the adherents
of the Marvel Universe these days 40 years after he left.



Here we have the cover of the first American published comic book dating to 1842.



Pictured on the next pages are America's 3rd comic book 1846
as well as George Cruickshank's 1849 clasic The Tooth-Ache
which opens like an accordian



On these pages are early American humor magazines beginning 1846
wherein aspects of comic strips evolved as well on the first hand side
the very first original 'earliest known' sequential comic book dating from 1849
titled Journey to the Gold Diggins By Jeremiah Saddlebags.



Have at it, hope you enjoy, learn a couple things along the way.
My first "origins of the comics" history article appeared in Overstreet #27
appearing back in 1997.

You might even consider purchasing Overstreets for each year
especially #32 thru #40 as the powers that be held me to 72 pages
those last few years before medical circumstance forced me to slow down.
Hence, in order to place "new" data in the articles, other material had to be
sacrificed on the alter.

In order obtain a more complete over view of America's
earliest comic books, one should read thru each article for a more complete
evolution as well as a lot of differing visual aid as there are thousands of comic
strips inside many hundreds of publications in using a myriad assortment of
formats.

All this talk of 1938-mid 1940s comic book "magazines" is some sort of
"Golden Age of Comics" is plain silly. Click on my website address below
where I cover the full gamut of American comic books from the 1840s thru to around 1981 or so.
Scarce and obscure runs my wagon there, if nothing else, scroll some pretty rare stuff you might not see the rest of your life.

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#6572749 - 04/02/13 10:12 PM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: BLBcomics]
Junkdrawer Offline
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I like your name
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#6573258 - 04/03/13 01:40 AM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: Junkdrawer]
DavidMerryweather Online   content
Pedigreed


Registered: 11/21/10
Posts: 5390
Loc: The nearest pub
Oh, the humanity! I thought that comic book creation is only 5000 years old and now Bob has convinced me it started with dinosaurs!
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#6573666 - 04/03/13 10:13 AM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: DavidMerryweather]
Straw-Man Offline
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bob, ricky can speak for himself if/when he reads this, but my interpretation of what he was referring to in the 'frisco thread was not about trusting your knowledge of the genesis of comic books, but instead about what you have to say about books you are trying to sell.

bob, about trusting your knowledge of victorian era kinda stuff, what did you tell our former boardie those obidiah oldbooks you sold him were worth?
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#6573798 - 04/03/13 11:17 AM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: Straw-Man]
Theagenes Offline
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Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 7690
Loc: Florida
Bob, welcome back. Jeff Shanks here. I haven't been around as much lately myself so I missed the SF thread until this morning. I just want to wish my best to Katy.

On the history of the "comic book" you I and debated this topic here years ago, and it is a fascinating one. But, ultimately it comes down to how one defines the term, and so there are as many "first comic books" as there are definitions for what a "comic book" is. Ultimately, it's a gradient as various forms of media that incorporate art and text evolved and changed over time. I think it's safe to say that when most people today use the word "comic book" they are talking about the modern comic book magazine format, which would make the first one FoP or maybe Detective Dan (if you're okay with the size). You use a much broader definition of "comic book" and that's okay too, just so everyone is clear on definitions.

I wanted to comment on a point you made in the SF/Reilly thread about the first use of word balloons being 450 BCE. I'd like to know more about this, but I would also suggest looking at the earlier Egyptian texts for prototypes. I know that Egyption wall painting and carving is often discussed as an early form of sequential art, but I would suggest that you also have examples of prototypical words balloons.

Below is reprint of the Ani Papyrus version of the Book of the Dead, which dates to the 19th Dynasty (ca. 1250 BCE). Not only is both the art and text integral to the larger narration and presented in sequential form (even in panels on some parts), but the small groupings of text near the figures heads represent dialogue that the figures are speaking. So while there is no actual "balloon" enclosing the text, those bits of dialogue next to the figures mouths certainly function in exactly the same way that word balloons do. Just something to consider.





The cool thing about these New Kingdom versions of the Book of the Dead is that they are not just wall carvings or paintings, but actual books in the form of scrolls. They are also not just one-off works of art, but a book which was produced in many copies. The original Ani Papyrus is actually nearly 80 feet long. This facsimile that I have is the Limited Editions Club version that came out in 1972 and it has a fold-out replica that is 17 feet long. So this would be the Archives/Masterworks reprint version of this ancient comic book. \:\)






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#6573866 - 04/03/13 11:45 AM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: Theagenes]
nearmint Offline
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Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 26161
Loc: Jeff in Newport Beach, CA
Well, that is beyond cool.
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#6574184 - 04/03/13 01:59 PM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: Straw-Man]
DavidMerryweather Online   content
Pedigreed


Registered: 11/21/10
Posts: 5390
Loc: The nearest pub
 Originally Posted By: Straw-Man
bob, ricky can speak for himself if/when he reads this, but my interpretation of what he was referring to in the 'frisco thread was not about trusting your knowledge of the genesis of comic books, but instead about what you have to say about books you are trying to sell.

bob, about trusting your knowledge of victorian era kinda stuff, what did you tell our former boardie those obidiah oldbooks you sold him were worth?


This is a fascinating thread all unto itself, personal dramas notwithstanding.

I think we all agree that Bob's knowledge of comic history is to be reckoned with, ...it's his shorter term memory that's debatable.

Also, I meant no disrespect toward Bob in my teasing remark above nor do I lack sympathy for his and his daughter's medical issues. OTOH, there were numerous claims made in the Frisco thread that defy credulity.

Misstatements and embellishments can't be ignored because of the potential impact that unsubstantiated claims have on the marketplace. My 2c
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Wanted (8.5+): Captain America #1, 3, 4, 11-20, Mystic #6, 8-10, Hit #4-17 (most), Marvel Mystery #28, Silver Streak #8 & many MOAR!

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#6574344 - 04/03/13 02:46 PM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: DavidMerryweather]
40YrsCollctngCmcs Offline
Up 20 words per minute since I signed up


Registered: 06/25/08
Posts: 1470
Loc: The Crown City, CA
Fantastic reproduction of the Book of the Dead. Can you imagine what it took to begin to be able to translate those hieroglyphics?

There was a great Vertigo comic a number of years ago called Egypt that I really enjoyed reading. It discussed some of this material.

Thanks for posting. At the end of the day your argument with respect to the origins of the graphic medium are the most cogent. There is a stream of artistic representation stretching back to the earliest cave paintings. They just didn't have the written language to add the word balloons or captions. It still told a story.
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#6574376 - 04/03/13 02:58 PM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: 40YrsCollctngCmcs]
RedFury Offline
If you have a dream about out-posting me, you better wake up and apologize.


Registered: 06/21/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Not quite so old as the Egyptian Book of the Dead, but the Bayeux Tapestry clocks in at almost 1,000 years old. I got the chance to see it in person in the summer of 2011, and it's quite a sight. I kept telling my wife "This is a comic book!"

Bayeux Tapestry scene by scene
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#6574415 - 04/03/13 03:12 PM Re: ORIGINS of the American Comic Book [Re: RedFury]
shrunkenhead Offline
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Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 7467
Loc: The Scorched Earth/Texas
I say we start a CGC petition so that they'll slab cuneiform tablets.
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