The Interesting History of Comics

There are different stories to the history of comics in different parts of the world. Comics is said to date back to the Egyptian period where it was featured as precursors in the Trajan’s Column in the Egyptian, and Roman hieroglyphs.

The Greek Friezes and Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Rome’s Trajan’s column published in the 110 AD is an example of early comics. The Trajan used a sequence of pictures to narrative a story. The Greek Friezes and Egyptian Hieroglyphs used a combination of sequential images and words to narrate a story. Some versions of the Bible at those early times relied on images instead of text as we know it today; this was to enable illiterates to understand the teachings of the Bible.

After the printing press was invented, a separation between words and images was established; thus, the two required different processes to produce. One of the first creators of printed comics was William Hogarth. He was known to create several sets of images in sequential order to resent modern moral subjects. A Rake’s Progress, which was one of his works, was made up of several canvases and each canvas was reproduced in print.

It produced a total of 8 prints which was a narrative. In 1842, with the advancement of technology as a result of the industrial revolutions, artists started to create images in sequential order to narrate a story.  In 19843, Topffer, an artist used a picture story to narrative his thoughts. In his work ‘Essay on Physiognomics’.

Ally Slopers Half Holiday – Comic

Later in 1845, the satiric drawings that featured on different magazine prints were named cartoon. It was Punch, a British magazine that was started in 1841 that first referred to its comic pencil drawings as a cartoon. This became some common practice as other similar magazines in Europe began to incorporate cartoons in their prints.

The first public comic that was produced weekly was Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday which was first published in Judy, a British humor magazine in 1867. The comic was produced by C.H Ross while Emilie de Tessier his wife created the illustrations. It was published by Dalziel Brothers in an eight ages long black and white paper. It became extremely popular that over 350,000 copies of it were sold. Two other comic books Illustrated Chips and Comic Cuts were launched in 1890.

Comics gained more popularity in the 20’s and 30’s. In Britain, the comics The Dandy and The Beano became popular for children. While in Belgium, Herge, the Adventures of Tintin was launched into the market and it gained popularity with time.

It was during this period that Action Comics launched its comic series with Superman making its debut. The popularity of the Superman character became a genre in the America comic books industry. There was a decrease in its popularity in the 50’s, but it picked up from the 60’s to the late 20th century.

In Japan, comics which is referred to as Manga was established at the end of the World War II by an artist named Osamu Tezuka. His works had a great influence on Disney animations in that period.