See Article History Comic strip, series of adjacent drawn images, usually arranged horizontally, that are designed to be read as a narrative or a chronological sequence. The story is usually original in this form. Words may be introduced within or near each image, or they may be dispensed with altogether. If words functionally dominate the image, it then becomes merely illustration to a text.

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September 24, 3 Minutes David Kunzle is one of the founding fathers of contemporary Anglophone comics scholarship and one of its seminal figures, a status he in no small measure earned through the publication of his The Early Comic Strip: Narrative Strips and Picture Stories in the European Broadsheet from c.

The survey, beginning in the s and running all the way until , is accompanied with largely descriptive historical commentary. The second section treats personal morality tales, structured thematically as well as chronologically, considering crime and punishment, vices and follies, marriage, sexual morality and other topics related to rakes and harlots. The third section is devoted to Londoner William Hogarth and his successors.

It then treats the advent of caricature, which experienced its golden age in the late s and early s. A final chapter treats Hogarthian and post-Hogarthian art on the European continent. Its richness must be experienced first-hand to be fully appreciated. The Early Comic Strip is no doubt dense and figuratively and, thanks to its large format, thick paper stock, and pages, literally heavy. Even for an avid history buff and near-unsatiable reader like myself, the book does get a little too bogged down in detail at times, but this is a rare occurrence and really only a problem if you attempt to take in the entire thing in one or two sittings.

It provides an excellent prehistory, situating the emergence in Europe and the US in the mids of comics in something like the form we know them today in a larger genealogy. It also stands as an example of what comics studies can be, if it is practiced with equal measures of effort and ambition.

And it is nearly impossible to beat for its illustrations, a fact which stands endless repetition. Sadly, the book has been out of print for a long time, so this post is more a teaser than anything else.

But if you happen to find it in a used bookstore or online, buy it. Share this:.


Book Review: David Kunzle’s “The Early Comic Strip”

Saran Auction speeds generally vary between approx. Any surplus so arising shall belong to the seller; d to remove, store and insure the Lot at your expense and, in the case of storage, either at our premises or elsewhere; e to charge interest at a rate not exceeding 1. The Early Comic Strip. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.


David Kunzle


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