Before 1900s in comics

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This is a timeline of significant events in comics prior to the 20th century.

Publications and events[edit]

15th century[edit]

1450–1516[edit]

16th century[edit]

1560[edit]

  • Pieter Bruegel the Elder paints Seven Wise and Seven Foolish Virgins, a biblical painting which shows a sequential narrative with clearly separated images. He also paints Twelve Proverbs, which frames twelve proverbs with a text underneath each image, making it an early example of a text comic.[2]

1565[edit]

17th century[edit]

1633[edit]

1672–1673[edit]

1663[edit]

  • A sequence, depicting a complete narrative - from the first meeting of the "actors" to the final murder - can be seen in the thirty-chapter headings in John Reynolds' The Triumph of God's Revenge Against the Crying and Execrable Sinne of .... Murther. The resemblance to a comic strip in form (but not matter) is striking.

1682[edit]

  • Matthew Turner publishes A True Narrative of the Horrid Hellish Popish-Plot, in which artist Francis Barlow uses panels and balloons for a historical account about the life of Titus Oates.[6][7]

18th century[edit]

1717[edit]

  • Gijsbert De Groot publishes Afbeelding van de Geboorte, Lijden en Sterven van de Salighmaecker der Weereld[8]

1724[edit]

  • William Hogarth draws A Just View of the British Stage, a cartoon notable for its use of speech balloons.[9]

1731[edit]

  • William Hogarth paints A Harlot's Progress, a series of paintings which follow a sequential order.[10]

1735[edit]

  • William Hogarth paints A Rake's Progress, a series of paintings which follow a sequential order.[11]

1736[edit]

  • William Hogarth paints Four Times of the Day, a series of paintings which follow a sequential order.[12]

1747[edit]

  • William Hogarth paints Industry and Idleness, a series of paintings which follow a sequential order.[13]

1751[edit]

  • William Hogarth paints The Four Stage of Cruelty and Beer Street and Gin Lane, a series of paintings which follow a sequential order.[14]

1755[edit]

  • William Hogarth paints Humours of an Election, a series of paintings which follow a sequential order.[15]

1783[edit]

  • Joseph Franz von Göz publishes Leonardo und Blandine an adaptation of his play in pictures.[16]
  • Thomas Rowlandson publishes Two New Sliders for the State Magic Lanthern[17][18]

1784[edit]

1790s[edit]

1792[edit]

  • James Gillray draws the two-sequential cartoon French Liberty, British Slavery.[22]

1793[edit]

1794[edit]

  • Richard Newton draws Sketches In A Shaving Shop, which is an early text comic, yet build around conceptual vignettes rather than a story. He also draws Progress Of A Woman Of Pleasure and Giving Up The Ghost, Or One Too Many, two other text comic which do follow a narrative.[25]

1795[edit]

  • Richard Newton draws Samples Of Sweethearts and Wives, Contrasted Husbands and Clerical Alphabet, which are early text comics yet build around conceptual vignettes rather than a story.[26]

1797[edit]

19th century[edit]

1800[edit]

1801[edit]

1807[edit]

1810[edit]

1812[edit]

  • Thomas Rowlandson's illustrations to William Combe's novel about Dr. Syntax are notable for following one central character throughout a series of humorous sequences. The character will be re-used in two sequel books, printed in 1820 and 1821, making him the first serialized cartoon character,[33] he is also the first cartoon character to be published in episode format in a magazine and inspire merchandising.[34]
  • Hokusai publishes Hokusai Manga (Sketches by Hokusai), a series of illustrations that will have great influence on manga as a genre.[35]

1815[edit]

  • James Gillray, British cartoonist (French Liberty, British Slavery, John Bull's Progress, The Tables Turn'd, Democracy, or a Sketch of the Life of Buonaparte) , passes away at age 57.[36]

1816[edit]

1819[edit]

1822[edit]

  • James Catnach pays an unnamed engraver to copy the illustrations of the Cruikshanks for Pierce Egan's Life in London and publishes them on a broadsheet.[39] He will publish two sequels.

1825[edit]

  • June 11: First publication of The Glasgow Looking Glass (1825-1826), a British magazine that goes down in history as the first publication devoted entirely to comics and cartoons. In the same magazine William Heath publishes the pantomime comic History of a Coat, which is notable for having the first appearance of the cliffhanger To be continued....[40] Others comic from the same period by Heath are The Life of a Soldier; a Narrative and Descriptive Poem, An Essay on Modern Medical Education and A Happy New Year.[41]

1826[edit]

1828[edit]

1830[edit]

  • November 4: First publication of the satirical journal La Caricature (1830-1843) by Charles Philipon, which will attract many French caricaturist and early protototypical comics artists. It will also inspire similar satirical magazines in other countries.

1831[edit]

1832[edit]

  • December 1: The first issue of the French satirical magazine Le Charivari is published. It will offer pages for countless cartoonists, caricaturists, illustrators and comics artists over its century-run and only be disestablished in August 1937.

1833[edit]

  • First publication of Histoire de M. Jabot by Swiss teacher and amateur artist Rodolphe Töpffer, eventually initiating a trend of "histoires en images" (picture-stories).[49]

1834[edit]

  • July 15: Charles Jameson Grant publishes Adventures of the Buggins's in three strips with speech balloons in Every Body's Album and Caricature Magazine #14.

1836[edit]

  • George Cruikshank publishes Comic Alphabet, an illustration of the alphabet in a sequential narrative.[50]

1837[edit]

1839[edit]

1840[edit]

1841[edit]

1842[edit]

1843[edit]

  • Cancellation of the French satirical cartoons and comics magazine La Caricature

1844[edit]

1845[edit]

1847[edit]

1848[edit]

  • February 5: Charles Philipon publishes the first issue of the French satirical comics and cartoons magazine Le Journal pour rire. It will run until 1855.
  • Félix Nadar draws the comics Les Aventures Illustrées du Prince pour rire (1848), Vie politique et littéraire de Viperin, journaliste et industriel (1848) and Vie publique et privée de mossieu Réac (1848-1849).[64]

1849[edit]

  • January 6: Dutch illustrator Christiaan Le Blansch creates the pantomime comic Politiek Gesprek Vóór de Verkiezingen, which is blatantly copied from an earlier cartoon which appeared in the German magazine Fliegende Blätter in the first half of 1848.[65]
  • George Cruikshank publishes The Preparatory School, a gag comic which makes use of speech balloons to tell a sequential story.[66]
  • Gustave Doré draws the humoristic text comic Histoire d'une Invitation à la Campagne.[67]

1850[edit]

  • Gustave Doré draws the humoristic text comic Désagréments des animaux d'agrément.[68]

1851[edit]

  • Gustave Doré publishes Trois Artistes Incompris et Mécontents, Voyage en Allemagne and L'Homme Aux Cent Mille Écus.[69]
  • Alexander VerHuell draws the comic Zijn er zoo? and Zoo zijn er.[70]

1852[edit]

  • Gustave Doré draws the humoristic text comics Une Ascension au Mont Blanc, Les Eaux de Baden, Les Vacances du Collégien and Une Heureuse Vocation.[71]

1853[edit]

1854[edit]

1855[edit]

1856[edit]

  • January 5: The first issue of the French satirical cartoons and comics magazine Journal amusant is published by Charles Philipon. It will run until December 1933.
  • February 3: The first issue of the Belgian satirical magazine Uylenspiegel is published, where several Belgian caricaturists and prototypical comics artists will find room to publish their drawings. It will appear until 1863.
  • Félicien Rops publishes Promenade au jardin zoologique.[79]
  • The first issue of the Dutch humor magazine Humoristisch Album is published. It will provide room for future comics artists and cartoonists like Jan Linse and J. Holswilder.[80]

1857[edit]

1858[edit]

1859[edit]

1861[edit]

1863[edit]

  • The Belgian satirical magazine Uylenspiegel is disestablished.

1864[edit]

1865[edit]

1866[edit]

  • Charles Keene publishes the text comic The Adventures of Miss Lavinia Brounjones.[85]
  • André Gill publishes the text comic L'Amateur de Violon: Étude Musicale.[86]

1867[edit]

1868[edit]

  • January 26: The first issue of La Lune 's successor, L'Éclipse, is published. Within the same year this French satirical cartoons and comics magazine will suffer similar controversy.
  • August 9: A cartoon by André Gill, Monsieur X...? mocks magistrates and leads to a court case which results in the publication being fined.[90]

1869[edit]

  • Angelo Agostini publishes As Aventuras de Nhô Quim, the first Brazilian comic strip in history.[91]

1870s (unspecified which year)[edit]

  • Kobayashi Eitaku creates a scroll showing the decomposition of a female corpse in nine successive drawings.[92]

1870[edit]

1871[edit]

1872[edit]

1875[edit]

1876[edit]

  • June: Cancellation of the French satirical cartoons and comics magazine L'Éclipse.

1877[edit]

  • 6 October: Henri Berthelot launches the Canadian satirical weekly Le Canard, which will offer room to several Canadian cartoonists.[101]

1879[edit]

1880[edit]

  • January 3: The French satirical comics and cartoons magazine La Caricature is first published. It will run until 31 December 1904.

1881[edit]

  • October 29: First publication of the American illustrated satirical magazine Judge.

1882[edit]

  • December: First publication of the American newspaper Grit, a pipeline for popular comic strips.[103]

1883[edit]

  • Angelo Agostini publishes As Aventuras de Zé Caipora.[104]
  • Albert Robida publishes the graphic novel Le Vingtième Siècle, which fantasizes how the 20th century will be and what it will look like.[105]

1884[edit]

  • May 3: The first issue of the British comics magazine Ally Sloper's Half Holiday is published. It will run until 9 September 1916. Between 1922 and 1923, 1948 and 1949 and 1976 and 1977 it will be briefly revived.

1885[edit]

1886[edit]

1887[edit]

  • January: The first issue of the Norwegian illustrated children's magazine Norsk Barneblad is published.
  • Albert Robida publishes the graphic novel La Guerre au Vingtième Siècle, which fantasizes what war in the 20th century will be and what it will look like.[107]
  • Jan Pieter Holswilder creates a pantomime comic named No. 13, Het Ongeluksnummer, which is published in the Dutch humor magazine Humoristisch Album.[108]

1889[edit]

  • Georges Colomb publishes the comics series La Famille Fenouillard (1889-1893) under the pen name Christophe.[109]

1890[edit]

  • May 17: The first issue of the British comics magazine Comic Cuts is published. It will run until September 1953, after which it merges with Knockout.[110]
  • July 26: The first issue of Alfred Harmsworth's British comics magazine Illustrated Chips is published. It will run until 1953.
  • Georges Colomb publishes the comics series Le Sapeur Camember (1890-1896) under the pen name Christophe.[111]
  • The Dutch Catholic teacher Johannes Franciscus Nuijens (Korporaal Achilles) publishes the satirical text comic Het Rapport der Defensiecommissie toegelicht en eenigszins uitgebreid door Korporaal Achilles (The Rapport of the Commission of Defense, explained and somewhat expanded by Korporaal Achilles).[112]
  • Albert Robida publishes the graphic novel Le Vingtième Siècle. La Vie Électrique, which fantasizes how 20th century life will be and look like.[113]
  • The first issue of the Dutch illustrated children's magazine Geïllustreerd Stuiversblad is published.[114]

1891[edit]

  • The Dutch Catholic teacher Johannes Franciscus Nuijens (Korporaal Achilles) publishes the political science fiction comic De Toekomststaat (Een Nachtmerrie Fin de Siècle). Visioenen en Droombeelden uit de 20ste eeuw (The Future State (A Nightmare at the End of the Century). Visions and Dreamscapes from the 20th Century)[115]

1892[edit]

  • March 16: The first issue of the Swedish illustrated children's magazine Kamratposten is published.
  • June 1: Jimmy Swinnerton publishes The Little Bears (1892-1896), the first American comic strip, notable for having recurring characters.[116][117]
  • July 30: The first issue of the British comics magazine Funny Wonder is published. It will run until 25 May 1901.

1893[edit]

  • May 21: The newspaper New York World publishes the first comics page in colour, namely Walt McDougall's The Possibilities of the Broadway Cable Car.[118]
  • Georges Colomb publishes the comics series L' Idée Fixe du Savant Cosinus (1893-1899) and Les Malices de Plick et Plock (1893-1904) under the pen name Christophe.[119]
  • John Tenniel becomes the first cartoonist to be knighted.[120]
  • The Dutch Catholic teacher Johannes Franciscus Nuijens (Korporaal Achilles) publishes the political science fiction comic Klacht van een Onderwijzer over De Vrije & Orde Oefeningen op de Lagere School (Complaint from a Teacher about the Free & Disciplinary Exercises in Primary School).[121]
  • The Canadian Arthur Racey creates The Englishman in Canada, a comic strip with speech balloons in The Montreal Star. It will run until 1894.[122]

1894[edit]

  • April 29: Charles W. Saalberg creates The Ting-Lings, considered one of the earliest American comic strips. [123]
  • June 2: In one of the cartoons Richard F. Outcault draws for Truth the character who will later become The Yellow Kid can be spotted, though he is still nothing more but a background character and since the series is published in black-and-white nobody calls him by his name yet.[124]
  • June 16: Jack Butler Yeats's Chubb-Lock Holmes makes its debut.[125]
  • November 10: The first issue of the French satirical cartoons and comics magazine Le Rire is published.

1895[edit]

1896[edit]

  • January 5: A colour episode of Richard F. Outcault's Hogan's Alley marks the first time the central character is depicted wearing a yellow gown, which gives him and the series the name The Yellow Kid.[128]
  • October 18: Newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst buys Richard F. Outcault away from The New York World so that The Yellow Kid can instead appear in the new colour supplement The American Humorist of his newspaper The New York Journal. The series Hogan's Alley continues in The World but drawn by George Luks [129], while Outcault's version of Hogan's Alley in The American Humorist uses the different title McFadden's Row of Flats. This is the first widely publicized legal battle between two newspapers over a comic strip and a turning point in the history of the modern comics industry.[130]
  • October 25: The episode The Yellow Kid And His Phonograph of Richard F. Outcault's The Yellow Kid mark the first time speech balloons and a sequential narrative are used in the series. This is widely regarded as the starting point of the modern (American) comic strip.[131]
  • The first issue of the Dutch illustrated children's magazine Weekblad Voor De Jeugd is published. It will run until 1915.[132][133]

1897[edit]

1898[edit]

Deaths[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

  • 1704: Francis Barlow, British illustrator and prototypical comics artist (The Cheese of Dutch Rebellion, A True Narrative of the Horrid Hellish Popish Plot) dies at age 67 or 68.[143]
  • October 26, 1764: William Hogarth, British painter, illustrator, cartoonist and prototypical comics artist (A Just View of the British Stage, A Harlot's Progresss, A Rake's Progress, Marriage à-la-mode, The Four Stages of Cruelty, Industry and Idleness, Four Times of the Day, Beer Street and Gin Lane, Humours of an Election), dies at age 66.
  • December 8, 1798: Richard Newton, British cartoonist and caricaturist (Sketches In A Shaving Shop, Samples Of Sweethearts and Wives, Progress Of A Player, Progress Of A Woman Of Pleasure, Constrasted Husbands, Clerical Alphabet, Giving Up The Ghost, Or One Too Many and Undertakers In At The Death), dies of tyfus at the age of 21.[144]

19th century[edit]

1800[edit]

1805[edit]

  • November: Pehr Nordquist, Swedish comics artist (Päder Målare och Munthen), dies at age 34.[146]

1811[edit]

  • April: Isaac Cruikshank, Scottish cartoonist (Female Opinions on Military Tactics, The Humours of Belvoir Castle - or the Morning After), dies of alcohol poisoning at age 47.[147]

1814[edit]

1815[edit]

1827[edit]

  • April 21: Thomas Rowlandson, British cartoonist, illustrator and comics artist (Two New Sliders For The State Magic Lantern, The Loves of the Fox and the Badger, or the Coalition Wedding, Johnny Newcome, Dr. Syntax), passes away at age 70.[150]

1831[edit]

  • December 18: Willem Bilderdijk, Dutch poet and creator of an early unpublished comic (Hanepoot), dies at age 75.

1836[edit]

  • April 20: Robert Seymour, British caricaturist and cartoonist, commits suicide at the age of 38.[151]

1840[edit]

  • April 7: William Heath, British caricaturist (History of a Coat), passes away at age 46 or 47.[152]

1845[edit]

  • Hilmar Johannes Backer, Dutch illustrator and comics artist (De Geschiedenis van Mijnheer Kardoes en Mejuffrouw Muizenschrik), dies at age 41 or 45.[153]

1846[edit]

1847[edit]

1849[edit]

  • April 18: Hokusai, Japanese illustrator, manga artist and painter, passes away.[156]

1850[edit]

  • Charles Jameson Grant, British illustrator, engraver and comics artist (Adventures of the Buggins's), dies at age 30.

1856[edit]

  • March 13: Isaac Robert Cruikshank, British cartoonist and caricaturist (Every Man on His Perch, of Going to Hobby Fair, The National Pop-Shop in Threadneedle Street), dies at age 66.[157]

1864[edit]

  • October 29: John Leech, British caricaturist and illustrator (Mr. Briggs), dies at age 47.[158]

1865[edit]

1866[edit]

  • December 30: Victor Adam, French painter, illustrator, lithographer and comics artist (made early text comics), passes away at age 66.[160]

1867[edit]

1872[edit]

1878[edit]

  • February 1: George Cruikshank, British cartoonist and caricaturist (The Preparatory School), passes away at age 85.[163]

1879[edit]

  • February 10: Honoré Daumier, French cartoonist, illustrator and graphic artist (Les Poires), dies at age 70.[164]

1883[edit]

  • December 10: Richard Doyle, British illustrator, caricaturist, cartoonist and comics artist (Brown, Jones and Robinson), passes away at age 59.[165]

1884[edit]

  • January 23: Gustave Doré, French illustrator (Les Travaux d'Hercule, Trois Artistes incompris et mécontents and Histoire Pittoresque de la Sainte Russie) dies at age 51.[166]
  • August 18: Léonce Petit: French illustrator, caricaturist and engraver (Histoires campagnardes, Les Mésaventures de M. Bêton), dies.[167]

1885[edit]

  • May 1: André Gill, French illustrator, cartoonist, caricaturist and comics artist (L'Amateur de Violon), passes away at age 44 in a mental asylum.[168]

1886[edit]

  • November 5: Christiaan Le Blansch, Dutch illustrator, engraver and comics artist (Politiek Gesprek Vóór De Verkiezingen), dies at age 58.[169]

1888[edit]

1890[edit]

  • 1890: Émilie de Tessier, French comics artist (Ally Sloper), passes away at age 42 or 43.
  • May 27: Kobayashi Eitaku, Japanese illustrator, painter and prototypical manga artist (Decomposition of the corpse of a courtisane), dies at age 47.[171]
  • August 20: Jan Holswilder, Dutch illustrator, painter, lithographer and comics artist (No. 13, het ongeluksnummer), dies at age 39.[172]

1891[edit]

  • January 4: Charles Keene, British cartoonist and comics artist (The Adventures of Miss Lavinia Brounjones, Our American Cousin in Europe), passes away at age 67.[173]

1894[edit]

1895[edit]

  • March 16: Henry George Hine, British painter, cartoonist and comics artist (Mr. Crindle's Rapid Career Upon Town), passes away at age 83.[176]
  • September 15: Hector Berthelot, Canadian journalist, columnist, lawyer, publisher and cartoonist (founder of the satirical cartoon magazines Le Canard, Le Vrai Canard, Le Grognard, original author of the novel series Père Ladébauche, which was later adapted into a comics series by Joseph Charlebois), passes away at age 53.[177]

1897[edit]

  • May 28: Alexander VerHuell, Dutch novelist, illustrator and comics artist (Zijn er zoo?, Zoo zijn er), dies at age 85.[178]
  • October 12: Charles Henry Ross, British comics writer and cartoonist (Ally Sloper), dies at age 62.[179]

1898[edit]

  • July 29: Mecáchis, Spanish caricaturist, illustrator and comics artist, dies at age 38 or 39. [180]

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