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Did Scotland Invent The Comic Book?

An upcoming BBC Scotland documentary Scotland's Amazing Comic Book Heroes by AKA Comics shop owner John McShane makes the claim regarding the publication pf The Glasgow Looking Glass published in that Scottish city in 1825, running fortnightly for a year.

And the reason?

Not only did the The Looking Glass, founded by John Watson, pioneer the use of "To Be Continued" – the sign of a comic strip according to experts – it also introduced "word balloons" to the literary canon

While the likes of Our House In Town (below) is multi-panel, it couldn't take the mental link to continue a story panel, to panel, instead it portrays a house over a numbr of panels. A trick which the likes of Will Eisner, Alan Moore an Rick Veitch would revisit but it doesn't take the jump to realise that a different panel could show the same space at a different time. Taking that mental step would be what was necessary to create the first comic narrative. This however was bloody close.

Did Scotland Invent The Comic Book?

It's frustrating that this publication had all the elements necessary to make a comic book narrative, all in place for the first time, but seperately, never quite used together. It's more the Missing Link rather than the Origin Of Comics itself.

But with Scotand so influential in the comics form, from the likes of Oor Wullie, The Broons, The Beano, Dennis The Menace, Dandy and the likes of Alan Grant, John Wagner, Mark Millar, Grant Morrison, Gary Erskine and Frank Quitely, it's good to know there's something in the blood.

(Via The Scotsman)

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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