The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay

The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay

Thierry Smolderen


In The Origins of Comics: From William Hogarth to Winsor McCay, Thierry Smolderen offers a cultural panorama whose narrative differs in lots of methods from these awarded by way of different historians of the cartoon. instead of starting his inquiry with the popularly accredited “sequential artwork” definition of the caricature, Smolderen in its place needs to have interaction with the ancient dimensions that tell that definition. His target is to appreciate the methods that ended in the twentieth-century cartoon, the hugely recognizable species of photo tales that he sees crystallizing round 1900 within the United States.

Featuring shut readings of the image tales, caricatures, and humoristic illustrations of William Hogarth, Rodolphe Töpffer, Gustave Doré, and their many contemporaries, Smolderen establishes how those artists have been immersed in a really outdated visible tradition during which images―satirical pictures in particular―were deciphered in a fashion that used to be usually defined as hieroglyphical. throughout 8 chapters, he acutely issues out how the influence of the printing press and the mass introduction of audiovisual applied sciences (photography, audio recording, and cinema) on the finish of the 19th century ended in a brand new twentieth-century visible tradition. In tracing this evolution, Smolderen distinguishes himself from different comics historians by means of following a technique that explains the current country of the shape of comics at the foundation of its heritage, instead of proposing the background of the shape at the foundation of its current country. This research remaps the heritage of this influential artwork form.

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