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Group Description

The serious international study of comic strips & books and their creators published before the mid-1930s going back into the 1600s and beyond. All list members are encouraged to search through the archives of over 20,000 posts of cutting-edge comics history archeology. The subjects covered range the gamut of early comics from all over the world. You will be glad you did.

We now have over 500 members in over 30 countries.

It appears most modern comic strip roads actually lead back to Rodolphe Topffer in the 1820s-1840s and most definitely not The Yellow Kid, which was not the first comic strip, merely the first Comics Super Star in America. We are re-writing the comic strip history books here, folks. All concepts welcomed.

Pictured to the right is a first printing of the very first comic book printed in America, Brother Jonathan Extra # IX, "The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck", Sept 14, 1842, Wilson & Co., NYC; originally drawn in 1827 by Rodolphe Topffer and first published in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1837 (his third published album), utilizing the then new technology of "paper transfer lithography."

Parisian bootleg printings began by 1839 and soon became very popular.

The first English translation was published in 1841 by Tilt & Bogue, London, financed in part by George Cruikshank. Those London printing plates were then shipped over to America, where Wilson & Co, under the direction of B. H Day, founder of the first successful penny newspaper in America in 1833, The New York Sun, began publishing Brother Jonathan "Extra" editions, circa 1841 with this being the 9th one.

The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck is very rare with only a handful of first printings known to exist. This earliest-known American-printed comic book was continuously in print in America from Sept 1842 through as late as 1904, according to research discovered in The New York Times of that year.

Comics history books on both sides of the Atlantic have had to be re-written.

Group Information

  • 535
  • Comic Books
  • Mar 13, 1999
  • English

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