Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Evolution of the comic page layout: My Father: A Poem (1819?)

This fascinating chapbook was published during the publisher's lifespan--1845-1847--but, intriguingly, the back cover/wrapper reads, "Published in 1819."  Could this be a reprint of an 1819 chapbook?  So far I've found no (Internet) record of an 1819 edition, but 1819 is certainly possible, since miniature books like this one, with verse and illustration interspersed in this fashion, can be found at least as far back as the 1700s.  So....

I haven't precisely pinned down the history of the text; allegedly, it was derived from another children's text (and gender-reversed!).  Lots of swiping was going on in those days.

Interestingly, if arranged on a single page, the layout of My Father--A Poem would look highly similar to the comic book-style 1875 montage, "Bertie and His Sled," originally featured in the monthly children's magazine, The Nursery:



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