Scans follow, all made with NCH PhotoPad software, a great program for adding and subtracting layers of effects, and for fine-tuning the color "curve," as NCH terms it. (Not so great for centering images, cloning, or image-stitching). The arrangement of images around the text, and the way the images illustrate same, is profoundly like a comic book, even if we're not looking at rectangular panels with borders. At this point in my comic history research, I'm convinced the comic books I read and loved as a kid owe their existence to pre-1900 children's publications--shape books, primers, chap books, tracts, etc. Of course, I would never have imagined such a connection prior to 1) finding out about these amazing artifacts in the first place and 2) closely studying them. The notion of 19th century comic books seems less fantastic the more we study evidence like the following. As always, nothing replaces direct contact with the cultural artifacts of the past. The greatest virtue of artifacts is the way their tell their story (and tell of their era and its inhabitants) directly.
On to Louis Prang's marvelous Red Riding Hood shape book of 1863: