The History of the First Mass Produced Comic Book

The Glasgow Looking Glass is believed to be the very first comic book in the world. It was published in Scotland nearly 200 years ago, in 1825. Over the years, comic strips such as DC Thompson Comic Strips and Beau Peep, one of the evergreen favorites, have been produced in Scotland.

It was a decade after the publication of The Glasgow Looking Glass that titles like Punch came into prominence.

Comic illustrations characteristically have been around since millennia. When we consider The Glasgow Looking Glass, it is the first comic book to be mass produced.

It was during the starting days of the industrial revolution that the comic book came into print. It was a time when the population of Glasgow had begun to rise. Newspapers were becoming more commonplace. The Glasgow Herald was first published in 1783.

So when The Glasgow Looking Glass was first published, they got scores of thousands of copies printed. Those were distributed in pub houses and the properties in and around Glasgow.

The name The Glasgow Looking Glass, stayed for five publications. It used to be a fortnightly magazine. Thereafter, the name was changed to The Northern Looking Glass. This was to bring in a national character for the publication.

The focus would lay over affectations that used to be during the days, eccentricities that prevailed across all levels of the society, politics and fashion.

The Northern Looking Glass finally halted publication on 3rd April 1826 with the publication of the final issue. The first one appeared on 11th June, 1825. Richard Griffin and Co. did come up with two more issues of the new series. But in June 1826, the publication was halted.

The publication genre associated with The Glasgow Looking Glass is topical graphic journalism, which used to prevail during those days. Through the 19th century, the genre stayed popular. A number of satirical publications, such as the aforementioned never lasted long. But Punch, a British weekly magazine that started out in 1841 came by as a national institution. The satirical themes of The Glasgow Looking Glass stayed over in Punch to an extent.

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