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A very old comic

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Twitter led me to this bold claim… that this is the oldest comic.

Can you think of older ones? I’m not counting hieroglyphics for Scott McCloud’s reason – that they’re not really pictures, but words. I’m not sure I 100% agree with that, but trying to work to a narrow definition as a starting point.

I’m also not counting “silent” comics (cave paintings, for example).

I’m looking for the earliest word-and-image, caption/speech and panel style art narratives.

Historians of comics… any suggestions? I have a hunch that there’s probably some Roman stuff – maybe scrawled on a wall somewhere, even if it’s just a one “panel” comic. But I’m particularly interested in anything you can turn up that’s multiple “panels”, words plus images.

More for curiosity’s sake than anything else. A spirit of enquiry mixed with proving-someone-wrong-on-the-internet-pettiness.


5 responses »

  1. Have you been to the Pompeii exhibition at the British Museum? There’s a fresco there from a tavern wall that looks like this I particularly like the last two panels – I can vaguely remember the gist of the translation:

    Red guy: I won!
    Yellow guy: That wasn’t a three, it was a two!

    (next panel)

    Red guy: It was a three, you noxcii – I won!
    Yellow guy: Fellator, it was a two!
    Barman: Take it outside!


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