The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck by Rudolph Töpffer

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Alyona K.

    • Alyona
    • November 20th, 2012

    Rudolph Töpffer – Birth of the Graphic Novel

    In 1827, Switzerland’s Rudolphe Töpffer created a comic strip and continued on to publish
    seven graphic novels. In 1837, “The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck” was published by
    Rudolphe Töpffer and it is considered the earliest known comic book. In 1842, “The Adventures
    of Obadiah Oldbuck” became the first comic book published in the United States. “Obadiah
    Oldbuck” was a forty page book. Each page had several picture panels with accompanying text

    Today the earliest known comic book is called The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck. Originally
    published in several languages in Europe in 1837, among them an English version designed for
    Britain in 1941. A year later it was that version reprinted in New York on Sept. 14, 1842 for
    Americans, making it the first comic book printed in America. Odadiah Oldbuck is 40 pages
    long and measured 8 Ѕ” x 11″. The book was side stitched, and inside there were 6 to 12 panels
    per page. No word balloons, but there is text under the panels to describe the story. A copy of it
    was discovered in Oakland, California in 1998.

    The comic was done by Switzerland’s Rudolphe Töpffer, who has been considered in Europe
    (and starting to become here in America) as the creator of the picture story. He created the comic
    strip in 1827 and the comic book/graphic novel. Rudolphe Töpffer created several (7 is known)
    graphic novels that were extremely successful and reprinted in many different languages, several
    of them had English versions in America in 1846. The books remained in print in America until
    1877. There are an unknown amount of Victorian Age Comic Books, this era of comic book
    history is still being discovered, researched and recorded.

    • roger morrison
    • February 7th, 2013

    Roger Sabin claims the American and British publications of Topffer’s work were intended for children. Was this true of the first American edition of ‘Obadiah’?

    • As researchers say the first edition of American ‘Obadiah’ was in 1842 and the year of this edition (which is published here) as we can see from the note on the flyleaf is 1659 (NY).

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