• Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • default color
  • red color
  •  
Home arrow The Pioneers

The Pioneers

Detail from an English Civil War pamphlet depicting 'the resolution of London women in sending their husbands to war', c 1644.
Detail from an English Civil War pamphlet depicting 'the resolution of London women in sending their husbands to war', c 1644.
Where to begin? Although the comic itself is an invention of the nineteenth century, its antecedents date back to the Middle Ages. It was only with the origins of printing in Europe that images were produced for a mass audience. It is true that before this there had been illustrations, paintings and other artworks designed for public view; there had even been narratives in sequential pictures, such as Trajan's Column in Rome (dedicated ad 113) and the Bayeux Tapestry in Normandy (c 1100). But, in order to see these, people had to travel to them. After the advent of the printing press, images could travel to the people. In other words, the simple fact of accessibility ushered in the era of the 'mass medium'.