When Was the First Comic Book Written? (Mania.com)

By:Christina Hamlett
Date: -
Source: The History of Comics


Comic books have always been appealing to boys and girls, as well as to adults who recognize their future value as media memorabilia. The first comic book was written by Rudolphe Topffer, who is considered the creator of the first comic strip.

The Dawn of Comics

In 1837, a Swiss artist named Rudolphe Topffer published the first comic book to combine cartoons and accompanying text. .

Coming to America

Topffer's comic book was translated and published in several European countries before finally coming to the United States in 1842.


"The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck," the American version of Topffer's comic book, contained 6 to 12 panels per page in a 40-page side-stitched booklet. The comic book measured 8 1/2 by 11 inches.

Following The Action

Instead of word bubbles above the characters' heads to show who was speaking, each page of Topffer's comic book had a line of text beneath the drawings to move the story along.

Original Title

Topffer's original title of his comic book was "Les Amours de Mr. Vieux Bois." It was also published as "Histoire de M. Vieux Bois."

The Plot

The comic book followed the silly adventures of a bachelor and his on-again, off-again attempts to woo and win the hand of a young lady who was not entirely attractive by the standards of the day.