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The Origins of ComicsFrom William Hogarth to Winsor McCay$
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Thierry Smolderen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781617031496

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617031496.001.0001

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date: 22 July 2018

From the Label to the Balloon

From the Label to the Balloon

(p.136) (p.137) 7 From the Label to the Balloon
The Origins of Comics

Thierry Smolderen

University Press of Mississippi

Today, the balloon seems to be the most natural way to attribute the gift of speech to a drawing in a sequential narrative. This chapter addresses the question of why, prior to the end of the nineteenth century, authors who readily used the balloon in other contexts never used it in their picture stories. The role of the balloon is examined in the context of graphic satire—a field in which it had been anchored for centuries—in order to understand what made it incompatible with the picture-story genre until the audiovisual revolution that took place between 1896 and 1905.

Keywords:   comics, picture stories, speech balloons, graphic satire

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