|Gloucester Telegraph, Sep 16, 1842|
EXTRA, NO. IX. The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck, often labeled “the first American comic book”, first issued to subscribers as a 40-page ‘Extra, No. IX’ issue of Brother Jonathan weekly in New York, and dated September 14, 1842, was a reworked bootleg version in English of Swiss cartoonist Rodolphe Töpffer’s comic strip Les Amours de Mr. Vieux Bois or Histoire de Mr. Vieux Bois (1827, Geneva album published 1837).
If Oldbuck might be called the first American comic book, the following short newspaper quip might be called the first criticism of comic books in America,
Does the “Brother Jonathan” often humbug the public with such trash as the “Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck”? The respectable papers of Boston should not become a party to such impositions by puffing them. — Gloucester [Massachusetts] Telegraph, Sep 16, 1842
|Rodolphe Töpffer (1799-1846), self-portrait|