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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Early Comic Strip...

...though not meant to be comical. It tells a story in separate but similar images in progression, with balloons that show the dialogue. But this is from 1493, the year after Columbus stumbled upon the Caribbean ("discovered America")!
Yes, predating The Yellow Kid by about 400 years!

The duchy of Gelria (Gelre), in what is now part of the Dutch province of Gelderland, saw the return of the young Duke Charles (Karel) from captivity in Burgundian France in 1492. Bernard, Count Van Meurs remained hostage in stead of his uncle Charles in Péronne, France, so Charles could settle his ransom. It is Van Meurs who in this document of 1493 complains that Charles has not kept his promises...
(From the Municipal Archives of Zutphen, old arch. nr. 2386.)
[Though I found the above image in a book, you can see a wonderful reproduction of it here on the website of the Zutphen Archives!]

I would venture to guess it would read something like this:
   1) "Oh, King of Burgundy, I, Count Van Meurs will take Duke
        Charles' place while he fetches your ransom in Gelria.
   2) "Thanks, Van Meurs, I will get you out of here pronto!"
   3) "I'm out! That dumb Van Meurs can rot for all I care...!"

It may not seem to be animation related, but in my opinion it is a direct ancestor to our storyboards: it shows that this way of telling a story is very basic (at least in Northern European culture)...

(On a personal note I can tell that 1493 is three years after the earliest date in my own family tree--the church books before that date have reportedly burned.)



Anonymous Rodney Baker says...

Outstanding find!

Friday, September 24, 2010 at 5:06:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

Mmm, interesting find - must be before the days of speech bubbles!!

Friday, September 24, 2010 at 8:47:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

Wow, you're family tree goes back to 1490 - my family tree goes back to roughly 1758 or 1768 and we had at least one or two notable people in our tree.

Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 4:45:00 AM PDT  

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