Next month sees the opening of Comic Invention: The Glasgow Looking Glass of 1825, an exhibition at the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow featuring the world’s oldest comic, the Glasgow Looking Glass.
This major new exhibition offers both art lovers and comic fans alike the chance to explore the cultural and historical background of graphic narrative and how we tell stories in pictures. Taking visitors from the world’s oldest comic to Scooby Doo and Batman, it also reveals new material central to the history of comics.
Looking at graphic narrative in its widest sense, Comic Invention showcases treasures from The Hunterian and beyond, from the ancient Greeks to William Hogarth and contemporary items combining comics with art, manuscripts and objects.
It offers the opportunity to discover the culture of comics in their broader context and see works by artists such as Picasso, Hockney, Lichtenstein and Warhol alongside the first major display of original drawings by comic artist Frank Quitely, one of the most in-demand graphic artist working in the industry today.
Comic Invention also highlights a very important but little known work called The Glasgow Looking Glass of 1825, arguably the world’s oldest comic (and goodness me, there have been arguments!), it predates titles such as Punch by 16 years.
A caricature magazine that satirised the political and social life of Scotland in the 1820s, the Glasgow Looking Glass was conceived and illustrated by William Heath. It ran for only 19 instalments and the University of Glasgow holds a hand coloured set of the first series of 17 issues.
Key manuscripts and printed works from University of Glasgow Special Collections and from the Kunzle Collection, Los Angeles, will also be on show, some of which for the first time in the UK.
• Comic Invention: The Glasgow Looking Glass of 1825 run from 18th March until 17th July 2016 at the Hunterian Art Gallery, the University of Glasgow. Admission to the exhibition is £5 Web: www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian
Hunterian Art Gallery and The Mackintosh House open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.00am – 5.00pm | Sundays 11.00am – 4.00pm | Closed Mondays | Telephone 0141 330 4221