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    Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck Extra IX Bound Volume (Wilson Publishing, 1842). This is the earliest known sequential-art American comic book, and it's a rare item -- less than a dozen copies have been confirmed to exist.

    Swiss writer/artist Rodolphe Töpffer, considered the inventor of the modern comic strip, originated the work in the late 1820s. The work was pirated in Paris in the 1830s, then the pirated version was translated into English for British publisher Tilt and Bogue. As Robert Beerbohm noted, "In a world where international copyright conventions did not exist, this was perfectly legal, if morally questionable."

    This edition was produced by the publishers of the newspaper Brother Jonathan, reformatted into what constitutes a modern comic book format as we recognize it today, printed in black and white and bound with string. Staple-binding and color printing weren't an option in the 1840s!

    All copies we have seen have been in Fair condition or thereabouts. This bound copy has extensive restoration, including rice paper reinforcement to almost every page. Interior pages have been cleaned but are still heavily stained. There's a lot of pencil writing on the third-to-last page. Note that Overstreet's page count of 44 reflects the outer cover that one variant copy reportedly possesses, i.e. this 40-page copy is complete. Overstreet 2009 GD 2.0 value = $2,500. From an Important California Collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2009
    14th-15th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 19
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,547

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