World's oldest comic book traced to Scotland

The world's oldest comic book was published in Scotland nearly 200 years ago. Research has revealed that 'The Glasgow Looking Glass', published in 1825, predates all other known modern comics.

A drawing from 'The Glasgow Looking Glass'
A drawing from 'The Glasgow Looking Glass' Credit: PA Wire

The comic, which later became known as The Northern Looking Glass, casts a satirical eye over 19th century Scottish society, poking fun at the fashions and politics of the era. It will take centre stage at the International Graphic Novel and International Bande Dessinee Society Joint Conference 2013 at Glasgow University this week.

The Glasgow Looking Glass was published in 1825
The Glasgow Looking Glass was published in 1825 Credit: PA Wire

Dr Laurence Grove, conference organiser from the University of Glasgow, said: "Work being presented at the conference shows that not only is Scotland, and particularly Glasgow, right at the forefront of the comic book industry today, but it has been so throughout history. By hosting major events such as this we are really helping to reconceptualise comic books. We're changing the cultural canon in a way."

The comic casts a satirical eye over 19th century Scottish society
The comic casts a satirical eye over 19th century Scottish society Credit: PA Wire
It is regarded as a predecessor of Punch and other popular satirical comics of the Victorian age
It is regarded as a predecessor of Punch and other popular satirical comics of the Victorian age Credit: PA Wire