World’s oldest comic goes on public display

Published: 18 March 2016

The oldest comic book goes on public display in a major comic exhibition which has opened at the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow


The oldest comic book has gone on public display in a major comic exhibition which has opened at the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow. (March 18)Oldest comic 400 

The Comic Invention exhibition features the little known 'Glasgow Looking Glass', first published in 1825 and pre-dates Punch by 16 years.

The Glasgow Looking Glass establishes Scotland as the birthplace of comics.

Other major attractions in this prestigious exhibition which puts classic pop art, masters and comic artists side by side include: originals by Roy Lichtenstein with his iconic In the Car; Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup and Jacqueline Kennedy II; work by artist Sha Nazir; oil on canvas by Rembrandt; specially created sculpture by Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce; plus artworks by Picasso; Rauschenberg; Max Ernst and David Hockney.

Alongside the Glasgow Looking Glass will be displayed America’s first comic, The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck (1842), of which only 12 copies are known.

Another star attraction is an exclusive collection of 20 artistic works by Glasgow-based international artist Frank Quitely of DC Comics fame, the most in-demand graphic artist in the industry today.

This is the first major public display of Frank Quitely’s work and features his original artwork for Batman, New X Men and All-Star Superman. 

Professor Laurence Grove, lead academic for the Comic Invention Exhibition and an expert in the history of comics, said: “This is a unique exhibition. For the first time comics are being put on an equal footing alongside major artworks by the likes of Rembrandt and Warhol, and that is where they belong. They are works of art in their own right.”

Professor Laurence Grove

For more information contact Jane Chilton, media and communications, University of Glagsow 0141 3307126 /

First published: 18 March 2016

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