Robert Branston (probably)
Old Mother Hubbard and her Dog - 1819

The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and her Dog
(circa 1805)

The Comic Adventures of Old Mother Hubbard and her Dog
(circa 1805)

Old Mother Hubbard
circa 1805/10

(from an 1893 reprint)

These English picture stories for children may have inspired German manufacturers of popular prints, (the so-called 'Bilderbogen') to include picture stories in their programm. The earliest Bilderbogen featuring comics seem to be from 1835, including the following example of a German copy of Branston's version of Mother Hubbard.

What makes this so interesting is the fact that these Neuruppiner Bilderbogen (sold in vast numbers) inspired the creation of Munich Bilderbogen around 1848, which become the stomping ground for the slapstick comics by Wilhelm Busch, who in turn became the starting point of American sequential comics, the Katzenjammer Kids.

There seems to be a direct line of influence from British children's comics 1800-1840, via German Bilderbogen 1835-1890, to US newspaper comics (from 1895) where modern comics as we know them were finally established.

Geschichte der Madam Rips und ihres Hundes Bello
(Neuruppiner Bilderbogen, 1835-40)

(Bello comes from 'bellen', to bark. Typical doggie name)

Robert Branston 'The Comical Cat' (1818)

This book contains two stories, the second one (shown below) was a new version of Branston's comical cat (1818), apart from the first picture which in turn was based on the original chapbook from 1806. The drawings are in reverse.

Old Mother Mitten and Her Funny Kitten
(circa 1825)

Huestis & Cozans, 104 Nassau Street, New York
(The original order of the panels seems to have gone astray in this version)

Robert Branston - Dame Wiggins of Lee and her Seven Wonderful Cats (1823)
More an illustrated story than a comic, because not enough of the relevant action is shown visually.
This was a favourite childrens book of the art critic John Ruskin.

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