History of Visual Storytellling

       The Bayeux Tapestry

1064-1066 AD


This tapestry details various events during the Norman Conquest of England, spaning 231 feet and 70 scenes. The top and bottom borders have scenes from Aesop’s fables and Phaedrus, as well as scenes of husbandry and the chase. This tapestry is considered important historical evidence of the Norman Conquest

·         Codex Zouche-Nuttall


A Mixtec document recorded on 47 deerskin leaves. The Codex contains two narratives. On one side is the history of important places in the Mixtec area. The other side records the political, military and family history of the ruler Eight Deer Jaguar–Claw.

·         “A Harlot’s Progress”


Created by Wiliam Hogarth, “A Harlot’s Progress” was a collection of six panels which told the story of a promiscuous woman’s fall from grace. These panels were only paintings, and didn’t include any text.

·         Rodolphe Töpffer


This son of a German immigrant to Sweden is credited by some with creating comics. His work consisted of a series of satirical pictures, each accompanied by a caption. Notable works by Töpffer include “Histoire de M. Jubot” and “Histoire de M. Cryptograme” (1845).


·         The Yellow Kid


The Yellow Kid appeared in two comic strips: “Hogan’s Alley,” which ran in Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World, and “McFadden’s Row of Flats” in William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal. The Yellow Kid was the first comics character to be merchandised. His image appeared on products such as gum, cigarettes and soap.

·         Max Ernst’s “Une Semaine de Bonté” (A Week of Kindness)


Using images taken from various publications and other sources to create abstract images, such as people with the heads of animals, or people with wings. These images were used to create a series of books, one for each weekday. The books present a very visual, wordless narrative.


College Avenue reporter Devin O’brien can be reached at collegeavenue@collegian.com. Look for the Interviewing Guide issue of College Avenue on racks April 23rd!