“Kunzle’s book…has gone virtually unnoticed by the comics community but is an enormously important work, covering nearly 400 years of forgotten European comics. Check it out!”
—Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics
Unfortunately, the two volumes of David Kunzle’s mammoth study are long out of print, and the used copies are selling on Amazon for hundreds of dollars. I e-mailed Professor Kunzle (he’s part of the Art History Department at UCLA) to see if there was any chance of seeing it back in print. He said no, but that he has two books on Rodolphe Topffer, a facsimile of his eight comic strips, and a monograph, coming out from University Press of Mississippi in April.
If you’re a comics geek and you’re ready to go back further than Little Nemo and The Yellow Kid, it’s really worth it to track down copies of these books. I got mine through interlibrary loan. Here are links to find the books in a library near you: