Speech balloons

A Zippy on speech balloons (a.k.a. speech bubbles, word balloons, etc.):

Where does the “almost 300 years” come from? Here’s the relevant part of the fascinating Wikipedia entry:

In Western graphic art, labels that reveal what a pictured figure is saying have appeared since at least the 13th century. Word balloons began appearing in 18th century printed broadsides and political cartoons from the American Revolution often used them.

Unfortunately, the link to “The Evolution of the Speech Balloon” that the article gives (and that you can find many places on the web) doesn’t work.

Some sample balloons:

From top to bottom: an ordinary speech balloon, a thought balloon, a scream balloon.

7 Responses to “Speech balloons”

  1. John Baker Says:

    “Evolution of Speechballoons” is available via the Wayback Machine at http://web.archive.org/web/20070513035710/http://bugpowder.com/andy/e.speechballoons.evolution.html.

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    Paul Frank on ADS-L:

    there are the “dream bubbles” of the kibyoshi comics in Edo Japan. Adam Kern has interesting things to say about them on pages 237-238 of this book

  3. arnold zwicky Says:

    And Arne Adolfsen on Facebook, with another precursor:

    I find the dating of proto speech balloons to the 13th century CE to be really silly. In ancient Egyptian tombs, 2500 years earlier than that, pictured figures are quoted in the hieroglyphs that surround them.

  4. Balloons « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] on the left, a thought balloon on the right. These two, and a scream balloon, are illustrated here, along with a link to a great “Evolution of Speechballoons” site, where it’s […]

  5. Bubbles « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] cartoon balloon (also known as a bubble) with text in it represents thought rather than speech (see here). So: under water in a cartoon, everything looks like […]

  6. Speech balloons in Dingburg | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] An earlier Zippy on speech balloons is here. […]

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