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The Glasgow Looking Glass

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'The Glasgow Looking Glass'
Publication information
Publication date11 June 1825 – 3 April 1826

The Glasgow Looking Glass was the first mass-produced publication to tell stories using illustrations, and as such is regarded as the earliest comics magazine. The final issue was published on 3 April 1826.[1]

Publishing history[edit]

The title was published by Glasgow lithographic printer John Watson[2] and its principal strip illustrator was William Heath. The fourth issue contained History of a Coat, its first comic strip. After the fifth issue, the title was changed to The Northern Looking Glass to reflect broader Scottish concerns.


The fortnightly publication provided satirical snapshots of Glasgow society, British culture and 19th-century fashions. Innovations included use of the term "To be continued" and word balloons.[3]


  1. ^ Stewart-Robertson, Tristan (24 June 2013). "World's first comic book from Glasgow in spotlight". The Scotsman. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  2. ^ "The Glasgow Looking Glass". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  3. ^ "'World's first comic' is up for auction". The Times. Retrieved 19 February 2022. William Heath's Glasgow Looking Glass was a pioneering publication which is said to have coined the phrase " . . . to be continued".