The drawing pad as a journalistic tool
The 19th century marks the discovery of the future as literary object. Following the example of the dream narrative in Rip van Winkle (1819), scores of heroes fall asleep only to wake up 50, 100 or 1000 years later and thrill to the achievements of the future. They draw images of the future that mainly serve to decode their own eras — including through comics, beginning with Buck Rogers (1929).
Christian A. Bachmann is a literary scholar and scientific publisher. He has written several books about comics, illustrated stories and caricature, including: Little Orphan Annies Transformationen. Medienformatwechsel und mediale Eigenzeit zwischen Zeitung, Buch und Heft (2021), Bilder/Rahmen. Rahmungen in visueller Satire, Bildergeschichte und Comic um 1900 (2018) and Macht der Musik. Musik in Karikatur, Bildergeschichte und Comic. 1830–1930 (2017).
Image credit: Philip F. Nowlan/Dick Calkins: Buck Rogers, 2429 A.D., 1929