The 351st meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 5pm ET. ONLINE PRESENTATION VIA ZOOM. Please email to register for this event. Free and open to the public. Please note 5pm starting time.

Brian Maidment: ‘Beyond Pickwick – Robert Seymour and late Regency caricature in Britain’.

‘If known at all, Robert Seymour is remembered as the first illustrator of Dickens’s Pickwick Papers (1836). He was, nonetheless, a well-established and prolific comic draughtsman in his own right by the 1830s. His varied career is visible enough to give some sense of what it meant to be a struggling jobbing comic artist at a moment when the market for illustrated cheap print was expanding rapidly. Seymour produced single plate etched and engraved caricatures, lithographs and a mass of small wood engraved illustrations. By the time of his disastrous collaboration with Dickens, he was beginning to publish series of plates under his own name which satirized contemporary manners. These series brought the traditions of exaggeration and the grotesque from caricature into alignment with newer ideas of social observation. This paper will give over an illustrated overview of his often striking and accomplished work’

Brian Maidment is Emeritus Professor of the History of Print at Liverpool John Moores University. His recent research has centred on down market comic prints and cheap illustrated publications between 1820 and 1850. His book Comedy, Caricature and the Social Order 1820-1850 (2013) offered an overview of down-market comic illustration in this period. His most recent book is Robert Seymour and Nineteenth-Century Print Culture, which forms the first full length study of Seymour.