World’s first comic to go on show at one-off nighttime event at Hunterian Museum

Night at the Museum to showcase the art of comics
Scotland is known around the world for its whisky, castles, scenery and kilts.

But now the University of Glasgow is hosting a special one off Night at the Museum to ensure it is also recognised as the “cradle of comics”.

Pictured 
Anna Smeaton 7 from West End with her favourite comic sitting below a plesiosaur with Professor Laurence Grove  (left) and comic artist Frank Quitely (right)


The free public event at the University’s Hunterian Museum is expected to be a popular night out for comic book fans both young and old.

As well as bringing an opportunity to party with the dinosaurs, superheroes and the Mummy, the event will put the world’s first comic - Glasgow Looking Glass - on public display for one night only.

The event – on Saturday 1 December 2018 - will also showcase the research being done at the University’s College of Arts on the important role Scotland had in the development of the genre of comics.

The public are being encouraged to dress up as their favourite comic book characters for a special costume parade to celebrate the Comics Night at the Museum extravaganza.

Professor Laurence Grove, Professor of French and Text/Image Studies at the University of Glasgow, said: “We want the Night at the Museum to be fun and would encourage lots of dressing up to celebrate our comic book superheroes.

“From earliest times from Egyptian hieroglyphs to medieval illuminated manuscripts we have used pictures to explain the world around us, so the culture of comics has always been here.

“But there is an important story for everyone to know as well that Scotland was the cradle of comics. The world’s first modern comic book was published in Scotland.

“Called the Glasgow Looking Glass it poked fun at political issues and the fashion of the day.  It was an early example of satirical topical graphic journalism, a genre that became increasingly popular throughout the nineteenth century.

“This is a night of fun and enjoyment with a few interesting insights to celebrate all things comics. The fact is comics are, quite frankly, super cool and I love researching this inspirational field to bring it to new audiences.”

And it will be also be a chance for children and adults to explore the cultural and historical background of comics from the earliest times up to the present day. It will also be a superb chance to get see the amazing collections of The Hunterian after opening hours.

The event is been run to coincide with St Andrew’s Fair Saturday. It aims to positively respond to consumerism of Black Friday by delivering a festival of arts and culture and also support the wider celebration of St Andrew’s Day. Night at the Museum has received supported through Scotland’s Winter Festivals.
Steph Scholten as Director of The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow, said: “The Hunterian is delighted to support this exciting Comic Night at the Museum.

“It will contribute to the global Fair Saturday movement and the celebration of St Andrew’s day to boost social inclusion, fairness and sharing inspired by Scotland’s National Day.

 “We look forward to welcoming fans of comic books to the Night at the Museum. I hope the public will get behind this great event and enjoy The Hunterian filled with all our favourite comic book superheroes.”

Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development Ben Macpherson, said:
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The University of Glasgow is hosting a special Night at the Museum to celebrate Scotland’s stature in the world of comics.

The free public event at the University’s Hunterian Museum is expected to be a popular night out for comic book fans both young and old.

As well as an opportunity to tour the museum, visitors will be able to see the world’s first comic – Glasgow Looking Glass – when it goes on public display for one night only.

Hunterian Museum and comics
Event: Night at the Museum will showcase the art of comics. Photo credit: Martin Shields

The celebration – on Saturday 1 December – will also showcase the research being done at the University’s College of Arts on the important role Scotland had in the development of the genre of comics.

The public are being encouraged to dress up as their favourite comic book characters for a special costume parade to celebrate the Comics Night at the Museum extravaganza.

Highlights of the night will include an appearance by Scotland’s Frank Quitely, one of the world’s top comic book artists with the legendary DC Comics.

Professor Laurence Grove, Professor of French and Text/Image Studies at the University of Glasgow, said: “We want the Night at the Museum to be fun and would encourage lots of dressing up to celebrate our comic book superheroes.

“From earliest times from Egyptian hieroglyphs to medieval illuminated manuscripts we have used pictures to explain the world around us, so the culture of comics has always been here.

“This is a night of fun and enjoyment with a few interesting insights to celebrate all things comics. The fact is comics are, quite frankly, super cool and I love researching this inspirational field to bring it to new audiences”

Professor Laurence Grove

“But there is an important story for everyone to know as well that Scotland was the cradle of comics. The world’s first modern comic book was published in Scotland.

“Called the Glasgow Looking Glass it poked fun at political issues and the fashion of the day.

“It was an early example of satirical topical graphic journalism, a genre that became increasingly popular throughout the nineteenth century.

“This is a night of fun and enjoyment with a few interesting insights to celebrate all things comics. The fact is comics are, quite frankly, super cool and I love researching this inspirational field to bring it to new audiences.”

And it will be also be a chance for children and adults to explore the cultural and historical background of comics from the earliest times up to the present day.

It will also be a superb chance to get see the amazing collections of The Hunterian after opening hours.

The event is been run to coincide with St Andrew’s Fair Saturday.

Hunterian Museum
Exhibits: A superb chance to get see the amazing collections of The Hunterian after opening hours. Photo credit: Martin Shields

It aims to positively respond to consumerism of Black Friday by delivering a festival of arts and culture and also support the wider celebration of St Andrew’s Day.

Night at the Museum has received support through Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

Steph Scholten as Director of The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow, said: “The Hunterian is delighted to support this exciting Comic Night at the Museum.

“It will contribute to the global Fair Saturday movement and the celebration of St Andrew’s day to boost social inclusion, fairness and sharing inspired by Scotland’s National Day.”

Frank Quitely is the pen name of Glaswegian Vincent Deighan who said: “I can’t wait for the Comics Night at the Museum. This will be a one-of-a-kind experience. Don’t miss it!”

* The three hour event is free, although those who wish to attend need to book here due to limited space.The event is from 7pm-10pm.

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