A very detailed and lavishly illustrated book on the inventor of modern comics, which gathers all the complete theoretical writings by Rodolphe Töpffer (1799-1846) on what he called himself “drawn literature”. The book contains also a facsimile edition (with modern transcription) of the famous Essay on Physiognomony. Many years before Will Eisner and Scott McCloud, Töpffer offered in this study a full-blown theory of the comics genre. Moreover, this publication presents also a meticulous and illuminating reading of Töpffer by the lead comics critic Thierry Groensteen. His analysis deals with the historical context of Töpffer work and thinking, it specifies the circumstances of his “invention” of the genre and examines the narrative power of his stories, whose wild but profound humor continues to charm contemporary readers.
In November 2014, the salon of the works on the comics (SoBD) granted to Thierry Groensteen the prize Papiers nickelés SoBD of the best work on the BD and the heritage drawn for Mr. Töpffer, the man who invented the comics.