The Horrid Hellish Popish Plot, by Francis Barlow 1682

One of the first European comic strips is probably Francis Barlow's 'The Horrid Hellish Popish Plot' from 1682. The comic was probably only preceded by German woodcarvings from the late 15th Century resembling comics. In this sequential story, Barlow makes consistent use of speech balloons resembling banners or scrolls. An accomplished painter, etcher, and book illustrator, Francis Barlow was the leading bird and animal artist in 17th century England.

The Horrid Hellish Popish Plot, by Francis Barlow 1682

Last updated: 2006-12-29

Series and books by Francis Barlow in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


Since 1999, Lambiek presents the Comiclopedia as a free service to comic fans from all over the world. The database has expanded to over 12,000 biographies of international comic artists, and also has an extensive Dutch section about comics in the Netherlands.
For 15 years, the site was funded from the resources of our Amsterdam-based shop. However, the current economical circumstances make it difficult for us to maintain this service. At the moment the Comiclopedia's sole editor works for us free of charge, aided by a couple of (international) volunteers.

If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.