| “[…] the scenes of death incorporate panel divisions and xylographic text in a way that more closely resembles modern comics. Modern techniques, then, appear at moments of salient representations of criminality.
I suspect that this combination of comics form and criminal content developed into a continuous lineage of true-crime comics from the early print period to the present day. Malcolm Jones underscores the criminal, subversive aspects of the early modern press with his section divisions, such as “The Body Politic,” “The Moral Order,” and “The Social Order.” In the same vein of social history, Sheila O’Connell traces the long lineage of prints into the nineteenth century. Over time, her selection of prints draws more attention to the emergence of penny bloods and penny dreadfuls. Printed image-texts — perhaps, “comics” — sometimes outlasted the criminal codes that they originally subverted, as with the bi-centennial lifespan of “Cats Castle.””