Upstairs, Downstairs, Inside, Outside: Fritz Gareis Breaks the Third Wall but Leaves Social Hierarchies Intact

Fritz Gareis Jr.’s Bilderbogen des kleinen Lebens is an innovation, insofar as it seems to be the first regularly appearing continental European comic strip with speech balloons, but otherwise it isn’t particularly innovative in formal or aesthetic terms. As noted earlier, the strip always consisted of six discrete panels—three rows, two columns—from its very first appearance in Götz von Berlichingen to its final appearance under Gareis’s hand less than two years later.

There was, however, one exception. Continue reading