Hello, and welcome to the Bee’s Knees, the weekly special here at Comic Booked where I take a look at some of the different ways people combine words and pictures. This week we’re going to examine something that many of us have already been looking at a lot lately—greeting cards.

Greeting cards have been a tradition for generations. Different designs and branches of greeting cards have come out, from photos to musical to popup… I could probably write a book on all of the variations.

oldest Christmas CardWhen did this trend start? Was it a Victorian craze that lasted? Would the characters of A Christmas Carol have given and received Christmas cards themselves? Yes, as it would turn out. The card you see on the right is the oldest known mass-produced greeting card, dating back to 1843 in England. Each card was hand colored, and there were spaces for a to and from on it. This particular card caused a bit of a controversy in some places because the picture includes a young child drinking wine, though the Christmas spirit easily predominates.

Keep In TouchToday greeting cards have taken on countless new faces and looks. This one by Keep In Touch Stationary Co. features a photograph on the outside for a more personal touch, and the card below, from Alibaba.com, is one of the many popup varieties. This is definitely a tradition worth passing on.

And that’s the bee’s knees for this week! Please join me next Friday for another way people blend words and pictures to create all-new forms of holiday art. In the meantime, feel free to tell me in the comments section if there’s something you know of I should write about. What’s your favorite kind of greeting card?

Popup card