History of Illustration, edited by Susan Doyle, is the first comprehensive study of illustration from antiquity to the present day. It's also the first global history of illustration, with chapters on Indian, Chinese, Latin American, African, and Islamic illustration in addition to more familiar Western and Japanese material.
The book is structured chronologically, though it also follows three additional narratives: geographical (histories of illustration in each continent), thematic (chapters on the illustration of anatomy, fashion, and propaganda), and technical (essays on developments in printing). The bibliography includes annotated entries on comic illustration, and there are more than 900 images. The definitive history of illustration, this is a unique guide to more than 1,000 years of visual culture.
History of Illustration is a broad overview of the entire subject, though individual forms of illustration have also been comprehensively surveyed. Essential books on each field include: History of Graphic Design, by Philip B. Meggs; A History of Book Illustration, by David Bland, The Poster: A Worldwide Survey and History, by Alain Weill; The Art of the Print: Masterpieces, History, Techniques, by Fritz Eichenberg; A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, by Christopher de Hamel; and The World Encyclopedia of Comics, by Maurice Horn.