Today, September 2 is the 350th anniversary of The Great Fire of London, a blaze that ravaged a large section of the city for four days in 1666. Royal Mail have commemorated the event with a set of postage stamps that have a comic book documentary of events as they unfolded - from the initial blaze in Pudding Lane through to Christopher Wren’s proposals for a new city.
The Great Fire Stamps have been drawn by John Higgins, known for his work in 2000AD and DC titles such as Watchmen and The Killing Joke. He has crafted his panels to fit a map of the area that was consumed by the blaze which spread uncontrollably.
There is also a presentation pack that evokes the kind of factual historical comics that were once common in UK weeklies such as Eagle and Look and Learn.
The Fire stated shortly after midnight in the bakery of Thomas Farriner (Farynor or even Farrier). Various accounts conflict over the actual cause, although a historian on tv the other day thought it likely Farriner’s daughter had an accident moving burning coal from the oven to another fireplace in the house. Once started, the fire spread quickly from Pudding Lane moving west across the city. A failure to demolish buildings and create firebreaks meant that it grew into a firestorm that drove 70,000 people from their homes.