Magic lantern slides categorised within the topical genre visually reflected current events that were also part of the contemporary written and illustrated press. These kinds of slides included four groups of subjects: (1) society—including national or international politics, economy, culture, education, science and technology; (2) incidents —such as accidents, crimes or natural disasters; (3) travel —showing current images of cities, landscapes or people around the world as well as travel motivated by scientific curiosity, the commercial and tourist industry, or artistic creativity; and (4) sports —through news-related events of interest to national or international public opinion.
Magic lantern slides within the topical genre also included the dissolving view subgenre. Magic lantern slides that belong to this subgenre are diachronic, simulating the passing of time across two or more moments through a gradual visual transformation. They provided added value to the visual presentation of all kinds of events: sights while travelling, natural phenomena, events such as explosions or fires, etc. The effect was achieved by darkening the image shown, while the next one was gradually superimposed.