The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really like Dave McKean’s artwork. I like the motley collage and subtle chaos of angular ink drawn faces mixed with magazine cutouts and snapshots. The storytelling is excellent too. The Tragedy of Mr. Punch is a story about a young boy’s remembrances of his days at his grandfather’s failing indoor amusement arcade. The young boy narrates the story and because of his age, certain events of the story are insinuated. The boy doesn’t have the maturity to grasp the full meaning of adult interactions and innuendos. At his grandfather’s arcade he meets a “Professor”, a man who travels from town to town putting on Punch and Judy shows. The Professor tells him about the special bond between puppetmaster and puppet and the boy gets a feel of it when he puts on an alligator puppet that the professor has invited him to try. The boy is at once frightened by the Punch and Judy story and morbidly curious. The correlations between the real world the boy lives in and Punch’s story are subtly made and artful presented.
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