this is currently my favourite bedtime story.
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch: A Romance:
This is a graphic novel that maliciously, deceives you into thinking its a childrens picture book, until you pick it up and begin to read. The author, whom happens to be one Neil Gaiman, in this book deals with what he considers to be the basis of our emotions and our childhood memories.
He says that "memory is like elastic": It can give you a terrible nip should it suddenly
snap back. The book also examines the origins of Punch and Judy, and the adult world
through the eyes of a child.
Apparently each character of the "Mr. Punch Puppet Show" was made to bear a resemblance to our emotions in their most uncooked state, birth, and death, trust, love and fear.
The idea was to illustrate how a child can looks at exactly the same story as an adult and yet see a completely different shape. Gaiman says it is ‘what you see as a child balanced against what you understand as an adult’.
In the eyes of a child, Punch and Judy puppet shows are a fanfare of colour and exhilaration.
Memories of crocodiles and sausages, and all messied up with silly laughs, the beach, and
ice-cream. Through the eyes of an adult however, we see a completely different tale unravel.
Mr Punch, an indecent little man with a shrill voice, was actually Britain's first serial killer.
The artist of the graphic novel, Dave McKean says that the scene that disturbs him the most is the one at the very beginning of the play. Merely because the baby will not stop
crying Mr Punch throws it out the window and then asks the audience to love him.
Not only does Mr Punch throw a baby out the window, but he bashes his wife
to death, and kills the policeman that was sent to arrest him. He also caused the hangman
to hang himself, he murdered a ghost, and outfoxed the devil. Mr Punch was never punished and never died.
He lived to travel up and down the countryside, entertaining and pleasing young
and old. For 250 years now, Punch and Judy professors have told the original Italian tale to
generations of children who gaze in bewilderment at the annoying little man
with the big, big stick.