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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch Paperback – Illustrated, September 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo / DC Comics (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563892464
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563892462
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.7 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is world famous for his extraordinary stories told in graphic novel and traditional forms. He lives in the USA with his family. Dave McKean similarly is held in the highest regard as an artist and film maker. He lives in Kent, England with his family. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at www.neilgaiman.com more or less up to date.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It's a fourth graphic novel by McKean and Gaiman in my collection.
Majo Pavlovic
"The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch" has a rather deceptive title, but Neil Gaiman's dark spiderweb of a tale is well worth the reading.
E. A Solinas
When I first read this story I didn't identify with Punch and Judy and so it was hard for me to understand the character.
TorridlyBoredShopper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Veyera VINE VOICE on July 31, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neil Gaiman has several recurring themes to which he revisits again and again like the swallows returning to Capostrano. Foremost among these is the persistence of memory, which is the theme of "The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch."
The tale revolves around a Punch n' Judy show at a seaside carnival and how it acts as a trigger for a young boys memories of his family. As with much of Gaiman's work, there are tales within tales here, and the real story he tells is more implied than elucidated upon.
Dave McKean's art underscores this theme beautifully, with the "real" characters in the story as cartoon caricatures while the puppets look like photographs, exactly the focus with which young children would concentrate their memories. Can we not all remember a favorite toy more easily than our parents faces when we were little?
A marvelous and poignant tale well worth your time and money.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman is my hero. I always have, and always will be intrigued by Punch & Judy. Therefore, Gaiman's Mr. Punch is one of the greatest works I've ever read. Though it is unfair to say "Gaiman's Mr. Punch", as it is equally Dave McKean's, for without him, I'm sure Mr. Punch would lose part of its eerie, strange, subtle power. Mr. Punch is an odd book. I read it in a single sitting, and afterwards, I was actually at a loss for words trying to describe what it is. This was a first; I can praise Neil Gaiman for hours on end, but I was stuck with Mr. Punch. I've seen it classified as Horror, Science Fiction, normal Fiction, and just as a Comic. But it is much more. It sent something through me - something that I am also at a loss of words about. This is a really great story, much like a dream (or nightmare, depending) it is surreal, yet uncommonly realistic; it is disturbing, but also soothing. It's more of an experience than a reading. McKean's artwork and Gaiman's words send you into something of a trance, where you enjoy yourself, get disturbed (actually, more troubled, as the young protangonist would say), and subtly reminded of your own childhood. A must read for any Gaiman or McKean fan, and also a must read for any Punch & Judy enthusiast, or anyone looking for a great read.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
Mr. Punch is a difficult piece to review. It may be Neil Gaiman's finest work, but it is certainly his darkest. It is hard to describe the plot of Mr. Punch without giving anything away; suffice to say it is not the kind of work you would expect in a comic, and not what you would simply be able to put down and go on with your life once you have finished.
Dave McKean's always innovative artwork enhances the nightmarish quality of the piece, and Neil Gaiman's prose is captivating as always. Mr. Punch is at the very least worth a read, and will likely find itself on your bookshelf next to all the other books that quietly changed the way you look at things.
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Format: Hardcover
I really like the Hardback Edition of this book - it doesn't have the frail bones that the Paperback does or the Rotten little spine that falls apart on so many books. It is built, and it is built to last. another thing I realy liked here is that this edition came signed - I'm not certain if that is normal or not but this was bught overseas and, honestly, a number of factors could have played into it.

As far as Mr. Punch's story goes, it isn't simply a tale of the character. If it were, it would stay in the dark little realm that has been constructed for the character and that would be that. When I first read this story I didn't identify with Punch and Judy and so it was hard for me to understand the character. I know this was my own ignorance and it the harm it did to my perception of the book.
That goodness I had the idea of checking into Punch and Judy to understand all of this more, because the character is so much to so many people.

The story is not one of Mr. Punch, however, but of a boy that happens to find himself incolved with the character somewhat differently. It happens because of the way his parents - and grandparents - see the doll, with the hideous things he does as something that perhaps pollutes the minds of children. There is a part in the bok that stands with me because of that, with Mr. Punch taking a little baby puppet and hurling it out a window (off-stage) and then seeing the baby bleeding from its mouth with little jets of red paint.
It conveyed such horror and I could understand how the boy in the story found the need to run then.

I could also understand a lot about the boy because, amidst the rich writing and the wonderful plot, there was an artistry that really made me think "childhhood.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Evan Erwin on December 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I was ready for anything, not having read any Gaiman/McKein work for a very long time now, and picking this up made me feel bad for waiting so long. I was (and still am) amazed at the talent and magistry that Gaiman is able to reflect in eyes of a child, and how the story unfolds wonderfully with the sometimes beautiful, sometimes twisted and dark artwork found within. The pictures alone could tell an an amazing story, and the novella itself is told in the eyes of a child, and you know exactly whose voice the narrative is taking, from Mr Punch, to the Grandfather, to the child. I am a devoted fan, and this has only increased my hopes and chances of picking up more of his work. What are you doing still reading this? Go pick up this book!
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