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Mr. Punch 20th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – September 9, 2014
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Graphic novels by Mike Mignola
Browse a selection of titles by legendary comics writer and artist Mike Mignola. See more
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Most of the adults in the book have unspeakable secrets involving violence, insanity and/or illicit affairs of both the romantic and business varieties. But the boy is aware that adults can't be trusted, and the adult he becomes is aware that his boyhood perceptions were limited. Gradually the reader realizes the extent to which the cruel or victimized characters of the Punch and Judy show, a puppet comedy for children, mirror the tragedy of the grown-up characters in the "real" story.
Years later, comprehension eludes the narrator when each relative he questions as an adult has a different explanation, a partial explanation or a couple of explanations for him, just as the maze of mirrors in his grandfather's long-defunct arcade distorted his own image in myriad ways.
Finally, still mesmerized by the world of Punch and Judy, the narrator rejects an opportunity for a full unraveling of his family's past. Now he knows that a complete understanding would banish the mystery from the heart of his childhood, and where's the adventure in that?
I was a little confused with the storyline, I was never sure where it was going or what was happening half the time. It did come off as very creepy and sinister, which is what it was supposed to be, so it gets points for that. However, the storyline overall seemed to lack something. I didn't feel satisfied with the ending, because I wasn't sure what happened or how it got there. I expected more. More creepiness, more violence, and perhaps more closure at the end.
It all seemed like a hazy dream/nightmare that you wake up from halfway through, not knowing what happened or why it happened, and when you try to go back to sleep to finish it off, it eludes you until it is completely gone and you're just left with the remnants of that vague dream you awoke from.
That's basically how I felt about this book. Might get around to reading it again sometime in the future, and maybe then I'll pick up on things I missed out on this time around.
The text, taken by itself. expresses the utter bafflement of a child trying to understand the adult world - a topic that's been done, over and over, but remains as fresh and urgent as every child you'll ever see.Then, it carries the confusion of the grown child asking other adults what really happened, and getting answers less useful than none at all. It's not much of a plot, more a series of scenes, perhaps the way your own memory of your own childhood comes back to you.
But the imagery, like Bantock's best, conveys a story of its own. very often, the words and images align. McKean's illustrations, including the effort spent in creating the puppets photographed, reach your eye in layers - not just layers of imagery,like seen through a reflective window, but layers of meaning, too.
I see this more as memoire than story. But, either way, illustrated in nightmares that I've had or will have..
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a gorgeous book with haunting illustrations and a beautifully disturbing story. McKean's magical blending of mediums is nothing short of genius, and Gaiman's story-telling... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Paige Berzy
another fabulous book by Neil Gaiman.... beautifully illustrated and spookyPublished 15 months ago by Lori