“That’s the way to do it!”
I never quite understood the concept behind Punch and Judy. Have a puppet show in which a man beats the shit out of his wife, throws his baby down the stairs and then gets beaten up by a crocodile. Maybe it’s because I was born in the 1990s and Punch and Judy shows aren’t really a thing anymore, that I don’t understand it.
It’s not that I’m offended by it, while it may make me sound like a terrible person I do think that spousal abuse can be funny, obviously not real spouse abuse, but I think that anything can be made funny if it’s done correctly. It’s just everyone has their own limits on what they find funny.
No, I’m not offended. What I really don’t get is that the puppets are so goddamn hideous. I could accept wife beating and child abuse to a point if done well, but how can anyone look at these puppets and find them anything other than horrifying.
Neil Gaiman is kind of a dark man. He recognised that Punch and Judy shows are some of the most disturbing acts of domestic abuse that one could imagine. So he brings us a story in which a man recalls memories of his grandfather’s Punch and Judy show as they begin to blur into the suppressed memories of a traumatic childhood.
If you read my work frequently you’ll already know of a man named Dave McKean and how his art is a little distur-
OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY!
Dave McKean proves once again that when it comes to creativity and fuelling my night terrors for the next three weeks that he is second to none. He uses a mixture of photographs of real life carved puppets and illustration to add contrast. It’s a standard comic book until you reach the horribly disturbing photographs that you had no idea were coming.
Just remember guys… as scary as it may be… I saw that thing in person. I’ve never been the same since.