|Punch and Judy by Carlo Giordano|
Unlike most modern children's entertainment, the Punch & Judy tale was quite dark, with Mr. Punch basically killing off all of the other puppets including The Baby, Judy, The Constable, and ultimately The Devil. Mr. Punch was a thoroughly unlikeable character, selfish and mean, and yet he has attracted audiences and devotees throughout the centuries.
Later he visits his grandfather's spooky, failing arcade a short ways from the beach, and meets a Professor (as the puppeteers refer to themselves) and his bottler (who collects the pennies and interacts with both puppets and audience).
Gaiman and McKean are long-time collaborators and are perhaps best known for the Sandman series of graphic novels and, more recently, Coraline which was turned into a popular film. This may be my favorite creation by them, though. It's a great tale which is true to the tradition and history of Punch & Judy, and the execution of the story, text and artwork is beautiful.
Check back soon: In the next edition of Punch & Judy: Modern Interpretations, we will explore another contemporary publication, The Comical Tragedy of Punch and Judy by Christopher P. Reilly and Darron Laessig.