Friday, March 24, 2023

What Was Punch Magazine?

July 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Affiliate Marketing

In all probability the first name that comes to mind whilst thinking of the history of cartoons is that of Punch.

It was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire published between 1841 and 1992. It was started in July 1841 by Henry Mayhew who, with Mark Lemon, was accountable for the editing, and engraver Ebenezer Landells who took care of the illustrations.

Its original sub-title was The London Charivari, after a French satirical humour magazine known as Le Charivari. Revealing their satiric and humorous goal, the two editors took the name of the anarchic glove puppet, Mr. Punch, of Punch and Judy renown as the title of the new publication.

On the other hand the name is also a play on words regarding the name of the co-editor Mark Lemon, in that “punch is nothing without lemon”. Mayhew did not stick with the publication for long. He ceased being joint editor in 1842 and became “suggestor in chief” until he departed in 1845.

Punch was responsible for the word “cartoon” in the sense of a comic drawing. In fact one of its most famous cartoons, drawn by George Du Maurier, the grandfather of the novelist Dame Daphne Du Maurier , gave birth to the expression ?it is good in parts, like the curate?s egg?. The phrase derives from a cartoon entitled “True Humility”.

It pictured a nervous-looking curate taking breakfast in his bishop’s house.The bishop says, “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr Jones.” The curate replies, “Oh, no, my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent!”

Yet probably its most well-known cartoon is entitled ? Dropping the Pilot? . This was a political cartoon by Sir John Tenniel, first published in March 1890. It depicts the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, as a shipping pilot, stepping off a ship watched by the German Emperor Wilhelm II. Bismarck had recently resigned as Chancellor at Wilhelm’s insistence.

After a very difficult beginning with much financial trouble and lack of market success, Punch became a must-have for British middle class drawing rooms because it not only displayed a sophisticated sense of humour and but did not contain the offensive material so prevalent in much of the alternative satirical press of the time.

The Times utilized small parts from Punch as column fillers, giving the magazine free publicity and indirectly granting a degree of respectability, However respectability was truly achieved when it was learned that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were to be found amongst it readership.

The circulation of Punch peaked during the 1940s at 175,000 but thereafter fell into deterioration, until in 1992 ,after 150 years the publication was compelled to close.

In 1996, the Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed became tired of the numerous criticisms he had to put up with from the publication Private Eye and bought the rights to the Punch name with a view to using it to combat his adversary. He relaunched it later that year, but it never achieved any degree of circulation or profitability and in May 2002 it was declared that Punch would at long last close for good

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