About what’s coming…

by Instant Noodle

Whilst browsing through one of my favourite second hand bookshops, I thought I’d explore a little alcove that I’d never strayed into before. It turned out to be “humour”; full of autobiographies of barely funny comedians and unloved FarSide anthologies.

Before leaving and returning to fiction, where I had originally intended to browse, I happened to notice some rather raggedy looking old annuals. I thought I’d check them out, and – lo and behold – I had stumbled across a clutch of historic editions of Punch, mostly from the turn of the century, but some from the First World War and some earlier on.

The thing about Punch is that it is always uproariously funny, daringly incisive, and yet always has its finger exactly on the pulse. There is no better way of gauging the public opinion than by the satire of the time, I’d say, and Punch reveals the hidden zeitgeist of the time; something that doesn’t normally come across in your average socio-economic study.

Safe to say, after spending a day in rapture, I bought as many as I could reasonably afford. Not only that, literally whilst driving home, I realised I couldn’t bear to have these and not show them off to whomever I could.

Hence this blog. I’m sure it’s pretty obvious from the name of the blog that I’m going to update this every day with a cartoon, or some sort of feature from an edition of Punch. I’m hoping to provide some sort of historical context too.

Incidentally, as I understand it, copyright laws dictate that as long as the material is over 75 old since it was published, then it can be reproduced. So, obviously, everything will be from editions before 1936. If I have woefully misunderstood this, then I may have to resort to producing stuff from the mid 19th century. Or give up. Which would be a shame. So please tell me if this is the case.

Otherwise, I hope you’ll enjoy reading Punch-A-Day!

Oliver

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