Punch and Judy Comics

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Punch and Judy Comics

A golden age comic book series in the humor genre, which also contains many stories in the funny animal genre. The series was published by Hillman Periodicals from 1944 to December 1951, and ran for 32 issues, in three volumes. The series is most notable for showcasing some early funny animal work of legendary comic book writer/artist Jack Kirby, who provided two characters for the book, Lockjaw the Alligator and Earl the Bunny.

The main feature concerns a living marionette named Punch, who is created by a genial toymaker named Uncle Tony, and the puppets best friend, a blonde haired girl named Judy. The strip draws for inspiration more from Pinocchio than typical Punch and Judy puppet performances. The art is inspired by animation studios such as Disney and Warner Brothers.

Other features include Fatsy McPig, Captain Catfish and Buttons the Rabbit. One feature notable for its racist overtones is Little Horsefeathers, a humor strip about a hapless Native American boy, in the “Little Hiawatha” mode.

All Hillman periodical publications are in the public domain, and have been often reprinted by various companies, including Eclipse Comics with Airboy and The Complete Jack Kirby reprints. The comics entered the public domain 28 years after their first printing, and the copyrights were never renewed for the second term of 28 years available.3

Due to either a publishing error or the vagaries of publishing issue number 9 of volume one does not seem to exist, but issues 8 and 10 do.

According to the Grand Comic Book Database: “Vol. 1/#7 is February 1947; V1/#8 is March 1947 in indicia, but April is listed on cover; V1/#10 is May 1946. Does V1/#9 exist? None of the Punch and Judy collectors known have a copy.”1

Punch and Judy Comics Volume 1 #1