In "The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch" by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, an adult encounters an abandoned puppet show on a beach, which triggers his memory of the incidents in his childhood that led to his grandfather's insanity.

Like so many first-person stories, the unnamed narrator is unreliable - partly due to the passage of time since the events occurred and partly due to his childish mind's inability to understand and process all that was happening at the time. But the effects on the narrator and his family are clear if the details are not. The story of Punch and Judy - a violently slapstick puppet show - is performed repeatedly in the childhood memories and a parallel tragedy is suggested in the real lives of those around the child.

With his grown-up eye, the narrator tries to parse the meaning of what he saw and the flawed character of his grandfather and his grandfather's associates. Among other things, he realizes how dismissive and dishonest adults are toward the children in their lives.

McKean's artwork is a combination of drawing, painting, collage, and photography. This style gives a surreal effect to the story. Its darkness matches the tone of the narrative.

"Punch" is an interesting parable about violence, memory, and the treatment of women and children. It is a lot to tackle in a graphic novel. It is not Gaiman's best work, but he succeeds in creating an atmosphere, telling a story, and sending a message.