Some comedy for Christmas

Pictorial Comedy for a new century

Pictorial Comedy was a monthly magazine of ‘stories, humorous pictures, varied reading’. Each issue typically ran to 32 pages plus the covers. At a shilling a copy, it was expensive. The Strand, for example, was sixpence – half the price – as was the society weekly the Queen.

Pictorial Comedy aimed to depict ‘the humorous phases of life’ through the eyes of eminent artists. Prominent among its roster was Charles Dana Gibson, an American artist renowned for portraying beautiful women. Its pages were slightly larger than A4, and many images were printed full-page, or across a spread, so many will have been mounted and framed.

The printer and publisher was James Henderson at Red Lion House in Red Lion Court, just off London’s Fleet Street.

The striped effect visible on the cover is caused by the impression of the letterpress type on the reverse of the page coming through.

This is the seventh of 12 Christmas covers in a magazine version of ye olde English counting song The Twelve Days of Christmas.

There was also a selection of covers for Christmas 2019.

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