Skip Content
U.S. Flag

Puck Magazine

The Knight of the Wind-bag Enters the Senatorial Field.

Puck was founded by Austrian-born cartoonist Joseph Keppler and his partners as a German-language publication in 1876. The magazine took its name from the blithe spirit of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, along with its motto: “What fools these mortals be!” Puck looked different than other magazines of the day. It employed lithography in place of wood engraving and offered three cartoons instead of the usual one. The cartoons were initially printed in black and white, but later several tints were added, and soon the magazine burst into full, eye-catching color.  Puck’s first English-language edition in 1877 made it a major competitor of the already established illustrated news magazines of the day, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Keppler’s former employer, and Harper’s Weekly. Puck attracted an appreciative audience. Its pro-Cleveland cartoons in 1884 may well have contributed to the Democratic candidate’s narrow victory in the presidential election. The Republicans responded by buying Puck’s weak rival, Judge, and luring away some of Puck’s talented staff. Within a few years, Judge supplanted Puck as the leading humor magazine.

The Southern Cock.
Senator Thomas Francis Bayard, der Mann mit dem eifernen Princip.
"The Soul of Blaine" Still on the Rampage.
Puck Wants "A Strong Man at the Head of Government"—But Not This Kind.