On January 1, 1849 the first edition of Punch in Canada was published by John Henry Walker, an eighteen year old designer and wood engraver. It was the first magazine in Canada to publish political cartoons on a regular basis. Walker drew a full page cartoon for each biweekly issue. Within months it claimed a circulation of 3000. In 1850 the offices were moved to Toronto where the magazine went weekly. It ceased publication within a year and less than two years after it began.

It was inspired by Punch which began in London England in 1841. In 1843, it published a satirical drawing of a ragged crowd inspecting crowds or sketches of work commissioned to decorate the Houses of Parliament. The work was entitled “Cartoon No. 1”. This was the beginning of the word “cartoon” for editorial drawings.


Book text:

The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarates & Terry Mosher. McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1979: 28, 40 – 42, 229.