Joseph Ferdinand Keppler, the founder of the “Puck” magazine, was born at 1. February 1838 in Vienna, Austria. After the studies of art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, he traveled in Tirol and Italy. Everywhere he went, he got famous about his telling stories and his drawings.
In 1864, he married the Viennese actress Minna Rubens. His father left Europe by the revolution at 1848 and went in a little town in North Missouri. Joseph Keppler emigrated with his new wife to his father.
Soon went Joseph Keppler with Minna Rubens to St. Louis in 1867. At 1869, J. Keppler help launching at the German-American magazine “Vehme”, for only one year. Kepplers wife, the actress, Minna Rubens died 1870.
Joseph Keppler began in March 1871 to draw cartoons to the magazine “Puck” until August, 1872. In the same year 1871, he married Pauline Pfau witch gave three children, Udo, Irma and Olga, birth.
Fall 1872, Joseph moved with his family to New York and work for Frank Leslie‘s publishing house. 1874, they began contributing political cartoons to Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper. In September, 27. 1876 Joseph, Ferdidand Keppler and Frank Leslie with the employee Adolph Schwarzmann resurrected the “Puck” magazine for the New York German-American audience. Keppler’s main work was in producing cartoons drawings for criticizing President Ulysses S. Grant, and the political corruption of his administration. His cartoons were famous for their caustic wit, generating much publicity for Puck and pioneering the use of color lithography for caricature. Much of his success was due to a clever adaptation of classical and historical subjects to his criticisms of modern life.
The “Puck“ magazine was the first successful humor magazine in the United States of colorful cartoons, caricatures and political satire of the issues of the day. It was published from 1871 until 1918. Under several owners and editors continued the English language magazine for more then 40 years, until i got bought by the William Randolph Hearst company in 1916. The publication lasted two more years; the final edition was distributed September 5, 1918. A typical 32-page issue contained a full-color political cartoon on the front cover and a color non-political cartoon or
comic strip on the back cover. There was always a double-page color centerfold, usually on a political topic. There were numerous black-and-white cartoons used to illustrate humorous anecdotes. A page of editorials commented on the issues of the day, and the last few pages were devoted to advertisements.
The name of the magazine “Puck”, according to Wikipedia sources, comes from the word “Puckish” what means “childishly mischievous”. In May 1893, Puck Press published A Selection of Cartoons from Puck by Joseph Keppler (1877–1892) featuring 56 cartoons chosen by Keppler as his best work. Also during 1893, Keppler temporarily moved to Chicago and published a smaller-format, 12-page version of Puck from the Chicago World’s Fair grounds. Shortly thereafter, Joseph Keppler died, and Henry Cuyler Bunner, editor of Puck since 1877 continued the magazine until his own death in 1896. Harry Leon Wilson replaced Bunner and remained editor until he resigned in 1902. Joseph Keppler Jr. then became the editor.
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- Gilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). “Keppler, Joseph“. New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
- Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). “Keppler, Joseph“. Encyclopedia Americana