John Leech’s Awful Appearance of Wopps at a Picnic (1849)

Knowing that any picnic might dissolve in chaos when attacked by a flying critter, readers of Punch, Britain’s premier satirical magazine, laughed at Leech’s mock tragedy. They might have also smiled patronizingly at the verbal pun “wopps,” the Cockney pronunciation...
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck’s Picnic (1939)

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck’s Picnic (1939)

At first, Donald Duck’s beach picnic is a pleasant outing. Donald and Pluto set up on the beach for a perfect day. Donald plants an umbrella for shade and spreads a blanket for food. Expectations are high. It doesn’t last, as usual. The picnic turmoil is classic....
James Gillray  and the Pic Nics (1801-1803)

James Gillray and the Pic Nics (1801-1803)

­Picnic, the English phonetic spelling of pique-nique, owes its introduction in English parlance to the Pic Nics, a London club that had a brief run from 1801-1803. We remember the Pic Nics now mainly because James Gillray lampooned and mocked them. We remember that...
Frederick Henry Townsend’s Zeppelin Picnic (1915)

Frederick Henry Townsend’s Zeppelin Picnic (1915)

Even after zeppelin attacks on London in May and June, Brits are undeterred and cannot refrain from picnicking even under threat of being gassed. Acid satire by F.H. Townsend. Featured Image: Even under threat of attack, Upper-class Brits cannot refrain from...
A.T. Smith’s  Picnic Fiasco “Slicing the Wasps” (1919)

A.T. Smith’s Picnic Fiasco “Slicing the Wasps” (1919)

The humor of Smith’s picnic fiasco “Slicing the Wasps” is obvious. The legend reads: “Suitable for both sexes, young and old. Fascinating, amusing, skillful exciting, and with that element of danger.” It’s also an allusion to John...
John O’Brien’s Ants at a Picnic (1992)

John O’Brien’s Ants at a Picnic (1992)

Ants at a picnic always serve for picnic humor not because they have interrupted picnics but because it is cute to presume that they do. But who is really bothered by ants? John O’Brien achieves stasis in “Ants at a Picnic”: his picnickers and ants below them are...
Heath Robinson’s “Just a Picnic at Whipsnade” (1934)

Heath Robinson’s “Just a Picnic at Whipsnade” (1934)

The zany humor of “Just a Picnic at Whipsnade” is Heath Robinson’s trademark. Of the two picnics here, the lion has got the better deal. It also helps to know that Whipsnade is England’s biggest zoo, near Luton, an hour and twenty minutes north of London. Featured...