Maer Roshan and friends launch satirical iPad appazine, ‘Punch!’

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Maer Roshan is back today.

The habitual magazine-launcher has been working for some months with sometime conspirator Dany Levy on Punch!, which debuts today as an iPad app (free!) that promises to be partly a pop-culture gaming platform and original content, curated on the "Culture Shelf," that, according to press materials presents "a series of scrollable shelves presenting diverse culture offering both high and low" that "feels like an interactive variety show."

We haven't gotten to take a look yet, though you can take a look at some screenshots here and read the full press release below.

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Here's the full press release:

Punch! Launches First-Ever Satirical App for iPad -- Users Can “Play with Pop Culture”

New York, NY – April 12, 2012 – Punch! Media, a leading-edge, interactive mobile technology content company, today announces the launch of Punch!, a unique game-like app for iPad that invites users to “play with pop culture.”

Punch! was built from the ground up specifically for iPad, combining the sharp design and editorial standards of top magazines with iPad's engaging Multi-Touch environment. Punch! fuses the experience of mobile games with real-time web offerings to present content in a way that can only exist on iPad.

“iPad has enabled us to do storytelling in an entirely new and immersive way,” said Punch! Media CEO David Bennahum. “Punch! merges the best of the old and new: the graphic design sensibility and editorial standards of print with the interactive features and style of mobile games.”

Punch! produces original content exclusively showcased in “The Culture Shelf,” a series of scrollable shelves presenting diverse cultural offerings – both high and low. Punch! feels like an interactive variety show, featuring a range of pop culture sketches and vignettes that combine animation, sound, web applications such as YouTube and Google Maps, and social sharing tools.

“Punch! Is really about incubating great ideas wherever they come from,” said Maer Roshan, Founding Editor of Punch Media!. “The app is designed to encourage a sense of discovery and I’m excited for iPad users to get their hands on it."

The Punch! App is available for free from the App Store at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/punch!-culture-shelf/id516068498?ls=1&mt=8

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Facts/Background on Punch!

Punch! is an interactive satirical app that redefines the content experience with game-like engagement and razor sharp design.

Punch! fuses the experience of mobile games with real-time web offerings to present content in a way that can only exist on a tablet. It is a new iPad Platform that encourages users to “play with pop culture.”

Punch! co-founders are David S. Bennahum, CEO; Maer Roshan, Founding Editor; Ethan Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer; Dany Levy, Creative Director; and Daniel Wyszynski, Chief Technology Officer.

Punch!’s technology platform was created by Daniel Wyszynski, and its editorial content is created by a team of editors who work in tandem with the tech and design teams.

The app’s design is overseen by Kate Elazegui, Design Director. Kate has a long history overseeing art departments at magazines including New York, Money and Radar.

Bennahum and Roshan had the idea for Punch!, and Bennahum oversaw its creation over the last two years. Roshan, former Editor-in-Chief of Radar, helped create the app’s satirical editorial sensibility and recruit the editorial and art teams. Levy also helped establish Punch!’s editorial point-of-view.

A Punch! prototype was built in February 2011 and Bennahum and his tech team have refined its technology and publishing system since then. Says Bennahum: “Our technology lets users produce content with the fit and finish of an App without having to do any complicated programming. I hope our platform will empower legions of creative people to publish remarkable experiences on iPad.”

Punch! presents a unique opportunity for marketers who are able to create beautifully showcased sponsored content alongside editorial. Sponsors can also deploy a “Brand Owned Shelf” directly in the app store under their own brand, using Punch!’s original publishing platform – akin to a “pop up store in the App Store.”

Seed funding comes from Betaworks, TechStars, Dany Levy, Jason Calacanis and New Enterprise Associates.