|The distinctively memorable 2nd book, 1959.|
|The first Andy Capp cartoon, 5th August 1957.|
Young comics creators today yearn for comics to be accepted by the general public. It already happened decades ago! Once upon a time the public loved newspaper strips and characters such as Andy Capp became household names. The Andy Capp collections, published twice a year, were read by blokes in the pub and by dads on holiday. Other newspaper strip collections such as Bill Tidy's Fosdyke Saga were also popular with adults. Sadly, over the years, comics have fallen out of favour with young and old, and the UK industry, down but not out, is not what it once was.
Perhaps this explains why today's Daily Mirror makes no mention of Andy Capp's 60th anniversary. Not even a jokey line in their celebrity birthday listings. In fairness, they could be waiting until 17th August, which a recent article claimed was the actual anniversary. (Presumably this was when it appeared in the London edition.)
Reg Smythe passed away years ago but his strip is still going strong, seven days a week, ably produced by writers Lawrence Goldsmith and Sean Garnett and drawn by Roger Mahoney. As previously reported here, a new collection of their Andy Capp strips is to be published soon.
There's been some criticism this week that Andy Capp is too "politically correct" these days. Certainly his profile lost part of its distinctive look when the character lost his ever-present cigarette, but aspects such as beating up his wife Flo (or her reciprocating) stopped being funny a long time ago. Changes were necessary when the strip became syndicated around the world, but the essence and look of the character remains intact and the strip still raises a laugh.
In these dark days of newspaper cutbacks, the fact that Andy Capp has been running consecutively for 60 years is something to celebrate. Cheers, Andy!
|Today's Andy Capp strip.|
Here's an article I wrote for the strip's 50th anniversary ten years ago: