Smythe invented Andy Capp for the Daily Mirror in 1957, personally writing, drawing, inking and lettering every line of the 15,000 Andy cartoons he produced over the following 40 years. When he died in 1998, the strip was syndicated to 1,700 newspapers – 1,000 in America alone – translated into 14 languages and read by a combined audience of 250 million people in 52 countries round the world.
Andy’s adventures have inspired a West End musical still revived today, a UK television series starring James Bolam in the title role and a 1973 book using Andy’s antics to interpret the Gospels. His face has been used to sell not only the crisps, canned beer and homebrew kits you’d expect, but also cookbooks, boxer shorts, Royal Doulton figurines, phonecards, disposable cameras and babies’ bibs.
He’s known as Tuffa Viktor in Sweden, Charlie Kappl in Austria and and Willi Wacker in Germany, where FC Nuremberg fans have made him their mascot. In every nation, readers greet him as one of their own, as a 1960s editorial in Istanbul’s Hareket Gazetesi was quick to recognise. “Andy is as much Turkish as he is English,” the editor wrote. “And he is probably Greek, Italian and Polish too.” This edition of ‘Andy Capp’ was published in 1978 by Mirror Group.
paperback – in good condition