From The Scoop: Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday
From the September 16 issue of Gemstone Publishing's The Scoop:

The first comic named after and featuring a regular character, Ally Sloper's Half Holiday first debuted in 1884.

The character himself debuted in an 1867 edition of Judy magazine. Something of an antihero with his dense behavior and drunken philandering, Ally Sloper was created by Charles H. Ross and inked by his wife under the pen name Marie Duval.

Sloper and his sidekick Ikey Mo anchored Judy for nearly a decade before Ally Sloper began to appear in his own titles. From 1875 to 1887, Ally Sloper's Comic Kalendar-a December annual-was published. A summer annual followed in 1880-Ally Sloper's Summer Number (through 1887) and a second December annual, Ally Sloper's Christmas Holiday (1884-1913).

The most popular of the titles, of course, was Ally Sloper's Half Holiday, the black-and-white weekly, Ally Sloper's Half Holiday, which sold for a penny. At its height, Half Holiday boasted sales around 350,000 and called itself “the biggest selling paper in the world.”

Over the years, Ally Sloper was heavily merchandised, appearing on several collectibles items. William Giles Baxter and William Fletcher Thomas followed up the storylines and artwork after Ross departed. The original series ended in 1916. It was revived in the '40s and again in the '70s. Though it appears that the character and the series are gone from our modern culture, they certainly had their impact on the medium of comics-in the UK and abroad.

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