Anyone interested in the newspaper strip Andy Capp? Because if so, you might enjoy the essay I've just posted about him on PlanetSlade:
Andy Capp: The Full Story
Reg Smythe's Andy Capp was the greatest British newspaper strip of the 20th Century, but few people realise how much of his own troubled childhood Smythe poured into Andy and Flo's lives. Andy was essentially a portrait of Smythe's wastrel father, Flo a version of his formidable mother, and their town a depiction of the pre-war Hartlepool where Smythe grew up.
PlanetSlade's latest essay traces Smythe's own biography, explores its parallels in Andy's world, and considers the strip's very early wife-beating jokes. There's also a look at how the balance of power has shifted between Andy and Flo down the years, a discussion of the live-action sitcom starring James Bolam as Andy and my own analysis of just what made Smythe such an accomplished and stylish cartoonist. I've also conducted new interviews with the three cartoonists continuing Andy's exploits in The Mirror today.