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Comics & Victorians

The library’s newest exhibit, “Comics & Mormons,” features 20th and 21st century examples of comics and graphic novels from Special Collections, but hidden among the rare book collections are older comics from the 19th century.  This post features one of the first British comic strips, “Ally Sloper.”

Ally Sloper 30 June 1894The recurring character “Ally Sloper” first appeared in a comic strip in the magazine Judy in 1867. Ally proved popular enough to get his own publication, Ally Sloper’s Half-Holiday, in 1884. Ally was the creation of artist Charles Henry Ross and his wife Émilie de Tessier, who wrote and illustrated the comic strips together under the pseudonym “Marie Duval.” Ally Sloper’s Half-Holiday would become one of the longest-running comic periodicals in history; it was published off and on in England and later in Scotland until 1949.

Special Collections owns a small number of issues of Ally Sloper’s Half-Holiday. Other Victorian-era comic strips can be found in humor magazines and other periodicals in our Victorian Collection.


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