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Ally Sloper's Half Holiday

Ally Sloper's Half Holiday is a British comic, first published on 3 May 1884. It has a legitimate claim to being the first comic magazine named after and featuring a regular character. Star Ally Sloper, a blustery, lazy schemer often found "sloping" through alleys to avoid his landlord and other creditors, had debuted in 1867 in the humor magazine Judy — created by writer and fledgling artist Charles Henry Ross and inked and later fully illustrated by his French wife Emilie de Tessier under the pseudonym "Marie Duval"
The "half holiday" referred to in the title was the practice in Victorian Britain of allowing the workers home at lunchtime on a Saturday, a practice that also established the kick-off times of football in the United Kingdom.


The black-and-white weekly comic paper Ally Sloper's Half Holiday, typically of eight tabloid pages and priced one penny , was first published on 3 May 1884, a short time after Ross, had sold the rights to the character to Gilbert Dalziel, an engraver and the publisher of Judy. Initially launching the paper with proprieter W. J. Sinkins, Dalziel was soon in full control, publishing it from "The Sloperies", 99 Shoe Lane, EC. Alongside the strips featuring Sloper, the magazine also featured prose stories and cartoons and strips of other characters.
Sales of the magazine have been estimated as being as high as 350,000, the magazine describing itself as "the largest selling paper in the world". The paper found a mixed audience: aimed at adults it captured both a loyal working class, male base, as well as attracting a cult following amongst the middle class of the time. Although the weekly initially ceased publication on September 9, 1916, after 1,679 issues, it was later revived between November 5, 1922 and April 14, 1923 , again from 1948 to 1949, and finally from 1976 to 1977, each attempt failing to capture the imagination of the British public as the original once had.

Ally Sloper's Half Holiday Merchandise

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