Andy Capp: Creative Shuffle as Mahoney Retires

It seems that Roger Mahoney, at age 87 and after about 65 years of cartooning, has retired.

first a note about Andy Capp U.S. dates: the Andy Capp comic strips that appear in the United States are on a one week delay from when they first appear in the Daily Mirror.

The Saturday, November 14, 2020 (November 21 in the U.S.) comic, above, was the last strip with Roger being credited. On Monday November 16, 2020 (November 23 in the U.S.), below, the credit line  is missing Roger’s name.

And it looks as if Roger was also the strip’s letterer:


About Roger:

Roger Mahoney was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire in 1933, and from 1947 to 1951 studied art at the Southern College of Art, Portsmouth. He began freelancing as a cartoonist while working as a professional musician – a drummer – and sold his first drawings to the Daily Sketch and Daily Mirror. In 1954 he sent some of his cartoons to Barry Appleby, creator of the “The Gambols” cartoon strip in the Daily Express. Appleby encouraged him and became a lifelong friend, introducing him to Lancaster, Giles and Artie…

Mahoney created his first strip (“Mopsy”) for the weekly Fleetway Publications magazine Princess, and afterwards contributed strips and jokes to a number of publications including the Scottish Daily Record (“Agony Is” and “Sammy the Caterpillar”), Woman’s Realm (“Mum”), Daily Mirror (“Millie”, “The Greens”, and “Mandy Capp”), Sunday Express (“L”) and Daily Star (“What’s in a Name?” and “Last of the Summer Wine”)…

On Barry Appleby’s death in 1996 Mahoney took over the writing and drawing of “The Gambols” for Express Newspapers…

After the death of Reg Smythe in 1998 Roger Mahoney also took over drawing “Andy Capp” for the Daily Mirror, along with writer Roger Kettle. They have been credited since 2004…

From Paul Slade’s in-depth look at Reg Smythe and Andy Capp (page 13):

Layson’s next stop was Roger Mahoney, the artist he’d commissioned to draw Mandy Capp with writer Carla Ostrer. Mahoney, a remarkably versatile artist, sold his first cartoons to the Mirror and the Daily Sketch in the early 1950s, and had since contributed strips to the Scottish Daily Record, the Sunday Express and the Daily Star too. He’d taken over a popular Express strip called The Gambols when its creator Barry Appleby died in 1996, and drawn it in flawless imitation of Appleby’s style there for the following three years.
These were just the chameleon skills Layson needed in anyone drawing Andy, so he must have been relieved when Mahoney said “yes” too. His set his new team to work, and began slowly feathering their contribitions in with the pile of Smythe strips he was still using. At first, the new strips were uncredited.

So after 20 years Roger has (apparently) given up the art chores on Andy Capp and retired.
(All this applies to the dailies, the Sunday switch, if any, is unknown to me at the moment.)

another note: I have to fudge (“it seems”, “apparently”) because there has been no official announcement, no news stories, and no response to my inquiries.

Nov. 20 update: The official Andy Capp Facebook page has stated that Roger retired:

[But the U.K. November 21st strip has Mahoney’s name back in the credits.]


Now (next week in the U.S.) the credits read Goldsmith and Garnett,
they being Lawrence Goldsmith and Sean Garnett. Again, from Paul Slade:

Mahoney was happy to continue drawing Andy, but Kettle’s resignation towards the end of 2010 meant the Mirror needed to find a new writer for the strip. Fortunately, there was a promising candidate right there in the office.
Goldsmith was then handling production and admin work on the paper’s strips page, but he also had 30 years as a working cartoonist under his belt. “I did a kids’ strip for a long time called Canaryman,” he says. “I’ve even drawn Desperate Dan for DC Thompson, for the annuals and things. I was doing a lot of kids’ stuff for Marvel UK – The Care Bears, The Popples, Masters of the Universe – all TV tie-ins. I was an artist, but then I came into writing as well.”
Knowing it’s always useful to have a partner to bounce ideas off when writing jokes, Goldsmith invited Sean Garnett, one of the Mirror’s subs, to join him as Andy’s co-writer. “Sean’s a very funny guy, who gets all the funny stories and funny headlines to write,” Goldsmith says. “He’s been a friend of mine for years and years, so I thought he’d be a perfect fit to help me with Andy.”
“I’d done a couple of strips with Lawrence before, but not on a daily paper like this,” Garnett says. “We did a strip called The Ref for a children’s magazine, and we also used to do Canaryman together in Children’s Mirror. That’s my only experience of writing cartoons, so this is a completely new thing for me to do on a daily basis.”

Until some kind of statement is released I can only guess that Lawrence and Sean continue to co-write, while cartoonist Lawrence is now responsible for the art (and the lettering?).

Andy Capp © MGN Ltd

An end of 2020 update here.