Andy Capp – Take Two (Rescripting)

The other day we noted that Roger Mahoney drawn Andy Capp comic strips had returned and wondered if they were reruns.

It turns out the art and the word balloons are from the past, but the script in those balloons are new.

Sean Kleefeld noticed the strangeness:

What immediately stood out to me is the thing that almost never stands out in a comic: the word balloons. Not so much the dialogue itself, but the actual balloons themselves. Those balloon shapes do not even remotely match the dialogue that they’re encircling. The text (particularly in that middle panel) is weirdly off-center, the breathing room between the text and edge of the balloons is wildly inconsistent even within a single balloon, and the leading changes from balloon to balloon.

Sean continues:

I actually spoke with Sean Garnett, one of the strips co-writers, and it turns out there’s an excellent reason for the balloon issues. Namely, artist Lawrence Goldsmith is out sick! I didn’t pry into the details, but he took ill rather suddenly and had to be rushed to the hospital for an operation. So what they’ve done is taken the artwork from an older strip and wrote new dialogue for it. The new script, then, has been dropped in place by someone in the Mirror‘s syndication department.

Roger Mahoney was the artist and the letterer, his word balloons had a roundness with indentations.

Once Lawrence Goldsmith took over the graphics the speech balloons became rectangular with rounded corners, but missing those indentations (thought balloons are a different case):

While insensitive words and phrases and other minor changes occur in some rerun comic strips, Sean doesn’t remember a situation like this with wholesale rescripting happening.
Sean’s interesting look at the production ends with a status report on Lawrence:

At this point, Garnett didn’t know when exactly Goldsmith will be back on, only saying “as soon as he’s back to full strength.” I don’t have any more details myself, but I’m guessing a couple weeks at least; if it were any less time, you could probably pin down something more firm.