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Flo and Andy Capp’s Love Child

Buster was one of Britain’s longest running weekly comics, but when it launched back in May 1960, then owners the Mirror Group took advantage of the popularity of newspaper strip character “Andy Capp“, published in the Daily Mirror. They gave the comic a perhaps unusual PR boost – by making flagship character Buster the son of the popular layabout.

The tie-in wasn’t popular with “Andy Capp” creator Reg Smythe, and the connection was gradually lost over time, but, initially, the “Buster” strip, initially drawn by Bill Titcombe, was sub-titled “Son of Andy Capp.”

Early tie-in advertising for Buster comic made the most of the connection, but Andy Capp himself only made rare appearances in the comic.

Other early references to the character include the name of Buster’s house – “Capp Cottage”, and, of course, while Andy’s appearances were dropped, along with the “Son of” title by 1965, his wife, Flo, appeared regularly from the start, and continued to do so, although her look was changed over the years from how she is in the long-running, still-published newspaper strip.

© MGN Ltd.

Andy Capp’s creator, Reg Smythe, was unimpressed, and refused to even mention Buster in Andy’s own strip, and “Buster Capp” himself appeared in the newspaper strip just once – to celebrate 35 years of Buster comic in May 1995 – and even then, it looks like the image has been added by another hand.

Buster background by John Freeman at downthetubes (with daughter Mandy Capp).

Below the U.S. version of the Andy Capp-Buster Capp strip (June 24, 1995).

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