British cartoonist Roger Mahoney has passed away.
Famed in Great Britain as cartoonist on The Gambols and many other comic strips and in the United States for taking over the Andy Capp comic strip, The Daily Mail is reporting the death of cartoonist Roger Mahoney:
Tributes have been paid to The Mail on Sunday’s Gambols cartoonist Roger Mahoney, who has died aged 89.
His weekly cartoon strip The Gambols entertained readers with a comical look into life in suburbia.
Roger inherited the title from cartoonist Barry Appleby, who came up with the idea with his wife in 1950.
[Roger’s] talent was soon spotted by national newspaper titles. When Mr Appleby died in 1996, he took up The Gambols strip, then published by Express newspapers.
In the following years Roger compiled, laid out and drew The Gambols annuals numbers 46-48, published from 1997 to 1999.
In November 1999 the Express decided to discontinue the cartoon, but The Mail on Sunday was quick to see the opportunity in running the strip again and The Gambols was first published in this newspaper the following month.
[Ken] Layson approached Roger Kettle, who was already writing A Man Called Horace for the Mirror’s strips page and asked him if he’d be interested in taking over the writing on Andy’s strip too.
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, from around 2000, when the stock pile ran out, all the strips published in the Mirror were the work of the two Rogers, though neither were credited for a while.
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.
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”).
Mahoney also wrote scripts for the relaunch of the Daily Mirror’s famous “Jane” strip [1985-86], created by Norman Pett, and worked with Jim Henson to develop the Muppet characters and scripts into a cartoon format.
above and below: samples of The Greens by Roger Mahoney