Welcome to the Ally Sloper Web Exhibit:

Ally Sloper’s Rise in Early Comic Culture

Alexander “Ally” Sloper is the madcap fictional character who appeared in British serialized comics between 1867 and 1916. His name was derived from the term “alley sloper”, which was Victorian vernacular referring to people who dodged the rent collector by sloping in the alley (“to slope off” was British slang for moving slowly). Sloper was an instant hit with the public when he first appeared in Judy, a popular nineteenth-century satirical magazine. Charles H. Ross invented Sloper, and he was the sole illustrator until his wife, Emilie de Tessier, took over and illustrated the series using the name Marie Du Val. Over the years, Sloper appeared in several publications, including Ally Sloper's Summer Number, Ally Sloper's Comic Kalendar, and Ally Sloper's Christmas Holidays. The cartoon was sold to the publisher Gilbert Dalziel in 1884, when it was launched as Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday. William Baxter illustrated Sloper until his untimely passing in 1888, when W. Fletcher Thomas succeeded him.