There are daily comic strips published in every newspaper and they can be divided between what is run in the general pages, and what is drawn within the editorial comment. The founding of Punch magazine in 1841 was the start of using cartoons to express opinions on 19th century social conditions and the political atmosphere at the time. Each newspaper has its own political slant which will appeal to its readers and in the UK this bias is clear to see. Some papers will clearly favour one party while another paper will favour another. Some papers will change allegiance depending which politicians are in power at a particular time and in some cases who the political editor may be.
There are many cartoonists tied to particular publications who will regularly contribute a drawing that depicts certain political characters of the day. For example, at the Daily Telegraph the award-winning cartoonist Matt Pritchett has been working at the paper since 1988 and his regular sketches are always linked to some current political story. There is no series element involved in this, but the Daily Telegraph do have The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe which is published in the online version of the paper. The comic strip written by Michael Crooss and Matthew Buck shows how modern Britain is in fact quite similar to life in the eighteenth century. The stories are told through the eyes of Tobias Grubbe an eight-century engraver.
While the broadsheets produce deep thinking political cartoons the tabloids series are more light-hearted creating stereotypes that are found in every day Britain. The Sun first published George and Lynne in 1976 and the series ran until 2010. Created by Conrad Frost it depicted a modern-day couple who were reasonably well off. George had a successful career and was able to provide his glamorous wife a decent salary that she could happily spend. They had a relaxed attitude towards sex and nudity with each year George producing a nude calendar of Lynne.
While George and Lynne were the stars of the Sun Andy Capp was the main cartoon character over at rivals The Mirror. Hailing from Hartlepool the unemployed character with his cap virtually covering his eyes, had to mellow in time due to political correctness. He had started life as a beer swilling pigeon fancier who loved to play football, in which he would be invariably sent off. He always had a cigarette dangling from his lips and his other hobbies included snooker, darts and trying to chat up bar staff.
He was always fighting with his long-suffering wife Flo and for many there was a fear that it was an attempt to stereotype working class Northern men. In time he gave up smoking and stopped beating Flo as they attended marriage counselling.
Andy Capp in a way has knocked political correctness into touch due to the longevity of the series. It was created in 1957 by Reg Smythe and is still running today. The character is loved by people from the North and there is even a statute of the character in Hartlepool. It is impossible to pick up a newspaper without seeing a cartoon or a comic strip. Some editors have used animation to entertain their target audiences, while others have used it to strike at the heart of British politics. It is a very important feature of the modern-day newspaper with it being even published on-line, and is definitely here to stay.