Ally Sloper was an opportunistic businessman with an unerring talent for always backing the wrong horse. He and his sometime business partner Isaac Moses ("Ikey Mo") were generally either on the wrong side of the law or perilously close to it, though Sloper considered himself to be a "Friend of Man". Amongst other ventures, Sloper opened a marriage bureau, the only potential client of which was his own wife, and invented instant photography which did not give the sitter time to sit. Originally portrayed as a rather unlikeable character, Sloper mellowed over time and became more openly comedic.
Ally Sloper appeared in Judy magazine for years, and also later in his own title, Ally Sloper's Half Holiday. He debuted in Britain almost thirty years before the Yellow Kid first appeared in America, and is a strong contender for being the first continuing comic strip character.
Sloper's original run ended in 1916. He was briefly revived in 1948, and later in 1976 by comics historian Denis Gifford and Alan Class Publishing, but the revived version lasted only one issue. Despite being fairly well known to European comics historians, he is almost unheard of in America.