A newspaper comic strip by William Edward "Bill" Tidy, published in the London Daily Mirror
from 1971 to 1984.
Taking the form of a generational family story, the strip follows the Fosdyke family, who at the start become the biggest manufacturers of tripenote
in Manchester, and thereafter expand their industry and defend it from Richard Ditchley, who thinks he should have inherited it. Most of the strip covers the interwar period, though Rule of Funny
trumps historical accuracy.
The concept is a parody of The Forsyte Saga
, a trio of novels following the intrigues of an upper-class family over the decades. Over its length, the strip parodies just about every genre of the time, such as war films, adventure serials, film noir and even vampire fiction. While the cast travelled the world, they would always return to the working-class industrial landscape of northern England
where Bill Tidy grew up.
Some of the strip can be seen on the author's Web site
- The Ace: Albert Fosdyke. An actual air ace in the war, then he goes around the world breaking speed records against the toughest competitors or intrepid bringing tripe to the most dangerous of locations.
- Banana Republic: Parodied with Chiliguay. The country had nine presidents in one day.
- Cast of Snowflakes: Despite the simple art, even minor characters look distinctive.
- Green Rocks: Tripe here has every possible weird property. Not only is it a healthy diet on its own, and forms the basis for all the world's best cuisine, it can destroy "vampigs", be skied upon at incredible speeds, make wings for unpowered flight, and one Mad Scientist even makes artificial life from it. And it's been around for most of human history.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The family's promotion of tripe. They send symbolic crates of it to the ends of the world, collect tripe relics, ward off vampires with tripe, and fight competitors in violent street brawls. The First World War, on the other hand, is a polite gentlemen's scuffle.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Jos, the family patriarch, quite often, and at times the other family members; while they do good deeds, it is often in pursuing the family's interests. Richard Ditchley, when the strip focuses on him, is an outright Villain Protagonist.