The Big Budget was a comic/story paper launched by C. Arthur Pearson on 19 June 1897, subtitled "Three Papers for a Penny". It weighed in at 24 tabloid pages: the first eight pages were comic strips and funny text; the second eight, "The Comrades Budget", and the last eight, "The Story Budget", contained prose stories. By 1898 the page count was reduced to 20 pages and the three sections were merged into one.
The lead strip was "Airy Alf and Bouncing Billy" by Tom Browne (later taken over by the paper's art editor, Ralph Hodgson). Browne also drew "Doings at Whackington School" on the back page, and Jack B. Yeats drew "Signor McCoy the Wonderful Circus Horse", the first British funny animal strip.
Other strips included:
- "John Duff-Pie" (1897, Jack B. Yeats)
- "Little Boy Pink" (1898, Jack B. Yeats)
- "Bounderby Bounce" (1899-1900, Charles Genge)
- "The Big Budget Kid" (1899, Tom Wilkinson)
- "Startling Stories of Jimmer Squirm and Spooky the Sprat" (1900, Frank Holland)
- "The Doings of Von Puff, Von Eye, Iko Italiano, and Von Sausage the Dog" (1901, Ernest Wilkinson)
- "Kiroskewero the Detective" (1901, Jack B. Yeats)
- "Samuel Simons" (1901, Fitzpatrick)
- "Professor Helpermon" (1903, George E. Studdy)
- "Jones" (1905, Frank Wilkinson)
In 1905 it absorbed story paper The Boys' Leader, and comic strip content gradually disappeared until it became a pure story paper. In 1909 it was briefly renamed The Comet, before it folded fourteen issues later.
- Denis Gifford, Discovering Comics, Shire Publications, 1971, p. 8