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Sunday, May 26, 2019


It's terrific news for older readers and true comic enthusiasts that Rebellion are delving into the 1950s for a new addition to their Treasury of British Comics books. Roy of the Rovers: Best of the 1950s goes right back to the very beginning for the character, reprinting his earliest stories from Tiger when it launched on Tuesday 7th September 1954! (Specifically the book covers issues dated week endings 11th September 1954 to 21st May 1955 and 20th August 1955 to 11th February 1956 inclusive so there's a lot of episodes here!)

The strips have been scanned from those old comics and remastered to the best quality for this new collection. Although some of the early Roy of the Rovers strips were reprinted in Hurricane in 1964 retitled as 'Hurry of the Hammers' this is the first time they've been reprinted faithfully, and Rebellion have done an excellent job. 

The back up features include Take a Tour Around Melchester Stadium from a 1950s Roy of the Rovers Annual (previously reprinted in Titan's Best of Roy of the Rovers in 2008) and other strips from the annuals of the period. 

This is a great collection that should please fans of the character old and new. Even non-sports fans should enjoy it because in those days Roy of the Rovers was drawn by Joe Colquhoun, later to find more fame as the artist of Charley's War. This book is a superb chance to see Joe's rare early work! 

Here's the PR for it, along with the strips from the first two issues of Tiger, from way back in 1954! 

CREATIVE TEAM: Frank S. Pepper (w) Joe Colquhoun (a)
RELEASE DATE: 25th July 2019
HARDCOVER, 148 pages
PRICE: £19.99 (UK)
ISBN: 9781781087176

On September 11th 1954 a new weekly sports anthology comic called Tiger was launched in the UK. It’s lead strip, Roy of the Rovers – a story starring a young footballer called Roy Race who played for Melchester Rovers – quickly became a fan favourite. This incredible collection with never-before reprinted stories charts the early days of Roy’s association with Melchester Rovers, from the highs of signing for the club he supported as a boy to the lows of having his boots stolen before a big game! Experience the first decade of Melchester’s greatest soccer sensation in this glorious football action on and off the pitch!

Available in print from: book stores, Amazon, and UK comic book stores via Diamond

Available in digital from: Treasury of British Comics webshop & apps for iPadAndroid and Windows 10


Idstone said...

Oh, that's very interesting - Rebellion are presenting the strips on cream stock (or at least they have cleaned up the scans then laid them over a cream layer in post)?

It's something I've seen other publishers occasionally do with reprints of older material, rather than print on white stock. The main argument I've seen for it is that it's a more sympathetic way to present the colour art, as it more closely matches the original off-white paper stock used for many older comics (which, of course, yellows quite considerably over the years depending on how it's stored) and that the pristine look can make the colours appear over-bright and over-saturated.

I've experimented with it once or twice and I quite liked the effect, but never had the courage to use it in a project, as I think many modern readers expect white stock and bright colours. I'll be very interested to see how this looks in person, and how readers respond to it!

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, I think it's more likely to be a cream layer than cream paper stock. Yoe Books have done a similar thing with their reprints of 1950s horror comics. It's a nice effect that mutes the primary colours a little and, as you said, resembles the look of slightly aged paper.

I did the same with the logo of this very blog, but exaggerated it more to make it look like an aged comic that hadn't been cared for so much. :)

Robert Carnegie said...

The sportswear on the cover looks a bit more nylon and polyester than my idea of the period -shiny - but I suppose we're about into the Space Age by now, so, fair enough?

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