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04.03.22

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DC THOMSON

DIED - 31.12.61


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The Rover issue 1 is very scarce in the UK and would be worth around 120 today.

After 1961 The Rover joined with 'Adventure' and then in January 1973 it teamed up with 'Wizard'.

The very popular comic stories 'I Flew with Braddock' and 'The Tough of the Track' first appeared in The Rover and were later to be seen in comic strip format in 'The Victor'.

Does anybody remember "It's Goals that Count" based upon a character named Nick Smith which began when he was a "rookie" with a First Division English football club, and followed him through until he became an England International? I believe it was the ROVER, also there was a County Cricket series with "It's Runs That Count" with Rob Higson who was a county batsman, and later a county fast bowler when he was called upon in an emergency during an Indian tour to bowl a few when a fast bowler was injured. The series later ran entitled "It's Wickets That Count" Both these stories ran for years, and were (nearly) true to life and described with some accuracy the Football League and County Cricket scenes. - Ray Scott

I can recall Alf Tupper doing welding work on a prototype jet engine. This surely must put him back into the thirties. The fiendish scream of the jet engine running up unfortunately temporarily deafened our hero. So after putting a Saturday morning shift in making sure we would have something ready to clamp onto the wings of meteors and catch the flying bombs in the forthcoming unpleasantness with Germany he started the mile race that afternoon with tinnitus and did nothear the sound of the starter's pistol. He waited expecting a recall for a false start but then had to start off a half lap behind. Undoubtedly that afternoon he did break the four minute mile barrier but, of course, the timing started when the gun was fired not when Alf began his epic run. - John

When I was lad, my grandfather in Birmingham mailed us Rovers until they ceased running as a stand alone comic book (I have a few Wizards...I didn't like them.) I always looked forward to the Rover arriving in the mail (although my dad and I fought over who would be the first to read them). It was the only regular connection I had with my grandfather, he being in the U.K. and me in Canada. Fortunately, my dad had saved all the comics. Unfortunately, after my dad had passed away, my mother had chucked a couple of cartons into the trash before I could recover them. But I do have one carton...about 100 or so. My 14 year old son--the 4th generation--has just discovered the Rover. He can't put them down. But then again, I can relate. Too bad they weren't into a reprint. The yarns are marvelous. - Ian Davis Campbellford, Ontario Canada

Alf Tupper, The Tough of the Track first appeared as a prose story in the Rover, a D.C. Thompson comic on Tuesday 30th April 1949 and throughout the Rover until the comic ceased publication in 1961. DCT being the canny Scots they are transformed these original 10 series of stories into the more modern 'comic strip' format for a new generation of comic fans when he first appeared in the Victor in 1962. - John Crumpton

Was there a story in the rover called 'the pilot of the lurking sands'? something about the napoleonic war, i think. also a character called H K Rodd who fought a perpetual battle against a villian who could control the weather. kind of like sherlock holmes and moriaty. boy, entertainment was basic in those days, reading the end of the story with a torch underneath your bed sheets when you were supposed to be sleeping. - Bill Ferguson

"Pilot of the Lurking Sands" was originally a "Hotspur" story and appeared in 1949 ,issues 641-653. It may have been repeated in the Rover at a much later date possibly as a picture story The Wonder Man H.K. Rodd was indeed a Rover character and one of the best yarns was his discovery of a stone age people living in caverns deep beneath the Derbyshire hills. Again this appeared around 1949/50. - Bill Nicholls

I remember 'The I flew with Braddock' stories. I think they started when he joined the Aux Air Force in pre WW II days and learned to fly gliders. His navigator George Bourne was supposed to have written the stories. I think he flew everything the RAF ever had in the way of bombers and night fighters, Fairy Battles, Hampdons, Beaufighters, Mosquitoes and Lancasters. They published a hard back book which covered some of the yarns which I had and was passed to my young brother in laws and then back to my son and then full circle back to me. I still have it and its a good read in the right sense. - Paul Hyder

I remember a story called "Pony Express" which I think appeared in the Rover Comic with Wal Loader and J. A. Slade as the main characters keeping me transfixed for many a month. - Colin Critchlow

I recall a story running in the Rover entitled 'Horsehide Hank Brady' or similar which was all about hog-tying, riding bucking broncos etc in rodeos.
There was another story running about a spin bowler who used to tie a piece of string to his ball with which to retrieve it when practicing on his own.
Some good stories from which one learnt a great deal.
Matt Braddock and Alf Tupper were my favourites and probably laid the foundation for my attitude during my 4 years in the RAF. - Michael Beaumont

I suspect that the biggest star to feature in "The Rover" was Wilson, The Man In Black. A much more mysterious poly-athlete than Alf Tupper (and reputedly over 100 years older), though it would have been good to see the pair of them in a race-off. Like Tupper, Wilson's stories were adapted to comic strip format in the Sixties to appear in... The Hotspur?

Rover (and Wizard) was, I suspect, the last "all-text" comic. I learned to read with The Rover as my primary source - after that, Janet and John was really never in the running. - Mike Deller

If you have any other information on The Rover please drop us a line. Drop us a line.

 


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