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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Bumper Book of Roy of the Rovers

This one brings back some memories. This is 120 pages of solid Roy of the Rovers footballing goodness drawn from the old Roy of the Rovers Annual with a few contemporary adverts from the pages of Tiger thrown in to give it that authentic 1950s/1960s feel—deliberately pandering to the nostalgia of middle-aged blokes who remember tearing at wrapping paper to get to the annuals we used to get every Christmas as kids. Not the thin things you get nowadays that masquerade as annuals but large hunks of books that would take you until New Year to read all the way through.

Strips, text stories, hints and tips about how to play, features, the Bobby Charlton story, training with Roy, a trip round Melchester Stadium... it's all here. The paper even has that rough feel of old newsprint and being slightly off-white it has, I'm sure, helped with the reproduction of these old strips as the artwork doesn't need to be digitally bleached quite so far, which causes fine lines to disappear along with the yellow tint of aging paper.

As I have a soft spot for Roy and his adventures (see my earlier review of The Best of Roy of the Rovers: The 1980s), I think this was always going to be a winner as far as I was concerned (and, yes, I even have some of the original annuals from which these stories come from); it's from an era far earlier than the days when I couldn't wait for Saturday to come around to find out how Melchester Rovers had performed that week and I suspect that will be true of a lot of fans who feel that Roy's heyday was the 1970s and 1980s when he had his own comic. At £12.99 it's a good deal pricier than the earlier book... maybe a reflection on how many Titan expect to sell (although you can get 40% off by following the link below). But if you like Roy, this is a great sampler of the Roy your Dad followed back in the 1950s. It bodes well for the upcoming Archive volumes.

The Bumper Book of Roy of the Rovers. Titan Books (ISBN 978-1845769581), 24 October 2008, 120pp, £12.99.


Anonymous said...

Great to see that Roy is still around -I feel a graet opportunity has been missed by not continuing his adventures through his son 'Rocky' with Roy as the manager of Melchester Rovers. Before the short-lived Match of the Day Magazine continued Roy's adventures, there was a short -lived periodical called Roy of the Rovers Monthly (1993-95) which had more adult storylines but inferior artwork. However it tried to explain away the fact that Roy had a playing career of about 45 years by saying that it was in fact 3 generations - all called Roy - and that the real Roy -married to Penny & father of 3 including Rocky - only played for the last 25(?) years.

Anonymous said...

I'm 'anonymous' as I don't have a "URL" (?) so now that the Comments box has a different format, I will be incognito & incommunicado from now on!

Steve said...

The new style comments box came into effect yesterday (Wednesday 22nd October) and is now the default setting for Blogger. I'll give it a try and see if there are any problems. At least you can still preview your comments. If it doesn't work, I'm pretty sure there's an option to return it to the full page version available previously.

Mike said...

Your email address can, i beleive, be used in place of a URL. Or else just make one up! like

Anyway this book looks cool but at that price, well i might just start looking for old annuals in charity shops, as usual. Haven't seen any decent adventure/sport type ones for a while, only 80's and 90's humour comics, and i own most of those already


I enjoyed the recent Best of Roy of the Rovers - I'll have to get this one too.

T Morton said...

Also well worth reading is the Official Roy of the Rovers biography - "The Playing Years" from 1994. Now out of print but available from

Also heard that the comic's publishers have set up a new website with archive material ... Good to see good old Roy refuses to die.

Wonder what he would make of today's prima donnas in the Premier League?