Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Images copyright EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS Plc

"Oh, RUPERT, RUPERT The BEAR - everyone sing his name!"  So ran the theme tune to the lunchtime TV show which aired between 1970 and '74.  However, as most fans know, the correct way to refer to the bruin is simply Rupert Bear - without the definite article.

Created by MARY TOURTEL and making his debut in The DAILY EXPRESS on November 8th, 1920, Rupert soared to even greater heights of popularity under ALFRED BESTALL, who took over the strip in 1935 until 1965.  (Though he continued to draw covers and endpapers for the Annuals for years afterwards.)

Rupert's newspaper strip usually consisted of two illustrated panels (four in the Annuals, in two tiers), with text underneath, instead of incorporated into the art like other comic strips.  However, back in 1988, the first of three RUPERT FUN books was released, featuring the little brown bruin's adventures in the more 'modern' form, with captions and speech balloons within the panels.

The first two were hardback (48 pages, including covers), with the third being cardboard covered, with a 48 page interior page- count.  Along with repackaged reprints of earlier strips, the books also featured puzzles and games, and were full-colour throughout.  Costing only £1.99, they represented extremely good value for money, and it's a shame the series didn't continue.

So, just in case you've never seen them before, here are the covers of all three books, along with a small selection of interior pages from the first.  Hum the theme tune while you look.


Click here for more about Rupert.

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