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How Rob the Rover survived WWII 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:47 pm
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Location: Denmark
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Any fans of the old strip 'Rob the Rover' (actually the worlds first adventure comic) from the boy's magazine Puck around? Well, if you think that he died when the magazine stopped on behalf of the paper-shortage at the beginning of WWII, you are wrong. He moved to Denmark and got a new name.

In 1923 the Danish weekly Illustreret Familie-Journal bought Walter Booth's comic for publication in Scandinavia and renamed it 'Willy paa Eventyr': 'The Adventures of Willy', and it was published here and in the Norwegian and Swedish editions until 1940.

When material stopped coming from Britain, a staff-artist named Harry Nielsen took over the strip and continued it until 1947. Then it stopped for about 10 years, replaced by the American strip Johnny Hazard.

1956 another Danish artist Tage Andersen and journalist Aage Grauballe took over, and that version lasted all the way to 1977. It developed to a very high quality Science-Fiction strip inspired by, but much more modern than, Flash Gordon, in any of it's incarnations.

Sadly this comic hasn't been reprinted exept for a single book in 1966 and is all but forgotten save by som avid fans. We have recently got a fan-page in danish: http://www.wenneberg.dk/Comics/Willy/un ... Willy.html
and one in Swedish:
http://www.harnby.com/Seriesida/Willy/willy.htm
they both are reasonably translatable via Google

If any Rob the Rover-fans or collectors are readin this, you can contact me for further information. Likewise I'd like to ask a few questions about the original strip.

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Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:18 pm
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The Danish Rob the Rover-fanclub: Willy-Centret (after the Danish title: Willy paa eventyr) has recently got a new hompage-adress: http://www.willy-centret.dk
And then we have got permission to reprint an episode of the comic from 1975-76; it will be out mid-april.
Here's the cover:


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willy3[2].jpg
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Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:55 pm
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Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 8:43 pm
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You mention the Boys' magazine Puck but we had a Puck comic and a Pluck story paper. But you say it was a strip so it must have been in the comic. I have a few Pucks but they are mostly from around 1900 but I have a few from the 1920s and 30s. When would he have appeared?


Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:27 am
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Just checked my British Comics Price Guide and Puck finished in 1940 so it has to be the comic. I'm not familiar with Rob the Rover but I'll have a look and see if I have any of the strips among my issues.


Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:31 am
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Asger, yes I'm a fan of Rob the Rover, the first British adventure strip, but sadly he has become almost forgotten these days.

I've got quite a few issues of Puck which feature Rob with solid artwork by Walter Booth and later Stanley White (and others?). I did find the website devoted to Rob the Rover and was kind of pleased that the character had continued to appear in further adventures outside the UK (as did Janus Stark, Robot Archie and others). Rob the Rover's British strips were reprinted in several other European countries during the 1930s, including Italy (as a fascist!).

Don't know if you are aware that after cancellation, Puck was amalgamated into Sunbeam on 18th May 1940 and Rob's adventures continued therein. Unfortunately,Sunbeam succumbed to the self-same wartime paper shortages the very next issue, so Rob the Rover only managed to appear in two issues outside of his run in Puck. I have both issues of the combined 'Sunbeam & Puck', so if these have not been reprinted in Denmark then let me know and I'll scan them.

Cheers, Dave


Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:25 pm
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Sunbeam merged into Tiny Tots, a nursery comic, so obviously there was no place for Rob there. By the sounds of it, Sunbeam wasn't the best choice for Puck to merge with either, as that was aimed at a younger audience too. I suppose there wasn't a lot of choice though. There must be dozens of titles which folded in that month.

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Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:07 pm
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In fact, for much of its life, Puck was itself a nursery style comic and it was always catagorised in the AP offices as being of that ilk despite some changes to its content in later years ie Rob the Rover (although I would dispute that in his first incarnation Rob was not a suitable choice for a nursery comic, given the style and content of the strip at that time) and so it was therefore not unexpected that when it did close it was merged with a nursery title as that was the 'stable' to which it had always belonged, at least as far as the AP were concerned.


Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:00 pm
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DaveWhit. wrote:
Asger, yes I'm a fan of Rob the Rover, the first British adventure strip, but sadly he has become almost forgotten these days.

Don't know if you are aware that after cancellation, Puck was amalgamated into Sunbeam on 18th May 1940 and Rob's adventures continued therein. Unfortunately,Sunbeam succumbed to the self-same wartime paper shortages the very next issue, so Rob the Rover only managed to appear in two issues outside of his run in Puck. I have both issues of the combined 'Sunbeam & Puck', so if these have not been reprinted in Denmark then let me know and I'll scan them.

Cheers, Dave
Hi Dave. Yes, I'd very much like scans of these two pages. BTW as far as I know, the last four Danish Rob the Rover-pages (1941) were neither from Puck nor Sunbeam, they might not have been printed in Britain at all. I can send you scans af those. My adress is: lathspell(ad)pedersen.mail.dk

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Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:21 pm
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If anyone would wish to pre-order the Rob the Rover/Willy på eventyr-book (in the obscure language of Danish), there's a link on our homepage:
http://www.willy-centret.dk/
Click on Forudbestilling
It's 40 pages whereof 33 pgs. is comic strip, the rest is editorial stuff. The price is 79.95 Dkr, about 8£ + postage.

Yours
Asger

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Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:01 pm
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Asger, I have tried to send the Rob the Rover scans to your email address, lathspell(ad)pedersen.mail.dk, but have not been successful. This message is displayed:
lThe address "ad <lathspell>" in the "To" field was not recognized. Please make sure that all addresses are properly formed.

Is your email address correct, or am i doing something wrong?

Dave


Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:52 am
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Well, it's just because I dont like my full email-adress in a forum where it can be found by a bot. Substitute (ad) with @ please :-)

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Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:06 pm
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Asger,

I've now sent you an email with the scans attached.

Regards
Dave


Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:29 pm
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Asger wrote:
Well, it's just because I dont like my full email-adress in a forum where it can be found by a bot. Substitute (ad) with @ please :-)
(ad) should've been (at). No wonder Dave got confused.

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Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:45 am
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This June we will finish our run of 3 'Willy på eventyr'-books, but we are planning to publish the entire run of 1110 pages by Tage Andersen and maybe the 330 pages by Harry Nielsen in a series of 6 hardcover books. We have contacted a Norwegian publisher about publishing it in Norway, and we are looking for a Swedish collaburator too.
I would very much like it being published in English too, as Willy/Rob originally is a British strip. Could anyone recommend some English publishers, who might be interested in co-printing that kind of books?

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Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:14 pm
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Titan, or perhaps Panini (who do reprints of Doctor Who strips from Doctor Who Magazine).

But I wouldn't hold your breath, if it's not by Alan Moore or 70's IPC material, they probably won't want to know.

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Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:40 pm
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