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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 08 March 2018 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Favourite sports comics, anyone?

I did occasionally buy UK sports comics. ROY OF THE ROVERS was one:





There were some good strips in ROY OF THE ROVERS. The main strip featured Roy Race, player-manager of the fictional Melchester Rovers (as the fictional teams played in real-life leagues, it presents an interesting question: did the leagues in their universe have an extra team or did the fictional team displace another team?).

"Billy's Boots" was a good strip. Although it involved cheating. Billy Dane owned a pair of football boots which had belonged to a long-dead player called Deadshot Keen. Mystically, the boots allowed Billy to play in the style of Keen. Little cheater!

Comics such as TIGER and LION also had strips. There were also features on real-life sports. And "Roy Race" often answered readers' letters.

Over to you.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 08 March 2018 at 7:21pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Boy sports in comics/strips were not common around me Robbie.

I read "Peanuts" regularly and they used sports often.
Image result for peanuts baseball comic strip

"Gil Thorpe" really was the only true sports related strip I read.
Related image


Edited by Doug Centers on 08 March 2018 at 7:22pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 March 2018 at 5:12am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I like the look of that NFL strip.

We have a football strip here which has had a virtually uninterrupted run since the mid-80s. It started off in a newspaper as a black and white strip:





Nowadays it's digital:





I've read some strips over time. Not all of them have football stories. In fact, when I Googled for images, well most of the stories were about the player, Nick Jarvis, and his personal life (it's more of an ensemble cast now).
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 2:34pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Tiger, the original home of Roy of the Rovers, was predominantly sports-based but never really grabbed me so Mr Race's exploits passed me by. My boys' weekly of choice was Valiant which had a couple of notable strips.

Raven on the Wing, with beautifully moody artwork by Francisco Solano Lopez, told of a gypsy boy who was recruited by struggling Highboro' United. Raven famously played in his bare feet although he once glued studs to them for a match played in heavy rain! For some reason it took a while for the title frame to reflect the fact that he didn't wear boots!




The Wild Wonders, drawn for its entire run by the great Mike Western, told of Rick and Charlie Wild who had been shipwrecked on bleak Worrag Island in the Outer Hebrides when they were infants. Their lifestyle turned them into super athletes and they were discovered by swimmer Mike Flynn while training there with the British Olympic team.

Western began the strip in his usual style...


but as it developed comedic elements he turned to a more cartoony look...




Edited by Robbie Moubert on 13 March 2018 at 2:37pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 5:24pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Fascinating, those strips are new to me.
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 6:05pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

The Wild Wonders began in March 1964 while Raven began in March 1968. Both strips ended in May 1974 when Lion was merged into Valiant. I think they both returned for short runs before Valiant finally ceased publication.

One strip that I don't think would be published today is Oddball Oates which began in the first combined issue of Lion and Eagle in 1969. Weedy scientist Albert Oates discovers a wonder-herb that turns him into a super-athlete when he inhales its fumes!  Drawn by Tom Kerr who, like Mike Western, could switch styles depending on the subject matter.


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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 March 2018 at 6:49pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Wow, Robbie!

Thanks for these. Gotta confess, I was unfamiliar with all of those.

My memory is telling me that there was a strip where some Australian guy living in the Outback somehow ended up playing football for a British team, but I may have imagined it. ;-)
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Trevor Thompson
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Posted: 19 May 2018 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Hadnít realised Striker was going since the 80s. I do remember it in the 90s though. I was a Roy of the Rovers fan for a short while.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 19 May 2018 at 4:18pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Roy of the Rovers is making a comeback:

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Trevor Thompson
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Posted: 19 May 2018 at 4:41pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I might give it a go. Thanks, Robbie. Although, itíll be set in the present where football is characterless and purely focused on money. Btw. Good luck with Villa. I hope they get promoted.
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