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The Rover Returns

Roy of the Rovers bought for £150 by a group of fans who plan to produce new strips.

As someone who bought the comic every week between late 1990 and 1993, who trawls car boot sales and charity shops for annuals, who has a Melchester Rovers Subbuteo team and created a new cast of characters in order to play as them in Pro Evo 5, and who turned the Wikipedia entry from a stub into a Featured Article, this news should make me very happy.

And yet... I'm not sure.

The thing is, the people who've bought it are only a small fanzine, only available in the North East, meaning that if and when they get round to printing new ROTR stories (they're first publishing stories from 1975 onwards - and on a monthly schedule, that's going to take a long time to get through, assuming the mag lasts that long!), very few people are actually going to get to read them. In addition, there's no guarantee of quality - I doubt any of the original writers/artists (such as Barrie Mitchell, who drew the Match of the Day stories among others) would be affordable, for example.

Plus, I'm not sure of the ins and outs of the deal, but I'd be very disappointed if the deal that Players Inc have struck means that no-one else can bring ROTR back in a more mainstream capacity any time soon. It's probably not the case, but you never know. Still, that's all the pessimist in me talking - it's good news that someone wants to bring Roy and Melchester back, and better news still that it's made significant headlines. I suppose there's just part of me that wishes I'd known the rights could have been bought so cheaply!

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Heck for that price I'd have gone halves. Allthough not quite as passionate I'm hugely nostalgic for Melchester Rovers yet I'm similarly ambilvilant.

Allthough thinking this through, if Roy's strips are available what price Hotshot Hamish & Mighty Mouse, Billy's Boots, Andy Steele - Playmaker and Goalmouth etc?

By Karl
February 01, 2007 @ 3:36 pm

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Hah, today's Metro :

On February 1, we published an article entitled 'Rovers Return'. Egmont UK Ltd has asked us to make clear that, while Players Inc was granted permission to reproduce the comic strip Roy Of The Rovers, no transfer of copyright ownership was involved. Copyright and ownership of all rights relating to the Roy of the Rovers character remain with Egmont UK Ltd.

So, simply put, they've got the rights to print the strip (and do some new ones), but Egmont are still the copyright holders. So I wonder if they'd be open to any more £150 offers...? ROTR on NTS, anyone? ;-)

By Seb
February 06, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

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