Rover and Wizard

Jan 7, 2011

You have to feel sorry for all those comic book readers in the USA in the 1960s and 1970s. They really missed out on a lot of comics whilst here in the UK we enjoyed the best of both worlds. Along with a plentiful supply of imported Marvel and DC comics we had hundreds of our own weekly and monthly comics and magazines ranging in size from the newspaper-sized Big One to the umpteen pocket digests. And our comics had a much more diverse subject matter than the Superheroes and Funny animals that by then once more dominated the american market. We had many comics that concentrated on sport in all its many forms. Some pocket digests, and the odd comic such as Rover and Wizard still contained text stories rather than sequential strips.

I really ought to read the cover story to see what the significance of the bow and arrow is. Perhaps all their “ray guns” needed a recharge and good old british ingenuity saved the day ?? Seeing this cover again jogs my mind back to when I used to get this comic delivered every monday by the local newsagent along with my parents’ Daily Sketch. Being full of text stories it was a comic my father approved of unlike those trashy american ones.

Both Rover and The Wizard were long-running D.C.Thompson comics that had amalgamated in 1963. By 1969 the “Wizard” part of the title disappeared ready for its re-launch as a seperate title in 1970. Just to confuse things even more, when the Rover finally folded in early 1973 it re-re-merged with The Wizard this time being called The Wizard and Rover until its final demise in 1978.

At the time I didn’t find it the least bit strange that I was buying such chalk and cheese comics as Not Brand Echh, Marvel Collectors Item Classics, Jimmy Olsen, ACG’s Forbidden Worlds, Alan Class comics, Commando, The Eagle, TV21, Rover and Wizard, The Topper or Tornado etc ad infinitum sometimes all on the same day in the 1960s. I guess you really had to be there……

4 Responses to “Rover and Wizard”

  1. Dave Roberts Says:

    Love the cover …. how about a scan of the innards? I used to love my “Rover and Wizard” comics and still have a ( perfect ) mini collection from around 1965’ish ( must check ). I would stare at each cover for ages before venturing inside for the text stories even though I probably enjoyed the picture stories in my weekly “Lion” , “Valiant” and “TV21” comics more! I guess I must have valued “Rover and Wizard” more because all of the others are a long time gone.

    Thanks for jogging my memory on this one.

  2. I may scan the title story (which I actually quite enjoyed) but I have to bear in mind D.C Thompson as a company is still very much in existance.

    “Dargan” isn’t a person but rather it is a planet attacking earth with a “blue ray”. The spacemen are confronted by “throbbing grey balls” which are unaffected by their heat-ray guns. They discover these balls are actually disembodied evil brains and are vulnerable to projectile missiles. Unfortunately in 2050AD guns and bullets haven’t been used for 50 years !! With 10 minutes until the next attack they haven’t time to make (?!?) any guns but the resourceful British spaceman makes a bow and arrows and kills their attackers. That buys them time to return to earth and warn of the impending invasion. See next weeks thrilling installment.

  3. Says:

    I’ve often wondered if this doesn’t mirror musical taste also, and a sign of the times.

    I grew up with multiple comics every week, Eagle, Look and Learn, Victor, Valiant, Beano, Buster blah blah …
    and everything from Dylan to The Byrds to Beefheart, The Fugs, The Who, Yardbirds blah blah ..

    My kids like just dance (her) and just Rap/Dubstep (him). Neither reads.

    Both can’t believe it when we know things – or when we can sing, hum or whatever their great new single by xxxx – because it’s a rehash. My youngest is currently catatonic because I casually pointed out in front of his mates that I’d got everything Daft Punk have recorded.
    Heh heh

  4. Out of sheer habit I still keep half an eye/ear on new trends. But I also investigate music, comics and stuff from before I was born. The “facebook generation” (hate that term…) seem to have switched off from the big picture and are proud to be oblivious of everything apart from whatever they’ve decided (usually through peer pressure) is their “thing”. I know it’s good to live in the moment but mark my words, no good will come of it….

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