IN THE pantheon of classic Beano characters, Roger the Dodger must be one of the most well-known, ranking up there alongside Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx and The Bash Street Kids. Created by Ken Reid in 1953, Roger has been a near mainstay of the comic ever since, his numerous dodges illustrated by a roster of some of the country’s finest cartoonists – Reid himself, Gordon Bell, Robert Nixon, Jamie Smart and the current artist, Barrie Appleby.
So then, quite naturally, it is with the weight of 62 years’ worth of comic legacy weighing heavily on my shoulders that I am thrilled (but nervous!) to announce that I am now the new writer for Roger the Dodger, working alongside the aforementioned Mr. Appleby!
I’m really excited to be given this opportunity, following in the footsteps of the excellent Cavan Scott, who had been writing the strip before me. Roger was (and still is, in fact!) one of my favourite Beano characters. I remember even writing my own ‘Dodge Book’ when I was a kid, full of sneaky tricks to get me out of various chores, although of course my skills paled in comparison to the master.
I penned my first Roger script last week (SPOILER ALERT: Roger dodged something) and got the happy news that Beano HQ were happy with it and wanted me to continue on as Roger’s writer today, news that gave me cause to crack open a celebratory bottle of fizzy pop.
It’s a great honour to get to write for Roger (it feels like writing for a Hollywood A-lister, or something!) so you can be assured that I will do my very utmost to not mess it up, and will NOT be reinventing it as a gritty tale of revenge. One thing I CAN guarantee, however, is that there will be dodges. A LOT of dodges!
I’m not entirely sure when my run starts, probably around June/July – but needless to say I’ll update you all when I know!
– Andy the Fanton.
Roger the Dodger is © DC Thomson and Co. Images from The Beano website.