8 November marks 100 year since Rupert Bear made his debut in the ‘Daily Express’ newspaper. Rupert is a children’s comic strip character created by British artist Mary Tourtel. In 1935 the stories were taken over by Alfred Bestall who worked on the Rupert stories and artwork into his 90s. A Rupert Annual has been published every year since 1936. Rupert was originally depicted as a brown bear but his colour soon changed to white to save on printing costs, though he remained brown on the covers of the annuals.
Rupert lives with his parents in a house in Nutwood, a fictional idyllic English village. He is drawn wearing a red sweater and bright yellow checked trousers, with matching yellow scarf (the editor of this piece has her own authentic Rupert Bear scarf!).
His chums include Bill Badger, Edward Trunk and Ping-Pong the Pekingese. There are also human characters including the Professor, Tiger Lily and her father the Conjuror. The stories are fantastic and magical adventures set in faraway lands.
This year the Royal Mail issued stamps to mark Rupert’s centenary.