Wednesday Comics: Ace of the Rovers

Roy of the Rovers pastiches were, unsurprisingly, somewhat popular in the 1980s, both while the series was at its cultural zenith, and then while the people who would have remembered it being at its cultural zenith got a bit older and started being the ones creating the culture themselves. One slightly belated entry, however, came in the Red Dwarf Smegazine in the early 1990s.

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Published in issue #8, dated October 1992 – so, just as the weekly Roy comic was itself winding down to its slow demise – this story was part of the Smegazine‘s semi-regular “Ace Rimmer” strip, a series that followed the adventures of Arnold Rimmer’s heroic other-dimensional counterpart as he hopped his way through alternate dimensions meeting other different hopeless Rimmers.

In terms of jokes, it’s a pretty straightforward pastiche (working in a bit of Billy’s Boots, for good measure) – but what really makes it stand out is the fact that it was actually drawn by Barrie Mitchell, who was the regular artist on ROTR itself at the time. He’s pretty good with the likenesses of the show’s actors, too.

As you can probably imagine, this is about one of the most potent combinations of two of my interests it’s possible to get. But astonishingly, it wouldn’t even be the last time Roy would cross over with the Dwarf – as an instalment of the later strips in Shoot magazine, circa 1993, saw Roy’s son “Rocky” Race and his team-mate Del Ntende watching a certain familiar show…


(Art there by Rob Davis and Geri Ford)


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