Rebellion Publishing has revealed its latest set of signings: the creative team for the highly anticipated 2018 reboot of Roy of the Rovers.
Internationally acclaimed comics writer Rob Williams (Amazing Spider-Man, Adventures of Superman) and artist Ben Willsher (2000AD, Doctor Who Magazine) are the team behind the brand new Roy of the Rovers graphic novels, beginning with Roy of the Rovers: Kick-Off, to be released 6th September 2018.
Best-selling children’s author Tom Palmer (Football Academy, Foul Play) takes the lead on Roy of the Rovers: Scouted, Rebellion’s first foray into middle grade fiction, to be released 4th October 2018.
The publishing plan includes three 56 page hardback graphic novels per football season, launching in September 2018, January 2019 and April 2019. Middle grade illustrated fiction titles to be released alongside the graphic novels, launching in October 2018 and following on in February 2019 and May 2019.
“I used to read Roy of the Rovers as a boy, still have a bunch of the annuals at home, and even had the Melchester Gola kit at one point,” Rob Williams enthused on Twitter earlier today. “So… really excited to be writing the new adventures of a true comics icon.”
“Roy of the Rovers is an enormously exciting project for us,” says Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley OBE, “and we’ve been working hard to ensure that we respect the legacy of this iconic British character.
“We’ve assembled an incredibly strong team to bring Roy Race back for the 21st century, and I look forward to following Roy’s journey through the always exciting world of modern football.”
“Millions of girls and boys dream about being their favourite football player and being scouted and playing for their favourite team. I had that dream,” says Tom Palmer. “Sadly it didn’t come true for me. But, being scouted and succeeding in my trial to write Roy of the Rovers fiction is a dream that has come true. There is no other fictional footballer I would rather be and write. And I intend to write these books with the same passion and commitment Roy shows when he pulls on the red and yellow of Melchester Rovers.”
“Roy of the Rovers was a big part of my childhood,” adds artist Ben Willsher. “The annuals stacked up in my bookshelf, and the comics burst out of my cupboards. Growing up I dreamed of helping Roy score goals and lead Melchester to the top… I finally get to do that- result!”
“We’re delighted to have such a high calibre of creative talent on board for our reboot of Roy of the Rovers,” says Rebellion Head of Publishing Ben Smith. “Rob, Ben and Tom’s stories are bursting with all the excitement, drama and football fervour of the classic Roy of the Rovers comics, while giving us a thoroughly modern take on the character. We can’t wait for a new generation of fans to read them.”
• There’s now a new official Roy of the Rovers at royoftheroversofficial.com where you can sign up for a newsletter and news has started to be published. Find the official Roy of the Rovers on Facebook, follow on Twitter @royoftherovers or Instgram @royoftheroversofficial
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Roy of the Rovers © Rebellion Publishing Ltd
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.