Rupert's twiggy chum is RAGGETY. I have no idea why so many people want to know this. Raggety's appearances have been few and far between, but he's clearly made an impact - giving some pleasant memories of childhood and others nightmares!
Rupert's Elephant friend is Edward Trunk- his piggy friend is Podgy Pig. Others include Pong Ping (Pekingese), Algy Pug, Gregory Guinea-Pig, Bill Badger (Rupert's best friend), Ferdie and Freddie Fox, Ottoline, Bingo the brainy pup (Alfred Bestall's alter ego??). Tigerlily is the little Chinese girl. Political correctness means that the old Professor's servant is not "the dwarf" now - he has acquired the name " Bodkin". Mr. Chimp is the teacher and PC Growler is the local bobby.
Brown- and White-faced Rupert on Annuals
If I had a fiver for every email that began "I have this brown-faced Rupert Annual and I'm sure it's really valuable ..." I'd be rich. Harrumph!
Rupert has a white face inside Rupert Annuals and a brown face on the cover - for EVERY Annual except the 1973 (Cover shows Rupert waving from a coniferous tree). In 1973, some doughnut at Express headquarters decided, without consulting the artist (Alfred Bestall), to change the brown face (and hands and boots) to white - thus ruining the composition. Bestall was incensed and never drew another Rupert cover. Around 12 proof copies of this Annual exist, with brown faces - they are EXTREMELY (in fact obscenely) valuable. Have a look at this website (which may or may not have been selling real brown-face 1973s ... we don't know) for examples. White-faced 1973 Annuals are common and not worth much in cash terms. Other brown-faced (i.e. NOT 1973) Rupert Annuals are worth varying sums of money - more, generally, for older books. All, however, are extremely valuable as examples of British childrens' illustrated literature at its best. Genuine Followers are sad to see valuable Rupert books pass into the hands of wealthy "investors" who have no interest in Rupert at all.
Rupert's relative at the North Pole is Uncle Polar. Uncle Grizzly lives in the the USA and is the most bearish of all Rupert's relatives. There are some ominously human-looking bones outside his cave! Rupert is really a small boy with a bear's head - although a furry back has been spotted whilst Rupert is having a bath. He has hands and feet - not paws. Only Edward Trunk- is cursed by real animal's feet, although the Wise Old Goat has a varying set of arm-ends ... sometimes hooves and sometimes hands!
Annual Facsimiles and Political Correctness.
The series of facsimiles started with 1936 - the first Annual. Some have been omitted in the subsequent years, owing to politically-incorrect language and associated characters. They are now definitely unacceptable (although innocent enough at the time) and currently deemed unpublishable by Rupert's owners. While all thinking Followers deplore the use of such unacceptable language now, it seems sad that its use in a different age and context has prevented a few of the finest Rupert Annuals from being "facsimiled". This has put some outstandingly good Rupert stories (eg "Rupert and the Blue Moon") out of the range of affordability for many. It is our hope that Egmont books will find a way to include the "inoffensive" stories from the "offending" Annuals in one of their delightful anthologies of Rupert stories.
Rupert Books and Stories
To find out all you need to know and more - John Beck's updated "Rupert Index" is what you need. It's an authoritative book containing a set of lists, contents of Annuals and pictures of books to help the enthusiast find his or her favourite story and to help collectors identify books and dates. The Index is available at a discount price to all members of the Followers of Rupert and direct at full price (£18.00) from:-
Internet enquiry for Index
John Beck ,
29, Mill Road,
Lewes, E. Sussex,
The Followers and the Internet
The Followers is essentially a paper-based and "traditional" organisation as befits Rupert's traditional background and the slightly nostalgic world of Nutwood. We have no plans to become an Internet-based organisation and on-line registration etc. is not, at present, even being discussed.
Who Owns Rupert and his Copyright?
In 2003, the Daily Express reclaimed exclusive control of Rupert with a view to increasing his visibility and presence as a character. The Followers of Rupert enjoy good relations with both the Express and with Classic Media, who now control most of Rupert .
Paul McCartney's "Frog Song"
This short, but delightful film has now been released on DVD as part of a collection of Paul McCartney items. Most Followers consider it to be the best animated Rupert of all.