Comic Book Series

The Beano/Roger the Dodger

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Roger the Dodger is a fictional character in a comic strip in the UK comic The Beano. He first appeared in issue 561, dated 18 April 1953. His appearance is vaguely similar to that of Dennis the Menace; he wears a black and red checkered jumper, black trousers and takes better care of his hair than his equally mischievous counterpart. Roger's basic remit is to avoid doing chores such as homework, and this involves him inevitably in complex and ultimately disastrous plans, the undoing of which results in him being punished (usually by his long-suffering father). To perform these tasks he enlists the help of his many 'dodge books.' His worst enemy is a bully named Cruncher Kerr (who has a dog called Muncher); he has a pet cat called Dodge Cat- who is a rival to Muncher- and he used to have a pet crow called Joe the Crow, who appeared during the 1970s to the early 1980s. Two of his friends are called Crafty Colin and Sneaky Pete. Roger is also known to be absolutely dreadful at football.

Originally drawn by Ken Reid, Gordon Bell took over in 1959, followed by Bob McGrath in 1961, Ken Reid again in 1962, and Robert Nixon when Reid left DC Thomson in 1964. When Nixon followed in 1973, Tom Lavery began drawing the strip, who was then followed by Frank McDiarmid in 1976. Ten years later Nixon returned, drawing in a noticeably different style than before, and continued drawing until his death in October 2002, though, due to the strips being drawn months in advance, his strips continued appearing in the Beano until the end of January 2003 when Barrie Appleby took over, the current artist.

During the mid-late 1980s, a spin-off strip appeared at the end called Roger the Dodger's Dodge Clinic. Readers would write in with problems, and Roger would try and find a dodge for it (which would usually go wrong). Winning suggestions would win a transistor radio and special scroll.

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