Rupert Bear is a children’s comic strip character created by the English artist Mary Tourtel and first appearing in the Daily Express newspaper on 8 November 1920. Rupert’s initial purpose was to win sales from the rival Daily Mail and Daily Mirror. In 1935, the mantle of Rupert artist and storyteller was taken over by Alfred Bestall, who was previously an illustrator for Punch and other glossy magazines. Bestall proved to be successful in the field of children’s literature and worked on Rupert stories and artwork into his 90s. More recently, various other artists and writers have continued the series.

The comic strip was, and still is, published daily in the Daily Express, with many of these stories later being printed in books, and every year since 1936 a Rupert annual has also been released. Rupert Bear has become a well-known character in children’s culture in the United Kingdom, and the success of the Rupert stories has led to the creation of several television series based on the character. The character also has a large fan following, with such groups as The Followers of Rupert.


UPDATE 04-04-2019

Your favorite rupert story collection




UPDATE 23-01-2019

Annual 1955




UPDATE 05-05-2018

Annual 1945


Annual 1951


Annual 1952


Annual 1954


Annual 1966


Annual 1967


Annual 1968


Annual 1971


Annual 1972


Annual 1973


Annual 1974


Annual 1975


Annual 1976


Annual 1977


Annual 1980


Annual 1981


Annual 1982


Annual 1983


Annual 1984


Annual 1985


Annual 1986


Annual 1987


Annual 1988


Annual 1989



Annual 1936,1937,1938


Annual 1939,1940


Annual 1944


Annual 1950,1953


Annual 1964


Annual 1978


Annual 1979 (very large file)


New Rupert Book 1946


7 responses »

  1. leemcdaid says:

    I’ll just move these to here


    Rupert the Bear Annuals

























    Thanks to Scanners ‘barry2065’ ‘captainmuttley’ & ‘Jimpy’


  2. Andy says:

    Rupert Bear Information

    Mary Tourtel

    (28 January 1874 – 15 March 1948, UK)

    Mary Tourtel was the creator of ‘Rupert Bear’, the famous newspaper comic of the Daily Express.

    Born in Kent, she was already an illustrator of children’s books when she was asked to create a character for the Daily Express.

    Although she was wife of the Express newspaper’s night news editor, Herbert Tourtel, it wasn’t simply a case of nepotism.

    When all attempts to find an animal character that would enable the Express to counter its Fleet Street rivals had failed, she came to the rescue with the furry bear.

    A trained artist, particularly skilled in the depiction of animals, she wrote and drew many ‘Rupert’ stories between 1920 and 1935, introducing such memorable new characters as Podgy Pig and Bill Badger.

    Failing eyesight forced her to leave the artwork of the strip to Alfred Bestall, but she remained involved in the strip’s creation until her death in 1948.

    Alfred Bestall

    (14 December 1892, Upper Burma – 15 January 1986, UK)

    Alfred Bestall is a British illustrator of children’s books and Amalgamated Press annuals.

    Born in Mandalay, Burma, as the son of a Methodist Missionary, Bestall eventually was sent to Rydal Public School in North Wales. He attended the Birmingham Central School of Art and spent three years in Flanders during his military service in World War I. He contributed his first cartoons to The Cartoon and Blighty and worked through the Byron Studios in London after the war.

    He drew for Punch and was also present in magazines like Passing Show, Tatler, Eve and The Strand.

    He became a productive book illustrator and also drew for the Schoolgirl’s Own Annual by Amalgamated Press between 1923 and 1942.

    He was the artist who continued the adventures of ‘Rupert Bear’ when creator Mary Tourtel quit the series.

    Bestall started in 1935, when the furry British bear Rupert already had fifteen years in the public eye. Bestall managed to increase the popularity of Rupert Bear, who is now known all over the world.

    He semi-retired in 1965 and ‘Rupert’ was continued by Alex Cubie and John Harrold and scriptwriters Freddie Chaplain and James Henderson.

    Bestall continued to do art on the annuals until 1973, however.

    Alex Cubie

    (1 August 1911 – 1995, UK)

    Alex Cubie was a Scottish animator, illustrator and comics artist.

    He is best known as one of the main artists to draw Mary Tourtel’s iconic ‘Rupert Bear’ newspaper strip during the 1960s and 1970s.

    Alex Cubie was born in 1911 in Renfrew, Scotland, not far from the capital Glasgow.

    He started out drawing cartoons for the newspaper Glasgow Evening Citizen.

    In 1934 he moved to London, where he created cartoons for The Daily Sketch and The Leader.

    When World War Two broke out in 1939, Cubie was drafted in the British army the following year. He originally worked as a fitter, before the army felt his artistic talent could be more useful in their design team, where he could draw lay-outs for tactical exercises. After the war Cubie returned to Fleet Street, where he designed greeting cards.

    In the late 1940s Cubie made a move to animation. He joined the Rank film company in Cookham. Around the same time one of Disney’s animation directors, David Hand, was in England to help out the Gaumont Company with their own locally produced animated films. Cubie became part of Hand’s British-based animation unit.

    Cubie was already an illustrator for the quarterly ‘Rupert Adventure Series’ books between 1952 and 1962, in alternation with Enid Ash. The heads of Rupert and his friends were sometimes filled in by Alfred Bestall.

    In 1951 Cubie became an illustrator and cartoonist for the Daily Express.

    It wasn’t until 1965 before he was asked to become one of Alfred Bestall’s successors on the ‘Rupert Bear’ comic strip. Bestall was no longer physically able to continue the series and instantly retired (although he continued to provide artwork for the annuals until well into his 90s).

    Cubie drew adventures with the little white bear until 1978, with Freddie Chaplain providing the stories. Cubie had a more cartoony approach than Bestall and applied thicker black outlines around the characters. Apart from drawing the daily comic itself, Cubie also provided artwork for the annual ‘Rupert’ books between 1974 and 1978.

    Although Cubie produced most stories in the post-Bestall period, other artists who alternated on the stories were Lucy Matthews and Jenny Kisler.

    John Harrold also drew stories from 1976 onwards and was appointed as the full-time ‘Rupert’ artist in 1985.

    Alex Cubie passed away in 1995.

    John Harrold

    (b. 1947, UK)

    John Harrold was a longtime artist of the comic adventures of the bear ‘Rupert’ for the Daily Express.

    He was born in 1947 in Glasgow, where he also studied painting and drawing at the local School of Art.

    He made his first drawings starring ‘Rupert’ in 1973 for ‘Lots of Fun to Cook with Rupert’.

    The Daily Express subsequently assigned him for the newspaper strips, where he succeeded Alfred Bestall and Alex Cubie.

    His first story for the paper was ‘Rupert and the Worried Elves’ in 1976. He became the daily comic’s fulltime artist in 1985. He worked in cooperation with editors James Henderson and Ian Robinson who wrote the stories. He also started working for the Annuals in 1978. He was Rupert’s official artist for 30 years and was succeeded by Stuart Trotter in 2008.

    Stuart Trotter


    Stuart Trotter is a British children’s book illustrator and the author of ‘Rupert Bear’ since 2008.

    He has drawn ‘Winnie the Pooh’, ‘Postman Pat’, ‘Kipper’, ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and many other characters for publishers like Hodder, Treehouse, Simon and Schuster, Walker, Boxer Books and Penguin.

    He runs his own publishing company, Rockpool Children’s Books.

    He succeeded John Harrold as the artist of the ‘Rupert Bear’ stories for the Daily Express and the Rupert Annuals in 2008, and has since introduced new characters such as ‘Clara the Cat’.


  3. Podgy says:

    I can’t say how much I appreciate these posts. You’ve made a middle-aged man very, very happy.


  4. martin cummins says:

    A magical, wonderful, words fail me, post. At 72 I”m still an enormous Rupert fan, especially of Mary Tourtel, with an original 1947 annual as a prized possession. Your post has given enormous pleasure. Thank you so much!!!


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