Rupert Bear annuals are probably some of the most avidly collected today. First published in an annual in 1936, Rupert has been published every year since, in varying formats.
The famous illustrator Mary Tourtel created Rupert and he first appeared in the Daily Express issue of 8th November 1920. Her husband, Herbert Tourtel, also played a part - he wrote the verses which appeared with the drawings. After failing eyesight caused Mary to retire in 1935, Alfred Edmeades Bestall took over the illustrations and also wrote the stories himself. Following Bestall, Alex Cubie took the reigns as illustrator for a short while with the stories being written by Freddie Chaplain. John Harrold began illustrating Rupert in 1980 and continued until 2007.
Stuart Trotter, illustrator of Postman Pat, Winnie The Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine among others, now has the great responsibility of illustrating the little bear. Stuart's first Rupert annual is the edition for Christmas 2008 which also contains all new stories. Stuart admits he has been a life-long fan of Rupert and promises that the little bear will be very much recognisable as the Classic Rupert.