Judge Dredd publisher buys Roy of the Rovers and classic comics archive

Judge Dredd by Ian Kennedy Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption Judge Dredd is 2000 AD's most famous character and has appeared in two movies

The publisher of cult comic 2000 AD has announced it has bought Roy of the Rovers and dozens of other out-of-print 1970s and 1980s titles.

Oxford-based Rebellion said it is the biggest deal of its kind in 30 years and could bring "long-vanished" classic comics back into print.

Characters from Tammy, Battle, Whizzer and Chips will now join the iconic Judge Dredd in the Rebellion line-up.

The comics are in the Fleetway archive, which was sold by media group Egmont.

Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption Published from 1976 to 1995, Roy of the Rovers was Britain’s most famous comic footballer
Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption Glenn Fabry drew the cover for 2000 AD's 2,000th issue, which is out in September

The archive includes banned title Action, humour comics Oink! and Whoopee, comics aimed at girls like Misty and Sally, as well as World War One serial Charley's War.

Rebellion's owners and founders, Jason and Chris Kingsley, previously bought 2000 AD and its sister publication The Judge Dredd Megazine from Egmont in 2000.

Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption Battle Picture Weekly had a grittier take on World War Two than many previous comics
Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption 2000 AD also features Celtic barbarian Sláine

Rebellion's head of book and comics publishing Ben Smith said: "I am delighted we have the opportunity to return these to print and develop new stories based on iconic characters."

Publisher IPC launched 2000 AD in 1977 in the hope of using a science fiction comic to take advantage of Star Wars-inspired space mania.

Since then it has won numerous awards and helped launched the careers of famous writers and artists including Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, and Mark Millar.

Image copyright Rrebellion
Image caption Tammy was one popular title aimed at girls by IPC’s Youth Group
Image copyright Rebellion
Image caption The ABC Warriors are another 2000 AD favourite

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