Roger the Dodger

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For the NFL quarterback, see Roger Staubach.

Roger the Dodger is a fictional character in a comic strip in the British comic The Beano, 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', and more recently, his "dodge-pod" - an iPod style device.

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 chequered jumper, black trousers and takes better care of his hair than his equally mischievous counterpart he also used to have a white tie but it has seemed to have disappeared. Roger is often shown in other Beano characters' stories offering "help": occasionally his Dad asks him to use his dodges to find a way out of certain situations or win a prize. His worst enemy is a bully named Cruncher Kerr, who has a dog called Muncher, Roger has a pet called Dodge Cat, who is a rival to Muncher. At one time he had 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, but Roger dodged his way out of the Beano in 1960. He returned, drawn by Bob McGrath, in April 1961. Ken Reid was re-commissioned to draw the strip in 1962, and Robert Nixon when Reid left DC Thomson in 1964. When Nixon left in 1973, Tom Lavery began drawing the strip, who was then followed by Frank McDiarmid in 1976. Ten years later, after Euan Kerr took over as Beano editor, Nixon returned, drawing in a noticeably different style than before. Roger was given a second page in 1986. He continued drawing it 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 the current artist, Barrie Appleby took over. Trevor Metcalfe drew a few strips in 2003 and 2004, and there have also been some Robert Nixon reprints during 2005 and 2006.

Between 1986 and 1992, 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.

Roger is currently the second longest running character in the Beano, behind only Dennis the Menace.

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