Roger the Dodger

Roger the Dodger

This is the article for The Beano comic strip, for other uses please see Roger the Dodger (Disambiguation)

Roger the Dodger
First appearance April 18, 1953 (1953-04-18); The Beano
Created by Ken Reid
Portrayed by Ken Reid, Gorden Bell, Bob Mcgrath, Robert Nixon, Tom Lavery, Frank McDiarmand, Barrie Appleby
Aliases Dodger, Dodge-Boy

Roger the Dodger is a fictional character featured regularly in the UK comic The Beano. His strip consists solely of Roger's basic remit to avoid doing chores and homework which usually involves him concoting 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'.


Character History

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. 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's strip was given a second page in 1986. 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 often shown in other Beano characters' stories offering "help", which he took to a new level in Beano issue 2648 from April 1993. This issue marked Roger's 40th birthday, and in order to celebrate he made appearances in every strip in the comic.

Nixon 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 artist, Barrie Appleby took over. He drew the strip until 2011, when he stopped to concentrate on Dennis and Gnasher, though Trevor Metcalfe drew a few strips in 2003 and 2004, and there have also been some Robert Nixon reprints during 2005 and 2006. Since Appleby stopped drawing Roger, the comic has run reprints of Robert Nixon strips from the 1980s.

Roger is currently the second longest-running character in the Beano, behind only Dennis the Menace. However if taken into account the strip's absence in 1960 then he would be the third longest-running behind Minnie the Minx.


Roger is a crafty-looking ten year old boy who sports a red and black chequered jersey with a white shirt collar poking out. He is also usually attired in a white tie, however, the Barrie Appleby dropped this around 2005. Upon his debut, Roger sported the usual school boy shorts, however he began wearing trousers during the 1970s.

Despite his laziness, Roger is clearly quite intelligent, as his dodging schemes are often complex (in many cases, more complicated than performing the task he is supposed to do) and he has been seen to even swindle the class swot from The Bash Street Kids, Cuthbert Cringeworthy.

Other Characters in the strip

  • His Mum and Dad. In one strip in the Beano Book from 1957, his dad's name is revealed to be Bill, and he has occasionally shown to have been a dodger in his youth and on occasion asks Roger for dodging help.
  • His rival is a bully named Cruncher Kerr named after the Beano editor at the time Euan Kerr.
  • Roger has had two different pets, firstly a Crow called Joe the Crow, and secondly a cat called Dodge Cat.
  • Roger also had two friends, called Crafty Colin and Sneaky Pete. These two mainly appeared in the 1990s, though Pete did reappear in the 2006 Beano Annual. However, in the late 2000s Roger gained a new friend called Dave.

In Other Media

Theme Park

Video Games

  • Roger appeared in the PC Racing game Beanotown Racing as a playable character. His vehicle was a chequred bumper car.
  • Roger was also featured as a character in The Beano Interactive DVD which consisted of mini-games and a few short animations.

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