Mary Tourtel created Rupert in 1920 for the Daily Express who wished to compete with Teddy Tail who was very popular in the Daily Mail. Rupert was an instant success.
Born in Kent in 1874, Mary trained at art school and became a professional book illustrator. Her husband, Herbert, was a sub-editor of the Daily Express and it was he who arranged for Mary to create Rupert for the Express. The character she created was the "Little Lost Bear" who became Rupert. Mary drew Rupert until 1935 when the work became too much for her, due to her deteriorating eyesight. She died in 1948.
An intermediate period
When Alfred Bestall retired from drawing Rupert, there was a spell when various artists took on the role. These included Lucy Matthews and Jenny Kisler but most noteably Alex Cubie.
This is an interesting link to information about Alex Cubie HERE
Rupert's artist is now Stuart Trotter. Stuart is a real Rupert enthusiast and an experienced children's illustrator/storyteller. He has illustrated Postman Pat, Winnie the Pooh, Kipper and Thomas the Tank Engine. He has his own characters and publishing company, Rockpool. We are delighted to be reading the first new Classic Rupert Stories for some time. Stuart is developing his own style of Rupert artwork, based on that of his hero, Alfred Bestall. He has been the official Rupert artist since 2008 when he illustrated his first Rupert annual.
We are optimistic that Stuart's genuine love of Rupert and respect for his tradition will eventually carry him into the ranks of the great Rupert artists.
The Followers of Rupert Bear
The official Rupert Bear Society Website
The Secretary, John Beck
29 Mill Road, Lewes, East Sussex
tel 01273 477555