Walter Henry Booth

Illustrator of Children's Comics, and an Artist.

                                          ROB THE ROVER

In 1920, Walter Booth joined Amalgamated Press when they took over the James Henderson & Son publishing house. He then created the first dramatic picture serial in British comics for PUCK, called ROB THE ROVER, first published on 15th May 1920. The series ran until 1940 with more than one thousand pages published until wartime shortages of paper became so serious that drastic changes were necessary.

The story of Rob began when Daniel True, an old fisherman, found a young boy on a raft drifting in the sea. The lad could not remember his origin or parents so Dan nursed him back to health, decided to take care of him and became his substitute father. They had many exciting adventures, some in foreign parts often in exotic locations. The strip expanded into an airplane adventure story which included "The Flying Fish", a submarine-type plane able to dive underwater. Occasionally, Walter Booth had two assistants to help him;  Hugh Stanley White, who went on to become a famous illustrator in his own right and Vincent Daniel, an English artist, who created a separate series for PUCK called "The Trail of Tony True". After the war, Hugh Stanley White developed his own newspaper, MERRY MAKER COMIC BOOK, to which Walter Booth and Basil Reynolds contributed. Basil Reynolds, one of the youngest cartoonists at the time, also contributed to a number of national newspapers.

After Walter Booth's death in 1971, Denis Gifford (1927-2000), a British writer specialising in the history of comic books, and a comic illustrator himself, wrote a tribute in which he said "in a hundred dusty volumes and a million memories - ROB roves ever on". Walter Booth never signed his comic illustrations so Denis Gifford's comment that he was "unsung through being unsigned" was very apt.



                                                                           (c) IPC Media