Rebellion Publishing is to reboot football comic, Roy of the Rovers, 23 years after it was last published.
The new Roy of the Rovers will launch next year starring a young striker Roy Race as he starts his career at Melchester Rovers, featuring “all of the drama, goals and glory of the modern game”.
Last year, the Oxford-based publisher and video games developer acquired the title from Egmont UK, along with other titles in the archive of Fleetway, a now defunct magazine company.
Rebellion will publish three hardback graphic novels per football season, launching in September 2018, January 2019 and April 2019, with accompanying middle-grade illustrated fiction titles.
A digital version is in development as well as a “comprehensive licensing programme” with partners in various markets. Roy of the Rovers began as a comic in 1976 and ran until 1995.
Ben Smith, head of books and publishing at the company, said that he is hoping to address the "dearth" of football-related fiction.
He said: “There are only a handful of truly iconic characters in British comics, and Roy Race is surely one of them. We look forward to bringing Roy to modern audiences in a completely fresh incarnation that honours the extraordinary legacy of the character."
He added: "There is a dearth of football-related fiction on the shelves, and we’re looking forward to correcting that, whilst giving a classic British comic character a new lease of life in the process.”