Roy Rogers’ Birthday Gifts

Roy Rogers

Turner Classic Movies is going to celebrate Roy Rogers’ 100th birthday this year as part of its annual Classic Film Festival. The restored prints of Rogers, Dale Evans and Trigger will take their place alongside Citizen Kane and An American in Paris. Maybe the festival organizers can talk Quentin Tarantino into introducing a movie, since he’s been such an outspoken champion of Rogers’ frequent director William Witney. The festival will run from April 28-May 1, 2011, in Hollywood, and tickets are already on sale at TCM.com.

Speaking of Roy Rogers, Netflix’s “Instant” streaming movie catalog includes some rare Rogers pictures, like the 1944 musical Brazil, in which he made an appearance, and 1941’s Arkansas Judge, with the Weaver Brothers expanding their comedy repertoire in this courtroom drama.

A collection of Rogers’ early comic book appearances was published in 2008, but Roy’s fans can now own a book’s worth of his daily and Sunday strips, published by Hermes Press, with an essay by comics historian Tim Lasiuta. Of note is a sequence from 1960-61, illustrated by the great Alex Toth, when he was asked to fill in for regular artist Mike Arens. Roy Rogers: The Collected Daily and Sunday Newspaper Strips ($49.99) also contains strips drawn by Warner Brothers cartoonist Tom McKimson, who designed Tweety Bird.

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