Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Rook

The Rook was Bill Dubay's pet project for Warren, appearing in Eerie before graduating to his own book in 1979, apparently as a sweetener from head honcho Jim Warren to Dubay in order to keep him producing Creepy and Eerie stories.
The Rook was Restin Dane, The Master Of Time, a genius inventor who bounced around through history in his chess piece time machine, but more often than not to his favourite period, the Wild West.

The covers invariably promise an all-action, two fisted hero with more than a passing resemblance to Han Solo, but that's not really what this book is about.

Dubay's agenda is different, with the stories being more in the nature of a whimsical jamboree of randomess, as both serious and comedic characters drift in and out while Dane meets Morlocks and monsters, Sherlock Holmes and samurai.
The Dube was always Warren's most flighty writer, combining adult humour with plots that threatened to fall apart if inspected too closely, and The Rook, though a lot of fun, definitely fits into that category.

Like many a writer before him, The Dube falls in love with his secondary characters to the detriment of the strip's star, in this case, Manners the obsequious robot & Dane’s cussed, ornery great Grandpa Bishop, who looks like Freewheelin' Franklin and talks like Yosemite Sam.
They're an amusing pair, but you do wish The Rook would get a look in once in a while, and it's fair to say that sometimes the series works, and sometimes it doesn't. Still, no one wrote like Dubay, then or now, so it's best to do what I do, and just go with a writer doing exactly what he wants with little, or no, editorial interference. Here's the first story:


  1. I bought the Rook mostly for the art, some of Lee Elias' late career tone work was positively cinematic. And there was the Bravo series by Alex Toth. Dubay's quirky writing had the good fortune of often being surrounded (and saved) by fantastic art.

  2. Couldn't agree more, Lee Elias is unjustly forgotten I think, and wasn't much noticed then sadly. Have to see what we can do about that.

  3. Tell me that you have seen the new Rook series by original Rook artist Paul Gulacy and Steven Grant.

  4. What??? No, I haven't, Dube 2! ( Can I call you that? ) Definitely will be checking it out tho', thanks.