The first Rupert Annual was launched in 1936.
The stories famously comprise three main elements: the artwork, the prose and the rhyming couplet. For many a child, the joy of Christmas was made complete by the gift of the new Rupert Annual. Most of the included stories are reprinted from the Daily Express newspaper strips which were in full colour from 1940. Some stories were especially written and illustrated for the annual and these are noted.
From 1941, the covers comprised a piece of "wrap-around" artwork and each annual from 1950 had endpapers of equally beautiful artwork. Origami was introduced to the annuals in 1946 and became a regular feature for many years. In 1960, magic painting pictures were introduced. These appeared until 1968.
The Annuals continue to this day.
In 1985 the first of what has become a series of facsimiles was introduced. For reasons of political correctness, there are several years for which no facsimile has been produced and the 1970 annual was the last one for which a facsimile was produced.