Category Archives: ANNUALS

Annuals adverts from the UK

Annuals are hardback anthologies published once a year, usually in time for the Christmas market. Annuals consist of multi comic stories, either new or republished, featuring characters normally seen in their weekly or monthly editions. Puzzle pages, features, profiles, facts and content not always seen in regular format may also feature in annuals.


UK. Return Of The Jedi 31. 1984.

Popular annuals of 1984. UK. Return Of The Jedi. 1984.


UK. Eagle. 1984.

Advert for the 1985 Battle Action Force annual. UK. Eagle. 1984.


UK. 2000 AD. 44. 1977. Advert for the 1978 edition 2000AD annual.

UK. 2000 AD. 44. 1977. Advert for the 1978 edition 2000 AD annual.


Advert for the 1983 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1982.

Advert for the 1983 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1982.


Advert for the 1984 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1983.

Advert for the 1984 Eagle annual. Eagle. 1983.


 

Personalities With A Plus! From the 1983 Eagle Annual

Front and back cover of Eagle annual, 1983.

Front and back cover of Eagle annual, 1983.

 

Today I’d like to share some of the content from the 1983 UK annual Eagle in particular the series Personalities With A Plus! featuring sports and music stars from the eighties.

 

Gary Numan as featured in 'Personalities With A Push'.

Gary Numan as featured in Personalities With A Plus!

 

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury as featured in 'Personalities With a Push'.

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury as featured in Personalities With a Plus!

 

Once you get over the shock of seeing former England cricketer David Gower in his spangly trunks, the collection of Personalities with a plus! that appear in the 1983 Eagle annual serve as an excellent reminder of how stars from the eighties slotted easily into celebdom; whether they were international stars (Freddie Mercury and Olivia Newton-John), pioneers of electro (Gary Numan), or from the world of sport – footballer Kevin Keegan, snooker player Terry Griffiths, and our near-naked left-hander Mr Gower.

 

Owzat? Yikes David, put your pants back on! David Gower as featured in 'Personalities With A Push'.

Owzat! Yikes David, isn’t it time for tea? David Gower as featured in Personalities With A Plus!

 

Not forgetting popular wrestler Big Daddy, a family-favourite on the TV… especially when he was sharing the ring with his rival Giant Haysticks.

 

Big Daddy as featured in 'Personalities With A Push'. The popular 6' 6" tall, 26 stone wrestler went by the ring name of Big Daddy. His real name was Shirley Crabtree.

Big Daddy as featured in Personalities With A Plus! The popular 6′ 6″ tall, 26 stone wrestler went by the ring name of Big Daddy. His real name was Shirley Crabtree.

 

Kevin Keegan as featured in 'Personalities With A Plus'. Famous for playing football for England, Liverpool, Hamburg and Southampton.

Kevin Keegan as featured in Personalities With A Plus! Famous for playing football for England, Liverpool, Hamburg and Southampton.

 

Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John as featured in 'Personalities With A Plus!'.

Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John as featured in Personalities With A Plus!

 

Welsk snooker star Terry Griffiths as featured in 'Personalities With A Plus!'.

Welsh snooker star Terry Griffiths as featured in Personalities With A Plus!

 

It seems odd seeing snooker player Terry Griffiths in here. But back in the eighties snooker was an extremely popular sport in the UK, Terry being one of the game’s established greats. Terry even sang on the single and appeared in the video for the Matchroom Mob and Chas and Dave hit Snooker Loopy that reached number six in the UK charts.

 

Dan Dare, the Mekon, and dodgy photo stories!

The 1983 Eagle annual also featured some nice comic art in the form of established favourites Dan Dare and the Mekon characters. Alongside these comic strip stories were the relatively new ‘photo stories’. These utilised photographs to tell the story rather than traditional drawings. Some of the results – though I’m sure not intentional – are quite comical…

From...

From the photo story SGT. Streetwise.

From the photo story SGT. Streetwise.

From the photo story SGT. Streetwise.

I’m not a big fan of photo stories, although I can see their value and interest for the time. But there are too many photo stories when compared to traditionally-drawn stories inside this annual. When you add all the puzzle and jokes pages to this there seems a distinct lack of comic art in the book. That said, it does make for an interesting and varied read. The Personalities With A Plus! sections are a definite winner for me and lend the annual a ‘pop’ feel similar to other publications of the time like Look-In.

This book belongs to…

Various annuals from '90s and 2000s.

The annual, a UK tradition

Each Christmas, my younger brother and I would look forward to receiving our annuals. We never knew exactly which titles we’d receive, but it was a certainty we’d get at least one each, sometimes two. Annuals are hardback comic books released at the end of each year in time for Christmas. They typically feature new and sometimes previously published stories taken from their soft cover counterparts. The covers are made from hard boards and feature a full-page colour image of one or more of the main characters. Inside you will find comic strip stories alongside puzzle and colouring pages, biographies, fact-files, competitions, photos and maybe even a poster or two.


1980s annuals.


The annual is a reasonably cheap and popular gift to give to children, providing hours of reading fun, and is strong and durable thanks to its hard covers. Inside, the first page will usually contain a This book belongs to printed panel in which to write your name. A removable price clip is added to the corner of the next page. This is sometimes removed by parents who wish to keep the cost of the annual a secret. Shhhh!


This 1969 edition of Rupert has not been inscribed or dedicated, nor has the price clip been removed - making this copy attracive to collectors.

This 1969 edition of Rupert has not been inscribed or dedicated, nor has the price clip been removed – making this copy attractive to collectors.


This 1959 edition of Rupert has been inscribed and dedicated. However, The price clip has not been removed.

This 1959 edition of Rupert has been inscribed and dedicated. However, The price clip has not been removed.


This 1977 edition of Rupert has been inscribed, dedicated and had its price clip removed. In addition, the child owner has added his own writing to the page. In 1977 this book would have cost around £1.

This 1977 edition of Rupert has been inscribed, dedicated and had its price clip removed. In addition, the child owner has added his own writing to the page. In 1977 this book would have cost around £1.


A Rupert annual has been released every year since 1936

My Rupert annuals are by far the largest group in my collection which has steadily grown into more than fifty editions. A Rupert annual has been released every year since 1936, including the war years – when hard covers were replaced by soft covers and the inside papers were printed on special ‘war economy’ paper in aid of the war effort.


A few of my Rupert annuals.

Rupert annuals.


Rupert annuals. 1978 left, 1972 right.

Rupert annuals. 1978 left, 1972 right.


 

Collecting annuals

For most collectors an annual is more prized if it’s not had its This book belongs to completed, the price clip reamins intact, and there are no personalised dedications written by family members. For me, I don’t mind a few annuals with these traits, as it adds some extra charm to the book. Other factors that will increase the collectable value of an annual will be colouring and puzzle pages remaining in an uncompleted state, as well as the overall condition of the book such as cover, spine, binding, edgeware, page foxing, etc.


These 1980s Judge Dredd annuals are in excellent condition and have not had their price clips removed.

1980s Judge Dredd annuals.


Thinking back to those past Christmas mornings, it was impossible for my brother and me to mistake those heavy, oblong-shaped presents concealed beneath their wrapping paper as anything other than annuals. Typical annuals given as gifts in our houshold would include popular UK comic titles such as the Beano, Dandy, Topper, Rupert Bear, and Spider-Man. Not forgetting hit TV series titles like Doctor Who, Starsky and Hutch, Space 1999, The Muppet Show, and many others. Annuals based on films, such as Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica were also popular choices.


Spider-Man annuals.


Star Wars annuals: childhood and editions found later.

Star Wars annuals.


1975. Planet of the Apes.

1975. Planet of the Apes.


1981. Raiders of the Lost Ark.

1981. Raiders of the Lost Ark.