Monday, December 25, 2006
40 year Flashback: Wham! Annual
Christmas Day 1966: Thousands of kids across the UK awoke to find the Wham! Annual 1967 in their pillowslips. A wonderful package of fun colour strips by Ken Reid, Graham Allen, Gordon Hogg and others. That explosive masthead is a memorable part of sixties comic culture.They don't make 'em like that anymore!
The cover artist was Graham Allen, an undervalued cartoonist whose work of that period has often been mistaken for Leo Baxendale's. A fantastic piece of work representing the anarchic attitudes of those old Odhams comics; kids running riot and an authoritarian teacher proving ineffective. Many of the visuals on that cover wouldn't be allowed in a children's comic today: boy tied to a firework; syringe being used; dart fired at a bird; teacher with cane... parents and retailers would have a fit if just one of those items appeared inside a comic today, never mind on the cover of a Christmas annual! (Even though I'll bet no kid who had that book ever copied any of the violence. I certainly didn't. Kids know the difference between cartoon violence and reality.)
Are we living in more restrictive times or more responsible times? You decide! ;-)
This was the second of nine Wham! Annuals. Click on it to see a full size version.