Thursday, June 12, 2008

Christmas comes early for UK Marvel fans

Traditionally, the publication time for Christmas annuals is late August / early September. However, in a canny move to cash in on this years blockbuster movies, Panini UK have released two of their 2009 dated annuals early.

Iron Man Annual 2009 and The Incredible Hulk Annual 2009 are both full colour hardback books consisting of 64 pages each. (Yes, quite slim compared to the annuals of old.) The content of the Iron Man book features comic strips from the Marvel Adventures Iron Man US comic, plus activity pages. I haven't seen the Hulk book yet but I'm guessing its content will be similar.

The annuals are presumably pitched at a young readership, older than pre-school but not as old as the teen plus readership that most Marvel comics are aimed at these days. A good move, as it's important to bring in young readers to comics. The books retail for £6.99 but you should find them cheaper than that online.

For us oldsters, (and for kids keen to see the Sixties Marvel strips) Panini have released Marvel Masterworks: Invincible Iron Man 1963-64, a chunky softback full colour book reprinting the earliest Iron Man strips by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and the underrated Don Heck. A companion volume Marvel Masterworks: The Incredible Hulk 1963-64 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko should be on sale next week.


Anonymous said...

Surely a lot of annuals have been 64 pages for a long time now? With the possible exceptions of DC Thompson and Fleetway/IPC titles, the vast majority of annuals brought out by most companies have been 64-pagers, especially since the eighties. There have been some occasional exceptions, but nowadays it seems that 64 pages is the norm.

Lew Stringer said...

Perhaps so, but as I said, I was comparing it to "the annuals of old", meaning 40 or 50 years ago. Admittedly I should have clarified that as I suppose the 1980s is old for younger readers.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the annuals of old. Now they were annuals! Sorry, I misread your comment. I stand - or sit - corrected.

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