Friday, April 01, 2011
Here come the Summer Annuals!
With the death of the traditional Summer Specials a few years ago publishers began experimenting with a new format. If newsagents were no longer interested in the relatively low returns on glossy comic specials then perhaps bookshops could be targeted with a format tailored to their needs instead? It seemed an area worth trying and now D.C. Thomson have adopted the format with the launch of two Summer Annuals this week. A bit early for Summer? Perhaps, but these books are intended to be available for a few months, or at least until the Christmas annuals come out in, er, August. Such is the nature of comic publishing.
Both The Beano 3D Summer Annual and The Broons/Oor Wullie Summer Annual are 128 page softbacks retailing at £5.99 each. (Although they're considerably cheaper on Amazon at present.) Both books also feature free gifts. There's a Whoopee Cushion and 3D Specs with The Beano and a set of Playing Cards with The Broons.
Anyone who's been collecting The Beano avidly for the past several years may be a little disappointed to hear that most of the content in this book is reprint. There are some new pages, but apart from a very nice Ivy the Terrible four-pager drawn by Diego Jourdan I'm not sure which other pages are new. However, for anyone new to the comic (and every Beano is someone's first issue) or for those of us who haven't held onto copies, this is a great collection, packed with full colour strips and puzzles. The 3D gimmick is only used on a few pages (mostly the puzzles) but it works, and it's the modern 3D method using full colour rather than the old red/green technique.
The Broons/Oor Wullie book will probably be the better attraction for older collectors (as is its intention of course). A busy collection of classic strips, the majority of which are by the great Dudley Watkins, holiday-related historical features and puzzles. Plenty of summer reading indeed.