Monday, November 25, 2013

Fleetway Annuals 1974

I've shown a couple of these things before (http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/fleetway-annuals-for-1973.html) but, if you missed those posts, this is a leaflet that was issued to newsagents and booksellers for customers to pick up at the counter. The idea being to let people know the range of annuals on offer, and for them to place an order with the shop. 

And what a range it was! Back then, publishers aimed to appeal to every age group. The commonsense idea being that as readers grew older the publisher could still profit from them. Just look at the titles available 40 years ago; annuals for everyone from toddler to adult. As you can see, IPC alone published no less than 72 different annuals that year, - and then there'd also be many other titles from DC Thomson and others. An incredible amount of books. 

Such excellent covers too. I don't think there's a bad design amongst them. (Although I remember thinking that the Eagle Annual's photo cover was a bit bland.) Some great annuals here, including one-off collections of Dan Dare and Trigan Empire strips, the second of the merged Wham and Pow annuals (with a smashing Joe Colquhoun cover), the second (and final) of IPC's Marvel annuals (with a Geoff Campion Spider-Man cover) and the first Shiver and Shake Annual. Curiously, there was even a Tiger Tim Annual in 1974. IPC's oldest character in that selection. 


Sadly, almost all of the titles shown here are no more. I think a Shoot Annual is still published, and the magazine itself is still in business along with NME and Angler's Mail, but everything else is long gone. Many of the 1974 comic annuals had survived beyond their weekly versions anyway, so they were living on borrowed time even back then, but it's a shame the demand for annuals isn't the same today. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy this peek into the past of 40 years ago. 

As a bonus, here's a full size scan of Joe Colquhoun's brilliant cover of the western character Jeff Arnold for the Wham! and Pow! Annual 1974. Unfortunately the entire content was reprint from various Odhams titles (including Eagle), but at least the reprints were good - Mike Higgs' The Cloak for one. This would be the swansong for the book, but what a great cover to go out on!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on lew pity our poor eyes make the images bigger we can't rads them that small!,,

Lew Stringer said...

Not even when you click on the images to see them larger?

Peter Gray said...

A great year to be born into...;0)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lew, the images are terrific and we can see the larger image when clicking on them. Thank you as ever for posting.

Lew Stringer said...

Glad you can see them better now. Same thing applies to all the images I post; click to see them larger.

Manic Man said...

from the old annuals I got, ones like Cor still amaze me with the size of them. Same was true with a number of them. things like the Dad's Army ones are much smaller, more like todays annuals, but cor and jackpot seam a lot bigger.. might just be me though. I need to get them out again some time and catalogue just what I got..

anyway.. when you think, Cor was 4p for an issue in 1974, and the annual was 70p.. for the size, that isn't bad. but quite a bit of difference, which more made them perfect as Christmas presents.. of course, the 4p Cor at that time had the bit where if you joke was used on the cover, you get a £1.. with about 2 on a cover, that was pretty good deal for them days I think.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, the IPC annuals at that time still had 160 pages I think. The page count gradually reduced over the years.

John Pitt said...

For all of us lovers of the Great British Annuals, once again I've got to recommend Tony's Trading website!

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