Thursday, November 28, 2013

WHAM! ANNUAL cover gallery


One of the liveliest annuals of the 1960s was the Wham! Annual. Originally published by Odhams, and later by IPC, its first few years reflected the robustness and humour of the weekly. It outlived the weekly by several years, albeit ending up considerably different to how it started. 

Here are all the covers to the annuals, starting with the first one above, the Wham! Annual 1966 (published in 1965). I'm not sure who drew the cover. Possibly Terry Willers, who did quite a bit for the weekly?

The early books had the cover scene continue over to the inside front cover, which was a great introduction to the book, making the readers feel like they were escaping into a brightly coloured world of fun and daftness. These interior pages are drawn by Gordon Hogg...





A year later, and here's the cover to Wham! Annual 1967. Artwork by the brilliant Graham Allen...



Graham Allen also drew the inside front cover strip. Again, it gives the reader a sense of entering into the book, especially with a 'hole' having been blasted open behind the logo. (Please excuse the bits of dialogue I added in biro back when I was seven!)





Another 12 months later and it's the annual for 1968. Again, Graham Allen is the artist for the cover and the interior strip that continues from it...






I always felt that the background blue for the Wham! Annual 1969 cover was too dark, but it's a good cover all the same. Again by Graham Allen, who also drew the interior strip.





The Wham! Annual 1970 had a change of artist with Mike Brown. No interior strip continued from the cover this time...



The Wham! Annual 1971 changed artists again, with Gordon Hogg providing the art. He also drew the interior spread that followed it...




By the 1970s The Wham! Annual had been living on borrowed time, with the weekly having merged into Pow! in early 1968. Perhaps that's why new publishers IPC decided to completely revamp the book with the one for 1972. Transformed into an adventure annual, its contents featured none of the familiar Wham! characters. Instead, it was mainly full of reprints from Eagle and other old Odhams comics. (That said, I have a personal fondness for this one as my grandad bought it me when we were on a day trip to Blackpool on September 23rd, 1971. I still have the receipt inside it as a bookmark!)



The following year saw another change, as two annuals merged as Wham! and Pow! Annual 1973. Although the two weeklies had joined forces in 1968, it had been Pow! which had been the dominant title, not vice-versa in the case of the annual. Again, no characters from Wham! (or Pow!) were featured in this book. Old Eagle characters such as Harris Tweed (renamed Bulldog Breed) and other Odhams material featured instead.



The final annual was the Wham! and Pow! Annual 1974. Even the old logos had been redesigned this time! However, inside, some familiar faces returned, such as The Cloak, The Two Faces of Janus, and Footsie the Clown, albeit only as reprints. The cover was by Joe Colquhoun.



So there you have it; all nine Wham! annual covers. Click on each image to see them much larger.

5 comments:

Manic Man said...

interesting with the Skin colour of Frankie Stein. I think even in Whoopie's Frankie Stein Annuals, the Skin colour seamed subject to change..

Lew Stringer said...

Originally Frankie was sort of Caucasian skin colour with a green tint but I think it just depended if the colourist had been briefed properly. They settled on green later because it was easier I suppose than flesh with green tints.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

I love the Odhams humour annuals - partly due to not ever having heard of them before the Internet existed, so it's all so fresh and exciting and just plain nuts.

Why they ever went down the adventure route is a tragic mystery.

Lew Stringer said...

When IPC took over they segregated the comics department into two: humour and adventure. My guess is that for the 1971 books onwards the adventure dept got the Wham! and Pow! annuals to fill, so they used what they had access to; the adventure archives.

As a kid back then I felt it was a mistake to separate comics into two categories. It took away a lot of the variety that the old comics had. That said, the letters pages of Odhams' Smash! often had comments from readers who preferred either humour or adventure and DIDN'T like the variety.

George Shiers said...

I always thought the 1969 annual was the best annual as I really liked the blue background, and the others looked dull next to it.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...