Monday, July 27, 2015

They're here! Dandy and Beano Annuals 2016

The 2016 cover-dated annuals are starting to appear now and The Dandy Annual 2016 and The Beano Annual 2016 were published just over a week ago. Let's take a brief look inside them.

I always find there's mixed emotions these days when The Dandy Annual appears; joy that there's 112 pages of all-new Dandy material, but sadness that it's a reminder that the weekly is no longer around. However, let's focus on the positive, and once again the book delivers a nice package of classic Dandy characters by contemporary creators.

Fans of Ken Harrison will be pleased to know that there's plenty of pages by him in here as he illustrates several Desperate Dan stories and a couple of puzzle pages.
I was pleased to see Desperate Dawg in the book too; the 1970s canine version of Dan. Originally by George Martin, the new version is drawn by Alexander Matthews.
Much-missed 1960s Ken Reid characters Big Head and Thick Head are back in a couple of new strips drawn by Mike Donaldson.
Jack Silver returns too, drawn by Wilbur Dawburn...
...while Nigel Auchterlounie once again draws Corporal Clott...
...and I tackle The Smasher and Keyhole Kate...
Other strips in this packed annual include Greedy Pigg by Nigel Parkinson, The Jocks and the Geordies by Paul Palmer, Brassneck by Steve Beckett, and the return of George vs Dragon by Andy Fanton, plus much more.


Like its sister publication, The Beano Annual 2016 kicks off with a cover by Nigel Parkinson. Nigel also draws several pages inside featuring top favourites Dennis the Menace and Minnie the Minx
It was good to see an adventure strip in the book, in the form of classic hero General Jumbo. I don't know who's illustrated it but the artwork is excellent.
Great to see work by Hunt Emerson in the annual, drawing Little Plum...
...and Laura Howell doing fine work on Les Pretend...
The annual features all the usual favourites such as Roger the Dodger, Biffo the Bear, Ball Boy, The Numskulls, the Bash Street Kids, Billy Whizz, Pup Parade, and of course Bananaman...
There's also three pages of Lord Snooty by me...
The Dandy Annual 2016 and The Beano Annual 2016 are out now at a R.R.P. of £7.99 each, but you're bound to find them discounted, or cheaper online. These are the only traditional British comic annuals left now so don't wait until they're remaindered after Christmas. Give them your support now, to help them continue for years to come.  

10 comments:

James Spiring said...

Good to see General Jumbo back. And it's nice to see a few more Dandy characters dug out of the archive too. Regarding Jumbo's artist, the colouring looks like it was done by hand, which reminds me of Keith Robson. Could it be him?

Neil said...

Also a first time in D.C. Thompson history is that they've released a Broons and Oor Wullie annuals this year to celebrate 80th anniversary in 2016.

Lew Stringer said...

No, it's not Keith's style, James. It's not hand coloured either, although I can see why you'd think that.

That's true, Neil. I must admit I haven't bought those annuals since they dropped the Dudley Watkins reprints but I do sometimes buy the extra ones they do in hardback which reprint the older strips.

Richie Brown said...

Excellent that Corporal Clott is continuing in his 2015 annual form. I laughed myself silly at the strips last year.

Phil Boyce said...

I'm in no way criticising, but just curious as to why the annuals never followed the style of the comic's last couple of years. Is there a reason? I'm sure it's still brilliant but while it's a neat idea to draw 'traditional' Dan I'm a bit disappointed Jamie Smart's excellent reimagining is no longer included.

@MLPasterisk said...

I guess it's older relatives who are buying the Dandy Annual for the youngsters in their family but it's a shame to think that without a regular Dandy comic today's kids won't know who any of the characters are.

Colin Jones said...

Did they always come out this early ? I seem to remember that annuals didn't start appearing until about October back in the '70s.

Lew Stringer said...

Colin, the books used to come out in August/early September but July has been the release date for several years now. That said, most shops still don't put them on display until August.

Phil, I think the idea is that the annuals are bought by parents and other older relatives (for their kids) so they stick to the traditional styles they'd identify with. I agree it did seem strange that the annuals issued at the time of the last two years of the weekly didn't reflect the comic too much.

Neil said...

I prefer the Watkins reprints too,not read modern ones in years.Im from Dundee so lots of tradition of the annuals.

Lew Stringer said...

Yes, I don't think those of us in England really knew how popular The Broons and Oor Wullie were (are) in Scotland (particularly Dundee). The first time I was aware of them was when my mum bought me a Broons book one Christmas (1971 or 72). She wasn't sure I'd like it but I was over the moon! I immediately recognized the style of Dudley Watkins as "the Desperate Dan artist" and was so pleased to a) find out his name, and b) discover a strip I'd never seen before.

The Sunday Post is regularly available in the Midlands now but the first one I saw was in Blackpool in 1974. I don't think it was available much further South back then.

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