Thursday, 3 March 2011

HAVING A SMASHING TIME...



As I said in the previous post (here), when SMASH! shuffled off
this mortal coil (on 27th March 1971), its ghost haunted VALIANT
for a while - but that wasn't the only way in which it managed to maintain
a presence for another few years past its final issue.  Right up until 1975,
SMASH! Annual appeared every year in August/September for the
following year.  (That is, the Annual which went on sale at the end
of a year in the run-up to Christmas was for the year to come.)

SMASH! had ten Annuals in total - four in its ODHAMS incar-
nation, six in the IPC/FLEETWAY one, but there was an eleventh
book in the form of the SMASH FUN BOOK 1971.  Feast your eyes
on the covers for 1971 to 1976 in the pic-fest which follows.




Might as well throw in the 1969 & '70 Holiday Specials - just so I
can show off my recent acquisition of the latter.  A replacement for the
replacement of my original, as it were.  (Relax, it makes sense to me.)


And now, for completists, here are the four original ODHAMS
PRESS Annuals.  (Published by Hamlyn Books.)  The front and
back cover  for 1968 are included.




(Click on any image to enlarge, then click to enlarge again.)

Considering that the new SMASH! hit the stands in March of
'69, it's odd that the 1970 Annual reflected the previous incarnation
of the comic rather than the new one.  The Annual would've been pre-
pared at roughly the same time as the comic was due to be relaunched,
so that makes the discrepancy even more puzzling.  Quite a few readers
must have been confused as to why the Annual of their weekly comic
bore very little resemblance to it when it went on sale in August
or September of '69.

The 1971 Annual for its former companion title, WHAM! (the
weekly having vanished from the shelves in 1968) must've seemed
even more of an anomaly in contrast, the tone and format being in the
old ODHAMS style as published by HAMLYN.  I can only conclude
that the Annual usually sold well, hence its inclusion in the pub-
lishing schedule that year.

The name SMASH! survived for nearly ten years, from
its first issue in 1966, to the final Annual for 1976 - surely a
success in anyone's book.

4 comments:

TwoHeadedBoy said...

I'm continually perplexed by these "Power" titles - after finding a few Wham! and Smash! annuals in various places, and finding them filled with (mostly) mad humour strips, I then found a stack of comics in another location... And found them to be filled with mostly adventure/superhero stuff (of which I have no interest whatsoever).

From the looks of this post here, it's just the four Odhams annuals I should be looking at?

Kid said...

THB, if it's just the humour strips you're interested in, the four Smash! Annuals are mostly humour, but they have a smattering of adventure strips scattered throughout them. (Brian's Brain, Rubber Man, The Legend Testers, etc.) However, no Marvel strips.

The 1971 Smash! Fun Book is ALL humour strips. Wham! Annuals also had NO Marvel strips, but the Pow! Annuals did.

TwoHeadedBoy said...

Well, that clears things up a bit. I've got Smash! 1970, and the Wham! books from 1966 and 1969... So it seems the Smash! Fun Book is the one I'm mostly after (currently can't find it anywhere!).

Cheers for the information there.

Kid said...

It's a softcover book, but the printing in it is absolutely terrible. You'll need a magnifying glass to read some of it properly. You should go for all the Hamlyn Wham! and Smash! books - the humour strips are all in colour and are very clearly reproduced. (I'm sure you can ignore the adventure strips if you try.)

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