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Friday, 7 February 2014
THE PUZZLING POW! ANNUAL 1971...
The POW! ANNUAL for 1971 is certainly a curious one, that's
for sure. Published by ODHAMS PRESS, as were the previous three
Annuals for 1968, '69 & '70, it bore absolutely no relation to them in terms
of content or style. True, the logo remained the same, but anyone buying
the book who had purchased earlier ones (or even the comic, which
expired in '68) would surely have wondered what was going on.
What mystifies me is that the WHAM! ANNUAL for 1971 was
exactly the same as in previous years and also published by Odhams -
even 'though its former stablemate, SMASH!, was now an IPC comic,
whose Annual reflected the contents of its weekly (revamped) counter-
part. I can only suppose that, as the weekly incarnations of Wham! and
Pow! no longer existed, Odhams were permitted to produce one more
Annual of each, although the subsequent books for 1972, plus the
combined '73 & '74 releases, were all IPC publications.
Art by Miguel Quesada
As far as I'm able to determine, the 1971 Pow! Annual contains
all-new strips - at least, I've never heard or seen of any of the characters
before (or since, come to that) - and therefore represents good value for
money, as previous Annuals had a fair amount of reprint material, making
them cheaper to produce. It's interesting to ponder whether the weekly title
would've survived with regular strips of the same characters as the Annual,
but I guess if SPIDER-MAN couldn't save it, then it's unlikely that
unknown British substitutes would've fared any better.
Art by Victor Ibanez
Anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing a gallery of some pages
from over 40 years ago, when children regularly thrilled to the yearly
hardback versions of their favourite comics. Will such a time ever
come again? What do you think?
Incidentally, the artists' names were sourced from the British Comics Database, after I had identified ROMERO by myself.
The BCD confirmed it for me 'though.