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.

Art by Matias Alonso


Art by Jose Ortiz

Art by Enrique Badia Romero


Art by Eustaquio Segrelles

Art by Leopoldo Ortiz

Aty by Victor Ibanez

23 comments:

Nick Caputo said...

Hi Kid,

Some nice artwork on these strips. Do you know who drew any of them?

Kid said...

Unfortunately, no, Nick. They look like European artists, and some of the styles seem familiar, but I don't know their names. British comics used quite a few foreign artists back in the day.

******

Nick, upon taking a closer look, I think The Esper Commandos is drawn by Enrique Badia Romero, who drew the Modesty Blaise newspaper strip for years.

Nick Caputo said...

Romero's style looked familiar. I think he did some art for Marvel's black and white line in the 1970's.

Kid said...

He also drew for IPC's Battle Action Force in the '80s, Nick. I once had to alter his art at a moment's notice before it went off to be printed. It wasn't the finest job I've ever done.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

Could one of the reasons for the all new content be that Wham used the Pow characters in that 1971 annual (as these titles merged under Odhams rule) and Smash used some of the others so they had nothing or a very limited list of strips left that they could use? and they thought they could sell the strips in Europe (or even UK) if they were successful - possibly even that they had been working on these strip to replace the Marvel strips once the lost permission to use them? -I see Jose Ortez art is in this book he is a fantastic artist - a strange one all the same (been looking for a reasonably priced edition of this annual for a few years)McS

joe bloke said...

oddly, I was just looking through this annual, last night. I still have the same copy that my mum bought for me all those years ago. it has a wonderful, personal sentimental value to me. & Norstad was a trip!

Kid said...

My 1971 Wham! Annual isn't at hand for me to check, McScotty, but I don't think it contained any Pow! strips - the Smash! Annual for 1971 certainly didn't. Perhaps they had an inventory of try-out strips for various proposed publications that never got off the ground, but the fact that they were mainly all 'superhero' strips of some kind tends to suggest they were for a single publication. It's a bit of a mystery. I think you're probably right 'though, about them being lined up to replace the Marvel strips at some stage.

I see a few copies of the 1971 Pow! Annual are currently available via Amazon - but they're over £100 each. Someone's obviously chancing their arm, as they're not considered to be worth that much. (It's usually Americans who put them out at crazy prices.) You should be able to get a fairly decent copy for around a tenner, even less if you're lucky.

Kid said...

I never owned it back in 1971, Joe - yet it somehow conjures up images of the age (and of the house I lived in at the time) as if I did. Strange that, eh?

TwoHeadedBoy said...

That Norstad thing's great - any chance of scanning the whole story?

Kid said...

I've tucked the Annual away again, THB, but I'll get around to it when I get a spare moment.

John Pitt said...

I'd heard about all these new Pow superheroes but this is the first time I have actually been able to read the stories. Excellent post, thanks and I too would love to see more if you dig it out again.

Paul McScotty -Muir said...

I found this blog called SuperItch today that has scans of 3 strips from this annual (sorry Norstad is not one of them) but gives you Electro, Marksman and Magno in addition it has some comments from a certain "Kid Robson" so its win win
http://superitch.com/?p=43145

Kid said...

It'll happen, JP - keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, use the link supplied by McScotty to see three of the stories.

******

I'll have to jump over and re-read what I wrote, McScotty - I'm a huge fan of mine. (As everybody knows.)

John Pitt said...

Thanks for tipping us off about Superitch, McScotty!

Kid said...

Tsk tsk! Superitch has been in my blog list on the right-hand side of the page for years, JP. Take 100 lines - "I must pay more attention in class."

José Ruiz DelAmor said...


I agree with the request that you scan these pages of the adventure "Nostard of theDeep", Kidd, adventure that was drawn by a civilian mine, Leopoldo Ortiz, Cartagena,Murcia (Spain). I'd like to be able to translate the entire history to the Spanish, and I'vebeen able to do so only with three pages.
Here I'll give you a link so you can see the file I try to finish:
http://tebeosycomics.blogspot.com.es/2014/06/norstad-de-las-profundidades-norstad-of.html
DD (only one week)
http://we.tl/he8ddsWHVn

Kid said...

If I can do so without damaging the book, Jose, I'll try and do it in the next day or so.

José Ruiz DelAmor said...

Thanks

Kid said...

No bother, Jose. Trust you saw the post.

Godz Bollox said...

Still got this one and always loved the art work.

Kid said...

Yup, it's an interesting Annual, sure enough.

José Ruiz DelAmor said...

Hello again, Kid. I want to ask you if you have any information about the author "Víctor Ibáñez", his nationality, date of birth, something ...? I can not find out anything about this author, I do not know if he is Argentine or Spanish. Do you know anything that can serve to place your figure in the frame of the Cartoon? ... Greetings.

Kid said...

Jose, he was known as Victor (also Vicente) Ibanez Sanchis, and was born in Valencia in 1938. He started his career as an apprentice at Editoria Valenciana in 1954. In the '60s, he drew for Pow! and also D.C. Thomson's The Victor. There is a Marvel artist of the same name who may be related, although I think his full name is Victor Ibanez Ramirez, so maybe not. However, it might be worth contacting him to see if he can supply further info. His website is: www.victoribanez.blogspot.com - hope that's of some help.

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