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) counterpart. 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.
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.
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.
Posted by Kid at Friday, February 07, 2014