Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Tuesday, 30 August 2016
The AVENGERS Annual for 1970 is undoubtedly the best of the four books I've shown you so far. It had fewer pages, but more comic strips (three, and better drawn too) and a higher quality of illustrations for the three text stories. With three features and two pictorial features, it was a decidedly superior publication to most other TV tie-in books of the period. Issued by ATLAS PUBLISHING COMPANY Ltd., and not WORLD DISTRIBUTORS, it's one of the gems of my collection. You might find one on eBay.
When The Avengers TV show started in 1961, Dr. DAVID KREEL (played by IAN HENDRY) was the main character, and JOHN STEED was his assistant. When Hendry quit the show after the first series, Steed became the main character, with a succession of female assistants. (First, CATHY GALE, played by HONOR BLACKMAN, then EMMA PEEL, played by DIANA RIGG, and finally TARA KING, played by LINDA THORSON.
The series was revived in 1976 under the title The NEW AVENGERS, with new assistants, but it's the original version I'm focussing on in this present post - so ignore the assistants behind the curtain. (Don't worry, the meds will kick in shortly.)
Coming soon(ish) - DOCTOR WHO ANNUAL 1966.
The MAN From U.N.C.L.E. was big - very big. It was probably the closest thing to JAMES BOND that viewers of a certain age could watch before they were old enough to see 007 in his own big-budget movies. And NAPOLEON SOLO had been created by Bond author IAN FLEMING himself, thereby lending an air of secret agent authenticity to the show developed by SAM ROLFE for TV.
I had an attache case with U.N.C.L.E. badge and gun, plus the ID card that one sent away to the RADIO TIMES for - and it was free! I don't remember ever buying any of the Annuals though, of which there were four. The first one (above) was for 1967, and there were ones for '68, '69 & '70 as well. There was a comic album issued in 1966, and two Television Picture Story Books for '67 & '68.
The comic strip in the '67 Annual was reprinted from a GOLD KEY Man From U.N.C.L.E. comicbook, but the remainder of the contents were predominantly text stories. WORLD DISTRIBUTORS was the publisher for all three of the Annuals we've seen in this blog series thus far, and this was the format of most of their output at the time. No doubt it was down to budgetary restraints, but I can't help think that they missed a trick by not having more comic strips in their many hundreds (at least) of Annuals over the years.
It's strange to think that the first Annual was issued only the year before the TV show was cancelled, and that they continued for a year (the 1970 Annual was issued in 1969) past the show's demise. However, I guess it continued in repeats for at least a year or two afterwards.
Monday, 29 August 2016
In the first two series of DANGER MAN (which was broadcast under different names in different countries), JOHN DRAKE was an Irish-American working for an intelligence organization based in Washington DC in the USA. After its initial run from 1960-'62, the show disappeared for a couple of years, until it was revived in 1964, with secret agent Drake now being of British nationality and working for a government department known as M9.
The show ended in 1968, and actor PATRICK McGOOHAN next popped up in The PRISONER. McGoohan always denied that the Prisoner was John Drake, but this was doubtless prompted only by copyright issues, as there were several clues scattered through the 17 episode series that both characters were indeed the same man.
There were two Danger Man Annuals in 1966 & '67, plus a Television Story Book for 1965, but this one is all I have in my collection. A few comic strips would've made it more interesting in my estimation, but it's a nice little reminder of the age in which it was published. Maybe one day I'll acquire the others.
Coming in Part Three - The MAN From U.N.C.L.E. Annual 1967. Don't dare miss it.
|Interesting to see this scene from the JAMES BOND movie From|
RUSSIA With LOVE on the back of a DANGER MAN Annual
The SAINT ran on TV from 1962 to '69 and was a great success, particularly in the United States, where it was hugely popular. (Early episodes based SIMON TEMPLAR in America, aiding its acceptance in the country.) ROGER MOORE became the first British 'TV' millionaire due to the show being a massive worldwide hit. There were three* tie-in Annuals to Moore's incarnation of the show (for 1968, '69 & '70) and a TV Picture Story Book for 1971. Also, there were two Annuals issued for IAN OGILVY's revival of the character in RETURN Of The SAINT for the years 1979 & '80.
(*There was a fourth book in 1970 for '71, described as a 'Television Picture Story Book', but it was only an abridged reprint of the previous year's Annual, though with a different cover. There was also a Saint book published in the Netherlands the same year as the U.K''s first Saint Annual, but again, it wasn't called an Annual.)
I only have the above Annual for 1970 (issued in '69), and as you can see from the accompanying pictures, it was a mixture of text stories and comic strips, although the former outnumbered the latter. Still, it's a nice little reminder of the time when The Saint was a feature of British TV for most of the '60s. Roger would go on to star in a new ITC show, The PERSUADERS (along with TONY CURTIS), and then play another iconic figure (from the world of cinema) called - h'mm, what was his name again?
Coming in Part Two - DANGER MAN Annual 1967.
(Update: I've since added a couple more Saint Annuals to my collection.)
|Bet you didn't know that 'ELIZABETH TAYLOR' guest-starred|
with The SAINT, eh? Only in this story in the Annual though
Sunday, 28 August 2016
I've got a SEVANS DALEK - I've shown it on the blog before, though I don't think I identified it as such. Anyway, here's an old clip from kids TV show BLUE PETER, wherein STUART EVANS explains just how his superior vac-form model kits came about. His prototype is a bit rough, but the finished product is a nice little item.
|And here's my Sevans Dalek|
Given the success of WHIZZER & CHIPS, it's surprising that IPC waited nearly three and a half years before attempting to duplicate the format of 'two-comics-in-one' with SHIVER & SHAKE. However, while the former lasted for 20 years, the latter managed not quite seven months, but at least it relaunched the career of FRANKIE STEIN for a new readership, this time drawn by ROBERT NIXON instead of original '6os Frankie artist (for ODHAMS' WHAM!), the irrepressible KEN REID.
Friday, 26 August 2016
Look at this great book I acquired recently - BOND On BOND - personally autographed by ROGER MOORE. That's me now got his signature three times over, as I also own an autographed hardback and paperback edition of his autobiography - lucky me, eh? Personally, I enjoyed Roger's 007 movies every bit as much as SEAN CONNERY's, and I won't hear a word against the man. He was the perfect actor for the part in the sizzling '70s, just as Sean had been in the swinging '60s.
If you wanna argue about it, big Rog will see you out in the pub car-park in 5 minutes. I know who I'd bet on.
Thursday, 25 August 2016
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Tuesday, 23 August 2016
I suppose this one can be considered an unusual cover, in that The FANTASTIC FOUR don't actually appear on it 'in person' - only on a poster bearing their images. This yarn has long-been one of my favourite FF tales, first read in the pages of WHAM!, then later in an issue of MARVEL COLLECTORS' ITEM CLASSICS. Readers were perhaps a tad confused by the ending of the original ish #7, as Mr. FANTASTIC says "There was no reducing gas, Sue!", thus making the preceding events entirely impossible. What he should have said was "There was no enlarging gas, Sue!", which it was amended to in later reprints. Current editions of Marvel Masterworks and Omnibus volumes carry the original error, for the purpose of maintaining archival integrity.
Monday, 22 August 2016
|Copyright relevant owner|
It's been a while, but here at last are another ten covers of the best-selling kids comic of the 20th century - TV CENTURY 21. (Yeah, work that one out!) The DALEKS had departed in #104 and ALAN FENNELL was no longer the comic's editor, but, for the moment, TV21 was still a force to be reckoned with on the newsagent's shelves in its third year of publication.
Did you buy TV21 back in the day? Did you stick with it from beginning to end? If not, when did you start to lose interest in the comic, and when did it begin to show signs of decline in your opinion? Share your thoughts, theories and feelings in our cataclysmic comments section after you've perused all ten of these palpitating pictures on display before you.
Posted by Kid at Monday, August 22, 2016