It’s the season for UK annuals – another sign that retailers are warming up for Christmas that is as regular as Sky screening festive movies in July and UK Gold airing Victoria Wood Christmas Specials this week.
For comics fans, only the Beano and Dandy annuals seem to offer cover-to-cover comic strip (with the Beano offering art by the likes of Hunt Emerson and Laura Howell, to name but two); other annuals are largely quiz, text and pin up heavy, possibly re-using material from regular titles.
As well as discounts on cover price, some retailers are going all out to encourage sales of annuals, which began to go on sale at the start of last month.
Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, for example, is only now promoting a wide range of annuals – many published by Egmont – in well-placed ‘dump bins’ at store entrances. Their copies of the Beano annual – on sale for just £5, with a ‘2 for £8’ offer – come shrink-wrapped with a facsimile edition of Beano #1.
Here’s a list of annuals on sale now (or due to go on sale soon). This isn’t a full list, but this year’s offerings include (all links below go to amazon.co.uk):
• Andy Capp Annual 2011
Created by Reg Smythe in 1957, “Andy Capp” became one of the most popular British newspaper comic strips. Jobless Andy creates havoc for his long-suffering wife Flo, spending most of his time in the pub playing darts and snooker, or getting into fights on the football pitch. This new, full-colour collection from Titan Books features hundreds of Andy Capp strips from the “Daily” and “Sunday Mirror Archives”.
• Beast Quest Annual 2011
Games, activities, Beast profiles, stories, puzzles and much more, drawing on the TV series
• Ben 10: Alien Force Annual 2011
Comic strip stories, challenging activities and puzzles, and profiles on every “Ben 10 Alien Force” fan’s favorite aliens.
• Blue Peter Annual 2011
But where’s bleep and Booster?
• Club Penguin: The Official Annual 2011
Puzzles, activities, mazes, crafts and memory games; plus, create your own submissions for The Club Penguin Times with how-to-draw activities and tips for writing your own newspaper stories and poems.
• Disney Pixar Annual 2011
Featuring Disney-Pixar characters from “Toy Story 3”, “Up”, “Wall-E”, “Finding Nemo”, and “Monsters Inc”. Stories, games, activities, and puzzles.
• Disney Playhouse Annual 2011
Stories, games and activities that encourage learning through play.
• Doctor Who: Official Annual 2011
Featuring original comic strips and an exciting new story starring Matt Smith’s Doctor, as well as puzzles and features on series episodes, characters and aliens
• The Girls’ Annual 2011
Told you. Indeed, when it comes to annuals, there are plenty for girls and boys… This one’s described as “suitable for fun-loving girls who want to fill their days with activity and adventure” and includes imaginative things to make, games to play, treats to cook and puzzles to solve.
• Horrid Henry Annual 2011
• In the Night Garden: Annual 2011
• Jacqueline Wilson Annual 2011
• LEGO: The Official Annual 2011
Puzzles, comics and games, and there are also 14 brilliant LEGO bricks to use in the activities
• Marvel Annual 2011
Comic strip abounds…
• Power Rangers Annual 2011
• The QI Annual, 2011
Featuring cartoons, jokes, facts and games from Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, Phill Jupitus, Jo Brand, Clive Anderson, Rowan Atkinson, Bill Bailey, David Mitchell, Rob Brydon, Sean Lock, Jimmy Carr and many more.
• Rainbow Magic Annual 2011
• Roary the Racing Car Annual 2011
• Shoot Bumper Book of Football Annual 2011
• SpongeBob Squarepants Annual 2011
Features puzzles, SpongeBob’s savoury snacks, and comic-strip adventures.
• Simpsons Annual 2011 (Annuals)
• Star Wars Annual 2011
• Timmy Time Annual 2011
• Tinker Bell Annual 2011
• Thomas and Friends Annual 2011
• Top Gear: Official Annual 2011
• Transformers – Transformers Annual 2011
“Packed with Transformers action to keep all fans happy.” Sstories, data, activities and more
• The Five Knuckle Shuffle 2011 (Annuals)
• Willy Wonka’s Whipplescrumptious Annual 2011
Includes story extracts, games, puzzles, ideas to make, colour and draw and crammed with squiffingly-good stickers
Categories: British Comics - Current British Publishers