The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1989 is now on sale from Terraqueous Distributors, introduced by the series Script Editor of that year, Andrew Cartmel.
A 200-plus page compendium featuring stories and illustrations produced by fans, it also includes contributions from well known names such as artists Daryl Joyce, Alister Pearson, Andrew Skilleter, Smuzz and Andy Walker, actress and artist Jessica Martin, musician Dominic Glynn, writer and effects designer Mike Tucker, and Stephen Wyatt, writer of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.
This latest book, available via Lulu, follows publication of four other well-received titles in the same style – The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972, The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987, The Unofficial Master Annual 2074, and The Unofficial Dr Who Omnibus.
“Like all fans who collected the original run of annuals, we were always disappointed that the Seventh Doctor never got his own annual,” says editor Mark from Terraqueous of their latest release. “So we had to do something about that, and the response was huge.”
As we previously reported, the annual includes a very special Beano-style comic strip written by the weekly humour comic’s editor, John Anderson, illustrated by Beano artist Shannon Gallant.
Also in the mix is an exclusive short story, by Chris McAuley, telling the tale of how Mags and the intergalactic explorer Captain Cook from The Greatest Show in the Galaxy first met. (Chris also coloured Jessica Martin’s illustrations for the Annual, and interviewed Stephen Wyatt).
The annual is a not-for-profit publication, and non of the money paid by purchasers goes to the publisher or to any of the contributors.
Behind the Scenes: Creating the Unofficial Annuals
“I don’t think there is a single Doctor Who fan out there who hasn’t looked at their annual collection and wished that World Distributors had produced a 1972 annual back in the day,” Mark tells downthetubes, revealing the origin of the unofficial annual project. “As fans, we are very OCD about our collections and want them to be complete – even if that desired item never existed, we wanted it to!
“So I put together a teaser image of what the 1972 annual could look like and put the call out for contributors, and the response I received from fellow fans was very positive. It was very nice finding out there were like-minded fans who cherished the original annuals, as much as I did.
“The highlights of these annuals for me, is that they are produced by fans who love them, and some of those fans are very well known individuals from the series,” Mark continues.
“I imagine some people will wonder why we have celebrity contributors. It’s simply because they are fans themselves or want to be a part of what we’re doing.
“Besides,” he laughs, “how cool is it, as a fan, to have worked on a book that your tv heroes have also worked on! And for the reader too, to know that those same heroes cared enough to take the time and contribute, it makes that book your holding a little more special.”
Who were the most unexpected contributors of previous editions?
“I think all of our contributors were unexpected but very welcome, it really is humbling to have people contact us asking if they can be a part of an annual we’re doing. And the talent they have is amazing and very humbling too.
“Although as a collective, to have the entire surviving UNIT family contribute was very unexpected,” he adds. “To have actors Katy Manning, John Levene and Richard Franklin, in the same annual, made that book very special.
“We also have [2000AD artist] Smuzz who contributes to our annuals too, and he is just crazy talented and such a great guy. In fact, there are just so many talented people who keep returning for the next annual, we are really grateful and humbled by them all.
Talking specifically about the new 1989 Annual, Mark is delighted “the stories are just so good.
“Fans can be outspoken,” he notes, “and so they should be too,” he feels. “But we have never had anyone read the annuals, and say they didn’t like a single story. We are very careful in selecting the material to make sure it’s varied and in some cases unique, too.
“The last thing we want to do is bore the reader,” he insists.
“Also the illustrations are top notch, too, ” he enthuses. “I think it’s clear when you look at the teaser images, that so much love and care has gone into producing this annual.
Are more unofficial annuals in the works? Oh, yes.
“Fans who have purchased the previous annuals often tell us that they are looking forward to the next one,” Mark reveals. “Even now, before they have the 1989 annual in hand, they want to know what the next one will be.
“And I love it when they take the time and send in a picture of their newly purchased Terraqueous annual, on their shelves among the World annuals,” he adds. “That is exactly what we wanted to achieve, to produce something that people will care about – and they do!”
Tying in with the release of The Unofficial 1989 Annual, a free to enter competition launched yesterday, 23rd November 2020, to win an original piece of artwork from the 1989 annual, kindly donated by artist Richard Young. To enter the competition and for further details, please visit the Terraqueous Distributors FaceBook Page.
• The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1989 is published by Terraqueous Distributors and available from Lulu at the print-on-demand price of £32.08 plus shipping costs). The annual is a not-for-profit publication, and none of the money paid by purchasers goes to the publisher or to any of the contributors