Saturday, 24 December 2011

Archive's Sunday Comics - Festive Adventure

Christmas comes a day early on the Archive and so this week Sunday Comics is here on a Saturday - ahh well, like the rest of you I'll be too hungover tomorrow to operate a keyboard, let alone see what's on the screen. And so from myself and Keith Chapman, the man largely responsible for most of the Sunday Comics posts we wish you all a great Christmas and a cool new year.

The last balloon in our Sunday comic this week reads, "Wow! This must be the most exciting, merriest Christmas we've ever had!"

Archive readers have confirmed here before that some of the merry-ness of Christmas holidays during their twentieth-century childhoods was created by the sumptuous annuals produced largely by publishers of the juvenile weekly comics. The annuals must also have been a godsend to aunts, uncles and grandparents at a loss to know what to buy for little Johnny's or Jenny's Christmas stocking. The easy solution was check out which comics the children favoured, then call in at the local newsagents or booksellers. They were sure to be stocking the corresponding annuals from around September onwards.

The comic publishers produced annuals specifically for the Christmas trade and advertised and promoted them at no cost in their own weekly papers. They were undeniable moneyspinners.

This week's complete strip, written by Keith Chapman, is an excerpt from Girls' World Annual 1968, published in 1967. We've discussed the topic of UK girls' comics here very recently.  So all that's left to note is that, just as male Archive followers have disclosed they often enjoyed their sisters' comics, many of the boys at Christmas time also sneaked secret peeks into the girls' annuals ... especially when they could find neat little spy thrillers like Christmas Casualty!     

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