In the UK, a large number of annuals are published shortly before the end of each year by companies such as D.C. Thomson, Egmont (formerly IPC/Fleetway), and Rebellion, aimed at the Christmas market. These annuals are generally large-sized hardcover books with over 100 pages and a high colour content. They are normally cover-dated with the following year's date, to ensure that stockists do not remove them from their shelves immediately after the new year.
One of the earliest annuals was issued in 1822. Frederic Shoberl was the founding editor of Ackermann's ‘'The Forget-me-not'’ which was an early Annual, a new type of publication in England. Shoberl continued to edit the annual until 1834. A junior annual The juvenile Forget-me-not was published from 1828.
For many years until the near-collapse of the British children's comics market, an annual would be published each year for each of the comic titles published by Thomson and IPC/Fleetway, featuring extra adventures of the comic's current and former characters plus additional material in the form of puzzles, text articles, etc. Annuals were often even published for comics which had themselves ceased publication or been absorbed into other titles, for example Scorcher annuals were still being published ten years after the comic itself had been absorbed into Tiger. Today, this section of the market has been reduced to just a couple of surviving titles.
In addition, annuals are often published centred on sports, toys, currently-popular celebrities, recently-released films, and popular TV series. British annuals are also published featuring American characters such as Spider-Man, often with simplified content aimed at younger readers. As tastes in these areas change, so does the line-up of annuals released each year. The increasing emphasis in recent years on annuals of this type (as opposed to the "classic" line-up of annuals based on comics) means that sales remain strong, and in fact doubled between 1998 and 2005 Some annuals have become extremely collectible, especially The Beano, The Dandy, Rupert and The Eagle.
Here we have the first FILM FUN annual, from 1938. This one features comic strip versions of several popular movie comedians of the day, including Laurel and Hardy, Wheeler and Woolsey, Jimmy Durante, and Harold Lloyd.
Front: Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Shirley Temple. Back, top: Robert Woolsey, Bert Wheeler. Back, 2nd row: Eddie Cantor ( ? ), British comics, Jimmy Durante. Back, third row: Harold Lloyd.
* FILM FUN pages reblogged from:
* Discussion of British comics appearing in FILM FUN: