2000 AD Prog Slog

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Star Lord Annual 1981

Now I know where all the budget for this year’s Judge Dredd Annual has been diverted from. The Star Lord 1981 Annual really is rather poor. Made up mostly of reprinted strips and dull looking articles about future trains and communication satellites. Even the Brian Bolland cover seems to lack lustre, as if the artist was bung ten quid and asked to bang an illustration out on the cheap.

There are only four originated strips, as far as I can tell, all by uncredited artists we don’t recognise. Mind Wars returns with an epilogue to the saga which ran in the weekly and got so perfectly wrapped up by writer Alan Hebden. I am disappointed to see that, a year after the war, Tillman still isn’t shagging Ardeni. I suppose making a move on a psychic must be even more intimidating than on a normal girl.

Ro-Busters is amazing for all the wrong reasons. Ro-Jaws takes a dislike to a new member of the crew simply because he’s Italian. The tale has racial insults spewing from the garbage droids mouth through out and, to top it all, no one learns a lesson in the end as the Italian robot is discovered to be a member of the mafia.

It’s a weird time for annuals. The Star Lord comic must have been cancelled at least a year before the publication of this book. At the time, I remember getting Action annuals at Christmas for years after its weekly had finished. What was it that compelled Fleetway to continue to produce annuals inferior to the comics they were based on and had already proven to be commercial failures?

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  • My understanding is the annuals were produced way in advance, like 18 months, so by the time the comic had been canceled there'd already be at least one in the bag, maybe two. Why this is I have no idea.

    By Blogger Pete Ashton, at 1:20 pm  

  • Hi Pete. In the case of Star Lord, it must be way, way in advance. There were three annuals, all technically released after the last issue of the weekly.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 3:25 pm  

  • There must have been a different (Christmas present) market for annuals. I think you've already mentioned, Paul, grannies buying books as presents, for example. And I guess this must have continued. I pretty sure, for example, that Action annuals (for a comic that disappeared in 1977) continued well into the mid 80s. And annuals for Valiant and Lion (both ended in the early 70s) were still being churned out in the early 80s too. I remember buying annuals for comics I had never read but they gave me an awareness of where characters in other comics had come from (Captain Hurricane, who I knew from Battle, was from Valiant, I think).

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 8:27 pm  

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