Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Crackers Annual 1935

Last year I took a look at the first two issues of Crackers in two separate posts (they can be found by searching 'Crackers' in the search bar on the right), and earlier this week I picked up the above Crackers Annual 1935 from a secondhand shop for the equivalent of £2.50. It's in very tatty condition with four pages missing, so I'm not surprised it's so cheap. Back in 1934 though, when the book went on sale, it cost 2/6 which must have seemed like a bargain because it is so thick - approx. 3.5cm, but it is made up of just 114 pages (including the covers). Each page is very thick, printed on thin card (perhaps to create the illusion that the book contained more than it actually did).

The annual starts off with a colour plate, as many annuals did back then, this one featuring a variety of exotic birds. It is signed 'O.A.' in the bottom right corner, but other than that I don't know who the artist is.

A letter from the editor followed this, another standard addition to early annuals that gradually died out. It stated that the editor's dog (aptly named Crackers) had been given a bone but it was hidden somewhere in the book. Readers were invited to follow Crackers as he looked for it, and he appeared on almost every other page until he found it right at the back of the book. It really was a bonus story, and a very nice feature.

Most of the book was made up of text stories but there were a few comic strips in there. One such strip was Milly - The Merry Maid of all Work, illustrated by Reg Parlett.

There were a few pages in the book printed on higher quality paper, and these have remained much whiter than their card counterparts. Amongst other strips and stories were these nice full-page illustrations, perhaps drawn by Roy Wilson.

I'll wrap up this post with the 'History Tells Us That-' page. A tramp here can be seen reading a copy of another Amalgamated Press comic of the time - Larks.


Peter Gray said...

love the poster pages...the boat launch with a milk bottle!!

Also Millie was funny..

Lew Stringer said...

George, the Milly strip is by Reg Parlett. Bertie Brown had a chunkier inking style than that.

George Shiers said...

Thanks for the correction Lew - I've fixed the post. :)