Thursday, May 5, 2016
Zip Annual 1960
In 1957 Odhams Press lost the rights to use any and all Disney characters, meaning that their incredibly popular and long running title Mickey Mouse Weekly was forced to close. Not every character in the comic was owned by Disney though, and Odhams used everything they still owned in a new weekly called Zip. The first issue came out on 4th January 1958, but despite having characters from its predecessor without anything Disney the comic flopped and the final issue, #85, came out on 3rd October 1959.
There were two Zip annuals produced. The first came out in 1958 and is of course known as the 1959 annual, and was followed by a second one the following year. Interestingly, the second annual is quite common suggesting sales were healthy, but for whatever reason Odhams decided not to continue the series.
I actually thought this was a very good book. Produced to a high quality the annual has a pleasant mix of text stories, comic strips and activities - more than enough to keep kids entertained for hours. I particularly like the board games inside the covers. The artwork is by Colin Andrew.
The book is 96 pages in total but there is no price tag, not even one that has been cut out, so I can't say how much it cost. There are far more text stories than there are comic strips, but with 27 pages of strips Odhams weren't exactly tight. Here's one strip, a four-page Captain Morgan strip again illustrated by Colin Andrew. The colouring here is superb too.
An interesting feature towards the back of the book are the 'Flight' diagrams. Featuring detailed drawings and descriptions of various aircraft, they remind me of the cutaways that often featured in Eagle.
Another fun feature are instructions on how to build a wooden toboggan, by Robert Reeves.
All in all I found this Zip annual to be quite fun and it is certainly produced to a very high quality. A good mixture of text stories, comic strips and other features makes for an entertaining read. The bookstore I bought this had a couple of copies and I'm hoping I will eventually come across the 1959 annual.