One of my boyhood (and no doubt other lads) favourite memories of my childhood Christmasís was receiving the yearly Victor annual. (That and my Thunderbird 2 making daring landings on the Christmas tree to rescue foil covered chocolate). The annuals had the same ingredients as the weekly comic of war, action, sport and adventure strip and text stories, factual information and quizzes. The covers were printed in full colour and caught the eye. Even more so when the artist Ian Kennedy did the front cover artwork for the 1974, then 1977 through to 1984 annuals inclusive. Only four annual covers (1964, 1965, 1966 & 1980), had different pictures on the front and back covers. From 1966 onwards the front and back covers had the same piece of artwork.
The stories inside the annuals were colourful, printed on better, stronger paper and best of all the artwork was twice the size of the strips published in the weekly comic. The artwork leaped off the page at the reader. Even today I still get enjoyment from admiring the fine detailed artwork on some of the strips. It would have been interesting to have had the artwork printed at the same size in the weekly comic.
The annuals went on sale in late September. The 1965 annual advert has been re-produced below.
My thanks to Michael and Tom McBride for images of the 1989 to 1994 Victor annual front covers.
Please find below the covers of the various annuals that I have a copy off. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture. Other button links on this page (above) will take you to a page with examples of strip and text stories that appeared in the annuals and to an A to Z index of the stories, characters and artists.
One of my Christmas dreams is that a new Victor annual will be published with todayís writers and artists creating new stories, using characters from The Victor or the Hornet.
Just think new stories about old friends, re-interpreted for todayís audience. Ah well, I can dream.
The Hornet did not publish an annual or a summer special.
Below are the covers of the Victor Annuals from the first one published in 1964 through to 1986.
Please note that I am missing the images of the 1989 to 1992 annuals. (My thanks to Alex Vella for providing a scan of the 1970 annual cover and to Jamie Stripe for the 1987 and 1988 front covers).
I hope to add these covers at a later date.