The Annuals rose and fell in the same parabola that the weekly followed. To a prejudiced reader such as myself, Annuals 3 to 9 represent the genre at its best. For this page, I have picked excerpts mainly from Number 6.
There would be text stories [7 in No. 6]; adventure strips, which were all from the weekly, such as Dan Dare or Storm Nelson; sports, "Real Life Adventures"; hobbies; engineering; humorous strips, including the likes of Harris Tweed, and "Interest", such as "Maps for the Million"
The end pages always had something of interest too, pictures of yachts or aircraft, and visual gags. On the left is a such an example, which I have converted to an animation. Harris Tweed was always a a firm favourite of mine, and this shows why!
Then came the "do it yourself" articles: how to make .... in this case, a den for yourself out of a garden shed. I used to look at this, seeing how it was done, but knowing full well my chance of making anything remotely resembling this was nil!
There was always a Dan Dare story,this one being drawn by Desmond Walduck. The newsmen holding cameras lower center and lower right are straight from the Venus Embassy Ball scene that starts Man from Nowhere, and the chap lower center also crops up in a late, bizarre story from Eric Kinkaid.
But the Annuals were the only stories that drew threads from different stories together: Tharl never re-appeared after Operation Saturn except in stories such as this.
Jack O'Lantern was another Annual regular, drawn by Robert Ayton. Usually they were presented in colour, although this time it came in black and white.
There were plenty of text stories too: The 3Js written by Peter Ling ran in the weekly for some years, and the illustrations were by Peter Kay, in a very distinctive style.
And PC49 - where would the Annuals be without him? Many of the stories had a Christmas orientation, as befits the season, and this, as you can see, was no exception.