More Okay

Sep 14, 2010

One last note about the T.V. Boardman Annuals. I understand that they originally came with paper slip-covers. Can’t say I’ve ever seen one still intact though. And also that they were pretty much available exclusively through Woolworths stores.

As these Annuals were undated there seems to be some discussion about which ones were published when. Elsewhere on the Internet this seems to be the accepted order:-

1952 AJAX ADVENTURE ANNUAL (Elephant cover)
1953 ADVENTURE ANNUAL (The Robot Empire)
1955 OKAY ADVENTURE ANNUAL (Saurian Expedition)
1956 OKAY ADVENTURE ANNUAL (Last stand of Major Wilson)

The only slight problem I find is with the 1956 Okay Adventure Annual. It is full of very early (1940 ?) Quality Comics comic strips like Clip Chance, Rusty Ryan and Hugh Hazzard. It is probably correct that the book was available Xmas 1956 but even then it must have looked incredibly old-fashioned. It does however contain a rare text story called “Wulfric of the Fens” written by the legendary Jack Trevor Story (see elsewhere on this blog for more on this under-appreciated writer).

PS: Now I’ve had a chance to flick through the 1957/1958/1959 Annuals I find that they too dredge the bottom of the barrel with mostly early 1940s Quality Comics strips mixed amongst the UK-sourced text stories.

8 Responses to “More Okay”

  1. dirigibledave Says:

    Clip Chance could be anywhere from Feature Funnies 7-16 (April 1938 – Jan 1939) to Smash Comics 1-16 (August 1939 – Nov 1940)
    Rusty Ryan ran in Feature Comics 32-135 (May 1940 – June 1949 (with some beautiful splash panels)
    Hugh Hazzard is a bit easier to pin down. It was called Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man in Smash Comics 1-9 (Aug 1939 – Apr 40) then Hugh Hazzard featuring Bozo the Robot in 10-11 (June-July 1940). After that Bozo took the title on his own.

  2. Having now checked the GCD all the strips in the 1956 Annual seem to come from a handful of Quality Comics’ “Feature Comics” or “Smash Comics” issues definitely published in 1940. (The ones I’ve already mentioned along with Captain Fortune, Abdul the Arab, Lala Palooza etc). This just seemed so odd to me as 4 years previously the 1952 Annual was full of contemporary Quality Comics strips that had appeared only a few months earlier. (“The Man who broke the law of gravity” was first printed in Plastic Man in July 1951).

    I was just wondering out loud if perhaps the stated order that the Annuals are supposed to have appeared in really was correct. Or perhaps I’m just proving the inate randomness of the universe as T.V.Boardman just picked the nearest comics to hand for the next Annual saying “What difference will it make what goes in the book.It’s only comics for kids. Its not like anyone will be reading them in 50 years time or analysing them or putting them in reference books etc etc”

    Not that I intend analysing these books….I was just very surprised to see I had virtually the full set…..

  3. dirigibledave Says:

    Well I for one am well pleased you did analyse them.

    I checked if there was a resource for annuals I’d lost bookmarks of (had an argument with installing Windows 7 last month which resulted in wiping out four years worth of carefully collected bookmarks and a fair amount of saved work in progress – acres of files were corrupted irretrievably on the pre-install backup AARGH!). Checking the progress of Steve Holland’s v useful ‘British Juvenile Story Papers and Pocket Libraries Index’ ( I came across the ref on the site for ‘The Internet Library of Early Journals’ (

    More sleep lost while I plough through volumes of the 1850s ‘Notes and Queries – A Medium of Inter-communication for Literary Men, Artists, Antiquaries, Genealogists, etc’.

    Love that kind of stuff – and all because Boardman left a puzzle. Ta.

  4. That sums up everything that is good and bad about the Interweb.

    One link leads you off on a tangent to something interesting you weren’t even looking for in the first place. I recently found whilst looking for something else.

    Google doesn’t really do as good a job as people believe in connecting you with what you are looking for. You have to know what you want in the first place which kind of defeats the object!

    And then there are the people who type in an odd word or two into a search engine and end up here and bitch that I’m not Wikipedia.

  5. dirigibledave Says:

    Thanks for that lovely link – the first time I’ve ever seen FAs online, and I don’t own one of them. As a great band rightly said 33 years ago ‘Neat Neat Neat’.

    Just in case you’ve not come across it, the ‘Golden Age ilustrations’ section of the oldfayre site is very reminiscent of another fine site here:

    Thanks again

  6. I’ll certainly have a look at that site. I now seem to be living life backwards and reading comics from before I was born !! The older stuff beats all the “Fanboy” Xmen (yawn) sites. At I’ve just discovered all 9 issues of “Art Alternatives” magazine. Wonderful.

  7. dirigibledave Says:

    ah, you see where things take us. One minute we’re happy with the FF and X-Men, the next a shadowy stranger tells us “sniff this, oik” (yep, a totally appropriate Ripping Yarns quote) and we’re off into new shadowy realms of visual addiction. And still we ask for more, and the craving grows, until we get old and boring and prowl the world trying to recreate those first feelings …

    erm, actually it’s a bloody good thing somebody is willing to document this lunacy for later generations. Otherwise it would all disappear into dust. And just perhaps no one else would realise just what the enthusiasm meant, rubbish or not. And that would be sadder than us memory junkies whitering on

    One man’s gibber about irrelevant nonsense is another man’s memories. Of course, sometimes sadly, it’s also another man’s opportunity to make a fortune selling it back to them, but hey, that’s life.

    Blimey – time to shut up.

  8. Alcohol….drugs….cigarettes…..comics…. I suppose it all comes down to trying to re-capture that elusive “hit” somewhere in the back of your brain that you’ll never ever fully satisfy again no matter how much you may try.

    I’m sure it’s just me (and well,I concede that maybe there are still some other sane/curious people on the planet) who is still fasinated by the stuff, be it books or music, that has continued to fall deeper through the cracks as the years have passed. Perhaps I’ll be proved wrong and one day every record, book, magazine and comic that ever was will be available (and easily accessible) digitally (and free). But will you get the aroma of musty Okay Annuals from your 5D surround sound helmet as you sit in your bathchair mumbling the theme tune to “The Edgar Wallace Mysteries” in 2055….

Comments are closed.