These vintage Christmas annuals collected your favorite TV shows back in the '60s and '70s

By: Peter Greenwood    Posted: December 23, 2016, 1:02PM

If you're not British, you might not be aware of this Christmas tradition — though you may want revive the practice. The children's annual is a holiday tradition in the United Kingdom that dates back to the turn of the century. (The 20th century, that is. Still feels weird to have to point that out.)

The publications were originally centered around outdoors fun or family events. These books had short stories and cartoons, which were supposed to last you for the year.

Or, well, at least long enough for the adults to eat their Christmas meals in peace. The tradition took on a whole new life with motion pictures and television.

Most of our favorite television shows were adapted into these bound volumes. In some cases, American comic books were collected together with short stories, puzzles and coloring pages.

Let's celebrate the holidays with a look at some of these titles. We love the cover art. Did you ever get a TV show annual as a kid?

1

Batman

Why is Batgirl green? Did the Joker get to her? Batman can be seen as part of our Comic Book Heroes block, Saturdays at 7aET | 4aPT on H&I.

2

The Green Hornet

Sadly, Van Williams, the Green Hornet himself, recently passed away at the age of 82. The Green Hornet lives on right here on H&I, every Saturday at 5aET | 2aPT.

3

TV21 Annual 1971

TV Century 21 was a weekly publication for children in the U.K. that kicked off in 1965. It folded not long after this awesome compendium, which featured Star Trek, Land of the Giants, The Saint and Tarzan. You see both Tarzan and Star Trek right here on H&I.

4

The Beverly Hillbillies

Hey, why didn't Duke get a credit on the cover?

5

Bonanza

Even Hoss is ready for action, as Adam Cartright takes center stage in this gripping cover.

6

Planet of the Apes

The TV series may have only lasted a season, but it's an essential part of the Apes canon. Any Apes adventure with Roddy McDowall is gold, really.

7

Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise was nowhere to be seen back then.