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Monday, September 15, 2014

Magnum Annual 1983 (part 1)

Based on the popular American series Magnum P.I. starring colourful Aloha shirt-wearing Tom Selleck, the Magnum Annual appeared three times, cover dated 1982, 1983 and 1984. The annual I'm revisiting this week is the middle one, published by Stafford Pemberton in 1982, priced £2.50, and featuring the talents of long-time World Distributors contributors Chas. Pemberton, who wrote the stories, and artists Edgar Hodges and Walt Howarth.

The set up of the show was simple: Magnum was a private eye based in Hawaii. He lives in the guest house of an author, Robin Masters (voiced by Orson Welles), whose estate is watched over by an ex-British Army Sergeant Major, Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, played with an impeccable English accent by American actor John Hillerman. Magnum can often be found in a bar run by Rick Wright (Larry Manetti) or using the services of helicopter pilot T.C. Calvin (Roger E. Mosley), when he is not driving around in Masters' Ferrari 308 GTS.

The annuals were notably more gritty in their storylines that some of their contemporaries. This blog discussing the 1982 annual notes: "I expected something along the lines of your typical, boring and benign TV comic adaptation - harmless and child friendly.  What I got was something not that far off from those old pulp magazines."

So, sit back, relax and enjoy a few pages from Magnum Annual 1983.

(* Magnum P.I. TM and © Universal City Studios Inc.)


  1. Hmmm... you've caught me out there. Didn't realise there was a third anual, which I'd be very interested in seeing analysed! Stafford Pemberton often gets short thrift because of some real clunkers of annuals but some, like the Magnum P.I., Kenny Everett and Mork & Mindy annuals, are real gems. Most of this can be attributed to the late Charles Pemberton, who seemed to grasp what the series was about and got the tone right - and for the Mork & Mindy annuals (notably the second one) and getting Mork's way of speaking captured so perfectly you can almost hear Robin Williams say the lines, that was no mean feat...

  2. I almost caught myself out, Shaqui, as I began writing about the "two" annuals. Went to double check and, surprise, surprise, there was a third one!