Features were staples in Bunty annuals and comics throughout their runs. In the comics, these included letters from readers, Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (which was replaced with celebrity posters in the late 1980s), puzzles, readers’ fact files and celebrity interviews, particularly in the comic’s later years. I can also recall one feature in an issue of the comic from the 1990s where one reader was a Burger King employee for the day.
The number of features varied from annual to annual. There were 10 of them in the very first Bunty annual (1960), 5 of them in the 1995 annual and 22 of them in the final annual (2009). The 1999 annual has 17 features including pin-ups, which is a decent contrast to the 22 stories in the annual.
Here are the features in the Bunty for Girls 1999 annual and what I think of them.
Merry Christmas… (pages 2 – 3)
The girls in the hockey team at Church High School, Newcastle, share what they want to find in their stockings. These range from everyday things such as a Wallace and Gromit alarm clock, pets, an Eternal CD and tickets to a football match or a Boyzone concert to environmental issues such as saving the rainforests, stopping forest fires and adopting a dolphin.
I think it was wise of the girls to think of more serious Christmas presents as well as the more usual gifts.
What’s In? Your Bunty Annual 1999 (page 4)
This is a table of contents that shows what the annual has to offer. I like how there are a few photographs on the page to illustrate some of the features and the photo story Gabby’s Own Goal.
What’s Cookin’? (pages 10, 52, 70 and 97)
There are four pages of What’s Cookin’? throughout the annual. Each page is dedicated to a different season such as Easter treats for the spring, barbecue party food for the summer, apple bakes for the autumn and Christmas goodies for the winter.
Although I can recall making chocolate nests and Easter biscuits when I was younger and I have made similar treats to the chocolate slice, I have made the sweetcorn salad on at least a couple of more recent occasions. I have even shared the sweetcorn salad recipe with my mum because she used a similar recipe from Marks and Spencer years ago.
Abracadabra! (pages 16 – 17)
The Bunty team take reader Gemma Wale, whose ambition is to be a magician, to The Young Magicians Club to practise some magical skills. This is a fun feature where Gemma learns various tricks from sticking spikes through her mum’s arm to spinning plates.
Do Not Disturb! (pages 26 – 27, 66 – 67, 98 – 99)
Do Not Disturb! was a feature that appeared in the weekly Bunty comic in the 1990s as well as the 1998, 1999 and 2000 annuals. In this feature, Bunty readers show other readers around their bedrooms.
The first reader to show us around her bedroom is Jodi from Swindon. She is crazy about sport, especially swimming, ice skating and ice hockey. Jodi also likes examining insects through a microscope, her dog Ben, fashion, painting her nails and cuddling up with her soft toys.
The second reader in this feature is Rebecca Oremod. She loves all things Disney as well as music and collecting keyrings, unusual pencils and cuddly toys. Rebecca has the same keyboard that my family and I had when I was younger. My brother especially liked listening to the pre-programmed tunes on it.
The last reader to invite us to her room is 11-year-old Stacey from Lancashire (I was 11 when I first read this annual and the weekly comic). Her hobbies and interests include supporting Manchester United, cuddly toys (yet again!), playing the keyboard, typing letters on her word processor in order to help her dad, modern dancing and collecting Disney characters.
This is a very interesting feature in the annual that even reminds me of an earlier truncated version of MTV’s Cribs. I especially liked snooping around Rebecca’s bedroom because we have a lot in common such as interests in Disney and the Spice Girls (although Rebecca is more of a Take That – they have reformed since the annual was published – fan).
Make Your Own… Snowstorm! (page 33)
These are instructions to show readers how to make their own snowstorm from an empty glass jar, some Christmas cake character decorations and glitter or desiccated coconut for the snow. I have never made a snowstorm like the one in this feature, although I believe that this feature is a slightly altered reprint of the Snow in Summer feature from the Bunty 1987 annual that also instructed readers how to make a snowstorm.
Pet Pin-Ups (pages 40, 64 and 110)
Pet pin-ups were very popular in annuals and comics in Bunty’s later years. The pet pin-ups in this annual include lots of brown puppies in a wheelbarrow, a hamster with a flower and a kitten in some wintry berry scenery. All the pet pin-ups are very cute, especially the one with the puppies in the wheelbarrow.
Continued in Part 2
Disclaimers: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.
The images used in this blog post belong to D.C. Thomson & Co., Ltd., although I have made my own scans of them.
Links to my other Bunty for Girls 1999 annual blog posts