January 21st, 2008

BJ and the Bear Annual 1982

One of the things you see listed on pretty much every Alan Moore bibliography is the BJ and the Bear Annual 1983, and, as I was starting to find I had pretty much all of the easily available stuff, I thought this would be one of the items I'd try to find. And I hit a complete brick wall. The is no BJ and the Bear Annual for 1983, despite it being listed in all the bibliographies I could find, like the 20-page one at the back of George Khoury's The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, and it certainly turn up all over the internet. The problem for people trying to do bibliographies of Moore's more obscure writing is that they've never actually seen a copy of what they're writing about, so have to rely on what's already listed elsewhere. And, if that's incorrect, all they're doing in perpetuating the error.

I am, however, dogged. I picked up a copy of Green's Guide to Collecting TV, Music and Comic Annuals (GT Publications, 2000) more or less specifically to try to get to the bottom of this, where I learned that the BJ and the Bear Annual was issued in 1980 and 1981 (which meant that, respectively, they would be dated 1981 and 1982, as UK annuals are. They're published in one year to be sold around Christmas time, and dated for the coming year.) I decided to see if I could buy one of these, and got it right first time. This was the annual issued in 1981, and dated 1982 on the cover. Perhaps the error crept in because someone thought it was published in 1982 instead of cover-dated for that year, and added a year to the date. In any case, whoever's error it was originally, it's going to be next to impossible to unpick all the incorrect listings on the 'net.

Below, under the cut, are two articles by Moore, whose illustration style is very distinctive. Both pieces are three pages long. The scans are quite large, to make sure the text is legible.

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