Next on the pile... This one!
It's the 1990 (as in, 1989) Real Ghostbusters annual, and this one actually DID arrive on the 25th day of December, all those years ago. Ghostbusters and its related media seems to be one of life's constants, at least in my experience. Early exposure and all that. And out of the four Real Ghostbusters annuals I've got over the years, this is the one that stands out for some fairly unique reasons...
So there's all the usual spookiness that one would expect the Ghostbusters to encounter, such as haunted shop dummies:
Then there's the more UK-specific stuff - encounters with the Loch Ness Monster (drawn by John Geering!), a haunted roller coaster in Margate, Slimer getting excited about meeting Beefeaters (in a strip lifted from Marvel's It's Wicked comic), even a night spent at Borley Rectory:
Plus this nice-looking encounter with a kelpie:
All this while Janine (you know, the receptionist played by Annie Potts) is stuck at home minding the phones:
It's a Marvel comic and she's a woman, of COURSE she's drawn in a "sexy" way.
The highlight of the whole book though, no doubt, is this mini-masterpiece titled Stonehenge Revenge. It's got ridiculous puns, drug-based jokes, references to the film (even lifting and semi-altering lines from the film!), and a monster almost as fun to look at as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is. For these reasons, here's all five pages of the thing:
The rest of the book's filled with what you'd expect from a TV show tie-in annual - board games, craft projects, character profiles, text stories and so on. It does end on a massive high though, with the Ghostbusters reaching the end of their ghoul-hunting tour of the British isles:
Followed by a picture that soaked up more of my eyeballs' attention throughout childhood than almost any other page in any other book, save for perhaps the cutaway of a boat in Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? - just LOOK AT THIS:
If the annual was just one big piece of paper that folded out into that picture, it'd be amongst the ten best-selling books of all time, and that's completely without hyperbole.
Marvel doing their own superhero things = Nah.
Marvel doing stuff based on other properties = Makes me feel good.
A little Ghostbusters joke there, ho ho etc.