When it comes to Rainbow annuals, 1989 was an extremely good vintage. So it would be remiss of me not to share it with you.


Our team (me) has hand picked a hand picked selection of highlights from this seminal work, for your perusal. You’re welcome.

1. The gang are flummoxed by weeds


The first story is called ‘Everything In The Garden’, and is about Geoffrey and his friends making their garden not be a shithole in order to win a competition. This first picture shows the gang arriving home from a holiday, only to find that – dun dun DUNNNN! – nature has moved on as normal, and some weeds have grown in the garden.

They can’t understand this concept. “What is this sorcery? Who put these plants here? I think ISIS might be involved.” Idiots.

2. Make an indoor garden


My favourite part of Rainbow annuals is always the ‘make and do’ bits. Sometimes, they have projects that are so simple even I can do them. In this one, George is pissed off because it’s raining and that means his garden will be ruined, or something. As a solution, Geoffrey suggests making a fake garden, instead of, you know, not being such a bloody drip.

What you do is get pictures from “an old seed catalogue” (because everyone has those lying around), and then you draw flowers and shit on some stones, and somehow it all makes a garden.

I had a go –

my garden

3. Bungle’s fat head

missing piece

This is from a story called ‘The Missing Piece’. It’s about a piece that’s missing. Why is Bungle’s head and neck so large?

4. Wrong shapes

In a section cleverly entitled ‘Shapes’, the Rainbow gang attempt to educate the idiot public about what shapes are, and what things are what shapes. What. Anyway, they can’t even get this right, as the following examples suggest:


Nope, it’s a cube.


It’s a sphere, you dumb dumbass. Balloons aren’t even like that.


Not technically wrong, but what the fuck is a tree doing looking like that? That tree doesn’t happen in real life, therefore Rainbow is giving kids false expectations. Also, they might grow up thinking all trees are triangles.


Again, not technically incorrect, but no bar of chocolate like that exists in real life. Especially not now, when everyone shaves bits off to scam you and make more money to “improve the smooth taste”

5. Printing with junk


Another ‘make and do’. One day I have to get all these projects together and do them. I’d love that, and find it really interesting. No one else would. I don’t care.

Anyway, the idea is that you dig in the bin for bits of rubbish, then waste paint and paper making useless patterns. Other ‘junk’ I’d advise using include tampons, empty vodka bottles and nuclear waste.

6. The Future Game

future game

One of the most inadvertently philosophical board games ever made. The concept of determinism is called into question here, as Bungle, Zippy and George fight over whether it’s better to be happy, rich, or famous. Whatever they decide is WHAT THEY WILL BE FOREVER. There is no room for negotiation here. Also, you can only be one of the three. As in real life, you can’t be rich and happy, or famous and happy. You can be famous and rich, but that would make you a bellend, and disqualify you from the game.

7. The most realistic drawing of Geoffrey ever


This is amazing, and props to whoever drew it. I’m going to ignore the fact that Geoffrey looks a bit like Ewan McGregor, and instead concentrate on its quality compared to other renderings of Geoffrey:

geoffrey faces

8. A home of your own


My god, I always wanted to make this, but for some reason I never got round to it. In today’s housing shortage climate, it’s more important than ever to be able to build a house from boxes and glue.


Like many kids, I was obsessed with dolls’ houses, miniature houses, and general habitats for my toys. One day. One day I will make this house, and then my He-Man figures can live in it, whether they like it or not.

I have tried to make things like this before, but because it’s me, this tends to be the sort of thing I come up with. I am a bad, terrible person.


Of course, for this ‘home of your own’ to be realistic, it has to have a sink piled high with washing up, a box full of old chocolate wrappers, and an overweight lunatic occupying the living room. I’ll get on it.

7 thoughts on “8 things from the 1989 Rainbow annual

  1. That realistic Geoffrey reminds me of a story from the 1986 annual where they did the same thing…..only they used a photo reference from circa 1973!



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s