As a bonus to all of the Flash fans that year, and a real bonus to those of us who subscribed to the magazine, DC Comics published the first Giant Flash Annual. Even though it was comprised of nothing but reprints, the book was revelatory. The first revelation was that I had never seen these stories the first time around. Even though I’ve written about all of them in this blog, at the time this was the first opportunity I had to see what I’d missed. And it was a lot. Second, they reprinted a story from the Golden Age of comics which offered me my first complete look in the rearview mirror at a story from that era. To be frank, I didn’t care much for either the writing or the art, but hey, guys and gals, history is still historic none the less.
Then there was a thriller filler called “How I Draw the Flash” by Carmine Infantino which added greatly to the knowledge I’d already picked up from the originals that Julie Schwartz had sent me. Finally, there was a complete index of all of the Sliver Age Flash stories published to date identifying the penciller, inker and writer each story. Data that was poured over with the finest of tooth combs. No subsequent annual would ever have the impact of this initial outing. And if you were a subscriber, you got it all for free.