By the early 1970’s the heyday of British comics were pretty much over, if you ask me anyway. So you can imagine my surprise when I undiscovered that lurking beneath the slightly disturbing cover featuring Captain Hurricane Valiant Annual ’72 contained (a) two three pages Billy Bunter stories, (b) a rousing installment of Kelly’s Eye (colored a bright yellow lemon for no discernible reason) and finally (c) a full color adventure of The Ghostly Guardian.
There was any number of British strips about tear away youths who took up lodging in mysterious old castles only to invariably discover it was their ancestral home. And naturally somewhere in its shadows was some sort of magical or ghostly ancestor who would try to drive them off but would invariably become their pal/mentor/protector. The Ghostly Guardian was one of them, a jolly variation on the theme that managed to make the relationship between the abused boy and the lively ghost seem wonderfully endearing. Full color was a rare thing in British Annuals even during their heyday so to find it in this story makes this Annual an extra special treat.