There were also annuals for girls and children, but the boys' annuals were notable for two reasons.
1. Shirtless and semi-nude covers and interior illustrations. Hundreds of muscular teenage boys and men on display, many more than in the American adventure boys series.
They were playing sports, camping, fighting monsters. They were alone and in pairs. Their muscles glistened in the Christmas firelight.
2. The stories inside did not involve the dating, romances, and overall girl-craziness that obsessed American teen stories in the 1950s and 1960s. They were about boys meeting, being rescued by, and establishing permanent relations with other boys and men.
For instance, in a story in Monster Book for Boys ("monster" means "big"), sixteen-year old Keith is living quietly on a farm in Devon, longing for “companionship and fun,” when he stumbles upon Count Max Von Staubnitz, “a pleasant-looking, rather dandified young man" (i.e., he's gay).
But gay British boys certainly had an advantage. While their American cousins were making do with comic book advertisements and Jolly Green Giant commercials, they could gaze at the real deal.