Jinty Annual 1983

Jinty annual 1983

Jinty annual 1983

  • Little Sisters (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Do You Doodle? Feature
  • Carnival of Flowers – Gypsy Rose story (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Where Do You Fit In? Quiz (artist John Johnston)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • The Mystery of Martine (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Growing Pains – text story
  • For the Love of Horses – feature
  • Make Music – feature
  • Desert Island Bookshelf – feature (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Picture of the Past (artist and writer Keith Robson)
  • Make Your Own Cards – feature
  • Pond Hill Bazaar – feature (artist Bob Harvey)
  • The Thirteenth Hour – Gypsy Rose story (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Box of Tricks – feature
  • Chance to Say Sorry – text story (artist Tony Coleman)
  • Call of the Sea – Gypsy Rose story
  • Perils of Babysitting – feature
  • It’s the Custom! Feature
  • Alley Cat
  • How to Make a Fortune Teller – feature
  • At the Top of the Tree – feature
  • No Place Like Home – Gypsy Rose story (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Nothing to Wear – feature
  • Strawberry Handkerchief – Gypsy Rose story (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Snoopa
  • Percy’s Christmas – text story
  • A Puzzle to Make – feature
  • All Around the World – feature
  • The Jigsaw Puzzle – text story (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Snowbound! Gypsy Rose story (artist Keith Robson)
  • Christmas with Dickens – feature (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Netball Quiz – feature

This could well be the annual where Jinty comes into her own, because she is no longer printing serials from older comics for the long story sections. Instead she is reprinting one of her own serials, “The Mystery of Martine“, in which an actress who plays a dangerous, obsessive woman who eventually burns down a house starts behaving exactly like the psycho. The story is reprinted in yellow colouring, which makes a nice change from the usual red to set off some black-and-white pages, or the blue that Jinty used for a while.

Martine 1Martine 2Martine 3

(Click thru)

The number of recycled Strange Stories as Gypsy Roses has been reduced (a couple of them were omitted from the Table of Contents for some reason); the rest are reprints of Gypsy Rose’s own stories this time. One Gypsy Rose story, “Picture of the Past” is unusual in that it is both written and drawn by the same person, Keith Robson. This is the second instance we have come across of stories being written and drawn by the same person in Jinty. Or girls’ comics for that matter.

click thru
click thru
click thru
click thru
click thru
click thru
click thru
click thru

The cover is one of the most gorgeous covers I have ever seen in girls’ annuals. The artwork from Mario Capaldi is mouth-watering, but what really sets it off and makes it memorable is the use of the colouring. And don’t you just love exquisite pictures of Victorian times – oh, wait, is that a car and garage we see in the background, in subtle grey tones? Ah, we have very enterprising carol singers here who must have made a few extra quid by using Victorian costume.

Capaldi’s artwork continues on the first page with “Little Sisters”. This story appeared in the Tammy & Jinty merger, but the fact that it has an appearance in a Jinty annual suggests it was originally conceived for Jinty. “Little Sisters”, a popular story about a teenage girl, Carol, who finds her little sister Samantha “Sam” exasperating at times (yes, a lot of girls can relate to that) also continues the Christmas theme on the cover. Sam wants to know what is meant by “goodwill” at Christmas. She misunderstands when the family explain (not very well), but ends up sending a whole new message to them about the meaning of Christmas.

Jinty annual 1983 1little sisters 2little sisters 3

(click thru)

The presence of “Little Sisters” may be the reason “Pam of Pond Hill” was reduced to a feature instead of its own story. But we get a whole new side to Pond Hill when we are shown what Pam & Co did for the school bazaar, complete with instructions on the items and games. Yes, it’s a different take on the obligatory craft-and-make features in any girls’ annual.

Jinty annual 1983 2Jinty annual 1983 3Jinty annual 1983 4

(click thru)

In “Growing Pains” a quilting party is not Betsy’s idea of growing up. But quilting takes on a whole new meaning when her boyfriend Nathan leaves and his parting gift is a patch to sew into her quilt. This text story should have you thinking about quilting in a different light as well. And “A Chance to Say Sorry” reminds us that you are given a chance to make amends, take it. Ruth Oldham the youth drama group secretary is due to retire, but nobody likes her except Keith because she is a “bossy-boots, thinks she’s the greatest, and never lets anyone else get a word in edgeways”. Sounds like Verna from “Tale of the Panto Cat”. But unlike Verna, she turns out to be a sympathetic character with a problem. And “Percy’s Christmas” brings us the story of a know-it-all seagull who is havng trouble grasping the ways of humans and Christmas.

Some of the text features are really strong, informative, and you will read them over and over. “For the Love of Horses” tells us about Dorothy Brooke, a woman who went to track down the former World War I Army horses and mules and started rescuing them from animal abuse in Egypt. The end result was the Brooke Hospital for Animals in Cairo. I just had to show the feature to my World War I lecturer at university and she took a copy. I still wonder if the annual became a source in somebody’s essay or thesis because of this.

“I’ve Got Nothing to Wear” reminds us how lucky we are in being able to acquire clothes in comparison to clothes manufacturing in the past. Clothes had to be handmade, often from scratch, no patterns until Victorian times, and made to last because many people were lucky to have a second set of clothes.

Finally, “Christmas with Charles Dickens” rounds off the Christmas theme by telling us how Dickens celebrated Christmas. Not to mention how fit he must have been with the long walks he took all over London, sometimes covering as much as 15 miles. And he would return home ready for more while his friends were ready to collapse. The feature might have been even better if it had told us that A Christmas Carol revived Christmas at a time when it had fallen on such evil days many people didn’t bother with it. But I guess you can only put in so much into a two-page spread, plus spot illustration.

This annual definitely ranks as one of Jinty’s top annuals, one of her very best. It is well worth collecting. It is sad that the quality did not last – the next annual, though still good, reduced the Jinty content (no Gypsy Rose or Pam of Pond Hill), and the last two Jinty annuals contained just reprints of older material from other comics.

Tammy & June 22 June 1974

Tammy & June 1974 Cover artist – John Richardson

  • Bella at the Bar (artist John Armstrong, writer Jenny McDade) – first episode
  • Secret of the Supermarket – The Strangest Stories Ever Told (artist Douglas Perry) – first appearance in Tammy
  • Sadie in the Sticks (artist Juliana Buch) – first episode
  • Wee Sue (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • It’s Great Here! – Competition
  • Bessie Bunter – first appearance
  • Summer Madness! Competition
  • Swimmer Slave of Mrs Squall (artist Douglas Perry, writer Gerry Finley-Day?) – first episode
  • Jeannie and Her Uncle Meanie (artist Robert MacGillivray, writer Terence Magee)
  • No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon) – new story
  • Eva’s Evil Eye (artists Charles Morgan and John Richardson, writer John Wagner) – first episode

As we have a June theme running at present, I thought I may as well discuss the issue where June merges with Tammy. The title hails it as “a great get together” and I certainly agree. In this merger, everything starts either new or anew. This makes a nice change from the usual annoyance of mergers starting with stories from both comics that are still unfinished, so new readers are irritated to start reading stories half-way through.

What comes over from June – Bessie Bunter and the Storyteller – will last for many years in Tammy. In fact, Bessie and the Storyteller are going through their second merger; they originally came from School Friend, which merged with June. Many of the Strange Stories that appear in Tammy would later make their way into Jinty with Gypsy Rose replacing the Storyteller. Some of them even turned up in June annuals during the 1980s – talk about reciprocation. Their appearance in Tammy also gave her more regulars in addition to Molly Mills and Wee Sue.

Molly Mills starts off with a great story that hooks you in immediately (well, it did me). Molly takes pity on Ada Fellows, a girl who seems to be bullied by her ex-employer and brings her to Stanton Hall for a job. Pickering the resident bully butler thinks Ada should be got rid of. And for once he has the right idea. Molly soon discovers Ada is big trouble – especially for her.

Sadly, Lucky’s Living Doll proved less durable. Although she had lasted for years in June, she did not make it to the merger. Maybe the editor decided her time was done or there was no room for her because Tammy was to retain Wee Sue and Uncle Meanie from the Sandie merger? If so, Wee Sue proved the most durable and would go through the most diverse range of artists before ending in 1982.

It would be nice to know which of the new serials were originally meant for June or Tammy; they could have appeared in either of them.

In “Eva’s Evil Eye”, Eva Lee pretends to have the evil eye to stop girls from bullying her because she is a gypsy. But what will the consequences be – especially if someone sees through Eva? “Sadie in the Sticks” belongs in the time-honoured tradition of an amnesiac girl being exploited by unscrupulous people who take advantage of her loss of memory. Sadie Wade’s only joy as she slaves in the Scraggs’ household and chippie is a talent for making matchstick models. Pretty odd considering she has a fear of fire. The start of the mystery that has to be unravelled if Sadie is to regain her memory and be free of the Scraggs. In “Swimmer Slave of Mrs Squall”, Sue Briggs is a difficult pupil at school who seems no good at anything or even try. Then, when she trespasses at the reclusive Mrs Squall’s house, her talent for swimming is discovered and Mrs Squall offers to train her as a champion. But the title warns us that her motives and methods are not all that noble.

And the best for last. The Tammy & June merger issue is a milestone in Tammy history for another reason – it marks the debut of Bella Barlow. She starts off as a serial here, “Bella at the Bar”. Like Sadie, Bella is a Cinderella story (minus the mystery). Her aunt and uncle make her do all the work, both at home and at their window-cleaning business. The only thing that makes her life worth living is gymnastics. Her talent is spotted, but her mean uncle won’t agree to training unless there’s money in it. Bella is determined to find a way, but of course there will be even more obstacles. However, this would not be just another Cinderella story. Popular demand would bring Bella back again and again until she held a joint record with Molly Mills for Tammy’s longest-running character – ten years. It is appropriate that Bella is the first serial we see as soon as we open the issue. Bella is also indicative of how topical gymnastics had become at the time with Olympic champions like Olga Korbut. Up until then there had been only one gymnastics story in Tammy – the 1972 story “Amanda Must Not Be Expelled”. But the popularity of Bella – not to mention the fluid, anatomical artwork of John Armstrong – would make gymnastics a regular feature in Tammy.

That’s it for my June contributions to this blog. My next entry will be back on topic with Jinty.

June Book 1982

June annual 1982

Cover artist: Jim Baikie

  • Lucky’s Living Doll (artist John Richardson)
  • Return of the Silver Mare – Strange Story (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Fun Spot
  • Wot’s Wot?
  • Spitter the Career Cat – text story
  • Tuck into Tucktonia! – feature
  • Box Clever – feature
  • Wonders of Nature
  • Bessie Bunter
  • The Strangest Alliance – feature
  • Disco Dancer – Strange Story (artist Tony Coleman)
  • Join the Nit-Wits! Feature
  • Could You Be a Tough Goody? – quiz
  • Fun Spot
  • Getting to Know You – feature
  • Bessie Bunter
  • Dairy Delicious – feature
  • Pictures of Matchstick Men – Strange Story (artist Angeles Felices)
  • Weather: The Rhyme and the Reason – feature (artist Joe Collins)
  • Bessie Bunter
  • What Age Are You? – quiz
  • The Phobia – Strange Story (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Bessie’s Tuck Shop – feature
  • Going with the Wind – feature
  • The Spirit of the Mary Rose – Strange Story (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Half-Term in the Kitchen – text story
  • Lucky’s Living Doll – artist John Richardson
  • Fun Spot

In continuation with Comixminx’s entries on June, I now analyse the only June annual I still have, the one from 1982. This may have been the last June annual produced – I haven’t confirmed it.

The cover is a lively Christmas shopping scene from Jim Baikie and is more fluid and modern than the stiffer older style from June annuals of previous decades. But the annual has been reduced to 78 pages instead of the 126 that say, the Jinty annual of the same year has. This may be why it does not reprint any serial. Instead, we have Strange Stories (some of which I recognise from Tammy), reprints of Bessie Bunter and Lucky’s Living Doll, and two text stories. The two quizzes inside are strong. “Are You a Tough Goody?” tests to see if you have what it takes to be a Charlie’s Angel type or whether you should stay behind the desk like Bosley. “What Age Are You?” has nothing to do with how old you are – it tests to see whether you should have been born in ancient Rome, the Middle Ages or Victorian times.

June annual 1982 1

(Click thru)

Lucky’s Living Doll is the first thing we see when we open the annual. It is reprinted from the era when John Richardson had taken over from Robert MacGillivray, and there has been feeling among June collectors that this marked a decline in the Living Doll series. But the story is strong; Lucky and Tina encounter a clown who has fallen on hard times but still spends far more than he can afford to keep his daughter Stella in school. He even goes to lengths such as going without food and stealing money to pay for her schooling! And he just can’t tell her what is going on, even when he collapses. Lucky and Tina decide Stella must be told, and if he won’t, they will. But are they doing the right thing?

Lucky’s Living Doll is also the last thing we read in the annual. Alarm bells go off when Cousin Matilda tells the family she is going to send “an absolute pet of a boa” to them! Tina’s imagination goes overtime as she pictures herself being eaten by a boa.

June annual 1982 2June annual 1982 5

(Click thru)

The last June annuals also took to having one Strange Story in colour. In this case it is “The Phobia”. Other Strange Stories in the annual were in the old black-and-white. We get some good features, such as “Going with the Wind” (about windmills) and Bessie’s Tuck Shop, in which she provides recipes on how to make the Cliff House goodies in her tuck shop (though we have to wonder how they stayed around long enough to sell with Bessie in charge!). The presence of Poochy is a surprise; he did not appear in the regular strip.

June annual 1982 3June annual 1982 4 1

(Click thru)

One text story “Spitter the Career Cat”, is an unusual and delightful one. It is a story about cats who go on the run, as told from one of the cats. But they don’t just run away – our narrator has his eye on getting into the high life and leading a life of luxury. It doesn’t quite go that way, of course. Eventually they settle on being travelling acting cats and take to theatre barges. “Half-Term in the Kitchen” leads to a half-term holiday leading to a battle with uncooperative wallpaper during redecorating and our heroine just about giving up before family cooperation turns things around.

It is not surprising that the June annuals had fallen into reprints by the 1980s, and they were reprints of shorter material because the reduced number of pages meant no room for reprinted serials. But the quality in this June annual is still good and I find it a delight to read.

June Book 1970

June Annual 1970 Cover

Cover by Phil Townsend

In this Annual:

  • Nella and Her Donkey (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • House of Phantoms (writer Jane Derwent, artist Carlos Freixas)
  • The Girl From Tibet (artist John Armstrong)
  • Who’ll Buy My Sweet Oranges? (poem)
  • Figure, Fashion and Facing Facts… (feature by Angela Barrie)
  • Nursing Is My Life (artist not identified)
  • Zoo Fun (photo feature)
  • Jeannie’s Unearthly Twin (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Long-Legged Peg (artist not identified)
  • Silverwing’s Jest (prose story)
  • Bessie Bunter
  • Bessie’s Christmas Beano (recipes)
  • Cowboy Country (feature)
  • Bright and Beautiful (feature)
  • Debra’s Dolls (feature)
  • Enchanted Woodland (photo feature)
  • Guardians of the Temple: Strange Story (artist not identified)
  • Fun Spot (puzzles)
  • Sunshine Susie (artist not identified)
  • Oh, That Statue! – Surprise Corner (artist Colin Merritt)
  • Schoolgirl Models (prose story; writer Sheila Morton, artist not identified)
  • Kathy Must Stay! (artist not identified)
  • Cleo and the Cat (prose story; writer Denise Barry, artist Phil Townsend)
  • Things to Make and Do (crafts feature)
  • What A Laugh! (gag page)
  • Sam and Suki Save The Day (artist Robert MacGillivray)

I see that June called its Annual a ‘Book’ instead!

There is no dedicated internet source that I can find for discussion of June (though of course the Comics UK Forum covers this too); I hope everyone will forgive my inclusion of this ‘Book’ under the Jinty banner. June is not a girl’s paper that I know well, but I have been interested to read this annual in the light of now knowing that it is a direct precursor to Jinty: Mavis Miller was the editor of June & School Friend before being moved onto Jinty, seemingly as part of the general move of the time to pep up girls comics and make them sharper and less old-fashioned. (Around the time that Jinty was being prepared, June was merged with Tammy, which would be another reason to move the editor on.) We already know of some overlap in creators and themes between June and Jinty: “Nobody Knows My Name”, written by Alison Christie, was published in June under Mavis’s editorship. Looking at this Book, we can see even more overlap, and some interesting areas of difference too.

The annual starts off with a nice little animal story drawn by Trini: little Italian girl Nella is invited to be a bridesmaid at a posh society wedding; her pet donkey ends up saving the wedding presents from thieves. The art is beautiful, as always, and the story is sprightly and fun. It’s a story that would have fitted well into any Jinty annual, too.

The first text story, “House of Phantoms” has given me a bit of doubt: looking at the illustrations I am still not totally sure whether they are done by Comos or Freixas (who I hadn’t previously thought of as particularly hard to tell apart). The mouths are quite similar. On balance I am plumping for Freixas but am interested to hear other views! The story itself is exciting and dramatic (if very stereotyped in its portrayal of made-up South American countries) – not quite long enough, though, needing a few more twists and turns.

House of Phantoms

“The Girl from Tibet”, drawn by John Armstrong, is slicker than his later style. There is little dramatic tension though, because the title lead is clearly a bit of a supergirl who can do anything, so when she defeats the rather mimsy villain, it comes as not much of a surprise.

The Girl From Tibet

Here are some other pages from the Book:

Jeannie's Unearthly Twin

“Jeannie’s Unearthly Twin”, drawn (and signed) by Freixas, is very stylish; the story itself is a straightforward humorous ‘magical companion’ story à la “Vanessa From Venus”.

Oh that Statue!

“Oh, That Statue!” is ‘a gay story featuring the family at Surprise Corner’ – I understand  “Surprise Corner” to have been a regular in June. I can’t quite identify the artist, who does however look familiar – can anyone help? (I haven’t scanned a page of “Long-Legged Peg”, where again the artist looks familiar – I guess that again this might be a regular in the main comic and so might also be identifiable by others.)

Cleo and the Cat

The last text story, “Cleo and the Cat”, is rather fun – I was surprised too to see more than one named prose story writer (normally it seems as if the only named writer is Linda O’Byrne, who I have developed something of a soft spot for). This is illustrated by Phil Townsend – it’s not always all that easy to be sure who the illustrator is when it is finished quite differently from the pen-and-ink linework we are used to seeing in people’s comics, but the girl’s figure in the page shown above is unmistakeably Townsend. I have attributed this Book’s cover to Townsend too; that is harder to be sure about as I haven’t seen much painted full-colour artwork of his, but his faces are quite distinctive and I feel on reasonably good ground. (I’m always happy for further input though of course!)

Sam and Suki Save The Day

And finally, “Sam and Suki Save The Day” is by Robert MacGillivray, in a slightly less cartoony style than he used for “Desert Island Daisy” in Jinty some years later. He is an artist I am coming to appreciate more as I see a wider range of his styles.

So, what similarities and dissimilarities do I see in this June Book, compared to Jinty? Clearly there is an overlap between these final years of June and the first year of Jinty in terms of artists (MacGillivray, Townsend, Freixas). The Jinty Annuals ongoing also included a lot of material reprinted from June, often stories drawn by John Armstrong who also features in this Book; and writer Linda O’Byrne is clearly a carry-over from June too, though presumably writing new material for each Jinty Annual [edited to add – not sure why I said this last bit as Linda O’Byrne is not in either of my June Annuals!]. This gives the June book quite a similar feel superficially to the usual Jinty Annual. I think it’s also not too far-fetched to point to the logo for the two titles, which at least at this point in June’s evolution are quite similar, both featuring a golden-yellow colour and a slightly italic font.

I can see a few differences in approach, though. For one thing, June has a more old-fashioned feeling; the schoolgirls are uniformed, seemingly at fee-paying schools, denizens of that ‘school story’ world. Villains are self-interested not cruel, and lives are hardly ever at risk. One devotee of June on the Comics UK Forum would probably call this a nice change from the ‘depressing’ world of Tammy and early Jinty, so of course it all depends on your taste! (Having said this, of course June did include some stories of this ilk, as some were reprinted in later Jinty Annuals – “She Couldn’t Remember!” in the 1981 Annual being a particularly good example.)

For another, without doing a detailed comparison, it seems to me that this June Book is probably an item with rather higher production values than the typical Jinty Annual. The majority of the pages are printed in two or more colours, though the artwork itself is not always coloured (an extra step of work is required for this of course, as well as potentially more expensive printing). Comics pages such as “The Girl From Tibet” are produced in what looks like a line-and-wash technique, which again I think is likely to mean more expensive printing techniques for those pages. More of the writers are credited; this may or may not be associated with higher costs, but clearly they are ‘names’ that are worth printing, either because the agent for that writer has negotiated that, or because they are deemed sufficiently well-known to be worth it. And finally, nothing in this Book seems to be obviously reprinted from earlier publications; it has all been produced for an annual in this printing format, and looks like it is all original material. This is quite a big difference from the typical Jinty annual of latter times.

Jinty Annual 1978

Cover Jinty Annual 1978

Cover by Audrey Fawley

In this annual:

  • House of Secrets (artist Ken Houghton)
  • For Love of Smudge (text story written by Linda O’Byrne, illustrated by Terry Aspin)
  • Luck of the Draw: A Dora Dogsbody Story (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Salt, Mustard, Vinegar, Pepper (quiz)
  • Alley Cat
  • Shelagh’s Shadow (artist John Armstrong)
  • Potty Proverbs (poem)
  • Maker of Dreams (text story, possibly illustrated by Tony Highmore?)
  • It’s a Puzzle!
  • Nature’s Wonderful Ways (feature)
  • Take It With A Pinch of Salt (feature)
  • “Purrfectly” Puzzling!
  • A Great Partnership (Fonteyn and Nureyev pin-up)
  • Beautiful Butterflies (feature)
  • Cook Up A Party! (feature)
  • Jiffy Jewellery! (feature)
  • The Gift of Christmas (poem)
  • Girl Pearl Divers of Japan (feature)
  • The Lost Valley (Uncle Pete story; artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Blue and the Babe (artist Ana Rodrigues)
  • Nature’s Wonderful Ways (feature)
  • Jinty Sets You Some Teasers (puzzle page)
  • Good Knight! (text story, illustrated by Terry Aspin)
  • Black Friday (artist unknown artist ‘Concrete Surfer’)
  • Spirit of the Snows
  • Be Snap Happy! (feature)
  • Where Is My Mother? (Uncle Pete story; artist Alberto Salinas)
  • What A Giggle! (gag cartoons)
  • Nature’s Wonderful Ways (feature)
  • Naomi’s Moment of Truth (text story, illustrated by unknown artist ‘Concrete Surfer’)
  • Attacked By Condors! (non-fiction feature)
  • Pretty Clued-Up? (quiz)
  • A Life For a Life (Uncle Pete story; artist John Armstrong)
  • Washday Blues (text story)

Now this is a proper Jinty annual! It has lots of recognizably Jinty artists (Jim Baikie, Trini Tinturé, Ana Rodrigues, Terry Aspin), plenty of good solid stories, and a nice long complete story that has intrigue, sports, and dramatic cruelty. Oh wait, that last bit makes it sound like Tammy too!

“House of Secrets” is a straightforward-enough ghost story with a happy ending; Ken Houghton’s art seems a little on the stiff side here, but overall the story works well. Text story “For Love of Smudge”, illustrated by Terry Aspin and written by Linda O’Byrne, is a read that gives more back; the plot of fed-up mother manipulated by a so-called friend, all of which impacts badly on the girl protagonist and her dog Smudge, raises it from being a straight-forward animal story.

For The Love of Smudge

The Dora Dogsbody story is here drawn by Jim Baikie; it’s nice to see a Jinty regular even when drawn by an unexpected artist (if also a Jinty regular himself). Baikie does a good job but I can’t help feeling that his Ma Siddons, in particular, ends up rather more hag-like than when drawn by the more slapstick Casanovas.

Luck of the Draw! pg 2

“Shelagh’s Shadow” is the long story, presumably reprinted from June. I guess that when that title ended, John Armstrong moved in directions that did not primarily include Jinty – he was featured in Tammy, of course, and I suppose that might have taken up a lot of his time until he was perhaps brought over to Misty by Pat Mills. This story has great swimming and diving sequences, and the strong depiction of facial expression that Armstrong is particularly good at, so it must have been right up his street. Ann Brent is the mysterious girl who shadows swimming champ Shelagh; Ann is under the thumb of her frightening guardian and swimming coach and multiple layers of deception need to be unravelled before the end.

Shelagh's Shadow pg 1

Mistyfan has posted about the 1982 annual which includes a good dose of Gypsy Rose stories; Gypsy Rose had just about started in Jinty by now but perhaps was not solidly enough established to feature in the annual? For whatever reason, all the strange storyteller spooky tales in this annual were ‘Uncle Pete’ reprints. The second to last of the stories reprinted has a signature showing it is by Alberto Salinas, a beautiful Spanish artist.

Uncle Pete - Where Is My Mother?

There are two outings for the artist I think is the “Concrete Surfer” unknown artist – the first in the complete short story “Black Friday” (thrilling adventures with wildlife and the wild outdoors). This is competent but looks like an early outing for this artist as a comics artist. The text story “Naomi’s Moment of Truth” has rather more polished artwork which works well; the story is one of broken friendship and lesson-learning, quite realistic actually.

I don’t have the 1982 Annual that Mistyfan acclaims as possibly the best of the Jinty annuals; nevertheless, this is a great one well worth looking out for.

Jinty Annual 1982

JInty annual 1982

  • Cover artist and inside front cover artist – Mario Capaldi
  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • A Girl for All Seasons (quiz)
  • A Friend in Need (text story)
  • Rona Rides Again (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Gypsy Rose’s Tour of Mystery
  • A Face in the Crowd – Gypsy Rose story (artist Tony Highmore)
  • Jinty’s DJ File – Dave Lee Travis
  • Jinty’s Puzzles
  • Sinister House – Gypsy Rose story (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Indoor Palm Tree – feature
  • Be Corny! feature
  • A Bewitching Party! – feature
  • Candle Craft (feature)
  • When Rajah Ran Wild! Gypsy Rose story
  • Jinty’s DJ File – Tony Blackburn
  • Country Ways – feature
  • Music in the Mist – Gypsy Rose story
  • Just Joking
  • Jinty’s DJ File – Paul Burnett
  • Alley Cat
  • All Dolled Up! (feature)
  • Jinty’s DJ File – Noel Edmonds
  • Are You Sitting Comfortably? Feature (artist Ted Andrews)
  • The Fairy Bride – Gypsy Rose story (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Change of Heart – text story (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Jinty’s Puzzles
  • A Sideways Look at the Lees Twins – feature
  • It’s Only Skin Deep – feature
  • Perfect Pets! Feature
  • Christmas is Coming – feature
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Jinty’s DJ File – Jimmy Saville
  • Good Luck to You! – feature
  • That’s What Friends are For! Text story
  • The Brother’s Return – Gypsy Rose story
  • Be a Sport! Feature

The “dumbo” editor left Pam of Pond Hill out of the previous annual, so it’s a delight to see her here this time, and leading off first place in the annual as she did in the regular comic. Pond Hill profiles the Christmas content by entering a Christmas drama competition. But kids from a rival school, Elmhurst, try to destroy their play. This is ironic, considering that many of the performers think the play’s awful (old fashioned, soppy songs and costumes, grim ending). Even more ironic, Elmhurst’s sabotage leads to a reworking of the play that is more to the kids’ taste (disco music and clothes, comedy, happy ending) and they perform it with such enthusiasm and originality that they win the competition. Talk about blessings in disguise. However, this was the only time a Pond Hill story featured in a Jinty annual, which seems a bit sad. Trivia note: In this story, it is revealed that Mr Gold “Goldilocks”, the headmaster of Pond Hill, is married.

JInty annual 1982 1

(Click thru)

Disco also features on the inside cover, with Nadine from Life’s a Ball for Nadine doing a spot illustration with her disco dancing. She would do the same with the next annual. Is she here just to be a filler or does it say something about how popular she was?

JInty annual 1982 4

(Click thru)

Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost makes no appearance at all, which seems odd. In fact, he never appeared in any Jinty annual. But most of the regulars are there – Pam, Alley Cat, Snoopa and Gypsy Rose. Some of the regular artists, such as Phil Gascoine and Phil Townsend, are also absent for some reason. Perhaps it was lack of room or Jinty wanting some different artists. The Gypsy Rose content seems higher than usual. In fact, Gypsy Rose has her very own feature, “Gypsy Rose’s Mystery Tour”, in which she takes us to some of the haunted spots in Britain, and it is a fascinating read. Pity they didn’t redraw Gypsy Rose herself for it as the paste-up of her here is awful. The head is Maria Barrera’s art, but the body is clearly done by another artist. Most of the Gypsy Rose stories are recycled Strange stories, but one story, “A Face in the Crowd” is a surprise in that it is not only original (no paste-up on Gypsy Rose) but Gypsy Rose herself is drawn quite differently. Instead of her headscarf and gypsy top, her head is bare and she wears a shawl. She also has a slightly older and sharper look than usual, which is brought off effectively by the linework of Tony Highmore. Highmore himself is also a surprise, a most unusual choice to draw Jinty material. Perhaps they thought his style was the one to bring off the hag face the thief’s face turns into once she puts on the makeup – her comeuppance, of course.

JInty annual 1982 3

(Click thru)

I like one Gypsy Rose story, “Sinister House” for its take on an extremely common theme in girls’ comics – a spiteful girl who causes trouble for a foster girl, and can get away with murder because she looks so sweet and innocent. In this case our spiteful girl gets punished in the Misty-style manner. She feigns running away, but it backfires when she meets a deranged woman (who turns out to be a kindred spirit) who scares all the spite out of her. Readers are left to ponder if it was a dream, time slip or a ghost.

heather

(Click thru)

This was the last Jinty annual to reprint a serial from another comic. But this time it is from Tammy, not June, so Jinty readers are treated to Eduardo Feito’s brilliance in drawing horse stories with “Rona Rides Again”. Rona Danby loses her nerve after a fall and her family handle it badly (typical). They think it’s a disgrace to the family name as they are a line of proud horse riders. They get even more annoyed when Rona rescues an ill-treated nag, Flo, and bring her home. As you might expect, Rona’s friendship with Flo helps her to get her nerve back. But there’s a snag – Flo seems highly-strung and badly behaved at times. If Rona can’t find a way to sort out the problem, Flo could be destroyed.

JInty annual 1982 2

(Click thru)

This has to be one of Jinty’s best annuals, perhaps even the best one of all. The content is strong, and the presence of Pam makes it feel even more like Jinty. It even has a few surprises in the Gypsy Rose sections. It also gives readers a real treat of famous DJs and pop stars, which would have made the annual even more of a delight to receive on Christmas Day.

Jinty Annual 1981

Jinty annual 1981

  • Mirror of Tears (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • A Sticky Tale (poem)
  • Parts of Destiny and Romance (feature)
  • To Tell You the Truth (text story)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Make Friends with Your Mirror (feature)
  • The Seven Whistlers – Gypsy Rose story (artist Shirley Bellwood)
  • Just Joking
  • Give Gypsy Lara a Mouth! (feature)
  • The Best Bouquet (writer Linda O’Byrne)
  • Strange but True! (feature)
  • All My Own Work! (feature)
  • Jinty’s Big Puzzle Spread
  • Lilliput Christmas (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Witchwynd (text story)
  • The Laughing Elf – Gypsy Rose story (artist Shirley Bellwood)
  • How S-s-superstitious are You? (quiz)
  • Our Newest Nature Reserves! (feature)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Alley Cat
  • Dairy Delights! (feature)
  • Hobbies Calendar 1981 (feature)
  • Keep it Handy! (feature)
  • She Couldn’t Remember! (artist John Armstrong)
  • Tracy on Trial – text story (artist Shirley Bellwood)
  • Boo to the Goose! (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Mother’s Little Helpers (feature)
  • The Lost Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Have You Got a Magnetic Personality? (quiz)
  • Spot the Difference! (puzzle)
  • Brenda’s Brownies (cartoon)
  • Resolutions Can Be Blooming Fun! (feature)

Pam of Pond Hill headed the advertising for this annual in the regular comic. Perhaps it was the “dumbo” editor’s way of making it up to her for omitting her from the annual and saying it was too late. In fact the only Jinty annual to have a Pond Hill story would be the 1982 annual. The 1983 annual had a Pond Hill feature, which was on its annual bazaar and instructions for the items and games the bazaar had on offer. The 1984 annual had no Pond Hill content at all, and the next two had no Jinty content altogether. The 1981 Jinty annual was the last to reprint a June serial, which was “She Couldn’t Remember!” A girl wakes up in hospital and finds she has completely lost her memory. Everyone calls her Sally and the nice woman who visits her in hospital claims to be her mother. But it doesn’t feel right and it soon becomes apparent that it’s not adding up either. It’s not your typical story about people taking advantage of an amnesic girl. As the story develops, it becomes apparent that someone does not want “Sally” to regain her memory and they are resorting to drugs to do it! And by the looks of the two horrible-looking men she begins to remember, it could be very dangerous if she does remember who she really is. And how is the so-called mother mixed up in it? Strangely, the next annual reprinted a Tammy serial, “Rona Rides Again”.

She Couldnt Remember

(click thru)

Pam may have missed out on this annual, but the Jinty characters to make it were “A Girl Called Gulliver” in a Christmas story, “Lilliput Christmas”, “Bizzie Bet and the Easies”, drawn by Hugh Thornton-Jones (and for once, the Easies don’t get the last laugh on Bet), and Gypsy Rose, albeit with reprinted Strange Stories. The Lilliput story is unusual as the original story was a serial, not a regular feature. It was extremely rare for Jinty to publish sequels to serials in her annuals. It shows how popular “A Girl Called Gulliver” must have been. “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” is another curious omission from the annual. Come to that, it never appeared in any Jinty annual. What could the reason have been?

lara

(Click thru)

Alley Cat and Rinty ‘n’ Jinty are also present. Oddly, Jinty reprinted some Brenda’s Brownies, who never appeared in the regular Jinty. Couldn’t Jinty have made more of an effort there in printing her own material such as another Alley Cat story instead of resorting to a somewhat lazy filler? There is no “Fran’ll Fix It!”, but we do get a Jim Baikie story that looks like it was actually drawn for this annual instead of a reprint of early Baikie from June or whatever. We have to wonder if there are shades of Baikie’s “The Forbidden Garden” as this one is called “The Lost Garden”. Janey is orphaned and only her relatives, though they don’t actually ill-treat her, don’t love her at all. They didn’t even want her in the first place and only took her in because there was nobody else. A rose bush from her old home is her only solace, and her quest to find a garden for it leads to new happiness and guardians who are suitable. “Mirror of Tears” is an unconventional take on the Christmas fare that is routine in a girls’ annual. It is a story of a Christmas haunting that threatens to ruin the Dales’ first Christmas in their new home because Christmas is the anniversary of when it all started. A Victorian girl was looking forward to a present from her father, but all she got for Christmas was tragedy when he died in an accident. Powerful stuff, guaranteed to make readers cry. So will the solution – Vanessa Dale giving the ghost the present she received from her parents. And it was a sacrifice that showed all the spirit of Christmas as the parents can’t afford much at the moment. This has to be one of Jinty’s best complete stories ever and it well deserves to appear first in the annual.

Mirror of Tears

(click thru)

“Boo to the Goose!” is an amusing twist on the saying about shy people not able to say boo to a goose. Gillian’s mother is fed up with her being such a pushover and tells her once and for all that she must learn to say boo to a goose. But she does not count on a real goose teaching Gillian that lesson or walking in with it for a pet!

goose

(Click thru)

This is a pretty solid Jinty annual. Although it has some reprints of older material, the Jinty stories are strong, with perhaps “Mirror of Tears” taking top honours, and it is terrific to see them drawn by Jinty’s regular artists. Its only real demerit point is the absence of Pam – what did the editor mean when he said it was too late to include her when she had been running in Jinty for about two years? The annual would have been even better with Pam in it.

Het gebeurde in Parkzicht – query

Marc has sent in a question. “It would be interesting to find out the original publication of 33, ‘Het gebeurde in Parkzicht’. That is one of the best stories I’ve ever read in Tina. It’s a hospital/nurse story, in which several storylines were going on at the same time. It lasted for 15 episodes (45 pages) in early 1977. But I think the original might have lasted even longer, because the end we got offered is satisfactory, but you feel there could have been more after it.
It is not quite clear where it might have been published. The Dutch Tina most of the time used stories from IPC, but it’s not from Jinty, Lindy, Tammy, Sally or Sandie. I doubt it’s from (Princess) Tina. It might be June, but I also doubt that. But there are not many other options if it is IPC, are there?”

Here is a scan from the Dutch translation – the first page of the story, taken from Catawiki. Does anyone have any ideas on what the original might have been? NB the Dutch story title translates literally to “It Happened In Parkview”.

Het gebeurde in Parkzicht

Jinty Annual 1985

Jinty annual 1985 2

  • Cold Comfort (feature)
  • The Lady of the Manor (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • The Sky at Night (feature)
  • Two Janes in History (feature)
  • The Donkey Hero (feature)
  • Freckles (artist Diane Gabbot)
  • The True Story of Lady Hester Stanhope (feature)
  • Make a Motif (feature)
  • Mini Ha-Ha! (cartoon)
  • 100 Dogs and a Girl
  • Just Your Luck (feature)
  • A Carol for Christmas (artist Giorgio Giorgetti)
  • Take a Tip (feature)
  • Tatty-Mane King of the Jungle (cartoon)
  • Curious Curses (feature)
  • The House on Sinister Hill
  • Six Steps to Popularity (feature)
  • Hair Today… (feature)
  • Hints for Happy Campers (feature)
  • Party Food…All through the Year! (feature)
  • The Jinty Nature Trail (feature)
  • Scruff’s Dog Show (poem)
  • Holiday of Adventure
  • Candy and Mandy (cartoon)
  • A Cat Called Shivers (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Stencil It! (feature)
  • Friends and Neighbours (artist Ken Houghton)

This was the second-to-last Jinty annual, and it is also the first to really show the decline in her annuals. The previous annual had been the last to feature Jinty material; this one begins a fallback on reprints that are not even Jinty. They look like they have been taken from older material, probably June, Girls Crystal or whatever. The artwork from Jim Baikie and Ken Houghton looks like it came from their early days as it looks less developed and sophisticated than their regular Jinty artwork. The Diane Gabbot artwork in “Freckles” also looks like it is some of her earlier artwork. Even the cartoons have been taken from elsewhere, and there is no Snoopa or Alley Cat to be seen. The annual is Jinty in name only.

Why such a decline when Jinty’s sister titles Misty and Tammy still featured and reprinted their own material in their own annuals? Was it due to legal reasons, economics, or other editorial decisions?

Jinty Annual 1977

Cover Jinty Annual 1977

Stories in this annual:

  • The Blue Daffodil
  • Noelle’s Ark (text story)
  • Herbs of Life (Uncle Pete spooky story; artist Shirley Bellwood) – originally printed in June & School Friend, 4 July 1970 (source here)
  • Jill In the Dark (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Seal Summer
  • Spiky and Otis – gag strip
  • A Chip On Her Shoulder (Uncle Pete spooky story)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • A Call for Help (text story)
  • Star Performance (text story, illustrated by Terry Aspin)
  • Heroes of the Wreck (prose non-fiction)
  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Pooh Stick Game (text story, written by Lindy Gale)
  • The Nodding Mandarin (Uncle Pete spooky story)
  • Curse of the Cat Goddess!
  • The Bells of Karlok (Uncle Pete spooky story, illustrated by John Armstrong)
  • The Truth… and Mandy Martin
  • Nurse, please help me! (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • A Christmas Dream (text story, illustrated by Trini Tinturé)

This doesn’t strike me as the strongest annual I’ve ever read, though some of that feeling may be down to the lack of many of the usual strong Jinty artists. There are a good number of strange stories, which I always like, and some solid text stories, but nothing very outstanding in any of it.

The first story, about a mystical plant that will bring happiness to the finder, has a desperate girl who wants to find it so as to make her mother well, and a rival bitchy girl who only wants to enrich herself. Of course the good end happily and the bad unhappily – but I do wonder what illness the girl’s mother could have that ‘only an expensive operation could cure’ that she wouldn’t be able to get on the NHS? It sounds rather like plot taken from the heyday of girls school stories rather than a 1970s story.

Other readers may well be more interested than me to read “Jill In The Dark”, illustrated by Carlos Freixas who I know has many fans. I like his work in other stories, and it is very nicely done, but there is a preponderance of melodrama both in the plot (girl runner finds herself going blind at unpredictable points, has to struggle in the absence of friends and family) and in the art (lots of shots of the eponymous Jill staring in panic as she struck by sudden blindness).

Jill In The Dark
(click thru)

There are at least a couple of good solid Jinty standbys in the shape of “Dora Dogsbody” and “The Jinx from St Jonah’s”. Dora sees household hijinks as Mrs and Mr Siddons dress up for a fancy dress ball as Dick Whittington and a cat respectively – including Mr Siddons being ordered by his missus to  get onto the floor and miaouw at the cheeky mouse who has frightened her! In the end Dora gets to go to the ball and Mrs and Mr stay at home, nursing nasty colds. And in Katy Jinks’s story, of course she is the one causing the upsets and shenanigans, if inadvertently as ever. There are lots of trips and spills, and much outrage is caused, only to end happily for all. They are both nicely-judged stories with a light touch and a feel-good factor.

As ever there are also various quizzes and articles about possible careers for the reader when she grows up, and things to make and do. I include a scan of one of the quizzes below because it is illustrated by an artist I am particularly fond of, who I would like to know more about. Does anyone know the name of this artist at all?

Quiz for Castaways
(click thru)