The Sweet and Sour Rivals (1981)

  Sample Images

Sweet and Sour

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Sweet and Sour 2

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Sweet and Sour 3

Publication: 25 July 1981-26 September 1981

Artist: Carlos Cruz

Writer: Unknown

Reprint: Girl Picture Library #26 as “Sweet and Sour”

In comics, rivalry between businesses always had a ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ format, with the bad business out to pull every trick in the book to come out on top of the good one, which always conducted itself honourably. Sometimes this was done in a serious manner, with lots of dirty, dangerous subterfuge that could even threaten lives. Other times it was done in a comic manner, with the ‘bad’ business getting a comeuppance every week. The best-known example of this is “Store Wars” from Whizzer & Chips.

The humour format of the good business vs bad business was used in one of Jinty’s last humour stories, “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”. The rivalry is over two restaurants: the newly-opened Choo’s Chinese Restaurant and Riverside Cordon Bleu Restaurant, which is the snobbiest restaurant in town and charges the highest prices. But the rivalry is not fought by the owners but by their daughters, Susie Choo and Abigail Beaton. Abigail is just as snooty as the restaurant and recruits help from class bullies Janet and Debbie to find ways to bring Suzie and her restaurant down. Fortunately Suzie has a friend too – Mandy Mead – who thought her school was as dull as dishwater until Suzie joined the class. But Mandy was instantly struck at how Suzie could play brilliantly at hockey after the bullies smash her stick (she’s used to chopsticks) and be such a whiz at mental arithmetic (because she orders things by numbers) and now thinks school is going to be fun with Suzie around.

Indeed it is fun, but it is not free from trouble. Abigail and the two bullies are out to sabotage things for Suzie and her restaurant. For example, they smash the sign Suzie has created to advertise the new restaurant, set motorcycling toughs to bully the Choos into giving them free meals, and recruit a parking warden “Dora the Dragon” (with offers of a free meal) to harass the restaurant with unfair parking tickets. But they always fail in the end, due to a combination of Suzie’s ingenuity and a dash of her Chinese culture. For example, Susie turns the smashed sign into a model Chinese junk and floats it around on the river as an advertising stunt. A fierce-looking (but harmless) panda is let loose in the restaurant to scare the motorcycle bullies off. Dora the Dragon meets her downfall from a Chinese dragon that the Choos are using for more advertising. The school bullies are blackmailed into carting Suzie and Mandy back to school in makeshift Chinese rickshaws.

It all climaxes at the school open day fete. The Choos set up a Chinese food stall, and Abigail sets out to make them look fools by poking fun at Chinese food names and then setting dogs on the stall (a reference to the Chinese dog-eating culture). But Suzie beats the dogs with a great wall of china – real china. The final panel has Mandy saying to readers that Suzie is her old ‘china’ – Cockney slang for mate.

How PC all the Chinese references and play on Chinese culture and words would be in today’s climate is anyone’s guess. But it is a nice change to have an ethnic girl as the star of the show, something that didn’t appear much in Jinty. The story itself is fun, filled with inventiveness and comeuppances that are guaranteed to delight readers, and can rate as one of the stronger stories in the last days of Jinty.

Jinty 5 September 1981

Jinty cover 1981

In this issue, “Dracula’s Daughter” takes a turning point, and it is an extraordinary one! Mr Graves, the authoritarian headmaster who has believed fun and play belong in the home and not in school, surprises the girls when he allows them to have some fun with comedy videos in gratitude for impressing the governors and saving him from the sack. So Mr Graves is finally learning to not to be so rigid in his views about how to run a school? Will the story actually end with him becoming human and a popular headmaster at the school? Maybe – we’ll have to see how it pans out. On the other hand, Miss Snape has turned nasty towards his daughter Lydia because Lydia spoiled her obsequious tactics to become deputy head. So Lydia’s hopes that her problems are over are going to be dashed in the next episode.

It’s now the fifth world in Worlds Apart. It’s the turn of brainy Clare, and her world is one where intellectualism rules and the rest of the girls are sub-humans who are treated as lab rats. But there are people in this world who don’t like this sort of thing. They have rescued the girls and turned them loose in the wild. Unfortunately the wild is not looking friendly, so will the girls survive?

The Sweet and Sour Rivals take a break from rivalry over their restaurants. In this issue the sour rivals pull dirty tricks on the sweet ones during a cross-country run. But as usual, things turn sour for the sour rivals in the end.

Angela’s Angels are having problems with a patient who’s all bitter after being left paralysed. And a jealous tea-girl is causing trouble for Jo because she is jealous of her.

Pam of Pond Hill is currently not running, but her strip ended with an open invitation for readers to ask for her back. She appears on the back cover to introduce us to the lineup of 1982 annuals, which probably raised the hopes of readers who wanted her to return.

Hattie is still lumbered with doing all the donkey work in covering up for her family who would rather hide in the house than admit they could not afford their holiday. This time it’s delivering phoney postcards. And then the secret is in danger again when girl guides do window-cleaning on their house.

Black Sheep of the Bartons (1979)

Sample Images

Black Sheep 1

Black Sheep 2

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Black Sheep 3

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Jinty: 6 October 1979-22 December 1979

Artist: Guy Peeters

Writer: Alison Christie

Reprint: Girl Picture Library #14 as “The Black Sheep”

Plot

Bev Barton looks on herself as the black sheep in her sheep farming family, both in appearance (the only one with black hair in a blond family) and in character. She is a rebel without a cause who chafes under her parents’ rules and regulations and is bored stiff with the sheep farm. But Bev has a big problem – she is selfish and can’t see beyond herself. She tends to get jealous of her sister Ruth, who seems to be more in favour with the parents. Bev does not understand that the parents trust Ruth because she earns it with obedience, hard work and consideration, while Bev does nothing of the kind.

Bev applies for and wins a scholarship in Elmsford Academy as she thinks boarding school will give her freedom from her parents and the farm and to do her own thing. But of course she soon finds that Elmsford has its own rules and regulations. It is not long before Bev’s rebelliousness gets her into trouble with the headmistress.

Then Bev discovers the judo club at Elmsford and finds she has a real passion and talent for the sport. She finally has something to work for. The trouble is, she gets so obsessed with judo that she neglects her schoolwork, exams, and breaks more rules and orders in order to get to her judo club. The only thing that stands between Bev and expulsion is that she used her judo to foil a burglar who was stealing school trophies. But eventually Bev defies the headmistress once too often and gets expelled. As a result, the parents thoroughly disapprove of Bev’s judo.

Being expelled has cut Bev off from the judo club and there is none in the village. She flouts her parents’ orders again in order to get to the judo club – only to find it has closed down. Worse, Dad catches her in the act of defying him and she’s in trouble again. Back home, Bev’s jealousy of her sister Ruth, whom she perceives as the parents’ favourite worsens, which heightens the bad situation with her parents. Bev does not appreciate how patient Ruth is with her – or realise that Ruth is ill with angina and needs extra care.

Things look up when Ted Nelson, Bev’s judo instructor, takes a job at her school as the new PE teacher. They start a judo club at the school. Dad won’t let Bev join after her expulsion, but Ruth talks him around. Bev soon earns her yellow belt, but is neglecting her schoolwork again. Ruth is staying up late doing Bev’s homework – which is not good for her state of health – and the parents are angry at Bev again. But Bev takes this as more favouritism and her response is to “disappear” for a bit to teach them a lesson. But this backfires dreadfully – Ruth sneaks off to look for Bev and this is extremely dangerous for her because she is so sick. When Bev finds out, she finally wakes up to how selfish she has been. She takes off to look for Ruth – against Dad’s orders, who is too angry to let her help search – and succeeds.

Following this, Bev makes a serious effort to become more considerate and helpful to her family. Mum is impressed, but Dad just says that Bev’s head is still full of that “confounded judo”. Hearing this, Bev decides that there is only one way to convince Dad of her good faith – give up judo – and tells Dad what she is doing. She rushes off in tears to give away her judo gear. But en route she encounters Alf Sutton. Dad has suspected Sutton of stealing his sheep and now Bev catches him red-handed. She uses her judo to bring him down. This now convinces Dad that judo is not a bad thing and he admits to Bev that he was just too proud to acknowlege her change for the better.

Bev is now getting along so much better with her parents. And to show it, Dad converts his barn into a judo club so the club can continue after the school gym burns down. Bev is still proud of being a black sheep but is now a more mature, thoughtful and happier girl.

Thoughts

This came hard on the heels of Guy Peeters’ previous story, “Pandora’s Box”, which was also about a selfish girl who learned to open her heart. Perhaps it was the same writer. But while Pandora’s Box had supernatural elements, Black Sheep is grounded firmly in realism. There is so much in the character of Bev Barton that we see in everyday life – rebel without a cause, inability to handle authority, generation gap, and problem children who have nowhere to vent their energy so they transmute it into difficult behaviour that exasperates their parents.

The problem with Bev is that she can’t see that she is the architect of her own misfortunes with her selfish, self-centred behaviour. She does not understand that her problems with her parents stem from her being selfish, disobedient, rebellious, doing nothing to earn their trust, and having no consideration for others. And her attitude not only gets her expelled but endangers Ruth several times – such as practising judo with her while not thinking that Ruth is untrained – but Bev does not stop to think. And the types of boyfriends she has – rough bikers – do not help matters.

Bev is not a totally bad character. For example, she stands up to a bully at school who blackmails other girls. There is also a dash of feminism when Bev has to demand to join the judo club as it is boys only. She’s full of spunk and balls, which would have appealed to readers. Bev is not your typical victim heroine who would take emotional and physical abuse lying down, and is no Cinderella.

It is obvious that the judo is the key to Bev’s salvation. After all, it has finally given our rebel without a cause something to channel her energy into. If only she would wake up to how selfish she is, she be a true heroine. But we know she will eventually. That’s the whole point of the story after all.

We have to enjoy this story for the judo itself. It came out at a time when martial arts were popular in Britain, which must have provided inspiration and popularity. And judo makes a change from stories about hockey, tennis or swimming, so readers must have enjoyed the story for this alone. Martial arts did not appear much in girls’ comics, which makes this story even more of a standout.

Katy

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Katy. This is a title that is so obscure that I cannot find any piece on it or jpegs on the Internet (save at a recent eBay auction, which are reproduced here). The only source on Katy so far is this thread from Comics UK forum http://comicsuk.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=140&t=6484

Katy lasted ten issues. She appeared fortnightly, from #1, 31 October 1986 to #10, 6 March 1987. She then merged with Barbie.

What gives Katy her place on this blog is that she reprinted some stories from Jinty. Other reprints came from Tammy, Misty, Whizzer & Chips, Sandie, and other sources that have not yet been identified. The beauty is that Katy reprinted the stories in full colour!

If anyone can supply further information on Katy it would be most appreciated.

Stories in Katy

Creepy Crawley – Jinty

Combing Her Golden Hair – Jinty. Retitled “Comb of Mystery”

Alone in London – original comic unknown

The Upper Crust – Tammy

Witch Hazel – Tammy

Guitar Girl – Tammy

Claws (cat cartoon) – Whoopee!

The Cats of Carey St – Misty

Sister to a Star – Sandie

Minnie’s Mixer (cartoon) – Whizzer & Chips

The Petticoat Pirate – original comic unknown

Dora Dogsbody – Jinty

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Update: Further scans are now available. They have established that most of the Katy covers were reproduced from Princess Tina, such as this one. All the covers were also used for the Dutch Tina.23ubw2a

And the following scans of the contents have been added. “Comb of Mystery” is “Combing her Golden Hair” under a new title.

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Jinty and Girl Picture Library

Girls picture libraries. The monthly Commando-style digests where girls could read a complete 64-page story every month as a supplement to their regular weekly comic. Thrillers, humour, drama, horror, supernatural, heart-breakers, fantasy or science fiction stories were told in a once-a-month, one-volume complete story.

The picture libraries also provided stories about favourite regulars such as The Four Marys, Wee Slavey and The Comp. Occasionally there were variations in the formula, such as a story being told over two picture libraries, or a picture library featuring several short stories instead of one complete one. One example was “Scream!”, which told five scarey stories that made you scream.

Picture libraries were a long-running staple of four of DCT’s titles: Bunty, Judy, Mandy and Debbie. The Bunty picture libraries lasted 455 issues. This is not surprising as Bunty herself is the longest-running girls’ title in history. The Mandy books finished at the same time as the Bunty ones, but at 277 books. Judy produced 375 books and Debbie 197 books. Towards the end of the run reprints appeared although original stories continued.

In IPC the girls’ picture library had a more unusual and uneven history. June and Princess Tina were the only titles to produce any long-running ones. In fact, the June picture library eventually recycled the old Princess logo to become the wordy title, “June and School Friend and Princess Library Picture Library“. Maybe this was why “Picture Library” was dropped on the cover at some point after #458, though the spine continued to say “June and School Friend and Princess Picture Library” to the end of its run.

Tammy and Jinty were never given any picture libraries although they lasted the longest after June. Yet the photo-story comic, Girl (series 2) was given her own picture library. This lasted for just 30 books. Miniscule compared with the rich histories of the June picture library and its counterparts from DCT. But what gives Girl Picture Library its place on this blog is that although some of the libraries were original material, many of them also reprinted material from Jinty and Tammy.

Most of the reprints appeared under revised titles, some of which were awful and showed little thinking. For example, “Vision of Vanity Fayre” from Tammy was reprinted in Girl Picture Library #2 under the the extremely lame title of “Dear Diary”. Strangely, the last three Girl picture libraries reprinted Tammy stories under their original titles.

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There were some oddities and even downright sloppiness in the run, which may indicate what sort of budget or editorship that the series was running to. For example, the cover of #16 (reprint of “My Heart Belongs to Buttons”) changes the appearance of the heroine. Readers must have been surprised or irritated when they opened the issue and found the brunette heroine inside bearing no resemblance to the girl on the cover. And the girl who appears on the cover of #25 (reprint of “Shadow on the Fen”, above) has the wrong hair colour – she is blond on the cover but is a brunette in the story. The witchfinder too looks different – he looks younger and has a fuller face than the craggly gaunt face rendered by Douglas Perry. Still, it is a beautiful, haunting cover.

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A more striking oddity was “Sue’s Daily Dozen” being reprinted over two volumes: “Spellbound” and “Bewitched”. But there was no indication in “Spellbound” to say “to be continued”. Readers must have wondered why the story suddenly stopped abruptly. The remaining pages are devoted to “Tiny Tina”, which is Wee Sue under a revised title. “Cathy’s Casebook” also appears in two volumes: “Cathy’s Crusade” and “Dr Cathy”. But the reprint is even odder in that “Dr Cathy” does not come immediately after “Cathy’s Crusade” – “The Old Mill” is in between them.

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Naturally, some material and panels had to be cut or modified to make the reprints fit into 64-page pocket size volumes. For example, “Moments of Terror”, which reprints “Waves of Fear”, deletes Priscilla Heath and the orienteering club sequences. Both of these played a key role in the resolution of the full story – realising that the panic Clare Harvey had while her friend was drowning in a cave was a claustrophobia attack and not the cowardice that has made her the most hated girl in town. The revelation is now made by Clare’s mother after Rachel tells her about the trick Jean pulled – playing on Clare’s claustrophobia – to get her expelled.

On the other hand, the editing also mercifully reduces some of Clare’s ordeal; for example, the hostility from the townsfolk has been removed completely while the bullying at school has been reduced slightly. The editing is pretty seamless, but there is one glitch: when Clare is pushed to the brink of suicide she thinks the business at the club was the last straw. With the orienteering club deleted, readers must immediately have wondered “what club?” or “what’s missing here?”. They would know it’s been reprinted from somewhere else because there was always a caption saying “previously published” for the reprint material.

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Cutting out material also had the unfortunate effect of removing key turning points in some plots. For example, the reprint of “Thursday’s Child” removes the scene where an evil flag forces a man to nearly saw his own hand off. Yes, it’s gruesome. But in the original run it was what made the villainess, Julie, who had been using the flag’s power to conduct a revenge campaign against her future mother, Thursday, come to her senses and realise the flag had to be destroyed.

Below is a list of the Girl Picture Libraries, along with their original titles and appearances. The only one that has not been identified is “Penny’s Best Friend” in #8. It could be that this was an original story as not all the Girl Picture Libraries carried reprints, but I need to confirm this.

  1. Patty’s World – original
  2. Dear Diary – Vision of Vanity Fayre from Tammy
  3. Patty’s World – original
  4. The Dolphin Mystery – The Disappearing Dolphin from Jinty
  5. Cathy’s Crusade – Part 1 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  6. The Old Mill – original
  7. Dr Cathy – Part 2 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  8. Penny’s Best Friend – ?
  9. Circus Waif – Wild Rose from Jinty
  10. Stormy Seas – original
  11. Moments of Terror – Waves of Fear from Jinty
  12. The Shadow – Mike and Terry from Jinty
  13. Princess Wanted! – The Perfect Princess from Jinty
  14. The Black Sheep – Black Sheep of the Bartons from Jinty
  15. I’ll Never Sing Again! Nothing to Sing About from Jinty
  16. A Second Chance – My Heart Belongs to Buttons from Jinty
  17. Winner-Loser! – No Medals for Marie from Jinty
  18. Spellbound! – Part 1 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus A Wee Sue story from Tammy reprinted as Tiny Tina
  19. Bewitched! – Part 2 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus a Strange Story, “A Monumental Detective” reprinted as “The Crook Catchers”
  20. The Inheritance – Race for a Fortune from Jinty
  21. The Fortune-Teller – Cursed to be a Coward! Jinty
  22. Tina’s Temper – Temper, Temper, Tina! Tammy
  23. Fame and Fortune – Make the Headlines, Hannah! Tammy
  24. Wonder Girl – Betta to Lose from Tammy
  25. The Witchfinder – Shadow on the Fen from Jinty
  26. Sweet and Sour – The Sweet and Sour Rivals from Jinty
  27. Carol in Camelot – Carol in Camelot St from Tammy
  28. The Happiest Days – Tammy
  29. Thursday’s Child – Tammy
  30. A Girl Called Midnight – Tammy

Jinty 19 July 1975

Jinty 19 July 1975

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodrigues)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • The Happy Ghost (spooky text story)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Father Knows Best! (poem)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)

Part two of Katie’s babysitting story. Someone breaks in and it’s all hijinks as Katie gets ready to tackle a burglar jinx-style. But is he a burglar or has Katie blundered again?

It’s crunch time in The Valley of Shining Mist to see if Debbie passes the test of overcoming her stammer by winning a poetry reading contest. She surprises herself and her detractors by getting through two verses without a stammer, with a little help from the Shining Mist. But that won’t be enough to win – or will it?

The going is getting rougher for Barbie because she won’t tell anyone she is blind. It’s causing misunderstandings and now she’s been injured because she couldn’t see a stool had been shifted.

The plan to get sick Hilda out of Misery House and into medical care with the gypsies is underway. But Miss Ball and the Warden are out to destroy the camp, which could ruin everything.

Mrs Siddons has an unsavoury track record of undercutting the dogs’ food in order to save money for herself, and this week she does it again. But of course she pays for her meanness in the end.

It’s getting even harder for Cinderella Smith to keep her modelling secret from her cruel cousins – she’s being mobbed by autograph hunters.

More and more people are finding out about The Green People – Moura escapes from the soldiers, but now she ends up in a circus where she is put on show as a freak. Fortunately Julie has a plan to rescue her.

Daddy still won’t open his heart to the Hope children – his love is all reserved for his darling, who is ill in bed after searching for the Hopes.

Greg and Flo finally seemed to have sorted things out. Unfortunately the greedy manager isn’t having that and is scheming to come between them.

Jinty 12 July 1975

Jinty 12 July 1975

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodrigues)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Jinty Makes…Treasure Trove! (feature)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

It’s babysitting time for Katie, and you can imagine that’s not a good combination with her jinxing. And then a mysterious intruder adds to the problem.

The first test of the Valley of Shining Mist is for Debbie to overcome her infamous stammer. We should have guessed.

Cinderella Smith is beginning to realise just how difficult it is going to be to hide her modelling from her cruel cousins – the job itself is plastering her face everywhere.

Not even the Misery House nurse cares about the sick Hilda, so it’s up to the girls to get help. And it arrives in the form of a gypsy girl named Jessie who can virtually waltz in and out of Misery House when she wants to – now that says something about its security. And Jessie’s giving Miss Ball even more cheek than Merry!

Poor blind Barbie is still undergoing her humiliating punishment. Then things begin to look up, but not for long – Barbie ends this episode in trouble with the law.

A bully teacher is a new enemy for Julie and the Green People, and she gets off to a good start by taking the necklace Julie uses to communicate with them. And now Moura’s been captured by the soldiers.

In “Daddy’s Darling”, Daddy is being booed and hissed for his treatment of the Hope children but it does nothing to soften his attitude. As far as he is concerned, all the love he has is reserved for his darling. And now they’ve run away because of him. So now the story is heading towards its climax and ending.

Flo’s kind nature is now proving good PR for her brother Greg, whose arrogance has not made him popular. But he doesn’t look like he is softening – until Flo finds he has left flowers on their parents’ grave.

In Dora Dogsbody, Mrs Siddons demonstrates her meanness when she tries to put a dog down because his owner has defaulted on the bill and Dora is trying to save him. It turns out the dog’s habit of pinching the mail was to blame. And we are informed Mrs Siddons will get a lesson about meanness next week. But we bet it won’t last long.

Jinty 5 July 1975

Jinty 5 July 1975

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodrigues)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Beyond the Call of Duty! (spooky text story)
  • A Basinful of Super Prizes…worth over £400! (competition)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

The competition featured on the cover reduces Katie the Jinx (who normally starts on the cover) to a two-pager. This time Katie jinxes herself – with sunburn on her tummy. Meanwhile, in Dora Dogsbody it’s tennis trouble this week when Mrs Siddons goes all out to impress the Chairwoman of the local tennis club.

Barbie impresses the judges with her dancing, but her blindness and refusing to tell anyone about it causes a misunderstanding that gets on the wrong side of them. And they give her a humiliating punishment that jealous Sylvia is taking advantage of.

Mrs Maynard of the Valley of Shining Mist offers to give Debbie violin lessons – but Debbie must pass a series of tests to receive them. Yes, this story is well and truly in the spirit of fairy tales now.

Cinderella Smith pulls the same dirty trick her cousins pulled on her – tricking them into signing a contract – in order to get her modelling career started. But that’s the easy part. The problem will be keeping up her modelling against the ill-treatment from her cousins.

New girl Hilda Bolton arrives at arrives at Misery House. Like Merry, she’s been wrongly convicted. Worse, she’s clearly ill and not strong enough to take the misery – which the staff and Adolfa make extra-worse for her. Eventually she collapses and Merry fears she is dying.

Jinty has started a run of spooky text stories – something we will see on a regular basis in Misty. You have to wonder what the motivation could be here for such a series and how long it lasted. Jinty had a brief stint on text stories in her early issues, but did not run text stories in earnest until 1981, with spot panels from the stories being enlarged for the covers.

Things keep going wrong for Flo, and she gets into more and more trouble with her brother. Things are not going so well for the Green People either when authorities discover a ladder they left behind is made from an unknown metal. Now the military are involved! And in Daddy’s Darling, Daddy gets worse than ever when he discovers who his new maid really is. But the blurb for next week suggests that the hard-heartedness he showed in this episode is going to rebound on him. And we also learn it’s the time Japan bombed Pearl Harbour.

Ads tell us it’s now the third issue of Lindy, which would merge with Jinty after 20 issues. They also inform us that the Lindy Summer Special is on sale from 3 July. Only three issues in and Lindy is already producing her first summer special? Perhaps  it was so the special would time with the summer holidays.

Jinty 7 June 1975

Jinty 7 June 1975

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodrigues) – first episode
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Jinty Makes a Jaunty Bolero (feature)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Potted Peril! (poem)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine) – first episode
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)

For once Katie is ousted off the cover in favour of a gorgeous splash cover that introduces us to a new story, “The Green People”. This story is Jinty’s first science fiction story, and no doubt sets the stage for things to come, including “Fran of the Floods”, “Almost Human” and other science fiction classics from Jinty.

The other story that starts this issue is in a more traditional vein – the tradition of blind ballerinas who are determined to become ballet stars. But they have to overcome the obstacles of their disability and prejudice as well as the typical jealous rivals and bad luck.

Cinderella Smith is the most extreme Cinderella story I have seen in that the ill-used heroine is forced to work in chains! Not even Cinderella herself suffered that humiliation. Fortunately our heroine has figured out how to pick the locks on them and is working on other escape routes so she can slip off to a party.

In “The Valley of Shining Mist”, it is more the fairy-godmother for our ill-treated heroine, when she finds herself in the magical Valley of Shining Mist for the very first time and meets Mrs Maynard. But things are not going to be a fairy-tale ending so easily, especially when Debbie’s bad habits from her ill-treatment lead her to steal a hairbrush from Mrs Maynard.

The Warden farms out Merry & Co as slave labour to a farmer. And somehow we get the feeling that it is a hint of more underhand things going on at Misery House. Meanwhile, the girls find a sympathiser who helps alleviate their plight. But then he gets found out and the farmer is now planning something nasty.

Slaving is something Flo is also forced to when she takes a job at Greg’s club and also has to sleep in a condemned house. And when her brother finds out he is not pleased because he is such a bighead now.

“Daddy’s Darling”, Jinty’s first World War 2 story, features Lee Simons, a heroine who suffers a very different sort of unhappy home life. It takes the form of a father who is so overprotective that he withdraws her from school to teach her at home. And the teacher is a dragon! Sounds just like “The Four-Footed Friends”, which appeared some years later. But instead of dogs upstaging the overprotective parent, it’s friends from school who come to share Lee’s lessons when their school is bombed.

How would you like a day off school? Just call in Katie Jinx to jinx the entire school staff packing. And this is what she does in her story this week. Pity they couldn’t put Katie in Lee’s class.

It’s fancy-dress parade time in Dora Dogsbody, with Mrs Siddons determined that she will not be upstaged as Nell Gwynn. And to this end she dresses Dora in a clown suit. But guess who ends up with the booby prize?

Jinty & Lindy 10 April 1976

Jinty 10 April 1976

  • Miss No-Name (artist Jim Baikie)
  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • For Peter’s Sake! (artist Ana Rodrigues, writer Alison Christie)
  • Fran of the Floods (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Slave of Form 3B (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Friends of the Forest (unknown artist – Merry) – last episode
  • Bound for Botany Bay (artist Roy Newby)
  • Save Old Smokey! (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Alley Cat

Covers from this period seemed to be very fond of showing off the athletic prowess of “Miss No-Name”. This one demonstrates how hurdling enables Lori to make a fast getaway. But she still can’t get away from those nasty Crabbes. She thinks she has found a safe haven but bumps into them again – hence the fast getaway on the cover.

Ironically, hurdling enables Katie the Jinx to make a fast getaway too in this issue – from an angry Mum – after she was daydreaming too much and flooded the kitchen. She had been daydreaming on how she would have fared in previous times. She decides she would have been just the same – except that she wouldn’t be able to get away so quickly in the clothes of the period and is thankful for modern skirt lengths.

The days of Penny Crayon and Do-It-Yourself Dot seem to be over. We are now in the era of Alley Cat.

“For Peter’s Sake” is fully established in this episode. Gran has died, leaving Corrie with a note to push Old Peg to Peter in the full confidence that the pram will cure her sick brother. But Corrie has to push Old Peg all the way from Scotland to London, so we’re in for a lengthy story full of adventures.

And the same still goes for “Fran of the Floods”. Fran and her friend Jill have now fallen foul of a cult movement that whips them into ploughing fields in the never-ending rain. They don’t see any way to escape, but we know they will.

Meanwhile, Miss Wortley has put the best tracker in the district on the trail of Betsy and Mary. But the tracker does not like the cruel Miss Wortley either and ends up helping the girls to fake their deaths and taking the heat off. But it looks like there is another cruel woman coming along to ill-treat Betsy and Mary….

Save Old Smokey is now on its penultimate episode. Gresby looked set to win, but now an emergency has forced him to seek the help of the very people he was trying to destroy!

Friends of the Forest ends with Maya revealed to be the offspring of an elopement in Colonel Weatherby’s family due to his snobbishness. He is now remorseful and this becomes instrumental in giving Sally and Maya the happy ending. Next week is “Then There were 3…”. This story is drawn by Phil Townsend, who is also drawing “Save Old Smokey”, so it’s going to be another overlap of artwork next issue.

Stacey thinks she has got everything sewn up with her hypnotic powers over Tania, including planting suggestions to cut her off from avenues of help. But the blurb for next week tells us that Stacey has overlooked something. Unfortunately, it does not sound like it is going to provide the rescue.

Ma Siddons has been commissioned to improve the IQ of a dimwitted bulldog. Dora Dogsbody is of course lumbered with the hard draft. There is an unexpected twist at the end that saves the day. We can’t help wondering if it was fixed as it is a bit hard to swallow. But it does put Ma Siddons well and truly in her place – until the next issue anyway.