Penny 1 December 1979 and Seulah the Seal

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(Cover artist: Veronica Weir)

Seulah 1

(Click thru)

Seulah 2

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Seulah 3

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Seulah 4

(Click thru)

This issue of Penny marks the beginning of “Seulah the Seal” (posted above). The cover seems to have an error – isn’t a baby seal supposed to be called a pup? Seulah is the Penny serial that would conclude in the Jinty & Penny merger on 5 June 1980. Seulah must have been hugely popular if his serial lasted six months. Seulah is drawn by Veronica Weir, whose artwork would carry over to Jinty with the merger and illustrate the Jinty classic, “Girl the World Forgot“.

The issue also tells you something about the context behind the merger. When Penny began, she was printed on more expensive paper, similar to that of Girl (series 2). But by this time Penny was printed on cheaper newsprint, the same type of newsprint used for comics like Jinty, and so resembled Jinty more closely in appearance. The same shift in newsprint would appear again in Princess (series 2), which merged with Tammy in 1984. A shift to cheaper newsprint is a sign of cost-cutting, which implies that Penny was in trouble and not meeting costs of the earlier, more expensive production.

Penny gives the impression she was targeting a slightly younger audience than Jinty, what with her name, fairly lightweight fare and adaptations of popular children’s books, such as Heidi and the Secret Seven.  Tansy of Jubilee Street was the best match for the merger, because the zany humour of Tansy suited the flavour of Jinty. One of Penny‘s most striking features was Blunder Girl, a parody of Wonder Woman. Blunder Girl was drawn by J. Edward Oliver, an artist more frequently seen in Buster. Sadly, Blunder Girl did not make it into the merger.

  • The Deliverers (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Sad Sal and Smiley Sue (artist S.D. Duggan) – does not make it to merger
  • Heidi – adaptation (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Seulah the Seal – carries on in mergerr (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins) – carries on in merger
  • Secret Seven Adventure – adapted from Enid Blyton series (artist John Armstrong)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton) – carries on in merger
  • Blunder Girl!! (artist J. Edward Oliver) – does not make it to merger
  • Kathy’s Convict (artist Jesus Peña)

 

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23 thoughts on “Penny 1 December 1979 and Seulah the Seal

  1. So thrilled to see some of our Mums art work online. I remember watching her draw Seulah and going to the zoo to sketch seals. The original quality of the sketches was done on card so looked much better than in the comics. My Mum took a pride in designing the overall page so that it was not too limited by boxes but the page was still easy to read.

    1. Oh! Thanks for the comment, really nice to hear from you! I would love to know more about Veronica Weir if you were able to give us any details or more anecdotes like the above.

      1. Yes would be happy to tell you more. My Mum is in her early 80’s now. She went to art school and worked for a newspaper for a while. She started drawing for comics as it enabled her to work at home. She had 4 children so going out to work was impossible. She would roughly mark out the page in pencil first and then work with art ink pens and brushes and paint. She does not talk about it much now sadly!

          1. I have spoken to Mum and she would be happy to answer any questions by email. If you send your questions to me I will talk to her and send a reply. Is there any limit to the amount I can write per reply?

            1. What fantastic news, very glad to hear this! No limit to the replies as far as I am concerned – if you look at the Terence Magee interview you may be able to see that we ended up adding more to it after the initial replies were sent in. In any case there is no real limit to the size of a blog post, happily for us!

              I will talk to my co-writer Mistyfan to make sure we have both got all the questions ready that we want to send on – initially we will try to limit them to 5 or so questions, give or take a few. I can see your hotmail email address from your earlier comments so I will send them there.

              1. Sounds good to me. Mum is somewhat thrilled and also perplexed by the interest! Send an email to me and I will get back to you when I have spoken to her.

                1. Thrilled and perplexed, I bet! I suppose to her it was the job she did, not necessarily something she thought of as the world’s most exciting thing to others; to us on the one hand it’s a part of our childhood, but on the other hand it’s also all rather mysterious, because there’s so little known about who wrote so many stories, in particular.

                2. Many thanks for your patience – I’ve sent you some questions separately as I hope you will have seen. Your mum and you should please feel free to answer as much or as little as you like – if any of the questions feel a bit long, that’s so as to spark off trains of thought, but not all of it needs to be answered if you don’t feel like it or if other stuff interests more! Will be very happy to read whatever you are able to send back, and thanks in advance.

                    1. Yes, of course.
                      By the way and off topic: last week I found my last Penny, so now I’ve got a complete collection. Penny had a few nice stories, but if it hadn’t merged with Jinty, I would not have started a collection of it. Fortunately, there are only 45 issues. Some of the earliest covers are really, really ugly, by the way. 🙂

  2. Oh, wow – now we can credit the writer of Girl the World Forgot! Thank you so much!

    Veronica Weir was one of my favourite artists, so I’m pleased to hear more about her and that my entries on Seulah and GTWF have made her family happy!

  3. I wonder what ended in the last Penny before she merged with Jinty. And what did her announcement in the merger look like?

    1. I’d have to look up the last Penny. It’s in one of my boxes. I remember there’s no mention of the characters from Jinty they will meet the next week, only that some of their favorite stories, Seulah, Tansy and Snoopa, will continue in Jinty and Penny.

        1. I have the final Penny here in front of me. Unfortunately, my scan equipment is not working after I’ve recently had to have my pc re-installed. So I have to owe you a scan of the announcement until it works again.

          The following stories appeared in the final issue:

          – Kay’s camp site (final episode)
          – Sad Sal and Smiley Sue (final episode)
          – Cherry of Manor Vale (final episode) a two-parter, probably a reprint from June
          – The blue island mystery (final episode)
          – Tansy of Jubilee Street (continued after merger)
          – Snoopa
          – Kathy’s convict (final episode)

          The previous story op Seulah ended several issues before, but a new story is announced for the first issue of Jinty and Penny.

  4. Just a detail: the artist who did ‘Blunder girl’ was J. Edward Oliver, not Edward J. Oliver.

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