I chose to feature this issue because it is the start of one of Jinty‘s quintessential stories – as it says on the cover, the sinister “Children of Edenford”! However, just about all the stories at this point in time are worth further comment as this was a real golden time for the title.
Although the “Children of Edenford” starts in this issue and is trailed at the masthead, visual prominence on the cover is given to two other stories. Recent blog entries for individual issues have shown 1975 covers with a couple of panels of comic strip drawing the reader in, and 1980 covers with a single large cover illustration not directly related to the contents inside. In between these points, though, the cover design largely (though not exclusively) was based on taking one or often two spot images from interior panels, and combining them into what was often a very compelling montage.
“Alice In A Strange Land” is nothing so much as H Rider Haggard done for a schoolgirl audience, with South American jungles, lost tribes, mysterious elixirs of youth, and Victorian travellers. Add in a party of stranded schoolgirls, and you have a winning recipe for a story that has lived in my memory since I first read it. The second cover story, “Prisoner of the Bell”, doesn’t come as far up my own ranking of stories, but it is a good solid combination of sports and sinister hypnotism in the way that only girls comics can do.
Other stories in this issue include “She Shall Have Music”, one of the few Jinty stories illustrated by Judge Dredd artist Ron Smith (selfish, musically-talented girl in riches-to-rags tale); the anarchic, bonkers, and frenetic “Fran’ll Fix It!”; tear-jerker “I’ll Make Up for Mary” (shy twin tries to make up for her sister’s death by becoming more like the dead girl), and “Sea-Sister” (mysterious underwater spirit coming back to a sea-side village to claim what’s hers).
And those sinister “Children of Edenford”? They will have a dedicated post to themselves shortly.
Stories in this issue:
- Alice in a Strange Land (artist Terry Aspin)
- Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
- Sea-Sister (artist Peter Wilkes)
- Alley Cat
- Prisoner of the Bell (artist Phil Gascoine)
- Children of Edenford (artist Phil Townsend)
- She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith)
- Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
- I’ll Make Up for Mary (artist Guy Peeters)