“Pam of Pond Hill” is fun this issue, with Pam and her mates writing a controversial ‘underground news-sheet’, with an anti-school uniform slant. I wonder if any readers were inspired to do their own ‘zine or news sheet, having read this?
In “The Ghost Dancer”, Ferne is finding her deception to be a self-made prison; she doesn’t know how to undo it and tell the truth. This is a typical stage in such a story, but the way it is done here seems to strike home a little harder than usual. “No Medals for Marie” is a slightly different deception story and likewise has its usual stages to get through; here the challenge that unkind godmother Miss Simon has given Marie, of forbidding her to win any medals, is once again jeopardised by a coincidence that makes it look as if she is winning some despite trying very hard not to. This is a rather lukewarm story, but the Phil Gascoine art is still lovely.
My favourite story from this era is “Life’s a Ball for Nadine”, a tale of chums, netball, and disco dancing. Nadine’s mum is bored at home because her dad has to work late, so the girls invite her out with them, first to a netball match and then to “a good disco”. Seemingly her nameless mum is enthused by the exciting night out, in which a netball goalie hurt herself and a disco-dancing chappie danced himself right off the floor; but luckily for Nadine who is gearing herself up for major mum-embarrassment, the mum is all enthused about… joining the St John’s Ambulance brigade! Again the beautiful art, by Mario Capaldi, is a real attraction, but also there is a sense of fun and vigour about this story that I think still serves it quite well.
Stories in this issue:
- Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
- The Ghost Dancer (artist Phil Townsend)
- Gypsy Rose: The Lollipop Man’s Promise (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
- Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
- Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
- Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
- Land of No Tears (writer Pat Mills, artist Guy Peeters)
- No Medals for Marie (artist Phil Gascoine)
- Life’s a Ball for Nadine (artist Mario Capaldi)