Jinty 27 October 1979

Jinty 27 October 1979

Another beautiful Phil Townsend cover, from one of my favourite stories: “Combing Her Golden Hair”. There were a number of striking covers from this story, in fact. Tamsin lives with her strict gran, who is so strict we are led to think in terms of a slave story or emotional abuse as in “Mark of the Witch!“. However, spookier and stranger things are going on; the controlling or slave element is seen not just in the relations with the adult in the story but also with the silver comb that Tamsin has found.

In “Almost Human“, Xenia is enjoying being able to integrate with human society but is getting weaker physically, so the end of the story is heading towards us…

A story forgotten from the story-list is “My Heart Belongs to Buttons”, a realistic story of training a puppy to be a guide dog. Julie is heart-broken when her old dog Buttons died; her parents suggest that they become puppy-walkers for the Guide Dogs For the Blind Association. Julie finds it very hard to see another dog, even an engaging puppy, in her beloved Buttons’ place. Of course in the end her heart will be melted – but this puppy isn’t to stay with them, she has to go on to her new blind owner…

Another couple of realistic stories in this issue are “Waves of Fear” (bullying and claustrophobia handled sensitively by the writer and pretty badly by all the adults in the story) and “Black Sheep of the Bartons”. The latter is a sports story featuring the unusual sport of judo. Not totally realistic, of course: it also has the trope of hair colour enforcing outcome, in that Bev is the only family member who has black hair and both feels and is treated differently accordingly. I mean what, do they think she’s an illegitimate child or something?

Stories in this issue:

  • Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • Village of Fame (artist Jim Baikie)
  • My Heart Belongs to Buttons (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Waves of Fear (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Combing Her Golden Hair (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Miss Make-Believe (unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Black Sheep of the Bartons (artist Guy Peeters)

4 thoughts on “Jinty 27 October 1979

  1. Adults generally do handle bullying problems badly in girls’ comics, often because they think the girl is behaving badly. Sometimes they are even part of the bullying themselves, as in Judy’s “Hard Times for Helen”. It goes on that way until the end of the story, usually with some more perceptive person putting it right.

    And Bev was not the first in Jinty to be set apart as the black sheep by being the only one with black hair in her family. The same went for “Gertie Grit, the Hateful Brit!” Although it is not mentioned, you can see it clearly enough in the opening panels of her story. Gertie is the only one in her family with black hair, and her behaviour sets her apart from them as well.

    1. Of course there would be not as much of a story if the adults were all following good practices on how to deal with bullying, but it seems to me that to counteract the very poor ways of handling these things that you see on the page, it would be good to have a clear view of how they should have handled it, too – even if this only comes at the end of the story. This doesn’t always happen, though I think in “Waves of Fear” it is more clearly stated than in many other stories, to be fair. (Likewise in “Left-Out Linda” there is quite a nice contrast between how badly the parents handle the situation of Linda feeling left-out, and how the no-nonsense grandmother handles it.)

  2. Waves of Fear was reprinted in a Girl Picture Library as Moments of Terror. The plot thread of the cross country club and the coach with more perspective into the situation was cut out.

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