Jinty 15 December 1979

Jinty cover 13.jpg

(cover artist: Bob Harvey)

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Waves of Fear – last episode (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • My Heart Belongs to Buttons – last episode (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies – last episode (artist Richard Neillands)
  • Tale of the Panto Cat (unknown artist – Merry)
  • Black Sheep of the Bartons (artist Guy Peeters)

As the cover depicts, this is the issue where we see the debut of Jinty‘s most enduring regular, “Pam of Pond Hill”. She was the most enduring because she lasted through the merger with Tammy and became a Tammy regular. Pam was, of course, the Jinty version of Grange Hill. Her strip opens with her telling us how her first day at Pond Hill went. You get a pretty good idea of how it goes when the aniseed balls Pam’s gran gave her go over the landing and onto the heads of sixth formers below! Pam finds a kindred spirit in her form teacher, Miss Peeble. It’s Miss Peeble’s first day at ‘The Pond’ too, and she is off to a bad start as well. We know things will get better, but what do our newcomers go through in the meantime?

As well as starting a new story, this issue sees off three stories. “Waves of Fear” ends with Clare striving for redemption for her original failure by rescuing Rachel, who is facing another accident in the cave. And Rachel, who originally demanded to know why Clare ran off the first time, is the one who now tells her why – claustrophobia, not cowardice. Waves of Fear will be replaced by another Phil Gascoine story, “When Statues Walk…”, the following week. Jinty sure liked to keep Gascoine busy, didn’t she? “Spirit of the Lake” takes over from “My Heart Belongs to Buttons” in the next issue. The regular humour strip, “Bizzie Bet and the Easies”, will replaced by a more enduring one, “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, the following week. And a fourth strip, “Black Sheep of the Bartons” is now on its penultimate episode. This means we see another new story for the Christmas or New Year issue. Well, it is December after all. December is a time for farewelling the old and bringing in the new for next year.

You might call Jinty‘s 1979 Christmas strip, “Tale of the Panto Cat”, a grinch story. Bossy Verna wants to pull all the strings of her youth club’s Christmas panto and be star of the show as well. When she does not get her way because everyone is getting fed up with her, she sets out to ruin the panto.  We eagerly wait to see what role the Christmas season will play here.

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