Lindy # 2, 28 June 1975

Lindy cover

  • Pavement Patsy (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • The Tin-Mine Ponies (artist Manuel Cuyàs)
  • Nina Nimble Fingers (artist Roy Newby)
  • Jane’s Jeannie
  • David Essex pinup (missing from my copy)
  • Sophie’s Secret Squeezy (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Last Green Valley
  • Penny Crayon
  • The House of Fear (artist Tom Hurst)
  • Hard Days for Hilda (artist Dudley Wynne; writer Terence Magee)
  • Pop Spot (feature)

Lindy was the first comic to merge with Jinty. But how did she start off originally? What was in her first lineup? I do not have the first issue, but I do have the second, which came with a bottle of perfume as its free gift. Lindy’s favourite perfume, apparently. I wonder what scent that was?

I suspect my copy is lacking a couple of pages (at the “Jane’s Jeannie” section), most likely because someone took out the David Essex pinup, so it is possible that the lineup I have listed here is not quite complete. If someone could clarify this with a complete copy, please leave a comment below.

New IPC titles of the 70’s started off with a Cinderella story and a  slave story in their first lineups, and Lindy is no exception. The Cinderella story is “Pavement Patsy”, where Patsy Logan puts up with her horrible aunt and uncle so she can stay together with her little sister Jenny. She is their drudge and obliged to go on on her uncle’s coal round. The aunt and uncle are as mean as Scrooge too; in this episode Patsy asks her aunt for money to buy a new pair of shoes for Jenny, but all the aunt will cough up for it is five pence for something at a jumble sale, which results in shoes that don’t fit properly. There is usually some hobby or passion that provides solace; in Patsy’s case it is pavement art, and words of praise from a tramp encourage her to believe that her art is going to be more than just a hobby. But you can be sure the horrible guardians are going to get in the way.

The slave story is “Nina Nimble Fingers” (reprinted in Jinty Holiday Special 1981). The slaving is set in a Victorian dress shop, where Nina Sinclair and her sickly younger sister Clare have ended up as apprentices after their mother’s death. We are into part two, and Madam Estelle, the owner of the shop, has now established to the Sinclair sisters just what a hard, cruel woman she is to work for. She even takes off money that Nina has earned for herself and badly needs in order to get medical treatment for her sister. But it also establishes the to-be-expected determination of the heroine not to give in to such cruelty and ultimately rise above it. Supernatural stories are part of the parcel as well, of course.  In this case they are “Sophie’s Secret Squeezy” and “Jane’s Jeannie”. Jeannie is the more lightweight one, played for humour. Jane makes friends with a genie called Jeannie. But instead of a bottle, Jeannie pops out of a tennis racquet! That sure makes a change. Sophie has been down on her luck until she acquires a squeezy bottle and now feels different about herself. Every time she makes bubbles, she sees visions in them that help her immensely. In this episode she is framed for stealing, but the squeezy bottle shows her who and why; it was a girl who was embittered because her mother will not allow her to join the hockey team. How will the squeezy help her to sort out the problem, and in a way that helps the girl? Presumably the story lasted until the squeezy bottle ran out.

A scary story is always popular, and so Lindy has “The House of Fear”. Harriet has gone to stay at her aunt’s and the only residents are the servants who are trying to scare her off with claims of hauntings. As if they need to fake ghosts – the butler looks like Frankenstein’s monster or Lurch from the Addams Family. And by the end of the episode, Harriet suspects they are holding her aunt prisoner in the cellar. But I wonder if Lindy is tipping her hand way too soon with this one – it’s only the second episode and already Harriet is convinced the servants are trying to scare her off. Shouldn’t the story be allowed to develop more before she begins to suspect them of that?

“Hard Days for Hilda” is a maidservant story, but set in the 1930s rather than the more usual Victorian times. Hilda Hobbs takes the lowest maidservant job at The Grand Hotel (makes a change from aristocratic residences like Molly Mills’ Stanton Hall) though she doesn’t let it get her down and remains chirpy. But in the second episode she finds her days getting harder when she finds the other maidservants are spiteful and play tricks to get her into trouble, and there is the typical bullying from senior staff. But there is always one servant who is friendly and Hilda finds him in this episode as well – Willie the Buttons Boy. I have found on UK Comics Wiki that it was written by Terence Magee, a stalwart at writing stories about tortured heroines at all sorts of cruel institutions ranging from schools to reformatories, including Jinty’s own “Merry at Misery House“.

In “The Last Green Valley”, Lindy seemed to anticipate Jinty in featuring environmental stories. The environmental issue in this case is Britain being plunged into an ice age, and our band of survivors are making their way to “the green valley”, an oasis that is supposed to have escaped the ice age.

Finally, there are “The Tin-Mine Ponies”, where the snobby Mrs Gore-Bradley threatens the rehoming of ponies at a pony trek centre because she wants to keep the countryside to herself. She is outsmarted in this episode but is still determined to get rid of “those ghastly ponies”, and it won’t be for lack of trying. Hilda and Patsy were the longest-running stories from the first Lindy lineup; Patsy finished in #18 and Hilda in #19. This indicates they were popular while they lasted, perhaps among the most popular.

In summary, it can be said that Lindy got off to a promising start, with Norman Worker at the editor’s helm. Lindy’s stories were filled with the ingredients (hardship, cruelty, humour, supernatural, friendship) that made the early Tammy and Jinty popular. There were even some surprising takes on established formulas, such as the genie who popped out of a tennis racquet. However, her lineup lacked humorous regular characters (a la Tansy of Jubilee Street or The Jinx from St Jonah’s); the only character in that area was the Penny Crayon cartoon, which made her the only Lindy character to carry on in the merger. She also lacked regular characters in general, a deficiency that is always means a girls’ comic fades fast once it goes into a merger, because it is the regulars and cartoon strips that carry on in a merger. So although Lindy’s first lineup showed potential, it exhibited deficiencies that would be telling once she merged with Jinty. Had she lasted longer, the deficiencies could have been addressed, more regular characters introduced, more serials that could still be well-remembered, and Lindy herself remembered more. Instead, she was short-lived (only 20 issues), even by the standards of short-lived girls’ comics, and is largely forgotten.

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7 thoughts on “Lindy # 2, 28 June 1975

  1. Very interesting. I didn’t realise Lindy lasted only for 20 issues. It must have been very unsuccesful, and one wonders why it was not just dropped instead of merging it with Jinty. But then I guess magazines almost never just disappeared, and always seem to have merged with one or another.
    I have only one Lindy, #7. Like your #2, it’s missing the center pages. And I must say, most of the stories don’t seem to be *that* interesting, and they are certainly not by the best artist, except for a few. Unlike Jinty, Tammy, Misty and Spellbound, of which most stories have been translated into Dutch, only a few of Lindy’s stories have been published in Dutch magazines.

    1. The Terence Magee interview on the Jinty blog drops a hint as to why Lindy was so short lived, and not because it was unpopular. The link to the interview is in the entry above.

      1. Thanks, that was an interesting read, too!
        ‘Merry at Misery House’ seems to be quite a nice story. But 60 episodes were too many to be published overhere (in Tina). After 1971/72 they never did that kind of thing anymore. In 1985 they had a story that lasted 29 episodes (Jinty’s ‘Always together’ from 1974), which was considered a lot. This must have been the reason it was not published in the 70’s, but only after many of the girl’s comics had disappeared in the 80’s and they needed to use older, previously unpublished stories to be able to fill the magazine.
        Excluding shorter stories, serials with two pages each week would last around 22 weeks. Three pagers between ten and fifteen weeks, plus or minus. Serials with four pages a week were always welcomed by readers, but these were rare. Usually only the first and sometimes last episode of a three pager could be four pages. Around 1983 it became more common to have one serial with four pages each week.
        Sorry if I’m getting off topic! One thought leads to another.

  2. Hello, Terence Magee here – I created Hard Days For Hilda for Lindy after editor Norman Worker had asked me by phone/letter(can’t remember. I was living in the Basque Country then)to come up with an idea for a series like Molly Mills of Tammy. I had written some episodes of Molly Mills. I didn’t know at the time that Hilda was a popular story – in fact I’ve just found out on the Jinty website. It would take me on average one and a half days to write a 3-page(27 frame)episode. The fee was okay, but nothing wonderful. Fleetway/IPC were always very good paying honestly and on time.
    I’d met Norman at Fleetway when I seem to remember he was doing some editorial work for Len Wenn. They were good friends along with Mavis Miller. Norman was a friendly fellow, pipe-smoking like Len. He told me his cousin was Peter O’Donnell who
    wrote(and drew maybe)Modesty Blaise strip for the Evening Standard. Another cousin
    fought with Greek partisans in the Second World War, from a cave in the mountains.
    Norman also told me that Lindy was some kind of tax doge and wouldn’t last long.
    Freelancing could be precarious, part of the reason plus the threat of another civil war in Spain that I returned to England and a staff job at IPC. The civil war hasn’t happened – yet!

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