Tammy and Princess merger: 7 April 1984

Tammy and Princess cover

  • Bella – new story (artist John Armstrong, writer Primrose Cumming)
  • Rusty Remember Me – from Princess (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Day and Knight – from Princess (artist Juliana Buch)
  • Diana – A Queen’s Dream – complete story (artist Hugo D’Adderio, writer Maureen Spurgeon) Adapted from Maureen Spurgeon’s “For Love of Elizabeth” in her book “Romantic Stories of Young Love”
  • Cassie’s Coach (writer Alison Christie, artist Tony Coleman)
  • What Kind of Fool Are You? – Quiz (writer Maureen Spurgeon)
  • Stefa’s Heart of Stone – from Princess (writer Alison Christie, artist Phil Townsend)
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

Princess (series II), no connection to Princess/Princess Tina, was the last comic to merge with Tammy. It had been another short-lived title, lasting 28 issues. In terms of Jinty history, Princess is significant for reprinting some serials from her and Tammy. One, “Stefa’s Heart of Stone”, carries over into the merger here. It is known from Jinty’s letter page in 1981 that there had been a huge demand in the 1980 Pam’s Poll to reprint the story. But the Editor was still asking readers if they wanted Stefa to be repeated – as if he was hesitating to do it for some reason.

Other stories carrying on from Princess are “Day and Knight” and “Rusty Remember Me”. After some flashbacks filling Tammy readers in on how Dad’s remarriage has brought bully Carrie Knight into Sharon Day’s home, the story moves to its climax with Sharon being driven out of her own home because of the bully. There are also quick flashbacks to fill new readers in on “Rusty Remember Me” as well. But the story looks like it has more to go. Mum now knows the children are hiding a fox, but her fur allergy is complicating things. Dad left home to find work, but when the children see him, he is in a bad way. “Cassie’s Coach” is the only Tammy story to continue in the merger. It does so without any flashbacks for new readers’ benefit, and it’s taken a nasty turn – Cassie has suddenly collapsed from overwork.

The merger does away with “The Crayzees”. Instead, Tammy is taking over Princess’s Joe Collins cartoon, “Sadie in Waiting”. In so doing, it brings us Grovel, the first villainous butler since Pickering from “Molly Mills”, to Tammy. But while Pickering was a cruel, bullying slave driver, Grovel is more of a nuisance, in the way he sucks up to his employer, Princess Bee. Most often this leaves Princess Bee annoyed and Grovel in trouble. But like Pickering, Grovel is capable of scheming to get his own way.

Bella and Pam start afresh in the merger. There is a brief introduction to Bella and her back story that enables new readers to get to grips with her immediately, before her new story starts in earnest. Bella the wanderer decides it’s time to make another move, but it doesn’t look like a good one. Bella’s new location has no gymnastics club, so Bella is trying her hand at sports acrobatics instead. The trouble is, the coach is not very pleasant to her. And she’s not welcome in the home she is boarding in – someone has wrecked her room and left a message telling her to get out!

The Pam story is an introductory one, in which Pam introduces new readers to her school and friends through back issues of “The Pond Hill Printout”. This is a clever way to familiarise the new readers with Pam. Pam’s proper story starts next week.

The story “Diana – A Queen’s Dream” is a curious one. It is adapted from “For Love of Elizabeth” in Maureen Spurgeon’s book “Romantic Stories of Young Love”. In the story, Queen Elizabeth I takes a hand in a forbidden romance in the Spencer family. At the end, she dreams of a Lady Diana Spencer – who is realised as Princess Diana in the 20th century.

 

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35 thoughts on “Tammy and Princess merger: 7 April 1984

  1. I have not read anything for Princess yet (I’m waiting with that until I have found the final issues I still need, no’s 2 and 10), but some stories I know from the reprints in Tina. It was not a bad comic, but it had only 24 pages for 22p., while you could get 32 pages of Tammy for just 20p. It seems they wanted to cash in on the popularity of Princess Diana, with a pin-up of her in every issue, and even printing a comic about her life. I guess most of her fans were not the same people who read comics. After 18 issues, it must have been clear Princess was not going to be a long lasting comic. From issue 19 onwards, the format changed, and eight extra pages were added, which were filled with reprinted stories.
    Perhaps Princess was axed sooner than expected, which could explain why three serials were unfinished in issue 28, and had to be continued in Tammy.
    I think ther merger with Princess might not have done the already slipping sales of Tammy any good, with Princess taking these three unfinished serials with her. Like this it’s more like Princess and Tammy, instead of Tammy and Princess.
    With the previous mergers, only Jinty took one unfinished serial with her. In the final issues of Sally, Sandie, June and Misty, all serials ended.

    1. I didn’t think it was a good sign for a new comic to fall back on reprints from old ones. Clear sign that Princess was not doing well.

      1. True, but the reprints had to do with the eight extra pages, after the format changed to the same a Tammy’s. But the change in format had of course to do with bad sales, otherwise they would have stuck to the 24 pages on better paper, with many of those being in colour.

        1. I imagine the colour and better paper made it more expensive, so the fewer pages would have been more economic.

  2. I wrote a serial for Princess Tina in 1971, “Run. Kristina, Run”. It ran for 10 to 12 episodes,
    lovely artwork by an artist whose name I never did know, plot set in Holland in WWII, based on The Sound of Music(young girl fleeing with bunch of kids from Nazis). It was my first
    ever serial, kindly given to me by Editor Des Pride, and was clumsily written. I only ever saw a couple of Princess Tina issues including the story. Anyone know where I can see the
    pages?

      1. Brilliant, such a fast reply! Thank you so much for that. Vicente Torregrosa Manrique sounds very much like a Catalan. His art is definitely better than my story and I wish I had done better.

        1. I do not have many copies of Princess Tina, but I’ll look at home tonight if I have any with this story, to see if I recognise it from the Dutch edition of Tina. Most stories from Princess Tina were also published in Tina, but right now it doesn’t ring a bell.

            1. I checked, and I do not have any copies of Princess Tina from 1971. I´ve now seen the scans on the Comics.uk forum, and I can say for sure the story was never published in the Dutch edition of Tina. That is kind of peculiar, since the story was set in the Netherlands, and they published almost everything from Princess Tina.

              1. I’ve read the scans on comics.uk, and now I can understand why it may not have been published in the Netherlands: the Dutch girl is speaking in broken English, which would give a problem when translated into Dutch. They could have got around that, and just let everybody speak Dutch. None of the readers would have wondered why the English girl could speak Dutch!
                By the way: in the Netherlands Jan is a boy’s name, not a girl’s.

          1. I wrote quite a few, some documented here, such as Merry of Misery House. Thanks for the interest.

        2. Actually I´ve just discovered that Vicente was born in Alicante in 1933, so he was Spanish and not Catalan. He died in Barcelona in 1985, so he might have been an adopted Catalan.

  3. Ye Gods, that´s unbelievable! After all this time, 45 years, I get to see pages of Run, Kristina…Run!(I´d forgot about the three dots and the screamer in the title). My appreciation to you. I shall now study the boxes and balloons in detail, to check out the beginnings of my writing style.

    1. Thank you very much for doing that for me, Philip. Very curious to see the final episode after all this time. Stodgily-written by me as I thought and not very inspiring for Vicente
      to draw, although he did a great job. I did get better!

  4. As a matter of interest Terry were you given a fixed number of episodes to work within, or did the editor suddenly tell you to wind the series up at relatively short notice?

    1. Mavis(Jinty editor Mavis Miller)sent me the story synopsis by post, offering me the
      serial which I accepted. It was open to how things would go, so no fixed number of episodes. I had worked as staff sub-editor on her publication June & School Friend for 5 years(Mavis never used the word ´comic´ regarded by her as derogatory), so she knew me well and any ability I might have. Mavis was sharply bright and talented herself(I always looked up to her), so might well have known she was on to a winner, because she advised me to really milk it. Which I did for
      60 episodes(I think), though I had no intimation the story was popular. I just kept going until out of the blue she told me to end it. It´s so long ago and I wrote so much afterwards that I can´t remember much about the episodes, which I never saw anyway in print. Maybe if I did see them, it might come back to me. For me, Mavis was the best girls´ editor of them all, far above Pat Mills/Gerry Finley-Day/John Wagner – and I acknowledge those three are great comic writers themselves. But they were limited to male-type treatment of ideas, which is probably why they were successful in boy´s papers and maybe why their influence seemed to take the girls´publications up a cul-de-sac and extermination. Mavis had a strong understanding of girls´stories, a more open mind which could adapt to anything be it tragic/comedic etc. I guess Mavis was Shakespearian!

      1. Just to clarify in case anyone’s confused – you are obviously talking about the long-running “Merry at Misery House” here, Terry, not “Run, Kristina… Run!”. Interesting insights into those days & times – thanks!

        1. Yes, “Merry At Misery House”. Someone somewhere suggested that there are components of “Merry At Misery House ” in Jacqueline Wilson´s book “Hetty Feather”. I´ve never read it, so I can´t comment.

      2. This is really interesting! Did it most of the time work like this, that the editor decided when a story should end?

        1. Yes, in the majority of cases, the editor made the decision when to end the serial or series. An editor would hardly ever interfere with a writer´s plotting of a story. The writer was left alone to get on with it. Sometimes an editor might suggest an idea to a writer. The editor was busy in the editorial offices, getting the 32 pages of each weekly issue together to reach the deadline plus involvement in promotions, competitions and the like. There was no time for overseeing writers and artists who worked autonomously. Fleetway Publications and IPC Magazines were very good to their contributors, being as loyal as possible, always paying on time. When I became editor of Battle Picture Weekly in 1979, I followed this policy.
          Having been a freelance writer for six years, I knew very well how vulnerable a contributor could feel at times. Being a staff member was much safer!

  5. can I comment on an error in the list on the right of the above blog. I did NOT write Alley Cat, as stated- but i DID write Always Together,which appeared in Jinty.It was not written by Ana Rodigros Anna. I’m surprised that Cassie’s Coach, also my story, was continued with Cassie becoming ill in Princess, as I wasn’t given the chance to expand my own story. All water under the bridge now, but still…

    1. Hi Alison, lovely to hear from you again! The list on the right that you refer to is not a list of who wrote what – it is a ‘tag cloud’ which just shows all the tags we have labelled articles with. Your name appears in large type because your name appears as a tag on lots and lots of posts. The list we have of the stories you wrote is on the post where we published the interview with you – here: https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/alison-christie-interview/

    2. Not given the chance to expand your own story? Do you mean someone else took over Cassie’s Coach?

      And no, we never credited you or anyone else with Alley Cat. We have no idea who wrote it – or drew it for that matter.

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