- The Return of Splat! (photo story) – first episode
- Animal Poem – competition
- Olly Decides! (artist Trini Tinturé) – complete story
- Let’s Go Pop! Regular feature
- The Kitty Café Cats – cartoon (artist Joe Collins)
- Wham Pinup – feature
- Village of Shame (photo story)
- Patty’s World (artist Purita Campos, writer Phillip Douglas)
- The Final Curtain (photo story) – last episode
- Help Me! – problem page
We continue exploring the context of Jinty’s family tree with Girl. IPC published Girl from 14 February 1981 to 1990. Later IPC published the Best of Girl Monthly, which reprinted stories from the original comic.
This was the second series called Girl; the first was a comic that ran from 1951 to 1964. Another photo story/picture story comic, Dreamer, merged with Girl in 1982. Tammy was scheduled to merge with Girl in 1984 but was instead dropped after a strike, leaving her stories unfinished. None of the Tammy stories carried on in Girl. Only the Tammy logo made it, mysteriously appearing on Girl’s cover (as is the case here), some time after Tammy disappeared with no explanation. It appears about the time Tammy was originally scheduled to be cancelled, so it was probably meant as a token gesture. All the same, Girl readers must have been puzzled by the sudden appearance of the Tammy logo. In 1990, Girl merged into My Guy.
Note: As Tammy came out Monday and Girl Thursday, my theory is that Tammy, being originally meant to be cancelled in late August, was set for cancellation 22 August and readers instructed to pick up the week’s issue of Girl on Thursday 25 August.
Girl II was largely a photo story comic, but always included two picture stories. One was the regular, “Patty’s World”, which made its way into Girl after going through several other titles. The other picture story was a serial or complete story. The photo stories were in black-and-white. Strips included “Nine to Four” (written by Pat Mills), “The Haunting of Uncle Gideon”, “No Mother for Marty”, “The Pink Flamingo”, “Slaves of the Nightmare Factory“, “The Evil Mirror”, “Wish of a Witch”, “The Runaway Bridesmaid”, “The Perfect Pest” and “To Catch a Thief”.
Most of the photo stories were about school, boyfriends, horse riders, gymnasts, theatre and ballerinas. But some photo stories did have a supernatural theme, such as “Wish of a Witch”, where a girl is given a ring that can grant seven wishes. But she gets greedy and also wastes several wishes because she is not using the power thoughtfully. “Splat” and its sequel, which starts in this issue, are among the few Girl photo stories to delve into science fiction. Occasionally the photo stories used the theme of tortured and abused heroines as well. One, “Slaves of the Nightmare Factory”, was about a racket where girls are abducted and used as slave labour in a dress factory – in the 1980s.
The early Girl annuals are noteworthy in that they reprinted serials from Tammy, Jinty and Misty. These include “Tricia’s Tragedy”, “Secret of the Skulls” and “Journey into Fear…” – which was a badly abridged reprint, with about half of the material cut out. The annual would have done better to use a shorter serial or one that lent itself more readily to abridging.
And now we turn to the issue that has been chosen to represent Girl. In this issue, we see the start of a sequel to an earlier Girl story, “Splat!”, about a space alien. Splat returns in response to a call for help from his Earth friend Wendy. But another alien has landed too. Is it friend or foe?
It is the final episode of “The Final Curtain”. It is the final curtain in more ways than one because Julian Berridge, who has been giving Sherry Martin acting lessons, dies on stage after helping her give the performance of her life.
In “Village of Shame” the Walker family are on holiday at a fishing village – only to find it mysteriously empty. Except for some bank robbers who are now holding them hostage! But the bank robbers could be in trouble too if there is some supernatural force responsible for the empty village. And it’s not much of a holiday for Patty either – she has discovered the holiday chalet her family booked got destroyed in a cliff collapse! And the place they do end up in delivers another whammy – Patty’s arch enemy Doreen Snyder is there too!
“Olly Decides!” is a complete story, where a dog has to end up choosing between the girl who has taken him over and loves him, and his previous owners who have suddenly turned up to claim him.
16 thoughts on “Girl and Tammy 25 August 1984”
You’re mistaken in your belief that 25/8/84 was a Thursday; it was a Saturday. I clearly remember getting Eagle & Scream, dated 1/9/84, on Friday the 24th. I’ve already expressed my views on the two mergers, so it’d only trouble my mind (yes, really!) to rehash the unfairness of it all. Let’s just say Splat was no compensation whatsoever.
How odd – the cover clearly says “every Thursday” and 25 August 1984.
But I do suspect that a real Girl & Tammy merger would have been the worst too, what with one being a mostly photo story comic and the other a picture story comic. Unfortunately there was nothing else for Tammy to merge into. Girl would probably have taken over Sadie-in-Waiting, finished whatever serials were still running in Tammy, published any scripts left over from Tammy, and decided whether Bella or Pam had the staying power to carry on in Girl. It is unlikely that both of them would have carried on as Girl only ran two picture stories at a time and one slot was already taken by Patty’s World.
I’ve already mentioned my view that unused material could’ve been reused, witness for the defence the 1986 Scream Holiday Special; also NIblet’s gone to great pains to show how material for unpublished editions of Cheeky from the end of 1978 – no Christmas edition, gasp! – was reused which I leave to study at your leisure. But wasn’t there an alternative for Tammy besides this? Ring Raiders only ran for five editions, but Phil Boyce has reminded us that Fleetway brought out a one-off special in 1990 to round off the stories … Need I say more?
Yes, after the strike, why couldn’t they have done some sort of special for Tammy to finish off her serials and not let her readers down?
Precisely. But all we had were six Tammy logos from 25/8 to 29/9 inclusive, unacknowledged before, during and after. Or were they? One wonders if readers wrote in to ask the questions we’ve been asking but were deflected or suppressed even.
Yes, Girl readers must have been puzzled at the sudden appearance of the logo with no announcement of a merger.
I’m forced to agree that Tammy and Girl would have been something of a mishmash as a combined title, at least by mid-84. It seems very likely that someone said, “Why bother finding room for stories just to finish them off, especially as Girl’s new look’s coming up [6/10/84].” Timing, and the changing tide of children’s comics, killed Tammy – and strikes.
They still had a duty to the Tammy readers to finish the stories, which they didn’t do. If not finish them in Girl, perhaps they could have worked them into a finishing-off special, the annuals or holiday specials, the way they did with Scream!.
Of course they could’ve; but they didn’t. Now we must pin our hopes, however vainly and plaintively, on Rebellion.
But we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high. We don’t even know if anything still exists on the final episode of Cora.
A few points of data: reading Buster in the British Library today, Tammy was still listed on the KP Skips coupons till 14/7; the following week it was whited out and by 4/8 it wasn’t even among the other titles, and said to no longer be printed. I’m sure the former part would’ve given me some hope had I been a Tammy reader.
And if Tammy readers had seen the ads in Buster. But we must remember the issues were prepared weeks in advance of the publication date. So for all we know the issue was prepared before Tammy vanished and it was too late for them to change it.
Granted yes you’d have needed to have been a ‘multiple comic reader’ which for me was a given. Seems that by Aug it was known that the axe had fallen for good on Tammy. BTW I’ve reread some of the surviving titles closely for indications of strike-related disruption; no signs of “what do we do now” yet. I tend to discount the closure of School Fun on 26/5 as it seems that that comic had reached its natural end without the strike.
It’s amazing that the only references to The Best of Girl Monthly I can Google are from this site. I know I read at least one issue in autumn 1986 while recovering from gastroenteritis. Surely others remember it?
Somebody did start entries on Best of Girl Monthly at Blupoblog, but it petered out, obviously. Girl 2 has received little attention on the Internet, but considering it lasted 8 years and spawned its own monthly, I think it deserves more than that. But no collector is putting up a website or blog on it.
I do have the odd Best of Girl Monthly in my collection somewhere. Maybe I could post entries on those sometime.