Stories in this issue:
- The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)
- Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
- Somewhere over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
- No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
- Wild Rose (artist Jim Baikie)
- Clancy on Trial (artist Ron Lumsden) – last episode
- Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
- Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
- The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)
The cover image on this issue is a memorable one – Mistyfan says it has stuck with her for years, since she first saw it. The colours are vivid and the picture of Fran as an Arabian ravin’ beauty could hardly be bettered! Poor Cherry is skivvying away – and to my mind, taking a back seat to dressed-up Fran, to boot.
Tina is finding out how the world that Salina landed her in differs from her own. Is it only this sorceress (or rather, Professor Salina PhD, Head of Sorcery Department at Benford University) who has mysterious powers? That’s what Tina persuades herself of, and with Salina out of sight, she thinks she has no very strong motive to mend her selfish ways. Cue complaints about her parallel universe parents’ cooking, and a forceful demand to have all the clothes and knick-knacks that she is used to back in her own world. At the start of the week, Tina is looking forward to starting school and showing everyone how much better she is than everyone else – but she is in for some nasty surprises, because everyone else is surprised ‘that new girl didn’t use any magic against Lindy when Lindy was swimming!’. What will she come up against in the next episode?
Dorrie and Max in “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” are stuck on a train that is blocked by snow – they entertain the passengers while the train is stopped, and earn their passage that way. The weather is against them as they continue their journey, and it is difficult to find shelter anywhere.
Cherry is being abused both emotionally and now physically – none of her family have thanked her for stepping in so successfully when her cousin wasn’t there for the play, and when a nosy parker Child Welfare officer starts asking questions, the family do a quick bunk. The aunt even slaps Cherry when she asks why they’re ‘rushing off like crooks’ and the smooth-talking uncle says ‘Your aunt didn’t mean to hurt you. She often lands our two a crack… forgot you weren’t one of our brood, y’see! Beginning to think of you as real family.’ What a lot of charmers!
“Wild Rose” hears the story of the mysterious gypsy lady – who turns out to be not her long-lost mother, but the mother of Susanne, the girl that Lady Vere thinks is her own daughter! How will this tangle be cleared up? Next week we are promised the ending of this story, so we will find out soon.
This is the last episode of “Clancy on Trial”. Her uncle, aunt, and cousin Sandra stand accused of trying to poison Clancy, and her parents are trying to keep them apart while the police come and take the accused away. The maker of the herbal tonic says she is sure nothing harmful is in it, as it all comes from her own garden – oh, apart from the odd bit taken from local hedgerows… and it turns out that this is the answer, and everyone is innocent. Things are back to how they were earlier, except that Clancy is determined that her grandfather should make her and Sandra joint heirs: ‘You made me your heir because you admired my courage in learning to walk again. But I didn’t do it alone. Sandra and I worked at it together, so you’ll have to make us joint heirs!’
Fran has disguised herself as an Arabian princess, complete with yashmak, to hide the fact that she still hasn’t managed to unstick her fake beard! But before she can sort that out, she is kidnapped by the guards sent by Sheik Abbis, who think she is Princess Natisha… Fran can always wriggle out of that sort of tight corner, though, with her skills at ventriloquy and perhaps more importantly her willingness to jump into the nearest duck pond to do a disappearing act. Luckily the duck pond turns out to be the answer to the beard glue, which the other bearded girls will be happy to learn! (Perhaps they won’t be so happy at having to jump into the pond, mind you.)
[Edited to add: at Mistyfan’s request, here are the pages from this week’s episode of Fran]
Alley Cat is a light-hearted, light-weight gag strip that we don’t typically describe in these story posts. We have found out, via the Great News For All Readers blog, that the artist to credit is Rob Lee, so we will be indicating that from now on.
Shona is worried that she will soon die ‘on a planet millions of miles from home… and alone’! She has been rescued from the cruel circus but left in the harsh outlands and abandoned by the two-headed goat that has befriended her. Soon her friend returns, though, along with a whole herd – who cluster around her and warm her up. The herd leads her to another part of the outlands, where she can contact people who look human, like her. What will she find, once she makes that contact?