Pre-Misty merger: Tammy 12 January 1980


Cover artist – John Richardson


  • Sister in the Shadows (artist Giorgio Giorgetti)
  • Cindy of Swan Lake (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Daughter of the Desert (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Important News for All Readers! (merger announcement)
  • The New Girl – Strange Story
  • Edie the Ed’s Niece (Joe Collins)
  • Bessie Bunter
  • Molly Mills and the Promotion – last episode (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Wee Sue (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Make Headlines, Hannah! (artist Tony Coleman)
  • Everything in the Garden – Strange Story (artist Tony Higham)
  • Edie’s Hobbyhorse – Tie ‘n’ Dye


This is the Tammy that came out the same week as the final issue of Misty. So what did the issue have to say about the Tammy & Misty merger and how did it prepare for it?

The first hint of it comes on the cover, with the Devil in a sandwich sign announcing “there’s exciting news in Tammy – on sale now!” I’ve always been struck at how that Devil character bears a striking resemblance to Pickering, the bully butler in Molly Mills. Is Tammy having a bit of an in-joke here?

As far as room goes, there is not much space to make room for a reasonable proportion of Misty stories. All the serials are still running and one, “Sister in the Shadows”, is only on its second episode. The announcement about the merger informs Tammy readers that not only will all their regular favourites be there but there will also be a new Bella story starting. In other words, Tammy isn’t reducing any of her own features to make room for more features from Misty, such as “Beasts”, “Nightmare!” and (we suspect) “Monster Tales”. There must have been great disappointment among former Misty readers that the proportion of Misty was miniscule compared to the Tammy one. I myself hoped that once the current Tammy stories finished more Misty stories would take their place, but I was disappointed there. Why couldn’t Tammy have done some double episodes of Hannah, the serial closest to finishing, so she would be finished off by the time of the merger and there would be more space for Misty stories in the merger issue?

In discussion of the stories, in part two of “Sister in the Shadows” Wendy continues to have what must rank as one of the worst first days at school in history. On top of the king-sized collywobbles she came with, she is encountering constant embarrassment and humiliation as teachers keep comparing her to her sister Stella, who was once the star pupil at the school, and Wendy can’t live up to their expectations. It’s not endearing her to her fellow classmates either and the stage is clearly set for some bullying.

“Daughter of the Desert” features a school that is strangely reverting to a desert pattern after an Arabian princess comes to the school. In an exciting but very odd episode, the two protagonists find themselves in a quicksand trap, which is supposed to be part of the strange desert pattern. Then the quicksand mysteriously disappears into a hard concrete road when the girls return with their headmistress to investigate.

Cindy Grey decides to throw away her ballet career for the sake of her swans, who are being poisoned by chemical pollution. Despite the poisoning, the swans find the strength to encourage Cindy to continue, much to the chagrin of the jealous Zoe Martin. Now Zoe is now back to scheming against Cindy to become the most famous ballerina their village ever produced. Yes, become that against top dancers when she’s always been second fiddle to Cindy.

Molly Mills gets promoted but deliberately sets out to lose it once she decides she was happier with the status quo as a servant. Miss Bigger buys a sedan chair for charity – but trust her to lumber Wee Sue and her friend with the job of carrying it to her place! Then thieves steal the chair, and it’s up to Wee Sue’s big brain to sort them out. The promise of a hamper lures Bessie out for ice-skating practice, but of course there have to be hijinks.

Hannah’s latest attempt to hit the headlines fails again because her prop got vandalised. At first she suspects her sisters, who have been sabotaging her every effort so far, but now she isn’t so sure. Sounds like a mystery to tie up, and will it have any bearing on Hannah’s campaign to prove herself?

There is a double-up of Strange Stories this week. The first is about a new girl named Stella who is perfect at everything. But Tracey Roberts thinks there is something odd about it all, and about the star on the bracelet Stella always wears. Then, when the star falls off Stella’s bracelet she falls mysteriously ill and Tracey gets strange visions from her parents urging her to find the star. The second is a parable about how beauty can be found even in the most unexpected places. Once Chris Dale learns this lesson she agrees to have the eye surgery she had refused before.

Incidentally, the blurb announcing the new Bella story says she will have a crack at the Moscow Olympics (which of course will be a “struggle”). Older Bella readers would know that she had never succeeded in competing at the Olympics. Her 1976 Montreal bid only got her as far as performing in the opening ceremony. Will Bella succeed in competing at the Olympics this time?


15 thoughts on “Pre-Misty merger: Tammy 12 January 1980

  1. ‘Beasts’ was last featured in Misty in August 1978 and ‘Nightmare!’ in April 1979, so I guess these were never considered to continue after the merger.
    I think you’re correct in saying Misty readers must have been disappointed when they saw the first issue of Tammy and Misty. Not only because there was hardly any content from Misty, but also because the stories in Tammy at that time were not the strongest ever.
    ‘Daughter of the desert’ started off well, but turned out to have a rather weak finish. ‘Make headlines, Hannah!’ is rather silly, run-of-the-mill story. And ‘Cindy of Swan Lake’ is almost annoying. Things wouldn’t get any better when ‘My shining sister’ started a few weeks later. I guess this was Tammy’s idea of what Misty readers might like, but the story has several inconsistencies.
    The sequel ‘Spider woman’, starting in the first merger issue, was not nearly as strong as Misty’s ‘The black widow’. And for some reason, episodes 8 and 9 were done by Mario Capaldi instead of Jaime Rumeu. But, some good still lay ahead: I think the readers of Misty that continued reading Tammy and Misty must have loved ‘The sea witches’ and ‘The loneliest girl in the world’.
    Usually mergers were not announced until the issue of the week before the merger took place. But Misty gave already a hint a month before in, I think, issue 98, saying that soon she might not be able to contact her readers as often as she would like to, because the evil forces preventing her to do so were growing stronger.

    1. There were letters from some Misty readers in Tammy to say they weren’t happy with the merger and one suggested the comic have separate sections (a bit like Whizzer & Chips I guess) to have more Misty and less Tammy. This suggestion was not taken up and the Misty content remained small.

      “My Shining Sister” was not one of my favourite Tammy stories because I didn’t find the protagonists endearing. One was annoying and the other too possessive.

    2. The Sea Witches was one of my favourites. I didn’t like The Loneliest Girl in the World so much because I found it just too weird and a mess, though understandably so when the reveal came at the end.

  2. I tend to suspect that it was the Cheeky section in Whoopee only weeks later that motivated readers to put pen to paper; after 10 years W&C was surely regarded as a “naturally” combined entity, whether one took it or not. Besides, Misty deserved better than the merger it got.

  3. I wonder how it would have looked if Misty had merged with Jinty. Jinty had fewer regulars so there would be more room for Misty. But then Tammy would probably have ended up with the Penny merger. And I bet a Girl & Tammy merger would have looked awful, with one being a picture comic and the other a photo comic.

  4. It wouldn’t have been great, agreed; but something better should’ve happened than that which did. Dreamer’s sole story in Girl lasted but one chapter, so there’d just about have been time to round off Tammy stories before the 6/10/84 revamp. Let’s not go over old ground again; at least till we’re 100% Rebellion can’t answer our 33-year-old dreams.

    1. I suspect Button Box would not have gone into the merger. As writer Alison Christie planned for it to have a definite ending, I reckon they would have used that ending the week before the merger. Or perhaps even sooner so there would be more space in Tammy to finish the other serials with double spreads.

    2. Let’s wish Rebellion the best of luck there. Hope they know about these questions of ours.

  5. Fascinated by the idea of what would’ve happened to Beverley at the end of The Button Box. There are a couple of possibilities; she would either have regained the use of her legs or found out there were some mystical/magical properties to the buttons. This would’ve explained where the stories came from. Beverley forever exalted people to “get on with it” using stories derived from her buttons; for her to have had a RESET button would’ve undermined all that’d gone before.

    1. Mystical was something Bev never got around to. It would have been interesting to see a mystical button story. Surely there was one in the box somewhere?

      1. My point was, maybe it was ALL the work of a mystical force, higher power, whatever you wish to say. It’s never established where Bev got the stories from. You’ve had my option about her regaining the use of her legs as a reward for being ‘the force’s’ voice – yuck.

        1. I always how the hell Bev managed to remember all the stories about those buttons when there must be hundreds of them – photographic memory or something else? Hey, you don’t suppose the box itself has its own story, maybe a mystical one?

          1. Hadn’t thought of if it, very conceivable though. It’d make the most sense other than some ethereal figure showing up; but to find out we must hope Rebellion – got to stop torturing myself like this…

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