Monthly Archives: October 2018

Scream! #5, 21 April 1984

Scream 5 cover

  • The Dracula File (artist Eric Bradbury, writer Gerry Finley-Day)
  • Monster (artist Jesus Redondo, writer Rick Clark)
  • The Thirteenth Floor (artist Ortiz, writer Ian Holland)
  • Tales from the Grave: R.I.P. Willard Giovanna – first episode (artist Jim Watson, writer Ian Rimmer)
  • Fiends and Neighbours – cartoon (artist Graham Allen)
  • The Library of Death: A Break in the Country (artist Tony Coleman, writer Malcolm Shaw)
  • A Ghastly Tale! – The Nightmare (artist J. Cooper)
  • Terror of the Cats (artist John Richardson, writer Simon Furman)

From the Depths

Our entries on “Scream!” resume in celebration of Halloween, with the most famous vampire in history leading off the cover.

No attempts at Ghastly’s face are published in this issue, but there is a new victim in the London Dungeon.

In “The Dracula File” our Rumanian vampire is really going to town in this episode (below), and raising some laughs from readers as well as lots of screams. He’s got people running from the cinema, he’s crashed a fancy dress party in search of more victims, and now he’s picked up a very nice, unsuspecting lady.

(Click thru)

Uncle Terry has been introduced to television (below) and is turning into a television addict in one of my favourite moments from “Monster”. Unfortunately he’s also turned into a double killer with the second body Kenny’s had to bury in the garden, and Kenny knows it’s only a matter of time before someone finds out.

Then a narrow squeak with a social worker is having Kenny thinking of going on the run with Uncle Terry. Er, Uncle Terry go on the run, Kenny, when he’s only just stepped out of the attic he’s been locked in all his life, knows nothing of the outside world, and can barely function mentally? Besides, a fugitive who looks like a dead ringer for the Hunchback of Notre Dame would be spotted a mile off! Are you serious, Kenny? Oh heck, something tells us you really are…

Monster telly

The punishment for the criminals on “The Thirteenth Floor” is a graveyard for thieves, and their rotting corpses are rising up and striking them with terror. This has them mistakenly shooting each other to death. The police assume it was the criminals just falling out over the loot.

The Leper writes a bit of himself into his new “Tales from the Grave” story. He watches as his fellow gravedigger Finley gets a request from a gentleman in surprisingly dated clothing to dig up a badly neglected grave belonging to one Willard Giovanna. Finley agrees once the gentleman flashes him a good sum of money, but then gets second thoughts when he realises that the gentleman is also named Willard Giovanna and is digging up his own grave! How can this be? Well, the Leper did say he hoped the people he buried would stay buried, but the story he’s telling hints this is not always the case…

In the Library of Death a meteor show strikes Britain. Or so it seems. Two days later Tony Crabtree is on his way to stay with his aunt and is surprised to see everyone is wearing a bandage or plaster cast on their legs, arms, heads, and even all over. He discovers too late that these are just to conceal the insect invaders who arrived with the “meteor shower”….

In this week’s Ghastly tale, Ghastly talks about the fear of falling. The psychiatrist listening to his client talking about his fear of falling is not sympathetic, though it turns out the client has a very good reason to fear it.

Ghastly Tale Nightmare

Dr Kruhl captures Woodward and reveals the secret behind “Terror of the Cats” that gives him the power to control all felines. It is an enormous brain(?!) that he calls “the living brain of the cats”.

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Mistyfan’s 500th Post!

Yes, I have now reached another milestone – my 500th post. To commemorate, I am going to do something I have not done before on this post – look back on what I have done and why, and hear your suggestions on what I could do for this blog in the future.

As Comixminx has commented on, I am the more prolific contributor to this blog, and it is because of this that the blog has expanded at the rate it has. Far more Jinty stories have been covered than they otherwise would have, and I have helped keep the blog active. It has been largely through my efforts that the blog has expanded into non-Jinty subjects as well, to provide context and to keep the blog expanding as more and more Jinty gaps are filled and Jinty material begins to run out.

I believe this stems from how I used to read the girls’ comics. Although I was a Tammy reader I loved to pick up and glance through other girls’ titles that were on display at the shops (Girl II, Bunty, Tracy, Jinty, Debbie, Suzy etc). Budget and space prevented me from actually buying them. It was not just girls’ titles either. I enjoyed glancing through the funnies too, and in particular liked to follow the Leopardman in Buster. Looking at those same shelves now, I can see how times have changed. Instead of a wide range of newsprint comics that were cheap enough to fit into most amounts of pocket money or provide an instant library to quickly flick through, there is nothing but pink girly gloss wrapped in plastic that hardly has so much as a photo story now, and is way more expensive.

My first Tammys, Debbies, Mandys, Buntys, Jintys and Mistys came from school fairs and such. The earliest were ones that somehow appeared in my house and I liked the look of them. Ones I remember included the first episode of “Battle of the Wills”. So I started looking out for those comics myself. So as you see, I was not confined to one title. I was familiar with a wide range of them, and I believe that this broad familiarity is why my non-Jinty contributions to this blog are in a far greater number. In fact, it is why some of them, such as as “Slaves of the Nightmare Factory“, are here at all. But it was not until much later in life that I started actual collections. For space and money reasons I have to limit my titles.

Some titles I have addressed on this blog are ones I came across later in life. For example, I had never heard of “Scream!” until I found some back issues in a second hand book shop, decided to buy them, and liked them once I got them home and read them. Several of my other entries on this blog were prompted by what others have posted on the Internet. For example, my entry on “They Call Me a Coward!” started with the Great News for All Readers posting a June entry featuring the story on the cover. I was immediately struck by how the story sounded similar to “Waves of Fear” and I instantly wanted to track it down. In a similar vein, my entry on “The Terror Behind the Bamboo Curtain” started with Pat Mills mentioning it on an online interview. And some of my other entries, such as my Commando entries, were prompted by me wanting to contribute something different. That was how my Commando entries started, but now they are reflecting how Commando itself is changing from having exclusively male protagonists to having a more female presence in some issues.

Once Comixminx raised the subject of OuBaPo on this blog I was off, and I was aided by having some knowledge of Photoshop and drawing comics. I have taken OuBaPo on dimensions on this blog that included parodying girls’ comics, and much inspiration has come from another of my favourite titles – Mad Magazine.

For the future, is there anything in particular you would like to see? For example, what remaining Jinty stories would you like Comixminx and me to cover? Tearaway Trisha, Blind Faith, Child of the Rain, Waking Nightmare, Horse from the Sea, Miss No-Name, Two Mothers for Maggie and Destiny Brown are some of the Jinty stories we have not covered yet. Is there anything in the non-Jinty range you want to see? Perhaps you have any suggestions for new types of OuBaPo? Or do you have any new ideas or suggestions for the blog? Please let us know. Meantime, I am turning back to “Scream!” entries.

Scream! #4, 14 April 1984

Scream 4 cover

  • The Dracula File (artist Eric Bradbury, writer Gerry Finley-Day)
  • The Library of Death: All Done with Wires (artist Cam Kennedy, writer J.H. Teed)
  • The Thirteenth Floor (artist Ortiz, writer Ian Holland)
  • Tales from the Grave: “The Undertaker” – final episode (artist Jim Watson, writer Tom Tully)
  • Terror of the Cats (artist John Richardson, writer Simon Furman)
  • Fiends and Neighbours – cartoon (artist Graham Allen)
  • A Ghastly Tale! – Mirror, Mirror
  • Monster (artist Jesus Redondo, writer Rick Clark)

Ghastly introduces another competition. Meanwhile, he publishes another failed attempt to capture his likeness.

Scream 4 from the Depths

The vampire from Rumania has turned the agent who was on his tail into another servant to do his bidding. Then he’s off to the cinema in pursuit of more victims. And they would just happen to be watching a movie called “Dracula’s Death”. Dracula, of all things!

In the Library of Death a fraudulent medium gets his punishment-fitting-the-crime comeuppance, and it’s all done with wires. And in the Ghastly Tale “Mirror, Mirror”, the mirrors in the Hall of Mirrors are, shall we say, producing some unusual effects on people.

Scream 4 A Ghastly Tale

As shown below, the punks out to beat up a tenant emerge from The Thirteenth Floor as nervous wrecks. They won’t be in any condition to beat up anyone for a long time. But another transgressor is always coming along to the Thirteenth Floor, and this time it’s a gang of actual criminals.

(Click thru)

It’s the last episode of the Tales from the Grave story, “The Undertaker”. Murder plotters Sleeth and Emily discover too late that Emily’s fiancé Clive had committed the murder himself, for the same reason as Emily. The wires of the two murder plots got crossed, causing everything to backfire on all the plotters. Clive kills Sleeth and goes down for double murder. Emily tries to feign innocence with the police, but Sleeth’s apprentice Smyte is a witness to the truth, so she ends up in prison. And whose coffin on the cover is the Leper burying? Sleeth, the undertaker he was talking about the whole time, of course.

It is finally revealed why “The Terror of the Cats” is attacking the hospital. The cats are after a male nurse, Jim Wardon. Wardon helped Dr Kruhl with his diabolical experiments that are making the cats go crazy, and now he’s regretting it. Wardon’s making a run for it, not realising Kruhl’s cats are watching. Meanwhile, Woodward makes his way into Kruhl’s lair surprisingly unmolested by the killer cats. But then he bumps into a killer cat of a different sort – a tiger!

Scream 4 competition

“Monster” Uncle Terry is out of his attic prison for the very first time in his life. It’s in response to one of Dad’s dodgy creditors, Joe Thacker, attacking Kenny and robbing him of money in order to reclaim his debt. Unfortunately Uncle Terry ends up killing Thacker. Oh, no, that’s the second time he’s killed someone, and it’s another corpse for the garden.

 

 

Scream! #3, 7 April 1984

Scream 3 cover

  • The Dracula File (artist Eric Bradbury, writer Gerry Finley-Day)
  • Terror of the Cats (artist John Richardson, writer Simon Furman)
  • The Thirteenth Floor (artist Ortiz, writer Ian Holland)
  • Tales from the Grave: “The Undertaker” (artist Jim Watson, writer Tom Tully)
  • The Library of Death: The Drowning Pond! (artist Julian Vivas, writer B. Burrell)
  • Fiends and Neighbours – cartoon (artist Graham Allen)
  • A Ghastly Tale! – Green Fingers (artist John Richardson)
  • Monster (artist Jesus Redondo, writer Rick Clark)
  • Ghastly’s Creepy Creature Quiz!

No free gift came with the third issue of Scream!, which goes against the tradition of a free gift with the first three issues of a new IPC title. However, the first attempt at Ghastly’s face is in, as is the second person to spend the week in the London Dungeon.

Scream 3 From the Depths

A British agent is on the trail of the Rumanian defector who’s a vampire and the nurse he’s hypnotised into becoming his servant. But the vampire escapes him. In the preview for next week there’s a panel of the vampire going to the cinema, and it looks like he’s going to make a Dracula film more realistic than usual…

Last week “Monster” changed credits completely. This week it is “Terror of the Cats”, with new artist John Richardson and writer Simon Furman. In the story, the cats have the hospital under siege now. The man in charge of the cat victims tells Woodward he suspects Dr Kruhl is behind the crazy cat attacks. So Woodward is off to check out Kruhl – and finds the killer cats waiting outside. How can he get past them?

The second round of transgressors arrives for Max’s special treatment on “The Thirteenth Floor”. A tattoo one of them has provides the inspiration for their punishment, as seen below.

(click thru)

In “Tales from the Grave”, Sleeth the Undertaker thinks he’s got the murder he was contracted to commit all sewn up and his victim is now at the bottom of the river, eaten up by rats. But his client Emily has a nasty surprise for him – she has just found that same victim (her uncle) poisoned. So who the heck was Sleeth killing just now? Er, it looks like that horribly injured, but still alive and very angry man who’s now barging in through your door, Sleeth. What’s more, he’s saying, “I have survived to wreak the vengeance of death on your foul and treacherous soul!”

The story in this week’s “Library of Death” is the one that readers request the most on Ghastly’s “Back from the Depths” site. It appears below for the benefit of any curious readers.

(Click thru)

 

It’s back to the one-page format in this week’s Ghastly Tale, and the moral is never to touch strange meteors. A boy does and it gives him the power to make plant life grow out of everything and everyone he touches – including his mum, and now’s she’s a horrible plant freak. He’s worried about what will happen when his father comes home. Never mind that, laddie – how are you going to eat when everything you touch turns into these freaks?

This week we learn more about Uncle Terry from the note Kenny’s mother left behind. As we do, we are more horrified by how Uncle Terry has been treated all his life than his appearance. Poor Uncle Terry has spent the whole 32 years of his life locked in the attic, in neglect and squalor, because his parents couldn’t stand his appearance. As a result, he is retarded, clearly brain damaged, and can barely string a few words together, but he is dangerous if provoked and can kill. Terry’s treatment improved somewhat under Kenny’s kindly mother, but she could not help him fully because of her abusive husband (why the heck did you marry him, lady?). After she died, cruelty towards Terry resumed under the husband. Now Kenny has inherited the task of minding Uncle Terry, and he’s only 12, but the note says Mum was dead against the idea of institutionalisation for Uncle Terry. As if an institution could be any worse than that squalid attic.

Scream! #2, 31 March 1984

Scream 2 cover

  • The Dracula File (artist Eric Bradbury, writer Gerry Finley-Day)
  • Monster (artist Jesus Redondo, writer Rick Clark)
  • The Thirteenth Floor (artist Ortiz, writer Ian Holland)
  • Tales from the Grave: “The Undertaker” (artist Jim Watson, writer Tom Tully)
  • The Library of Death: Spiders Can’t Scream! (artist Ron Smith, writer John Agee)
  • Fiends and Neighbours – cartoon (artist Graham Allen)
  • Terror of the Cats (artist Gonzales, later John Richardson, writer John Agee)
  • A Ghastly Tale! – a complete story (artist José Casanovas)

The free gift that came with Scream #2 was a big, black, spooky spider, so it’s little wonder that spiders are big in this issue, beginning with the cover (front and back) profiling what horror awaits in this week’s Library of Death story. We are also told that Max will unleash spider terror as his next punishment in issue three.

Meantime, Max forces the harsh debt collector to enter a debt collector computer game – where the computer always wins, of course. The concept might almost be funny if the debt collector had not died of a heart attack because The Thirteenth Floor frightened him to death.

More ghoulies get added to the “From the Depths” letters page. It’s the “grislies”, and you are invited to draw your own.

From the Depths

In “The Dracula File”, the East is confident the Rumanian vampire defector they allowed to escape to the West will not unleash a reign of vampire terror there because he cannot live without his home soil. They don’t realise he has found the answer to that problem – the home soil left behind from previous Rumanian vampires who got to Britain. So his reign of terror has started.

The plot between “The Undertaker” and Emily Carlisle to kill her uncle looks simple and foolproof (and gruesome!). All it needs to kill him is a sudden shock, so the Undertaker takes him to the river and unleashes some rats in his carriage to not only frighten him but also eat him alive. And it would look like he just drove too close to the river and the river rats got him. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the blurb for next week does say “A fatal mistake…”.

The credits for “Monster” change to Jesus Redondo (artist) and Rick Clark (writer). Strangely, the reprint volume gives the change of writer as John Wagner. Was Wagner writing under a pseudonym here? Anyway, Kenneth has now seen what’s in the attic and it’s…the Hunchback of Notre Dame?! Something tells us Kenneth is now lumbered with the role of Esmeralda. Too right. Kenneth finds a letter from his late mother explaining that the, um, “monster” as the family dubbed him is in fact his Uncle Terry. Terry’s parents (Kenneth’s grandparents) kept him locked in the attic because of his appearance, and Mum says it’s now Kenneth’s job to look after him. Whoopee…

Uncle Terry

Allen Woodward tried to stop “The Terror of the Cats” striking the hospital, but all it’s done for him is get him into trouble with the police and on the run. But that’s nothing compared to what he finds when he hides in a cupboard – another crazy killer cat!

A Ghastly Tale is longer than the one-page spread last week. It’s also a tale of nature striking back at the abuses of humanity in the 21st century. How far ahead of its time was this story? It has been posted here for your judgement. Besides, it’s drawn by José Casanovas, and who doesn’t like his artwork?

(Click thru)

 

 

 

Scream! No. 1, 24 March 1984

Scream 1 cover

  • The Dracula File – first episode (artist Eric Bradbury, writer Gerry Finley-Day)
  • Monster – first episode (artist Heinzl, later Jesus Redondo, writer Alan Moore)
  • The Thirteenth Floor – first episode (artist Ortiz, writer Ian Holland)
  • Tales from the Grave: “The Undertaker” – first episode (artist Jim Watson, writer Tom Tully, later John Wagner)
  • A Ghastly Tale! (complete story)
  • Fiends and Neighbours – humour cartoon reprinted from Cor!! (artist Graham Allen)
  • Library of Death: At Death’s Door… – complete story (artist Cam Kennedy, writer Barrie Tomlinson)
  • Terror of the Cats – first episode (artist Gonzales, later John Richardson, writer John Agee)

Our Halloween theme continues with Scream! This was a short-lived publication, lasting only 15 issues before it disappeared during the same strike that brought down Tammy (though opinions from former IPC staff differ as to just what killed it off). Nevertheless, Scream achieved a cult status that has made its issues collectors’ items, spawned fanzines and websites, and now it is enjoying a revival with the Misty & Scream Halloween specials and volume reprints of its strips.

The gift that came with the first issue of Scream was a set of Dracula fangs, approved by the famous vampire himself, who leads off with his very own strip inside, “The Dracula File”. A Rumanian defector has escaped to the West. However, his Eastern bloc pursuers have realised that he is a vampire and decide the West can have him: “He is their problem now!” The poor RAF pilots flying the defector into Britain don’t realise the horror they are about to unleash…

Scream 1 Dracula

Before the strips begin, however, the host of the comic, Ghastly McNasty, sets things up with the letters page and the special features it offers. There is “The Dracula Spectacular”, where Ghastly has fun turning someone into something hideous. To make it even more fun for readers, he wants them to provide the victims (teachers, family members, themselves, etc) and the reason why. Ghastly also invites readers to nominate someone for appearing in “The London Dungeon” for the week and the reason for this punishment, and the comeuppances would be drawn accordingly. Who would you like to see in the London Dungeon for the week? How about the Tammy editor for leaving us dangling on the final episode of “Cora Can’t Lose”? Or how about Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin?

Scream 1 letters page

Of course a new comic would not be complete without a competition, and this is one that really tests deductive, artistic and maybe even clairvoyant skills. The challenge is to draw Ghastly McNasty’s face absolutely right. This is no easy task as the face is hidden in complete darkness under his hood with only lights shining where his eyes are. Clues include him being extremely ugly, too much tree root in the beauty treatment he tried that backfired, and other clues that would be dropped as the competition progressed. An actual likeness of Ghastly had been drawn and was being kept secure. The best but still-failed attempts would be printed, comments were made about any clues the pictures had hit upon, and the winner would get £5. The one to hit the absolute mark would win £50. The top prize was still unclaimed when Scream abruptly disappeared.

Scream 1 Monster

“Monster” is one of the Scream stories that would continue and finish in Eagle. It is the “something monstrous hidden in the attic” story. It’s so secret that Kenneth Corman’s abusive father gives him yet another walloping for even saying he heard something up there in the locked attic room. The father goes up to the attic to get rid of it, only to get horribly murdered, with deep claw marks on his body. Kenneth opts for secretly burying his father in the garden instead of calling in the police, and now he’s heading for the attic himself to deal with whatever is up there.

Scream 1 13th Floor

“The Thirteenth Floor” was another Scream strip to continue in Eagle, and now it has its own reprint volume and return appearances in the Scream & Misty Halloween special. Max is the computerised superintendent of council-run Maxwell Towers. Max takes his duty of looking after his tenants very seriously. In fact, it’s so seriously that anyone who threatens the safety and well-being of Max’s tenants is sent on a trip to his secret Thirteenth Floor through the lift, where Max wreaks a computerised, holographic punishment upon them that he deems the most fit for their crime. The first transgressor to pay a trip to the Thirteenth Floor is a merciless debt collector. On the Thirteenth Floor he meets the Grim Reaper, who says, “Welcome…to your death.” Erk! Is Max really going to go as far as murder? We find out next week.

Scream 1 Leper

The Leper (so named because of his medical condition, appearance and lack of social acceptance) is a 19thcentury gravedigger and host of “Tales from the Grave”. Not surprisingly, these tales are associated with death, the Victorian fascination with it (murders, executions, body snatching, Goth etc) and the stories behind the graves in the cemetery. The Leper’s first story is “The Undertaker”, about a Burke and Hare-type undertaker named Joshua Sleeth: “If you wanted someone buried, ole Sleeth was the man to do it, no questions asked […] Sleeth was an evil beggar all right. If yer needed a helpin’ hand into the next world, so to speak, he was always ready to give it…”. Sleeth’s reputation has reached the ears of Emily Carlisle, who wants a helping hand in getting her Uncle Henry into the next world so she can inherit.

Scream 1 Cats

The final serial is “The Terror of the Cats”. All the cats in the neighbourhood are going crazy and attacking people for no apparent reason. Reporter Allen Woodward is on the story and also that of Dr Kruhl (nicknamed “Cruel” because of his reputation), the Director of the Government Research Institute. It’s soon obvious to the readers that the two stories are linked somehow, though Woodward hasn’t clicked yet.

Scream 1 Library

As with Misty, Scream has complete stories, though less prolific. One format is uncredited one-page one-shot stories, some of which end with a dash of humour. The other format is the “Library of Death” (yes, more death tales), which has more pages. The first tale is about a boy who gets strange, frightening visitations in his bedroom after his parents deny him his request to go into the Ghost House at the fair.

For the resident funny cartoon, Scream is reprinting Fiends and Neighbours from Cor!! An ordinary couple are looking forward to meeting their new neighbours – only to get the shock of their lives when they find the newcomers are a regular Addams family.

Tammy 29 October 1983

Tammy cover 29 October 1983

  • Lucky by Name… (artist Juliana Buch, writer Malcolm Shaw)
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • The Crayzees (artist Joe Collins)
  • Glenda’s Glossy Pages (artist Mario Capaldi, writer Pat Mills)
  • The Nightingale’s Song – complete story (artist Douglas Perry, writer Roy Preston)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi, sub-writer Linda Stephenson)
  • Spell of Fog – first episode (artist Tony Coleman, writer Jake Adams)
  • Room for Rosie (artist Santiago Hernandez, writer Alison Christie)
  • Lonely Ballerina – final episode (artist Maria Barrera, writer Jay Over)
  • Make a Mask for Halloween! – feature (writer Chris Lloyd)

Halloween is coming up. So I am bringing out the last Halloween issue Tammy ever published. The cover is very nice, and the girls look like Trick-or-Treaters or organising their Halloween party. Inside, we have instructions for making a Halloween mask and the Crayzees go to a Halloween fancy dress ball. Miss T and Edie are rather chagrined when the human-sized Snoopa wins first prize for dressing up as Miss T!

In last week’s issue, Tammy had a blurb about a spooky story starting this issue in commemoration of Halloween. It is “Spell of Fog”. A film crew arrives at the village of Wolfen to make a film about Alice Compton, a girl who was burned at the stake for witchcraft and rumoured to haunt the spot where her ashes were scattered.  So when the film producer announces his plans to do a historically inaccurate, sensationalised film where Alice is truly evil and an agent of the Devil instead of one of the hapless victims of witch hunts, it really is asking for trouble. Sure enough, a mist is soon arising on the spot where Alice is said to haunt, and it’s clearly blowing in the opposite direction of the wind…

Surprisingly, “Room for Rosie” is celebrating Guy Fawkes one week early and passing over Halloween altogether. Pauline Wheeler is trying to honour her dying gran’s last request to find a good home for her beloved pram, “Rosie”, but so far no luck. Meantime, Rosie is being put to more of the 101 uses that she was so famous for with Gran. This week it’s carrying the Guy for the penny-for-the-routine. Rosie does not do much to sort out the problem of the week, which is where to have the bonfire after the kids lose their regular lot for it.

You’d think there would be a Halloween story in the Button Box. Instead, it’s a story to reassure you that a representative will always be on hand to sort out any problems you may have when you are on holiday abroad.

The complete story is about a promising singer, Suzy Nightingale, who loses her power of speech and singing from the shock of her mother’s death. She nurses her namesake back to health when it is injured, and notices that the nightingale has remained silent all the while, just like her. But all of a sudden the nightingale regains its power of song, which prompts Suzy to regain hers.

“Lonely Ballerina” reunites the creative team from ballet story Slave of the Clock. This was the last ballet story Tammy ever published (not counting “I’m Her – She’s Me!”, although it does have ballet in it). Tanya Lane arrives at Mary Devine’s ballet school, only to find it’s nothing but a mess, she’s the only serious pupil there, and there is a mystery to unravel. The reveal (not very credible and does not make the story one of Tammy’s best) is that Mary’s sister Betty has been struggling to keep the ballet school going after an accident rendered Mary catatonic. This was a foolish thing to do, as Betty knows nothing about ballet. Even more unwisely, she tried to conceal Mary’s condition instead of explaining the situation, getting help, and keeping the school closed until her sister recovered. Mary did not do so until the final episode. In the meantime, the school fell apart, efforts to hide the secret from the governors have now failed, the story is all over the newspapers, and the school faces closure. But of course, being a girls’ story, things end happily.

“Lucky by Name” is a foal named Lucky who seems to have powers over other animals. Unfortunately more and more people are beginning to notice. Now Lucky has made two rich and powerful enemies over it, and they look like they are threatening serious trouble.

Glenda gets a really freaky sign that her “glossy pages” have supernatural powers that could be dangerous. Mum lights a fire where Glenda hid her glossy pages and elsewhere, the bike she got from them catches fire! Yet there’s not a trace of damage on the bike or glossy pages. Then there’s even more trouble when the police come around and demand to know where Glenda got that nice stuff that is way beyond her means, and are not going to believe it came from those glossy pages. What can Glenda do? Or, more to the point, what are those glossy pages going to do?

The latest Pam of Pond Hill story ends this week. Dad has been facing down a supermarket rival whose cut-price fruit & veg have been threatening his greengrocer business. But just when that problem looks all sorted out, the supermarket gets vandalised and Pam is suspect because of the recent bad blood between the two businesses and an item, which was given to her, was found at the scene of the crime.

Top 10 Tammy Villains

We have had my lists of the Top 10 Jinty Villains and the Top 10 Misty Villains. Now it makes sense to conclude with Top 10 Tammy Villains. In compiling this list I found Tammy was relatively low on supernatural or SF villains. I believe this is because Tammy had a high emphasis on cruel, abusive villains who tortured and exploited the protagonists, particularly in her early years. Jealous rivals, scheming employers and gold diggers were also frequent.

As always, I have tried to be as broad as possible in the types of villains that appeared in Tammy, and acknowledge that the list may be subject to second guessing and alternative suggestions. Please express your views in the comments below.

Now, the countdown will begin…

10: Sir Edgar Whitland

Story: The Fairground of Fear

Creators: Diane Gabbot (artist); writer unknown

Tammy Villain Whitland

Although Sir Edgar was not initially set up as the villain in the story he turns out to be the true one, and it is his ruthless acts that are responsible for why “the fairground of fear” is bringing such trouble to the village of Baychurch. He is such a snob and a hard-hearted man, and holds the good name of Whitland so high above all else that there is nothing and nobody he won’t destroy in order to uphold it. He is capable of wrecking the lives of innocent people, even those of his own family, just to uphold the name of Whitland. He ruined his own daughter’s marriage to Alan Barker by having Barker sent to prison on a false charge, just because he could not stand the thought of “that nobody” being part of the “great Whitland family”.

When Barker returns for revenge and clearing his name, Sir Edgar absolutely refuses to bow to Barker’s coercion to make a confession because he will not destroy the great name of Whitland. He even destroys the evidence that would have cleared Barker. He does not care squat that the village is suffering because of his refusal to confess or even when it puts the life of his adopted daughter/granddaughter Julie in danger. Instead, he abandons Julie to her fate and won’t make any confession to save her. All he cares about is the great name of Whitland. He does not even make any effort to help Julie. It’s no wonder Julie never wants to see him again after that. Sir Edgar Whitland is one of the most despicable characters ever to appear in Tammy. Not many Tammy villains would arouse the same repugnance that readers would have for this ruthless snob with a heart of stone.

9: Aunt Aggie

Story: Aunt Aggie

Creators: J Badesa (artist); Pat Mills (writer)

Tammy Villain Aggie

You know those serials about a girl who seems so sweet and angelic but in reality is a dirty schemer who takes advantage of people? Aunt Aggie is the adult version. Aunt Aggie is the star of a famous down to earth chat show and famous for her kind, generous personality and helping people. However, her adopted daughter Helen Gray knows all too well that off-screen, Aunt Aggie is a hard-hearted, selfish, scheming woman. She only gets involved in charity events in order to pull dirty tricks to turn the event to her own advantage. However, Helen always comes up with the answer to thwart those schemes of Aunt Aggie’s and give her would-be-victims the last laugh without them even realising it. Aunt Aggie was so popular that she even spawned her own competition where readers had to send in ideas of schemes of her to pull and Helen to foil.

8: The Crystal Aliens

Story: E.T. Estate

Creators: Guy Peeters (artist); Jake Adams (writer)

Tammy Villain AliensTammy Villain Aliens 2

Space aliens were not common villains in Tammy, but these gaseous crystal aliens are ones to dread far more than most alien invader serials. They are body snatchers who feed off the life forms they replicate (and keep trapped in their crystals). They spell doom for any planet they land on because they will continue to feed off all its life forms until the planet is stripped bare and all life on it becomes extinct. In other words, it’s genocide and mass extinction on a planet-wide scale. Then they will go back into outer space and drift for so many years until they find another suitable planet.

7: Bert

Story: It’s a Dog’s Life!

Creators: Phil Townsend (artist); Alison Christie (writer)

Tammy villain Bert

There aren’t many boy villains in girls’ comics, but this one is a worthy rarity for the villains list. The animal cruelty Bert (no last name given) is capable of is so sickening and brutal he goes straight into the Top 10 list.

Bert is being paid to mind a dog, Riley, as his owner is away so much. Now, you’d think that one look at this thuggish-looking boy should alert Riley’s owner as to what sort of carer Bert is and he would be wiser to take Riley to the kennels, but no. Bert’s list of cruelties against Riley include starving him, constantly kicking him like a football, putting him on a chain that is too short, no proper shelter, and having him pull a shopping trolley that is way too heavy for him. It’s a wonder Riley hasn’t died under Bert’s charge. It would not be at all surprising if Bert is also the worst bully in the school and notorious for beating up other children.

6: The Rotts

Story: Olympia Jones

Creators: Eduardo Feito (artist); Anne Digby (writer)

Tammy villain Rotts

Much of why Olympia Jones is such a well-remembered Tammy classic is due to its two villains: Mr Rott and his daughter Linda. In fact, it’s their scheming that gives the story far more excitement and thrills than Olympia’s quest to win an Olympic gold. Rott sacked Olympia for cruelty (brutal whippings) to one of his circus horses, Prince, when he knows very well his daughter Linda was the one responsible. He did it to cover up for Linda and worm his way out of trouble with animal welfare officer, Horace Phipps. The Rotts don’t mind when Olympia runs off with Prince afterwards because they have gotten a good exchange out of it.

But some time later the Rotts discover Olympia has turned Prince into an Olympic prospect, which makes him worth an even bigger fortune. Seeing their chance, the Rotts take advantage of Phipps, his animal welfare society, and then the police to get Prince back for them. They trick these poor mugs into laying false charges of horse theft and animal cruelty against Olympia, and she ends up in court. Poor Olympia looks done for because she has absolutely no case to offer against what the Rotts have concocted to destroy her. And Prince looks set to face the same cruelty yet again at the hands of the Rotts…

5: Miss Bigger

Story: Wee Sue

Creators: various artists and writers

Tammy Villain Bigger 2Tammy Villain Bigger

Bully teachers and old dragons cropped up regularly in school stories as teachers/headmistresses that readers just loved to hate. The best remembered and longest running of them all is Miss Bigger, the nemesis of Wee Sue. Miss Bigger is a real tartar of a teacher who specialises in “whacking great helping[s] of homework”. And the girls dread the moment when Miss Bigger is in a foul mood, for she will take it out on them. Miss Bigger is also vain, conniving, and forever trying to ingratiate herself with the higher levels in society and taking undeserved credit. She often ropes the girls into doing the donkey work in one of her grand schemes, of which she plans to profit from.

Miss Bigger’s biggest dislike is the smallest girl in her class, Sue Strong. Sue is always coming up with schemes to get the girls out of Miss Bigger’s monstrous amounts of homework or whatever she has lined up for them, and Miss Bigger finds it most infuriating that the midget’s brains are too mighty for her. Still, Miss Bigger is allowed to win now and then, and there are times when she and Sue both lose. There are also plenty of occasions when Miss Bigger finds herself in desperate need of Sue Strong when she is in a jam, or even outright danger. In fact, there are some stories where Miss Bigger and Sue are almost friends. It is a curious love-hate relationship between Miss Bigger and Sue, which is played for light relief and to delight the readers.

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