25 Things You May (or May Not) Have Noticed in Girls’ Comics: Volume 2

In our previous blog entry we listed 25 Things You May (or May Not) Have Noticed in Girls’ Comics. You know, the one that went:

“We have all noticed certain things in girls’ serials. Things about plot, character and setting that always seem to crop up and we comment on them a lot. Then again, there are other things about plot, character and setting that always crop up as well, but we hardly even notice them. At least, not until someone else points them out.”

But it doesn’t end at 25. Oh no, you wouldn’t expect that, would you? No, of course not! Now we present:

25 Things You May (or May Not) Have Noticed in Girls’ Comics: Volume 2

1: Parents fail to stand up for themselves at the worst moments… and with the worst consequences.

Down with St Desmonds 1
Image credit: “Down with St Desmond’s!”, Bunty 1977-78.

2: The lengths overprotective parents go to to protect their offspring are so ridiculous they’re laughable – yet the consequences are not.

Namby Pamby
Image credit: “Namby Pamby”, Tammy 1983.

3: If all else fails, bring in a deus ex machina to redeem the mess the protagonist is in.

Down with St Desmonds 2
Image credit: “Down with St Desmond’s”, Bunty 1977-78.

4: Protagonists making claims of harassment often turn out to be faking the whole thing…

Pam of Pond Hill 3
Image credit: “Pam of Pond Hill”, Tammy & Princess 1984.

5: … yet real harassment/ bullying often seems to go unnoticed by those in authority.

Tears of a Clown 1
Image credit: “Tears of a Clown”, Jinty 1980.

6: We are surprised if the school tries to sort out a bullying situation before the end of the story…

They Call Me a Coward
Image credit: “They Call Me a Coward!”, June 1971.

7: … but we aren’t at all surprised if they sort it out at the end of the story.

Pam of Pond Hill 2
Image credit: “Pam of Pond Hill”, Tammy 1983.

8: Schemers plotting to get rid of someone keep failing to do so, no matter how much they discredit them (except when they are required to temporarily succeed before being found out).

That Bad Bettina
Image credit: “That Bad Bettina!”, Mandy 1985.

9: Parents never listen to warnings that something weird’s about to strike the family.

The Sentinels 1
Image credit: “The Sentinels”, Misty 1978.

10: Guess who cops the worst of it.

The Sentinels 2
Image credit: “The Sentinels” Misty 1978.

11: We get lots of serials about World War II and fighting the Nazis – but it’s rare to see Hitler in any size, shape or form.

Worlds Apart 3
Image credit: “Worlds Apart”, Jinty 1981.

12: Bodging could have some pretty funny results.

Sharon's Shadow
Image credit: “Sharon’s Shadow”, Tammy annual 1983.

13:  For some reason we always know when parents have put the wrong person in charge of their daughter while they are away – yet the parent never realises it themselves before they put that person in charge. 

Tina's Telly Mum 1
Image credit: “Tina’s Telly Mum”, Tammy & Misty 1980.

14: Witches with pointy hats and broomsticks often seem to be played sympathetically or for humour…

Worlds Apart 4
Image credit: “Worlds Apart”, Jinty 1981.

15: … while witches who look like crones or beautiful but sinister women  are played for the chills.

Image credit: “The Painting”, Bunty 1989-90.

16: Ordinary antagonists aren’t killed off much.

Katie on Thin Ice 1
Image credit: “Katie on Thin Ice”, Tammy 1977.

17: Supernatural/ SF ones are.

Image credit: “Electra of the Evil Eye”, Bunty 1980.

18: We are very surprised if a parent problem is resolved by the daughter making her parent(s) simply see sense.

Image credit: “I’ll Never Forgive You!”, Bunty 1989.

19: We are not surprised when the parent(s) see sense after the daughter runs off or gets run over.

B&W World of Shirley Grey 2
Image credit: “The Black and White World of Shirley Grey”, Tammy 1981.

20: The only time the protagonist gets acquitted at trial is when her pal arrives at the very last minute with the evidence that will clear her.

Olympia Jones 1
Image credit: “Olympia Jones”, Tammy 1976-1977.

21: In regular strips, brothers are a pain in the ass.

Tansy of Jubilee Street
Image credit: “Tansy of Jubilee Street”, Tammy & Jinty, 1982.

22: It’s unusual to have a serial starring a plump/ plain protagonist outside of an “ugly duckling” serial…

Image credit: “Willa Will Dance”, Debbie 1974

23: … or a humour strip where the protagonist doesn’t give a s*** about the way she is!

Bessie Bunter
Image credit: “Bessie Bunter”, June.

24: People just say the protagonist is not right in the head when she tries to convince them of something…

End of the Line
Image credit: “End of the Line”, Misty 1978.

25: … but when she really is not right in the head they don’t realise it.

Waves of Fear 1
Image credit: “Waves of Fear”, Jinty 1979


2 thoughts on “25 Things You May (or May Not) Have Noticed in Girls’ Comics: Volume 2

  1. Regarding point 22, I can maybe offer one story with a plain heroine, Jinty’s “Too Old to Cry”, although I do find the ending a bit of a cop-out. After a lot of the story has been spent showing the heroine that she can be loved and respected despite her ugly looks, why is it necessary to “reward” her at the end with a tooth straightening job, which quite improbably seems to be enough to turn her into a beauty? As it adds nothing to the story, and devalues one of its main points, I can only think there was a failure of nerve by the editor when faced with a story that defied the usual “beautiful heroine” convention.

    I thought I might have a more light-hearted candidate in Bunty’s “Scatty Matty – The School’s Last Hope”, a story about a dumpy and rather homely girl whose schoolmates enter her for a Miss Rosebud competition as a joke, which she proceeds to win without acquiring any beauty or elegance along the way. However on second thoughts this story probably goes into the Bessie Bunter category, as Matty doesn’t really give two hoots what she looks like.

    1. Funny, that’s the second time you’ve commented on a number 22.

      Ok, I have modified number 22 a bit.

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