Tammy 26 August 1972

Belinda Black-Sheep (artist Mario Capaldi) – first episode

Miss High-an’-Mighty (artist Julio Bosch?)

The Lame Ballerina (artist P. Montero, writer Gerry Finley-Day?)

Lulu (cartoon)

The Uxdale Urchins (artist Eduardo Feito)

Swim for Your Life, Sari (artist Juan Garcia Quiros, writer Gerry Finley-Day?)

Skivers’ School (artist J. Badesa)

Dog Paddle Doris (artist Carlos Prunes, writer Maureen Spurgeon)

The Greek Girl (artist John Armstrong, writer Bill Harrington?) – first episode

Here Comes Trouble (artist Luis Bermejo)

Lonely Romy (artists Luis Bermejo and Miguel Quesada (inks))

No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon)

A Special Tammy Portrait – Don McLean

We come to 1972 in our Tammy August month round, and in this issue, two new stories start: “Belinda Black-Sheep” and “The Greek Girl”. Mario Capaldi, who went on to become one of the longest-standing stalwarts on the Tammy team, starts his first story for Tammy, “Belinda Black-Sheep”. Belinda McRea and her father become outcasts in their fishing village after Dad commits a seeming act of cowardice that led the deaths of his fellow fishermen in a storm. But did he really? Or did he lose his mind in some way and was not responsible for his actions? Or did something else happen? He seems to recall saving them, but he’s become so addled we don’t even know what to think, much know where to start working out what happened. 

In the second new story, “The Greek Girl”, Rose Banks has no confidence in herself, and it shows in her appearance (scruffy) and schoolwork (“appalling”). She wishes upon the statue of Penelope, the Greek goddess of confidence, to become more confident. (Incidentally, there really is a Greek goddess of confidence, but her name is Flaunta, and she is the second cousin of Aphrodite.) Soon after, a girl and a cat who are dead ringers for the goddess and her cat come into Rose’s life. Oops, is it the old “be careful what you wish for” again? Incidentally, this was one of the John Armstrong Tammy stories chosen for reprint in the Misty annuals, and a number of them were written by Bill Harrington.

Miss High-an’-Mighty, a spoiled, arrogant Victorian girl named Ursula Thorndike, has to be the hardest nut of all to crack in redemption stories. Bill Fletcher, a convict made good, is taking her on a tour to see how the other half live in the hopes it will change her. Ursula’s had to agree, as it is the only way to save her family from bankruptcy, but so far none of it is making any impression or improvement on her. 

Molly’s in a really complicated fix. She’s taken in an amnesic girl named Lorna, and then a Lady Lancton claims Lorna stole jewellery from her. Lorna is indeed scared shitless of Lady Lancton, but is it for that reason? Molly’s attempt to get Lorna’s side of things is soon putting her in danger.

In “Lonely Romy”, another Cinderella story, Romy hits the road after her spiteful stepsister frames her for stealing a watch. The truth is discovered later, but by this time Romy’s found a new venue for her paintings.

In “Here Comes Trouble”, the trouble for Mitzi Trouble comes from spiteful Katy Dennison. First Katy dopes her horse, and now she’s started a grass fire that’s raged out of control, just to get Mitzi into trouble, but it’s put lives in danger.

Girls’ comics often had some bizarre premises, and “Dog Paddle Doris” is one. Doris Farrell is making her name as…the best dog paddle swimmer around. Although it’s the only stroke she can do, she’s joined a swimming club and is competing in races, against girls who are doing freestyle. She even wins a freestyle event, but she was doing dog paddle, not freestyle. Aren’t there any grounds for disqualification here? 

“Swim for Your Life, Sari” is another swimming story, about a long-distance relay swimming race for Sari Marsh and her team. But Sari soon finds there is more danger than just the risks of the race – something sinister is afoot, and it looks suspiciously like the relay race is a setup for it.

Jill Hudson discovers Louisa “The Lame Ballerina” isn’t that lame, but thinks there’s a medical problem and wants to be friends. The truth is, Louisa is faking lameness to avoid the ballet she’s being pushed into, and now she sees a glorious opportunity to take advantage of Jill.

“Skivers’ School” looks like it’s riding on the success of “School for Snobs”. But instead of teaching snobs a lesson, the special school teaches ill-mannered girls to behave. Flo and Ethel Binns have been sent to it to learn how to be ladies. The hijinks have their skivvying backfiring on them and being foiled by the headmistress Miss Meake. We’re always left wondering as to whether Miss Meake does this without realising it or not, which is probably a running gag.

The Uxdale Urchins win the semi-finals despite problems along the way, but now there’s a real hurdle – the finals are in London, and they can’t afford a horse box.

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