Category Archives: Issues

June & Pixie 22 December 1973

 

June cover

(Cover artist: Jim Baikie)

  • The Twin She Couldn’t Trust! (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • My Family, My Foes! (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • The Shepherd Boy (text story)
  • Lucky’s Living Doll (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Dark Destiny (artist A.E. Allen)
  • The Sea Urchins (artist Audrey Fawley, writer Linda Blake) – text story
  • Poochy – cartoon
  • Sylvie on a String (artist Tony Highmore)
  • Tell Us about It! (letters page)
  • Swim to Safety! (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Tilly’s Magic Tranny (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Are You a Sparkler? (quiz)
  • A Christmas Miracle (artist Jim Baikie) – complete story
  • School for Sports (artist Dudley Wynne)
  • Bessie Bunter
  • He’s Grown Up! (Neil Reid)

 

Christmas is coming, so we continue our tour of older titles with the June Christmas issue from 1973. This was the last Christmas issue June ever published. On 22 June 1974 she merged into Tammy. Several of the June artists would also join the Jinty team as regulars when it started in May 1974: Jim Baikie, Phil Gascoine and Phil Townsend. Carlos Freixas, Audrey Fawley and Robert MacGillivray, who were also regulars on the June team, would also feature on the Jinty team, but not as regulars. These artists were Jinty’s biggest legacy from June. Jinty would also inherit a number of reprints from June as well, such as Strange Stories repackaged as Gypsy Rose stories and Barracuda Bay.

June, who would go through a merger in six months’ time, is still going through her current merger with Pixie. Mini Ha-Ha, a cartoon about a Red Indian girl, is one that really carried over from Pixie, but would not join the Tammy & June merger. Bessie Bunter, who came from the School Friend merger, would continue in the merger with Tammy. So would The Strangest Stories Ever Told, though currently it is not running in June.

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Although the Storyteller is not running, the Christmas issue does have a spooky Christmas story by Jim Baikie. It is reproduced here for the benefit of Jim Baikie fans. Also reproduced here is the Bessie Bunter Christmas story, about a giant Christmas pudding. So giant you could fit people into it. And what’s this with goblins? It’s Christmas, not Halloween.

Also celebrating Christmas are Lucky’s Living Doll, two text stories and a quiz: Are You a Sparkler? The artist illustrating the quiz is the same artist who illustrated a number of Jinty’s quizzes.

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Rather than give the usual potted summaries of the picture stories in the issue, I have chosen to feature panels from them. This is to give an indication what our Jinty artists got up to in June before they joined the Jinty team five months later. This was a month before June folded.

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Girl (first series): 28 May 1960, Vol. 9, #22

Girl cover 28 May 1960

  • Susan of St. Bride’s in Relief Nurse (artists Ray Bailey and Phil Townsend, writer Ruth Adam)
  • Sharon Wylde the Girl with a Goal (artist Harry Linfield, writer Adrian Thomas)
  • The Slazenger Sports Girls (feature)
  • Wendy and Jinx in Ghosts at the Grange (artist Peter Kay, writer Stephen James)
  • Entertainment: the Royal Ballet
  • All in the Game! (competition)
  • Lettice Leefe: the Greenist Girl in School (cartoon)
  • The World of Animals (artist Tom Adams, writer George Cansdale)
  • Barbara Woodhouse and Her Pets (feature)
  • Angela in Africa (artist Dudley Pout, writer Betty Roland)
  • Belle of the Ballet: keeping the school going (artist Stanley Houghton, writer George Beardmore)
  • The Zoo Hospital (feature)
  • I’m Sorry I Was Born a Girl (writer Mary Tandy, a reader) – feature
  • New Rider at Clearwater (artist Bill Baker, writer Kathleen Peyton) – first episode, text story
  • Letters Page
  • What’s Cooking? With Carol and Chris (feature)
  • A Guide to Easier Dressmaking (feature)
  • Prisoners’ Friend: Elizabeth Fry (artist Gerald Haylock, writer Chad Varah)

In our latest instalment on older girls’ titles, we take a look at Girl (first series), not to be confused with the 1980s photo-comic of the same title. Girl was launched by Hulton Press on 2 November 1951 as a sister paper to Eagle, and its standards were glamorous. Many pages were in full colour, with the colouring rendered in a beautiful 3D effect, which must have been mouth-watering to the girls who saw the issues at the newsstands. Girls who could afford to buy Girl were the envy of those who had to settle for titles printed on cheaper newsprint.

Girl even ran credits for her stories, which her counterparts at DCT did not. And there is one that should be very familiar to Jinty readers: Phil Townsend.

It is surprising too that Girl not only had issue numbers but volume numbers as well. What the heck were the volume numbers for?

Oldhams Press took over Girl in 1959, and then IPC after Odhams’ merger in 1963. On 10 October 1964 Girl merged into Princess, which later became Princess Tina.

Girl I Wendy and Jinx

Not surprisingly, as Girl was founded by Rev. Marcus Morris (who also founded Eagle), it had an “educational” side with heroines involved in tales with a moral substance, including the heroines involved in adventures or scrapes. A considerable number of pages were also dedicated to real life tales of heroic women. An example, which begins here, is the story of Elizabeth Fry, which is told in serial form. This certainly brings the characters to life a whole lot more than simply telling Elizabeth’s bio with panels and dry text boxes. Plus we feel a whole lot more drama, emotion, thrills and empathy (or distaste) for the characters.

Girl I Elizabeth Fry

The educational side of Girl can also be seen in features like “The Zoo Hospital” and “The World of Animals”. Even so, Girl also had educational features on themes that remained equally popular in later titles. These include the Slazenger Sports Girls with sporting tips, A Guide to Easier Dressmaking, celebrity features (in this case Barbara Woodhouse) and What’s Cooking? The last one is unusual for having two guides, Carol and Chris, walking us through the recipe with panels and commentary as well as text containing instructions. This approach makes the cookery page a lot more fun and engaging to read than simply following a list of text instructions with accompanying diagrams.

Girl I Whats Cooking?

This week we have an unusual feature: a disgruntled reader writes on how she’s sorry she was born a girl (because in her view, boys have more fun, independence and adventure). The Editor invites other readers in to share their views on this topic, and the best one would be printed. We have to wonder if someone wrote in saying they wished they could be one of the heroines in the Girl serials. After all, they seem to have a lot of fun and adventure, ranging from treks in Africa to hospital drama. Or perhaps they wished to be the short-lived Kitty Hawke in Girl, who was considered too masculine and replaced by Wendy and Jinx, two girls at boarding school who, like The Silent Three or The Four Marys, are always getting into mysteries, adventures and thrills. Or maybe Lettice Leefe, the dopey girl in the regular cartoon.

Girl I Lettice Leefe

The stories had one to two page spreads. More often they were one page spreads.

In the other serials, Susan of St Bride’s is blaming herself for a patient’s condition, which is not improving. A woman who does not like her, and is clearly a nasty old bat, latches onto this and, together with the patient’s mother, starts proceedings against her. Plus she’s spreading all the gossip around the town. Susan’s stories were individually titled, as a subheading to the main title.

Sharon Wylde, who has ambitions to be a famous writer like her parents, writes a book. However, it does not cast a film producer in a favourable light and he’s taken the manuscript (accidentally). She sneaks into his office to get it back – and gets caught!

Girl 1 Sharon Wylde

Angela Wells, who has started a charter airline (something the short-lived Kitty Hawke tried to do with an all-female squad) in Africa, but develops a taste for adventure. While Angela’s friends have flown off seeking medical assistance for a sick woman the villagers suddenly run off in terror. The culprit turns out to be the lights from the plane bringing her friends back. The patient is soon on the mend, but then Angela feels faint. Is she the one falling sick now?

Girl I Angela in Africa

Belle of the Ballet has to find a way to save the school after a kidnapping causes scandal and pupils are withdrawn. Her solution: make a ballet out of the scandal to convince people they were not to blame for the affair. But they have to get it together fast.

In “New Rider at Clearwater”, unpleasant girl Stella is not pleased with the new pony at Clearwater Stables. The pony has given her a much-deserved humbling, but the look on her face tells protagonist Briony that she is not taking it lying down.

Girl I Belle of the Ballet

Princess Tina 27 May 1972

Princess Tina cover

Cover artist: Purita Campos

  • Stop ‘n’ Chat with the Tina Gang (writers Linda, Jeffy (Jennifer) and Horace) – feature
  • Patty’s World (artist Purita Campos, writer Phillip Douglas)
  • Clueless – the blunderdog (artist John Richardson)
  • No Swimming Allowed! (artist Santiago Hernandez)
  • Pop People (feature)
  • Princess Tina cookbook cover – feature
  • Briony Andrews (artist Rodrigo Comos) final episode
  • Ross – Student Nurse (artist Colin Merrett)
  • The Happy Days (artist Andrew Wilson, writer Jenny Butterworth)
  • Summer Line-up (feature)
  • Problem Pony (artist Edmond Ripoll)
  • Freedom Island (artist Juan Solé Puyal)
  • Fifty Tote Bags to Win! (competition)
  • Make this with Jeffy (real name Jennifer) – feature
  • Princess Tina Cook Book – feature
  • Flower Arranging – feature
  • Janey (writer Jemma) – text story
  • “Fire!” (by Horace) – text story
  • Jinny below Stairs (artist Julian Vivas)
  • Tina Aims for the Top! (artist Candido Ruiz Pueyo)
  • Tell us about it – letters page

We continue our exploration of older titles with a look at Princess Tina. Princess Tina started on 23 September 1967 by merging Princess (first series) and Tina. Well, it makes more sense than “Princess & Tina”. In 1973 Princess Tina merged into Pink (best remembered for Sugar Jones, the scheming celebrity you love to hate, though you have to love her for being a sex symbol). 

Princess Tina is a larger size than her contemporary sisters. Princess Tina is also striking for giving credit to some of her writers and her creative teams. These tend to be the writers who write features such as Jeffy (Jennifer), who puts up cut-out dress patterns and text stories, and Horace, writer of the Horace Scope (horror scope). Now that is a nice touch, showing a human face to the creative team. There are even photos of these writers attached to the features. Horace also took part in the artwork; Stop ‘n’ Chat says he painted the cover you can cut out for the Princess Tina cookbook (which has been removed from this copy).

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The Princess Tina covers were drawn by Purita Campos and featured happy girls doing very happy, everyday things; in this case they are eating watermelon. Many Princess Tina covers found their way into reprints on other covers, such as the Katy series and the Dutch Tina.

Princess Tina is best remembered for Patty’s World and The Happy Days. This particular issue is the last to feature Patty’s World in black-and-white. Next issue Patty is going to be produced in colour, “in all its shades from happy sunshine yellow to the blues”. Ooh, nice! In the story itself, Patty is looking forward to leading a majorette’s parade but has to cancel out because of a funeral. At least such a sombre thing should be out of the way in time for Patty to start enjoying her colour episodes.

Princess Tina 2

In “The Happy Days” Sue has to find a missing will but the dog has torn it up. Let’s hope the dog hasn’t eaten it too! At least trying to find the dog helps a man in trouble.

In this issue, John Richardson makes one of four appearances as filler artist for “Clueless – the Blunderdog”. The other dates Richardson drew Clueless are 22 April, 29 April and 15 July 1972. The Richardson artwork for Clueless in this issue appears below.

Princess Tina 7

“No Swimming Allowed!” is, as you might expect, an unreasonable ban on swimming. In this case it’s a headmistress imposing it on an entire school (because her fiancé drowned) instead of a parent or guardian imposing it on the protagonist. Of course the swimming continues in secret, with help from a surprising source: an aristocrat named Lady Squires. She and her husband have wangled it so the team will compete for the junior swimming trophy match, but the unpleasant head girl is suspicious.

Briony Andrews, a shy but good-natured girl who has elevated from “country mouse” to a confident model, finishes her story this week. But next week she starts another, “Designed for Danger”, so she must have been popular.

Jan Ross, a student nurse, is wrongly dismissed thanks to a forgetful nurse, Sister Mott. But now she finds Mott’s forgetfulness is having even more dangerous consequences: forgetting the warning that her car brakes are bust – and now she’s driving it!

Princess Tina 4

“Problem Pony” is such a problem that Hazel Green has run away with him. His problem is that nobody can ride him unless his dog pal, Dodger, is near him. Then, when Dodger runs off, problem pony does the same. This will most certainly mean he will gallop into trouble.

“Freedom Island” is home to a school where children of UN delegates can be free. All the same, one girl, Pauline, is unhappy and sets off – in shark-invested waters. Even after being rescued from all those sharks, Pauline just won’t say why she tried to run off.

Jinny below Stairs is a good-natured maid who agrees to help a fellow maid, Mary, hide her brother Bert, who is on the run from the police. But doing so gets her into trouble and she is now in danger of being sacked. Then there is even worse danger – Bert is forced to come up to the house and it looks like the horrible housekeeper is about to catch them all red-handed.

Princess Tina 5

In “Tina Aims for the Top!”, Tina has been ordered to find out why girls are leaving an office training course at Maire Castle. Tina suspects it is because the trainer, Fay Petrie, is up to tricks. Caught snooping in Fay’s office, Tina has no choice but to confront her with her suspicions. What is Fay going to say next week?

Pixie #4, 15 July 1972

Pixie cover

  • Marion of Sherwood
  • Rex Varney – Pixie Pin-up
  • Those Sums! (poem)
  • Looking after Egbert: A Story of the Happy Days (artist Andrew Wilson)
  • Giggles Galore! – cartoon
  • Doll Cut-out
  • The Secret Garden – adapted from the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett (artist Mike Hubbard?)
  • The Mikado – adaptation
  • Enid Blyton tells the story of The Naughtiest Girl in the School (artist Tony Highmore)
  • Puzzle Fun
  • Milly-Molly-Mandy (told and drawn by Joyce Lankester Brisley)
  • Gussie the Girl Guide and Her Good Deeds (cartoon)
  • A Story to Remember (text)
  • When Black Beauty Was Young
  • Mini Ha-Ha: Big Laughs with a Little Indian Girl – cartoon

A while ago we had a request to put up some entries on older girls’ titles if possible. So here we will take a look at one: Pixie. Pixie ran 24th June 1972 to 13th January 1973 (30 issues) and merged into June.

This is #4 of Pixie. Like Penny, she is meant for a younger audience. This is evidenced right from the cover, which has a very young cover girl. And the content inside is clearly meant for a younger readership. But there is no denying Pixie is much more gorgeous than Penny. She has so many colour pages and the artwork is eye-catching, whether it is serious or humorous. Some examples are posted in this entry. The young girls must have simply loved it and bought the issues for this reason alone.

It would have made them enjoy the adaptations far more and want to read the originals. Pixie put a high emphasis on adaptations. The ones here are Enid Blyton and The Naughtiest Girl in the School, The Secret Garden, Milly-Molly-Mandy, and The Mikado. Elizabeth Allen, the Naughtiest Girl in the School, is a spoiled girl who is trying to get herself expelled from boarding school. But things get awkward when Elizabeth finds the school is beginning to grow on her. Sounds like Elizabeth set the template for serials on problem girls who like to get expelled, such as “Amanda Must Not Be Expelled” and “Queen Rider” (both from Tammy).

 

Other stories were inspired by popular literature or folk tales, such as “When Black Beauty Was Young” and “Marion of Sherwood”. The artwork is amusingly cartoony in places and would not be out of place in a Disney animated feature.

We also have The Happy Days, possibly a Princess Tina reprint (update: information received indicates it was unlikely). At the dreaded dentist Sue reads about a missing dog in a magazine and then finds the dog. But then she realises she forgot to note the owner’s address from the magazine and it’s been thrown out! While trying to find the owner she leaves the dog in the house, and the yappy thing scares the wits out of her mother. Oh, dear.

Pixie 2

The text features should have amused the readers. One, “Those Sums”, is about a girl who struggles with maths (yep, many of us can relate to that). “A Story to Remember” would not be out of place in a book of fairy tales. A milkmaid is taking a jug of milk to market on her head, but gets caught in a dream about the riches it will make for her. It inflates her ego too much and she tosses her head, causing the milk to go for a burton. The moral it reminds her: don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

Pixie also had her share of cartoons. Mini Ha-Ha is one that enjoyed a good run in the June & Pixie merger until June merged with Tammy, but she might be considered a tad un-PC today.

Pixie 6

Tammy 21 January 1984

Tammy cover 21 January 1984

Cover artist: John Armstrong

  • Foul Play (artist John Armstrong, writer Ian Mennell)
  • Julie’s Jinx (artist Julian Vivas, writer Nick Allen)
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • The Crayzees (artist Joe Collins)
  • First Term at Trebizon (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Anne Digby)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi, writer Alison Christie, sub-writer Linda Stephenson)
  • Fashion Flashback – feature (Ray Mutimer)
  • My Terrible Twin (artist Juliana Buch)
  • Fun Time – feature
  • Swansea Jack (artist Douglas Perry, writer Linda Stephenson)
  • Queen Rider (artist Eduardo Feito, writer A. D. Langholm aka Alan Davidson)
  • Warm as Toast! Feature (Mari L’Anson)

The issue for 21 January 1984 has been chosen for 1984 in the conclusion to Tammy round robin.

Foul Play is unusual for being a non-Bella story drawn by John Armstrong. Katie Johnson received a serious hand injury during a hockey match. Her friends and family are convinced one of her own team mates deliberately caused it because they had always resented her. Katie doesn’t believe a word of it, but now someone is doing nasty things against the team. This week one gets her room vandalised and another gets her heart broken over a hoax call that her father was going to visit. Katie takes on the job of unravelling the mystery, and it must begin with the heartbreaking task of investigating her own friends and family as suspects.

My Terrible Twin is being reprinted by popular demand. The episode this week has already been discussed here, so we will move on.

In Pam of Pond Hill, a flu strain is causing chaos in town. It only seems to target the adults, which is giving the kids a bit of a free rein at home and school. But it’s not all fun for Pam. Cherry Laurence, the big-headed bully bossyboots who was unwisely appointed as a prefect, has now been put in charge of her form!

Tammy had always been running TV and book adaptations but now she is running two at once: The First Term at Trebizon and Queen Rider. Both the authors are former writers for IPC girls’ titles.

This week’s Button Box tale is a rags-to-riches story that centres on the Mexican art of dressing fleas. Swansea Jack, probably the last story Douglas Perry drew for Tammy, gives us the story of Swansea Jack, the dog who gave his name to a tavern by saving the lives of children at the docks of Swansea.

Julie Lee (who keeps her Romany background secret) gives her friend Gloria a Romany charm, but her horse has been acting strangely ever since. A nasty girl is spreading a rumour it is a bad luck charm. Julie is trying to find a way to deal with the problem quietly while not knowing what to make of it herself. Is the gift really “Julie’s Jinx”?

Tammy 23 April 1983

ITammy cover 23 April 1983

  • Bella (artist John Armstrong, writer Primrose Cumming)
  • Different Strokes – first episode (artist Santiago Hernandez, writer Charles Herring)
  • Nanny Young (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Tom Newland)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi, writer Alison Christie)
  • This is Your Road to Fame! – Quiz (artist John Johnston, writer Maureen Spurgeon)
  • Menace from the Moor – complete story (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Fame at Last! (artist Tony Coleman, writer Marianne Nichols)
  • The Secret of Angel Smith (artist Juliana Buch, writer Jay Over)
  • Make Your Own Container Gardens – feature (Chris Lloyd)

 

April 23 1983 has been selected for 1983 in Tammy round robin. Fame is big in this issue because of the Fame gifts attached. Tammy accompanies the Fame theme with a “Fame” quiz and the complete story “Fame at Last!” Kirsty Brown’s school is having a talent contest but she does not think she is talented at anything. But helping the other contestants gets her a special prize and they tell her she has a gift after all – for starmaking. Maybe Kirsty will become an acting agent when she leaves school?

The issue reprints “Menace from the Moor”, a recycled Strange Story. At this stage in Tammy’s run we get recycled Strange Stories where boring text boxes and drawn-in panels replace the Storyteller and his dialogue.

In new story “Different Strokes”, when teacher hears new girls Jacintha and Samantha Carwen are twins she is dismayed, as that usually means trouble. It does, but not in the way she thinks. The twins are as different as chalk and cheese. The only thing they share is an intense sibling rivalry, and they squabble and bicker all the time. Next door neighbour, Tracy Maine, who befriends the twins, is caught in the middle, and she soon suspects there is a mystery attached to the twins’ rivalry as well.

Bella keeps her savings in her suitcase instead of banking them, saying she does not understand “cheques and things” (insufficient education), despite warnings it is not wise to keep her savings like that. But at the end of the episode she pays the price when a burglar breaks in and her savings are stolen. Well, you were warned, Bella.

Goofy has been having enormous difficulty in shooting a film of Pond Hill for a competition. But now he is well out of it when the school bully vandalises his camera.

Nanny Young has been having problems with a young girl, Barbara, who is jealous of her new baby brother. But in this episode she hits on the solution: get Barbara to take an interest in the baby by allowing her to help with minding him.

In this week’s Button Box tale, Lily hates wearing button boots. Then she encounters a crippled girl who changes her mind about them; she realises she is lucky to be able to wear them because she can walk.

“The Secret of Angel Smith” was Tammy’s last circus story. Abby Fox has always resented Angel Smith, the girl who pushed her way into her father’s trapeze act while Dad won’t allow Abby in it because he does not want to lose Abby the way he lost his wife. Abby has ended up in hospital because of it all, but ironically it is Angel who talks Abby into getting fit again, saying she is going to find a way to help her into the act. When Abby gets back to the circus, she discovers this means taking advantage of Dad being absent on an international tour.

Tammy & Jinty 27 March 1982

Tammy cover 27 March 1982

  • Bella (artist John Armstrong)
  • Danger Dog (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • The Crayzees (artist Joe Collins)
  • Dance of Death – the Strange Story (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Little Sisters (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Nanny Young (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Bessie Bunter – Old Friends
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters, writer Malcolm Shaw)
  • Sandy – A Fresh Start… (artist Juliana Buch)

 

Bella is in the finals for the Superkid Contest, and will receive advanced coaching if she wins. But she has problems with the press sniffing around her and then being asked to sign a form endorsing Superkid products. The trouble is, she has never used them and can’t in honesty sign the form.

This issue has one of my favourite Pond Hill episodes: the episode that concludes the St Dorrit’s storyline, and it appears below. Pam’s form has been temporarily housed at St Dorrit’s, a super-snob school, when Pond Hill’s foundations collapse. But from beginning to end the snob school, staff and pupils alike, did not make the Pond Hill pupils welcome and did everything possible to make their lives miserable and uncomfortable. In the conclusion, Pond Hill reopens and Pam & Co get their long-awaited revenge on St Dorrit’s. Mind you, I still can’t figure out how the snobs actually fell for the trick Fred and Terry pulled on them. Maybe they can’t either.

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When Misty merged with Tammy, Strange Stories changed to “Strange Stories from the Mists” with the Storyteller alternating with Misty in narrating them. After the Jinty merger it went back to Strange Stories, with the Storyteller alternating with Gypsy Rose. It was a total delight to see that the Gypsy Rose stories during this run were 100% new material; no tired reprints from Jinty or recycled Strange Stories. This one, “Dance of Death” (or should that be “Dance with Death”?) is so creepy and atmospheric that I can’t help wondering if it was originally scripted for Misty. Anyway, the story is worth reproducing here for the Hugo D’Adderio artwork.

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It is part two of “The Human Zoo” reprint, brought about by popular demand. Presumably this included “Pam’s Poll” way back in 1980. Shona and Jenny Lewis, plus other captured people, find out what it is like to be Mary Celeste when they fall into the clutches of the aliens who are hinted to be responsible for Mary Celeste. The aliens think humans are just animals – and they treat animals like animals too. They take them away from Earth to the cattle market on their home planet. For Shona and Jenny it is extra anguish as they get sold to different owners, and are forcibly separated. Now it’s not just survival and escape but also finding each other again.

In Nanny Young, Nanny is not deemed suitable for turning Cockney girl Charity Ogden into a refined young lady. Though Nanny still has her job, the task of refining Charity has been given to a Miss Hooper, who is a real bully. But that’s only the start; Charity overhears a conversation that warns her Miss Hooper is some sort of criminal, but she can’t even convince Nanny of this.

In “Little Sisters”, gran complains that she’s hard up. Inspired by the loss of her own tooth, dear little Samantha comes up with an idea that might help: give gran’s false teeth to the Tooth Fairy in exchange for money. The trouble is, she does not advise anyone first, and gran’s in a flap when her teeth go missing. But that’s nothing on big sister Carol, who is assigned the role of Tooth Fairy to Samantha. She gets the false teeth on her arm and screams the house down!

Bessie Bunter is not keen on a cross country run until she hears that there is a feast waiting at the other end. All of a sudden she’s off at breakneck speed. Of course there are difficulties along the way, including Bessie getting stuck in an oak tree and mist arising, but she ends up saving a driver from a nasty accident. This makes the feast even more of a reward for her.

Crunch time for Beth, who is trying to keep her dog Sammy hidden from the authorities, who suspect he is contaminated from a laboratory experiment. Beth didn’t believe it, but now she finally realises it is true: Sammy causes all sorts of weird effects in humans who get too close to him for too long. He is a danger dog after all.

In the Sandy Rawlings stories, Dad has a long history of causing complications for Sandy by shoving her towards boys he thinks are suitable for her instead of giving her freedom to try things out for herself. To make things worse, his choice of ‘suitable’ boyfriends are directed by his snobbishness and business contacts, not compatibility or what Sandy wants. In this episode, it leads to such a horrible tangle of complications (no going into details) that Sandy is not only in deep trouble with Dad but with the whole school as well. Sandy, who has only just got out of being the school outcast (also because of Dad), is now the school outcast again.

Tammy & Misty 26 January 1980

Tammy cover 26 January 1980

Cover artist: John Richardson

  • Bella (artist John Armstrong)
  • Cindy of Swan Lake (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Sister in the Shadows (artist Giorgio Giorgetti)
  • Spider Woman (artist Jaume Raumeu)
  • Wee Sue (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • The Witch in the Window – Strange Story from the Mists (artist Tony Higham)
  • Miss T (artist Joe Collins)
  • Make the Headlines, Hannah! (artist Tony Coleman) – final episode
  • Daughter of the Desert (Mario Capaldi)

Part two of the Tammy & Misty merger has been chosen for 1980 in the Tammy round robin. For the second – and last time – Misty shares the cover with the Cover Girls. Afterwards the cover returned to the Cover Girls and Misty never occupied a cover spot again. Poor Misty.

To further commemorate the merger, next week we are getting the House of Mystery game, where we become one of our favourite Tammy characters (Molly, Sue, Bessie or Bella) and try to escape from the House of Mystery. Which Tammy character would you pick for this game? Misty readers would probably go for Sue or Bella as they haven’t seen Molly or Bessie yet in the merger.

Tammy is working on clearing out her older stories so she can make way for the new ones she has already indicated are waiting in the wings. “Make the Headlines, Hannah!” finishes this week. Hannah not only succeeds in making a name for herself at long last but also gets on television. Funny – the possibility of appearing on television was something she fantasised about way back in part 1. And it wasn’t for the money her Uncle promised as her mean sisters thought. It was winning respect and proving to everyone she was not a born loser.

“Daughter of the Desert” looks like it is heading for its conclusion. The episode itself says as much: the protagonists reckon everything is coming to a head and they are about to find out why the school has been plagued by strange desert phenomena ever since the Arabian princess Aysha arrived. What makes them think that? The mystery “Arab” behind it has cut off the water’s school supply for 24 hours and now they are all going as dry as the desert.

“Cindy of Swan Lake” still has longer to go, though its conclusion can’t be far off either. Jealous Zoe Martin is still playing on Cindy Grey’s worries about her sick swan, who is dying from pollution. This week she allows Cindy to get the lead in Swan Lake. Why? She calculated Cindy would get too upset at doing the Dance of the Dying Swan in it to continue with the role and she would get it, and she was right…oh for #^%@’s sake! Will someone please tell the Tammy editor the Dance of the Dying Swan is not in Swan Lake? It’s a separate solo dance!

Like Hannah, Wendy the “Sister in the Shadows” is overshadowed by a successful sister (Stella) and trying to prove herself against comparisons, bullies, lack of self esteem and sabotage. This week, Wendy’s debut is on stage is a disaster because of nasty tricks from the bullies, but there is insult to injury as well. Wendy’s parents totally forgot to come and watch her, but as far as they are concerned, Stella phoning to say she might visit for the weekend (which she doesn’t) was far more important anyway. Not exactly making things up to Wendy for letting her down, are they? From this, we can see Hannah definitely had it easy compared to Wendy in proving herself and winning respect. And at least Hannah had some friends to help. Wendy has none at all.

Bella has a long history of getting stranded in foreign countries. She’s only two episodes into her new story and it’s happening again: she is stranded in the US, trying to win a championship to qualify for the Olympics, but her wealthy guardians fail to show up. They abruptly cancel and don’t even send a message to Bella to explain why or arrange help. Now this is really irresponsible, even if something bad happened to them back there. They’ve really left her in the lurch and Bella is not getting much help from the coaches either. It’s no wonder she gets off to a bad start when the event gets underway. The vault, which was never her strong point, is already down – in flames.

Spider Woman has discovered witnesses have stumbled onto her evil plan. To deal with them she strands them on a deserted island that used to be a leper colony. Too late they discover it was a trap. And they have to live in rundown huts. As if that weren’t bad enough, the former occupants were the lepers and there are rumours their ghosts still haunt the huts. Then they discover the boat Mrs Webb used to bring them to the island is now covered with spiders, so there is no getting off the island with it. But what about Mrs Webb herself? Where has she got to? Did she get off the island on another boat…or what?

In Wee Sue, it’s charity fundraising time at Milltown Comprehensive. Sue’s idea is bash up one of the old bangers from the council tip and see who can guess the correct number of parts. Of course Miss Bigger and Wee Sue get into all sorts of scrapes towing the old banger to the event, but they do foil bank robbers with it before finally getting it to the banger-bashing ceremony.

In Strange Story from the Mists, the Witch in the Window makes a profitable living out of causing bad luck to girls unless they give her money. She meets her match in one girl and flies off in a rage. But beware – there are plenty of other girls in the windows out there for her to take her revenge out on.

 

 

 

 

 

Tammy 20 January 1979

Tammy cover 20 January 1979

Cover artist: John Richardson

  • Mouse (artist Maria Dembilio)
  • One Girl and Her Dog… (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • My Terrible Twin (artist Juliana Buch)
  • Edie the Ed’s Niece (artist Joe Collins)
  • Thursday’s Child (artist Juan Solé, writer Pat Mills) – first episode
  • Bessie Bunter
  • Molly Mills and the Haunted Hall (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Menace from the Moor – Strange Story (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • The Moon Stallion – television adaptation (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Wee Sue (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • The Upper Crust (artist Giorgio Giorgetti)

 

Time for the 1979 issue in our Tammy round robin, and the issue chosen is 20 January 1979. It is three weeks into (at the time) the New Year, so naturally Tammy’s January issues are focused on new stories and clearing out old ones to make way for more new ones. The New Year also continues Tammy’s adaptation of the TV serial “The Moon Stallion”.

Bella is not part of the new lineup for the New Year though. When her story does start we learn that she’s been sailing home to Britain all the while.

We sense “The Upper Crust” is heading for its conclusion. Snobbish Mavis Blunt, of a snobbish neighbourhood, has had her nose put out of joint ever since the Carrington-Crusts moved in. She also suspects they are not all they appear to be. Now Mavis and her father suspect the Carrington-Crusts are criminals and set a trap for them, which appears to prove their suspicions. Or does it? We find out, in what we suspect is the final episode, next week.

“One Girl and Her Dog” looks like it is on its penultimate episode too. Kim Robinson and her dog Rumpus have finally caught up with Harry Whelkes, the man who has been hired to stop them claiming their inheritance in London. As a matter of fact, it’s brought the force of an entire circus down on Harry!

The circus also features in Wee Sue. Sue wants to go to the circus, but having no money, tries odd jobs there. The trouble is, two scheming girls from school have the same idea and are making sure she doesn’t get anything. They almost succeed, but the clowns decide Sue’s size will make her ideal for their act, and Sue gets the last laugh on those schemers.

“Thursday’s Child”, written by Pat Mills, starts today. It went on to become one of Tammy’s most popular stories and best-remembered classics. Life has always been good to Thursday Brown – but the splash panel on the first page tells us that will only be until she meets “the stranger” and her tears begin. And who might this stranger be? It’s the girl who mysteriously shows up in Thursday’s bed the night she starts using the family Union Jack as her bedspread. Looks like Thursday should have paid more attention to her mother’s misgivings about using the flag that way. Not to mention the strange red stuff that comes out when the flag is washed – it feels like blood. Is this a clue as to the reason why Mum was so unnerved?

“Mouse” and “My Terrible Twin”, the first Tammy stories to start in the New Year, take dramatic plot developments. Mary “Mouse” Malloway learns the reason for her strange, stranger-wary upbringing is her mother’s fears she will become the victim of an international child abduction at the hands of her estranged Sicilian father (the marriage soured because of the tyrannical mother-in-law). In the same episode, Mum’s fears come true. The father succeeds in catching up to Mary, abducts her, and is dragging her off to Sicily.

“My Terrible Twin” (Lindy) is on parole from a remand home after a shoplifting conviction and getting into a bad crowd. Her fraternal twin Moira is desperate to help her reform, which the remand home didn’t have much success in doing. However, Lindy gets off to a bad start in stealing lipsticks from the store Moira sets her up in. In this episode Lindy quietly returns them, settles into her job, and things seem to be going better. But there are clear bumps: Lindy has little sense of responsibility, and she is vain, conceited, which makes an enemy out of another employee, Helen. But that’s nothing compared to the real problem Lindy is now facing – her old crowd turn up and make trouble! Incidentally, My Terrible Twin was so popular she spawned a sequel, and her first story was reprinted by popular demand in 1984.

In the Strange Story, “Menace from the Moor”, Dad is trying to start a market garden business, but a horse from the moor keeps turning up and trampling all over his plants. It does not take long to realise there is something strange about the horse. It is getting in despite fencing, seems to just vanish, only appears on moonlit nights, and has a missing shoe. Could there be a link to the horseshoe in the house? Which, by the way, is hanging the wrong way up – the bad luck position.

Molly’s new story is “the Haunted Hall”, but it’s not really haunted. Molly is trying to hide her kid brother Billy in the hall while the family see to a sick relative. But Molly will lose her job if she is found out. Naturally, Billy’s high spirits make it hard to conceal him. His antics, plus ghost stories, are getting Pickering wound up about the hall being haunted. Pickering always did have a track history for being haunted, whether the ghost is real or fake.

Don’t talk to Bessie Bunter about birds this week! Mary Moldsworth tries to encourage Bessie to share her food with birds. But all poor Bessie gets out of it is bird bother and unfair lines.