Category Archives: 1983

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.

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Tammy turns 12: 5 February 1983

Tammy 5 February 1983

Cover artist: John Armstrong

  • Romy’s Return (artist Juliana Buch, writer Charles Herring)
  • ET Estate (artist Guy Peeters, writer Jake Adams)
  • Bella (artist John Armstrong, writer Primrose Cumming)
  • Bridge of Heart’s Desire (artist Trini Tinturé) – complete story
  • In the Fourth at Trebizon (artist Diane Gabbot, writer Anne Digby) – first episode
  • The Witch Wind (artist Hugo D’Adderio) – complete story
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Nanny Young (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Maureen Spurgeon)
  • Cuckoo in the Nest (artist Tony Coleman, writer Ian Mennell)
  • Step Lively! (feature)

Tammy turns 12 this issue, and Bella is flying high on the cover to celebrate. Only the cover celebrates Tammy’s 12th birthday though; there isn’t so much as a competition inside to commemorate. This was Tammy’s last birthday issue. She did turn 13 (which was indeed an unlucky year for her, what with her untimely disappearance from a strike), but did not celebrate it.

What is perhaps given even more commemoration is the start of a new Trebizon adaptation. Anne Digby was one of Tammy’s best writers; her best-remembered story was “Olympia Jones”. So it is not surprising that Tammy ran several adaptations of Digby’s books.

Tammy reprints two Strange Stories as complete stories, replacing the Storyteller with less appealing text boxes. “Bridge of Heart’s Desire” appeared in June and was reprinted in Jinty as a Gypsy Rose story. A Jinty reader wrote in to say her school adapted the story for a play and the teacher was very impressed. Now it appears in Tammy, but not as a Strange Story per se. Liu is upset because the Mandarin won’t let her marry her betrothed. She is told to make a wish to marry her betrothed while crossing the Bridge of Heart’s Desire, but must not speak until she is across or there will be no wish. Does the wish get granted? In a very convoluted and surprising way it is, due to Liu indeed not speaking while on the bridge.

The other story, “The Witch Wind” has an infuriating mixed message about the persecution of suspected witches. It starts out with Widow Dorrity being accused of raising storms to wreck ships, using a magical device known as a witch rope. A lynch mob goes to Dorrity’s house while Sal, who has been raised to scorn such superstitions, tries to warn her. However, Dorrity says she’s too old to run and passes on her witch rope to Sal for safekeeping. So it seems Dorrity really does have the power the mob accused her of, yet Tammy still calls her an “unfortunate old woman” for being burned alive in her own house by the mob. As for the witch rope, it eventually destroys the Spanish Armada in 1588 – something Dorrity herself seemed to prophesise to Sal.

Bella’s in a Muslim country teaching gymnastics to royal princesses. Not surprisingly, this is offending conservative Muslims, the Queen among them. The Queen does not realise her brother Suliemen is taking advantage her opposition to Westernisation to overthrow her husband and make himself the Shah. As part of his plan he has framed Bella for stealing the sacred “Tears of the Prophet”, and this week Bella nearly walks into his trap to plant them directly on her.

The formula where a girl plays dirty tricks on a friend to keep her in the background and herself in the limelight has been used less often at IPC than DCT, but “Romy’s Return” is one of the cases where it has been. This is the penultimate episode of it all, where it looks like Linda’s tricks to sabotage Romy have pushed Romy to breaking point. She snaps and starts doing things she shouldn’t have and gets into terrible trouble at school. Then Linda hears a bombshell from Romy’s father that has her realise that her sabotage may have been far more damaging than she thought.

In “E.T. Estate”, the aliens try to silence Jenny when she tries to tell everyone that there are alien doubles taking over the estate. They needn’t have bothered; nobody’s listening and they just think Jenny’s crazy. As it is, the aliens’ attack puts Jenny in hospital.

Tess just won’t stop boasting about her synchro swimming. It’s not only getting on everyone’s nerves; it also costs her the allies who had helped her to get into the swim baths after the manager wrongly banned Pond Hill pupils for vandalism.

In Nanny’s latest job, her employer, the Honourable Lady Louise Fanshawe, could lose the estate she means to pass on to her great-niece, Matilda, because of mounting debts. She managed to stave off her creditors with a “poor old dying woman” act, but by the end of the episode it looks like they are still in danger of losing the estate.

“Cuckoo in the Nest” is one of the most bonkers stories ever to appear in girls’ comics. The protagonist is a boy! Moreover, Leslie (that’s his name) is a boy who has to disguise himself as a girl (how many times have you seen that in girls’ comics?). It’s for the sake of his uncle, who is trying to cover up that he used funds an aunt sent for boarding school fees to treat Leslie instead. To make things even more complicated, the aunt had the mistaken belief that her nephew was a niece and the school was for girls. Hence the (not very good) girl’s disguise, which the nosy Sarah Mullins discovered when the school broke up for holidays. Fortunately a measles quarantine has delayed Sarah’s return to school where she is just dying to tell everyone about their having a boy disguised as a girl. But of course the quarantine won’t last forever.

Tammy 9 April 1983

Tammy 9 April 1983

Cover artist: Santiago Hernandez

  • The Secret of Angel Smith (artist Juliana Buch, writer Jay Over)
  • It’s a Dog’s Life (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Bella (artist John Armstrong, writer Primrose Cumming)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi, (sub)writer Ian Mennell)
  • Spring into Summer! (artist Joe Collins, writer Maureen Spurgeon)
  • Nanny Young (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Tom Newland)
  • Princess and the Bear (artist Hugo D’Adderio, writer Chris Harris)
  • Pair Up for ‘Champions All’! – gymnastics freebie
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • ET Estate (artist Guy Peeters, writer Jake Adams)
  • Take-Away Fashion for Spring – feature

 

Tammy’s spring issue for 1983 immediately follows her Easter issue. It merits inclusion in our spread of Tammy Easter issues because of its colourful cheery cover, which is a very Easter-like cover with those cute little chicks and field full of daisies. It looks like one of the chicks is about to find out that bees are not for eating, though! Tammy also has a spring quiz. When she ran credits, we learnt it was Maureen Spurgeon who wrote the quizzes. She might have written Jinty’s quizzes too.

“It’s a Dog’s Life” and “E.T. Estate” are on their penultimate episodes. When Rowan runs away from the bullying with Riley, she finds the refuge she was aiming for is no longer available, and there’s nowhere else to go. Of course it is not long before the police catch up. It looks like back to the bullying for Riley and Rowan – or maybe not, as the final episode is next week. Meanwhile, other policemen are called in to investigate the goings-on at ET Estate, but the aliens quickly get rid of them with their hypnotic powers. Jenny and Dora are still tied up. Can nothing stop the aliens’ pod from reaching maturity? If it does, it will spell doom for all life on Earth, including the human race.

Abby, getting nowhere with her father over what she knows about “The Secret of Angel Smith” because he’s been led to believe it’s jealousy, decides to play Angel at her own game and act ruthless to get what she wants. Her plan is to force Dad to watch her on the trapeze and let her into the act – but then the trapeze snaps and Abby looks badly injured from the fall! Could Dad’s fears about losing Abby the way he lost his wife (from a trapeze fall) be prophetic after all?

This week’s Button Box tale is a sad, cautionary tale about seeking revenge without getting your facts straight first. So many revenge-seekers in girls’ comics have found out they had persecuted innocent people because they had misjudged them (or had been misled about them). And the girl in the tale (Ann Freeman) suffers for her error far more than they do. She has spent a whole year in shame, tears and guilt, and too ashamed to even write to the girl – her best friend – whom she had hurt so badly in her mistaken revenge. But it doesn’t sound like she has owned up or apologised to her friend, which is the first true step in the healing.

Bella discovers her Uncle Jed’s trick over the gym he had her believe he was renting for her when the gym owner finds her and kicks her out. (Oh, come on, Bella, you really should know have known better!) Sure enough, it was another of Jed’s schemes to make money out of Bella. Now there is a new mystery over the woman who owns the gym – she wears a mask. Bella is drawn back to her, and discovers the mysterious masked lady is a brilliant gymnast.

Nanny is still having problems over Barbara, who is jealous over her new baby brother because it seems that he’s stealing all attention from her. At least Nanny now fully understands the problem.

This week’s complete story is a cautionary tale about showing consideration to both animals and people. The officers of the Second Hussars do not heed Princess Elena’s advice to treat their soldiers considerately, as she does with the mascot bear that they mistreat. The soldiers mutiny in protest of their treatment, and when they take Elena prisoner, the bear repays her kindness by helping her escape.

In the new Pond Hill story, Goofy enters a film competition that requires a short documentary about your school. A film about Pond Hill? Now that sounds even more dramatic and problematic than a soap opera! Yep, it sure is. Goofy finds that even the stern Mr Gold goes gaga when he is in front of the camera!

Tammy 2 April 1983

Tammy 2 April 1983

Cover artist: Santiago Hernandez

  • The Secret of Angel Smith (artist Juliana Buch, writer Jay Over)
  • It’s a Dog’s Life (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Bella (artist John Armstrong, writer Primrose Cumming)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi, writer Alison Christie)
  • Strawberry Delight! Competition
  • Nanny Young (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Tom Newland)
  • The Crayzees (artist Joe Collins)
  • Thief by Night (artist Eduardo Feito) – complete story
  • Easter Bonnets – feature
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • ET Estate (artist Guy Peeters, writer Jake Adams)

The cover of this Tammy Easter issue has always had me craving for a yummy Easter egg.

But anyway, Wee Sue, Bessie Bunter and even the Storyteller have been dropped by this stage, so how does the issue commemorate Easter? There is a feature on how to make an Easter bonnet, Easter jokes, and Easter hijinks with the Crayzees. Miss T tries a spell to enlarge Easter eggs and thinks she’s succeeded, but finds that what she has really done is shrink herself and Edie so the Easter eggs just look big to them. And when she tries to reverse a spell, she ends up turning herself and Edie into giants, so now the eggs look like mini eggs to them.

You’d think there would be an Easter tale somewhere in “The Button Box”. Instead, it’s shades of “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” with the tale of “ ‘Tough Nut’ Tara”. New girl Tara is a hard case who snubs all offers of friendship. But when it’s her birthday she gives in. She admits to Bev that, like Stefa, she reacted badly to grief and tried to harden her heart so she would not be hurt that way again, but now she realises her mistake. Thank goodness tough nut Tara was not as hard to crack as Stefa!

The complete story slot could have been used for an Easter story. Instead, it’s a reprint of a Strange Story. By this time Tammy was running reprints of Strange Stories, but the Storyteller has been replaced with text boxes.

In the serials, Abby Fox can’t help but be jealous of Angel Smith, the girl who wants to enter the family’s trapeze act while Abby is excluded because Dad does not want to lose her the way he lost her mother. Now Abby suspects “The Secret of Angel Smith”, whatever that is, and Stalky the clown could help her there. But Stalky has oddly clammed up and Abby thinks it’s because the circus boss has been at him over it.

In “It’s a Dog’s Life”, Rowan Small is bullied in the children’s home, and the bullying she gets shares some parallels with the ill-treatment Riley the dog gets next door. Both Riley and Rowan have been making progress in striking back at their abusers, but this week the bullies bring in reinforcements, which trebles the bullying for both of them. Rowan decides it’s time to run away – with Riley in tow, of course.

Bella is so badly out of training that she has to go through the basic tests to get back into gymnastics. It’s a bit of a come-down for an ex-champion like her, but at least she gets through. But Bella should have known better than to believe her devious Uncle Jed would have genuinely been hiring the private gym he found for her. And in the final panel it looks like she is about to find out the hard way…

Nanny Young is in charge of a baby this time, and there are suspicious signs that his older sister Barbara is jealous of him. Nanny tries to reach out to Barbara while looking for the solution, but so far it’s evasive.

The current Pam of Pond Hill story concludes this week. Fortune-seekers have been out to steal Goofy’s inheritance from his great-aunt, which they believe is hidden in the doll’s house that was bequeathed to him. They tear the doll’s house to pieces to find it and leave in haste when they turn up empty. It turns out they didn’t look hard enough.

In “ET Estate”, the alien invaders finally catch up with Jenny and Dora. They hold them prisoner while explaining the next stage of their plan – which will make all life (humans included) on Earth extinct, just to keep them fed!

 

Princess II, #15, 31 December 1983

Princess 15 cover

  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos) – first episode
  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story)
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Enough to Make a Cat Laugh! (artist Phil Townsend) – complete story
  • Best of Friends… (photo story)
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

“Sheena and the Treetoppers” starts this issue and leads off the cover. Sheena and her siblings discover a tree house, and they are determined it’s going to be their secret.

Clare Thomas learns the full story of Arabella Hood, “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Arabella died before her time and ever since then she has been exercising her brilliance through other dancers. She targets mediocre dancers, which makes them easy to fall for her bait. But she just sees them as tools and cares nothing for their wellbeing, and they suffer for it.

In “Fairy Tale”, Angie and Jane have misadventures with a deaf genie who mishears their wishes (would somebody please wish this genie get a hearing aid!), get chased by a giant spider, and pick up the Frog Prince – only to find all the other frogs are yelling that they are the Frog Prince and the frog they have is an imposter.

What’s “Enough to Make a Cat Laugh!” is not funny for the two girls in the story. The girls fight over the cat because each believes she has a claim to the cat. They don’t realise that the cat, in true feline fashion, has been making two homes out of their houses. The cat settles the squabble by giving each girl one of her kittens, and they become firm friends.

In “Suzy and Snowdrop” a clue is dropped as to why Aunt Alice is so merciless in forcing Jane to ride, which will definitely be followed up later. Meanwhile, Aunt Alice forces Jane to enter a gymkhana although Jane is not up to standard, too frightened – and under too much pressure because everyone expects her to live up to the family’s reputation for top horsemanship. Definitely a recipe for disaster.

The “Best of Friends” are in danger of falling out because Katie sees Linda as coming between her and her best friend Lizzie. Or is she just being silly and jealous? Katie’s mum tries to talk to her about it and get her to patch things up, but the friendship remains on the rocks – and is getting even more rocky.

Sadie makes a New Year’s resolution to get up earlier so she can work earlier – much to the annoyance of the still-sleeping Grovel and Cook.

Princess II, #13, 17 December 1983

Princess 13 cover

 

  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story) – first episode
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch) – first episode
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • True Friends for Tansy – final episode
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story) – final episode
  • Cinders on Ice
  • Sadie-in-waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

I have come into a few more Princesses (thanks to Marc), so we continue with more Princess II entries.

Two stories begin and two stories end in this issue. On the cover is the beginning of Princess’s first (and last) ballet story, “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Clare Thomas lives for ballet and is shattered when she is told she has to leave ballet school because she’s not good enough. Then a mysterious ballerina appears and says she can make Clare as brilliant a dancer as she is – but how on earth can she do that?

In the other new story, “Fairy Tale”, Jane Graham and her horrible cousin Angie are whisked away to a fairy tale land where they find Sleeping Beauty. Angie’s response is to steal Sleeping Beauty’s necklace, which shows just how unsavoury she is. Then they find they are now trapped in this world.

The two stories that end are “True Friends for Tansy” and “Alice Spring is Missing!”. Tansy is now free to say that her dad is her friends’ favourite pop star. Her friends are proved genuine – and pinching themselves when they get royal box tickets to his concert. Alice Spring and Carrie finally get help against the kidnappers when the people they were trying to convince actually look into it instead of assuming it’s a joke. They also nab a pickpocket on the train into the bargain.

In the ice pantomime, Ella lands the starring role of Cinderella. The trouble is, the horrible family who abuse her are going to be watching the performance and find out her secret.

Suzy agrees to Aunt Alice’s deal to help Janet to ride because it will keep her near Snowdrop. But Janet is scared stiff of horses and refuses to ride, while her ruthless aunt keeps forcing her to do so because it’s the family tradition and has no sympathy for her problem whatsoever.

Poor Sadie wants to do Christmas shopping, but doesn’t get the chance because everyone else keeps lumbering her with their shopping lists.

Princess II, #12, 10 December 1983

Princess 12 cover

  • Cinders on Ice (artist unknown)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story) – final episode
  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey) – final episode
  • True Friends for Tansy
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story)
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes) – first episode
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

“Cinders on Ice” is the cover story this week. I can’t identify the artist. If anyone can from the cover above, it would be most appreciated. Ella is progressing so well at secret skating that she is going to take part in an ice panto. It’s “Cinderella on Ice”, and guess who’s got the role of Cinderella? Then disaster strikes when Mum unwittingly throws out Ella’s skates, and the dustman has just arrived.

“Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit”, the last remaining story from the first Princess lineup, comes to an end. They finally get the magic right and free Mr Evans from the spell that had turned him into a rabbit. After that the other loose ends get tied up for a completely happy ending – except when Mr Evans is served salad for hospital food, just when he thought he’d finally got away from lettuce. Its replacement next week is a ballet story, and it’s about time Princess had one too.

Princess starts a horse story this week, and it’s about time she had one of those too. Suzy Crandall returns from school camp to an unpleasant surprise – her favourite horse Snowdrop has been sold. When Suzy tracks Snowdrop down she finds he is being forced upon a terrified girl who is being forced to ride by her demanding aunt.

In the final episode of “Atchoo!”, Jenny has resorted to disguising herself as Hannah Hyde for the sake of her classmates after losing the power to actually change into Hannah. This leads to valuable and surprising lessons in self-confidence for Jenny, and she also gains friends and respect after they discover the disguise and assume Hannah was Jenny in disguise all along. Well, it’s not too far from the truth when you think about it.

In “True Friends for Tansy”, even Dad is getting sick of the deception he is putting Tansy through, but he is still not ready to let Tansy tell her friends whose daughter she is. Now those friends want to attend one of his concerts, which they end up doing by trying to sneak in – but security guards catch them.

Carrie and Alice finally manage to escape from the train – only to find the kidnappers right behind them!

Sadie and Cook have to be extra-nice to Grovel – nurse’s orders after he has too many accidents, which come from being the resident comic villain. But their uncharacteristic kindness takes Grovel so much by surprise that he faints, so the nurse has to *groan* tend to him yet again.

Princess II, #11, 3 December 1983

Princess 11 cover

  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio) – final episode
  • True Friends for Tansy (artist unknown)
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story)
  • Cinders on Ice (artist unknown)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

In our cover story, Jenny discovers the power of the formula has worn off. She can no longer change into Hannah Hyde when she sneezes, and there is no more of that formula. But the school needs Hannah Hyde at the netball match, so Jenny hits on a crazy, desperate idea – disguise herself as Hannah Hyde! She has the looks all right, but can she bring off the same confidence and prowess? We find out in the final episode next week.

Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit finally has the spell book to change him back into a man, but reversing the rabbit spell proves more complicated than anticipated. Something goes wrong and he grows to giant rabbit proportions!

Allgold’s exploitation of Grandfather comes to an end. Allgold reckons he’s wrung all he can out of the deteriorating old man who’s losing his power, so he’s only too happy to let Lizzie’s kindly rich lady buy Grandfather out. Allgold has no idea the power is about to pass to another – guess who?

The Murder on the Orient Express – sorry, kidnapping on the train to Scotland – continues in “Alice Spring is Missing”. The people in Alice’s compartment are still holding her prisoner, and she can’t convince anyone of what’s going on except one girl named Carrie, who actually sees what’s going on. The trouble is, Carrie can’t convince anyone else either and soon she’s being held prisoner too.

Princess Bee wants Sadie and Grovel to learn judo, and Grovel gets the flip. However, the judo instructor meets her match in Cook, who clonks her with a chop – a meat chop, that is.

Tansy grows fed up with living the lie and wants to come clean with her friends that her father’s a famous pop star, but Dad won’t allow it. So Tansy is still stuck with the deception she hates, which is causing more complications. And how much longer can she keep it up anyway?

Cinders on Ice manages to skate for help for the injured lady, Miss Thorburn. This has the unexpected but welcome reward of Miss Thorburn giving her free admission to the new skating rink – she’s the new owner – and proper coaching in skating. The trouble is, the two nasty girls Cinders is trying to keep the secret from are about to try out the rink.

Princess II, #10, 26 November 1983

Princess 10 cover

  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey)
  • True Friends for Tansy (artist unknown)
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story)
  • Cinders on Ice (artist unknown)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana pinup

I do not have Princess #9 (maybe one of these days), so I continue with #10.

Allgold finally succeeds in getting the Farthings into his power and milking Grandfather’s ability to talk to animals for all its worth. It’s taking its toll on Grandfather; he’s in such a state of collapse and giving up that he isn’t even trying to escape, though Lizzie sees a chance to do so. Then a trip to the soup kitchen gives Lizzie hope for an ally who could rescue them.

Mr Evans’ health is also taking a dangerous downturn. He was badly injured from a trap and now he’s developed a heart condition that he can only get treatment for if he is changed back into a man; as a rabbit the only treatment for him is euthanasia. Now they need the book of spells more than ever, so they are advertising for it, but where the *$!^%*!# is it? Jenny gets her answer when Dad gives it to her for a birthday present. So it was right under their noses the whole time. It would be!

Jenny’s power, which depends on sneezing, really makes things complicated for her this week, including getting into trouble in a supermarket. It’s either sneezing at the wrong moment or waiting ages for one. And that’s the problem Jenny is left with by the end of the episode. She is stuck outside the house as Hannah Hyde and has to wait for a sneeze to turn her back into Jenny. By the time that happens, Dad will probably have Scotland Yard out looking for her and ready to read out the riot act.

Concealing that her father’s a pop star is still causing problems for Tansy. Among them are friends who think she is open and honest with them, which makes her feel ashamed.

“Cinders on Ice” returns to the Cinderella story, which had been prevalent in IPC titles during the 1970s but had faded by the 1980s. In this case it is not relatives or stepparents who make a Cinderella out of our heroine but a nasty employer and her two daughters. Ella’s reaction to their cruelty is secretly teaching herself to skate and calling herself “Cinderella on Ice”. She has only just got the hang of skating when her first big test comes – skating to get help for a woman who has been in a car crash.

Alice Spring suspects the people she is travelling with on the train are up to no good. Yes, it’s a kidnapping plot, and they don’t do anything much to do it except blackmail Alice into going with them. No chloroform, gag or bonds in sight. She tries to slip a message for help, but the recipient does not believe it. First hope dashed.

Sadie in Waiting wonders why Grovel is not feeling the cold when the heating is busted, which is something he is normally the first to grumble about. The answer is soon revealed, and it backfires on him in the end, of course.

Princess II, #8, 12 November 1983

Princess 8 cover

  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez) – final episode
  • True Friends for Tansy (artist unknown) – first episode
  • Stairway to the Stars (photo story) – final episode
  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

 

This issue farewells two stories from Princess’s first lineup: “Ring of Feathers” and “Stairway to the Stars”. The pupils’ stage performance of course keeps the school open, but the euphoria fades a bit when the pupils learn the school exams are about to begin. Oh well, that’s part of any school. In “Ring of Feathers”, Cheryl manages to save the woods with the help of the ring and is also freed from her evil uncle, who is now in well-deserved trouble with the police.

New story “True Friends for Tansy” starts. Tansy Jones starts at a new school with a secret: she must not let anyone know her father is a famous pop star, otherwise she won’t know who her friends are. The trouble is, keeping the secret is interfering with friendships too and affecting Tansy’s popularity. I am having trouble identifying the artist. It looks a bit like John Johnston, but I am not sure. If anyone can help, it would be most appreciated.

Tansy panels

Jenny now realises she has grabbed the wrong rabbit, which messes up a ventriloquist performance she attempts to do. Meanwhile, Mr Evans breaks out of his cage and is now hiding in a hole, which could make it difficult for Jenny to find him again.

Grovel’s personality changes for the better after a bump on the head and he starts treating Sadie kindly. But of course it is too good to last. Sure enough, he returns to normal when Cook clonks him over the head with a frying pan.

Grandfather Farthing’s gift for communicating with animals exposes a groom who was mistreating horses and he is dismissed. But once the groom finds out Allgold is after them, he seizes his chance for revenge. Will this enable Allgold to capture the Farthings next week?

Jenny’s new double life as Hannah Hyde is bringing her the friends, popularity and confidence she had never known before. The trouble is, only sneezing can bring Hannah on, and you can’t just sneeze whenever you feel like it. Moreover, an unexpected sneeze can take Hannah away again, which can be at the worst possible moment. So this double life is proving very awkward for Jenny while her classmates are puzzled by the odd comings and goings of Hannah Hyde.