Aha! I said earlier that I didn’t have the first issue of Jinty, but in fact it was there, a purchase subsequent to the bulk acquisition I made in my twenties of four or five years of Jinty. I have had some delays at home in getting a working scanner connected and tested, but that is now sorted so I am able to catch up with some scanning that was previously impracticable for me. (Many thanks to other fans, particularly to site co-writer Mistyfan, who have been supplying some missing scans that I didn’t already have scanned previously.)
Stories in this issue:
- Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
- The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
- Gwen’s Stolen Glory (writer Alan Davidson)
- Make Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
- Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
- Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Rafart)
- The Jinx From St. Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
- The Snobs and the Scruffs
- Pony Parade 1: Sandy, Come Home!
- A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
- Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
- Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
- What’s Cooking? Cream of Carrot Soup, Cream of Corn Soup (recipes)
- Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
- Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: pencil box)
This first issue has the wide mix of stories that characterises girls’ comics generally at this period: humour strips and gag strips (“Dora Dogsbody”, “The Jinx From St Jonah’s”, “Do-It-Yourself Dot”, “The Snobs and the Scruffs”, and “Desert Island Daisy“), a couple of spooky stories (“The Haunting of Form 2B”, “Gail’s Indian Necklace“), a slave story (“Merry at Misery House“), a Cinderella story (“Make Believe Mandy“), a friendship story (“Angela’s Angels“), and a deception story (“Gwen’s Stolen Glory“). In fact the weighting given to humour and gag strips in this first episode is a bit overwhelming, and this is quite soon slimmed down so that only a couple of these items run each issue.
The focus on this blog is generally going to be on the stories; my main interest is in comics and that is what people tend to remember most. It would be remiss not to at least sketch out some of the non-comics material included in some issues, though; in this first issue there is an editorial page introducing the new “story-paper”, advertising the next issue’s free gift, and promising competitions with great prizes. From the beginning, there is a request for input from the readers as to the stories that will be included: “let us know the stories you like in Jinty – and any you don’t like, too!”
The featured competition promises that you can “win £1 a week pocket money for two whole years!” (Cover price for this weekly comic was 5p, so this would be a very generous prize). The challenge was to collect the first four issues of Jinty and to then decide which of the following six occasions would you wear each of the “super outfits” shown in those issues. (Occasions being a country ramble, a friend’s birthday party, a record session with your chums, your brother’s school open day, a pop concert, and a special shopping spree in a big city.)
In addition to the competition, there was also a single page text story (“Sandy, Come Home!” – labelled Pony Parade 1 – and a “Jinty’s Fun and Games” page with single-panel gags and, coin tricks, and so on. Further on there was a page with some “Well I Never” surprising facts and a recipe for making soup. The last page was dedicated to a “Jinty made it herself… so can you!” item. In future issues the text story was gradually phased out (returning sporadically); the other items were reasonably regular types of feature. Of course in this first issue there could be no letters page yet.
Altogether, it does feel like a very packed-out issue, if not yet showing the unique slant that made Jinty special to me and lots of other readers.