Stories in this issue:
- The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
- Seeing Stars: Donny (pin-up: Donny Osmond)
- The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
- Gwen’s Stolen Glory
- Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
- Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
- What’s Cooking? Ham and Cheese Savoury, Flenjes (recipes)
- Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
- Pony Parade 7 – Crusader’s Strange Catch (text story)
- Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
- The Snobs and the Scruffs
- A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
- Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
- Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
- Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
- Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: flowered headband)
The relatively-serious Jinx story continues, still at the same rate of four pages in this issue. I guess it was seen as a proper lead story at this point, not simply an amusing aside. New girl Karen has been revealed as faking an injury to get out of swimming, which means that Katie is in the clear (her chums thought she’d injured Karen herself). But Katie starts to feel sorry for Karen, and sure that there is some reason behind the way she is acting. Various pratfalls later, Katie sees Karen crying in the school grounds, and trying to burn her old swimming costume. “I can’t stand it! I’ll never swim again! And nobody will ever understand! There’s nobody I can tell about it!” This last page of art, in particular, is classic Capaldi and beautifully done, whereas the cover page once again shows signs of collaborative work with someone who doesn’t do faces quite as beautifully.
In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, the sinister teacher Miss Thistlewick and her Victorian-influenced pupils become a little more sympathetic and vulnerable – the pupils are disturbed and saddened by the hostile reception they’re getting from their classmates, who think it is all a put-on and a bad joke. Miss Thistlewick offers a class trip as a prize for the best essay – on life in Victorian times, which the unaffected pupils tell her is very unfair! But the teacher’s aloof attitude is disturbed when a photo is taken of her alongside the affected pupils – she doesn’t at all want to included. The reason is obvious once it is developed – with no sign of Miss Thistlewick! Protagonist Judy hopes this will be the proof she can show to others (but in vain of course).
I said that the previous episode of “Merry at Misery House” was starting to show the divide-and-rule attitude beloved by repressive regimes. Merry finds out that no one is speaking to her because the warders have threatened dire punishment to anyone who does so. Her spirit is nearly cracked by this removal of her friends’ support – but not quite.