Tag Archives: 1978

Jinty 4 November 1978

Cover 4 November 1978

Stories in this issue:

  • The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Gypsy Rose: Wicked Lady Melissa (artist Shirley Bellwood)
  • She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
  • Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)

Tina starts learning how to do some magic in this parallel world – she learns how to float an object with her mind. She tries it out on the hockey pitch but the results aren’t entirely positive – she loses control of the ball and it heads straight towards the headmistress, at speed!

Dorrie and Max are helped out by a passing war veteran who turns out to have been in the same regiment as their dad. He is very kind and feeds them at his own expense, but he can tell they are runaways – will he let the authorities know they are there?

Cherry lands in the water, trying to rescue her first press clipping that she was aiming to send home to her mother. Her aunt and family are less than kind, leaving her in wet clothing and making her work in all weathers. No wonder she comes down ill after that.

The Gypsy Rose story this week is clearly a reprint from an earlier title – Gypsy Rose is drawn in by another artist, in the chair where the Storyteller presumably sat. The in house artist who did this sort of work was called a bodger; this example is pretty well done, though Gypsy Rose’s face on the final panel is not quite as nicely done as it might be. In this story, wicked Lady Melissa possesses young Anthea once she starts using an old whip in order to play the ‘Georgian belle’ for a pageant.

The Carstairs family move into a small terraced house and start to get used to their changed circumstances. Lisa starts at a new school, but refuses to change her selfish ways: she won’t help her mother clean the house, she squeals like a baby when she gets a splinter in her finger at school, and she leaves school in a temper when she is prevented from playing on the school piano.

Last week, Fran served dandelion tea to all the staff at her school – or so she thought! Actually it had fermented and she was serving them all dandelion wine instead… ooops. The school governor, Colonel Wellington, was due to arrive any minute. How can Fran avoid him seeing everyone squiffy? The front cover of the comic gives a clue…

Shona encourages all the humans in hiding – her sister sends her a telepathic message showing her the way to a beautiful fertile valley where all can live in peace and safety.

Jinty 28 October 1978

Cover 28 October 1978

Stories in this issue:

  • The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Wild Rose (artist Jim Baikie) – last episode
  • She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith) – first episode
  • Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)

The cover image is drawn by Audrey Fawley – nice to see her in Jinty once again.

Tina is finding out how different the world she’s in, compared to the world she comes from. She loses a swimming match because magic is used to drain the pool; and in science class she is expected to learn how to turn base metal into gold! She realises that she is going to have to learn how to work some magic, pronto – but all the library books aimed at her age are far too advanced for her. She has to start learning magic from a book for 4-5 year olds…

Siblings Dorrie and Max are hiding out in an air raid shelter but have no food, and no ration books to get more. By the end of the episode, she has fainted with hunger and is lying in the snow!

“No Cheers for Cherry” is pretty depressing. She is being dreadfully exploited by her cousins and aunt; her uncle is a little better but again is basically out for what he can get – cheap labour and a talented actress in their drama troupe.

“Wild Rose” comes to an end – Rose finds out that the gypsy woman who had abandoned her all those years ago is really her mother, but to say so would be to cause unhappiness to the other baby in the switcheroo. Rose realises that her real happiness lies in going back to the family who brought her up – the circus family – and all ends well, because they have been scouring the area looking for her, too.

“She Shall Have Music” starts in this issue. It’s another redemption narrative, but of a considerably more unpleasant protagonist than Tina in “The Girl Who Never Was”. Lisa Carstairs is rich and a talented pianist – everyone in her life makes allowances for her because of those things, but she is also extremely spoilt and self-centred. In this first episode, her father loses all his money and everything is to be sold. Her reaction? “You’ve wrecked everything! Well, I’ll get my piano back somehow… and meanwhile I’ll make you pay for this day of misery!”

Shona is free from the alien circus ill-treatment, but has to find humans who she can live with. Even out here in the wilderness, they are hunted down by the Silent Death, as these humans call the telepathic aliens.

Jinty 21 October 1978

Cover 21 October 1978

Stories in this issue:

  • The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Wild Rose (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Clancy on Trial (artist Ron Lumsden) – last episode
  • Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)

The cover image on this issue is a memorable one – Mistyfan says it has stuck with her for years, since she first saw it. The colours are vivid and the picture of Fran as an Arabian ravin’ beauty could hardly be bettered! Poor Cherry is skivvying away – and to my mind, taking a back seat to dressed-up Fran, to boot.

Tina is finding out how the world that Salina landed her in differs from her own. Is it only this sorceress (or rather, Professor Salina PhD, Head of Sorcery Department at Benford University) who has mysterious powers? That’s what Tina persuades herself of, and with Salina out of sight, she thinks she has no very strong motive to mend her selfish ways. Cue complaints about her parallel universe parents’ cooking, and a forceful demand to have all the clothes and knick-knacks that she is used to back in her own world. At the start of the week, Tina is looking forward to starting school and showing everyone how much better she is than everyone else – but she is in for some nasty surprises, because everyone else is surprised ‘that new girl didn’t use any magic against Lindy when Lindy was swimming!’. What will she come up against in the next episode?

Dorrie and Max in “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” are stuck on a train that is blocked by snow – they entertain the passengers while the train is stopped, and earn their passage that way. The weather is against them as they continue their journey, and it is difficult to find shelter anywhere.

Cherry is being abused both emotionally and now physically – none of her family have thanked her for stepping in so successfully when her cousin wasn’t there for the play, and when a nosy parker Child Welfare officer starts asking questions, the family do a quick bunk. The aunt even slaps Cherry when she asks why they’re ‘rushing off like crooks’ and the smooth-talking uncle says ‘Your aunt didn’t mean to hurt you. She often lands our two a crack… forgot you weren’t one of our brood, y’see! Beginning to think of you as real family.’ What a lot of charmers!

“Wild Rose” hears the story of the mysterious gypsy lady – who turns out to be not her long-lost mother, but the mother of Susanne, the girl that Lady Vere thinks is her own daughter! How will this tangle be cleared up? Next week we are promised the ending of this story, so we will find out soon.

This is the last episode of “Clancy on Trial”. Her uncle, aunt, and cousin Sandra stand accused of trying to poison Clancy, and her parents are trying to keep them apart while the police come and take the accused away. The maker of the herbal tonic says she is sure nothing harmful is in it, as it all comes from her own garden – oh, apart from the odd bit taken from local hedgerows… and it turns out that this is the answer, and everyone is innocent. Things are back to how they were earlier, except that Clancy is determined that her grandfather should make her and Sandra joint heirs: ‘You made me your heir because you admired my courage in learning to walk again. But I didn’t do it alone. Sandra and I worked at it together, so you’ll have to make us joint heirs!’

Fran has disguised herself as an Arabian princess, complete with yashmak, to hide the fact that she still hasn’t managed to unstick her fake beard! But before she can sort that out, she is kidnapped by the guards sent by Sheik Abbis, who think she is Princess Natisha… Fran can always wriggle out of that sort of tight corner, though, with her skills at ventriloquy and perhaps more importantly her willingness to jump into the nearest duck pond to do a disappearing act. Luckily the duck pond turns out to be the answer to the beard glue, which the other bearded girls will be happy to learn! (Perhaps they won’t be so happy at having to jump into the pond, mind you.)

[Edited to add: at Mistyfan’s request, here are the pages from this week’s episode of Fran]

Fran the Fixer (with false beard) vs Sheikh Abbis. Jinty 21 October 1978.
Fran the Fixer (with false beard) vs Sheikh Abbis. Jinty 21 October 1978.

Fran the Fixer (with false beard) vs Sheikh Abbis. Jinty 21 October 1978.

Fran'll Fix It pg 3

Alley Cat is a light-hearted, light-weight gag strip that we don’t typically describe in these story posts. We have found out, via the Great News For All Readers blog, that the artist to credit is Rob Lee, so we will be indicating that from now on.

Shona is worried that she will soon die ‘on a planet millions of miles from home… and alone’! She has been rescued from the cruel circus but left in the harsh outlands and abandoned by the two-headed goat that has befriended her. Soon her friend returns, though, along with a whole herd – who cluster around her and warm her up. The herd leads her to another part of the outlands, where she can contact people who look human, like her. What will she find, once she makes that contact?

Jinty 23 September 1978

Cover 19780923

Stories in this issue:

  • Dance Into Darkness (artist Christine Ellingham unknown Concrete Surfer artist)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Alley Cat
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Wild Rose (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Clancy On Trial (artist Ron Lumsden)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)
  • 7 Steps To The Sisterhood (artist Ron Smith)

I dug out this issue in order to scan the Ron Smith artwork for Comics UK forum member Colcool007, who is writing an article about this artist for the Down The Tubes website. As I looked through it, I was really struck by the astounding quality of this run of Jinty – almost every story a memorable one that cried out for scanning and sharing.

Dance Into Darkness” is onto the penultimate episode. Della Benson, having gained her heart’s desire and found out the attached curse, is trying to pass it on by granting her schoolmate Winnie’s own wish – to have a friend. But when Della visits Winnie at home she realises that Winnie’s sister is blind too – the very curse that would be passed on by granting Winnie’s heart’s desire. Della is hard-hearted, but not as hard as that – she breaks the friendship instead. A trip to a cave system gives Della another chance – but will she be cold enough to take this final get out, or not?

In “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, orphan Dorrie Peters is looking after her little brother Max; they are both living in an abandoned pill-box while she plays the lead in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Her success in the play leads to complications as no-one is supposed to know that they are living by themselves: and horseplay by Max leads to further problems as he falls ill. Dorrie has to leave him alone in the pillbox while she goes off to do her job…

Stage-struck Cherry Campbell is living with her aunt and uncle as part of their travelling theatre, but there’s a lot she has to learn about the artistic temperament – or, more realistically, about the downright emotional abuse and exploitation that she is knee-deep in.  Yes, it’s a Cinderella story, with the addition of a theatre barge and some dreams of acting. No wonder they called it “No Cheers for Cherry”.

“Wild Rose” is a beautifully-drawn Jim Baikie story with a foundling brought up within a circus family – unlike “A Dream For Yvonne”, she loves the circus life but wants to find her real family. There are some great acrobatic sequences such as a dramatic tight-rope walking bit – a very solid sequence from Baikie.

When reading this period of Jinty, however, I am always particularly taken by the art and the story in “Clancy on Trial”. If I’m not wrong, Ron Lumsden only drew this one story for Jinty; stubborn Clancy is expected to be an invalid for the rest of her life after an accident, but she is so determined to exercise and get stronger that she does more and more, benefiting from the particular support of her cousin Sandra. Will the family relationship falter as Sandra feels that the resurgent Clancy is taking things away, not just gaining back what was lost? As this is an artist who is not much seen in Jinty, I attach the story pages from this issue.

Clancy on Trial pg 1 23 Sept 1978

Clancy on Trial pg 2 23 Sept 1978
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Clancy on Trial pg 3 23 Sept 1978
click thru

Regular Jinty artist Guy Peeters is here represented through the strong science fiction story “The Human Zoo” – one of the SF stories we haven’t talked about much on the blog, though it features cool elements such as alien abduction, telepathy, separated twins, and a barely-disguised animal rights agenda. In this episode Shona is about to be put down, turned into food!

Finally, the Ron Smith story “7 Steps to the Sisterhood” rounds off the issue. Shelley is suspecting everyone around her – there is a chance for her to unmask her secret enemy but it comes to nothing. And the next task she is given by her enemy could end up more dangerous than she expected, if the blurb for the next week’s episode is anything to go by…

Jinty 3 June 1978

Jinty 3 June 1978

Stories in this issue:

  • Concrete Surfer (writer Pat Mills)
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Knight and Day
  • Alley Cat
  • Clancy On Trial (artist Ron Lumsden)
  • The Zodiac Prince (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Slave of the Swan (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Cathy’s Casebook (artist Terry Aspin)

This issue has the penultimate episode of “Concrete Surfer”, with the dramatic skate-off between Jean and Carol. Jean’s chosen music is the Star Wars theme: ‘The music fills me with hope and determination!’.

In “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, Dorrie and Max enjoy a fantastic time at the panto, but then tragedy strikes as their mum is killed by a car in front of their eyes. This is a tear-jerker from the beginning.

I always rather enjoyed “Cathy’s Casebook”: Cathy tries to help Joe, a patient of her dad’s, by making sure the regulars at his café don’t miss out while he’s in hospital. One regular is a grumpy ingrate, but the others are suitable happy even if Cathy finds it all rather harder work than she’d anticipated! But in the last panel it turns out that there’s been a spate of food poisoning – could she have been responsible?!

Jinty 25 February 1978

Jinty 25 February 1978

This is the third consecutive issue I’ve posted in date order over the past few days: I wanted to get out an issue to show spooky story “Come Into My Parlour” but was so entranced by the covers of the issues after it that I then wanted to post them all. It’s a cover very of its time: I showed it to my brother yesterday and he said ‘is that from around 1978?’ without looking at the date itself. The skating gives it away of course, but yeah, he could identify it as precisely as that just from the cover.

“Concrete Surfer” is interesting in the way it’s written: protagonist Jean is actually pretty quiet in terms of how much she says out loud, but her inner monologue is sharp and rather bitter. Told by the advertising man to do some solo skating while smiling, she thinks to herself “I don’t feel like smiling at the moment, but I’ve got to, otherwise I don’t get paid…”. We don’t hear her accuse her cousin Carol of being the smarmy, spiteful girl that Jean thinks she really is, or not out loud, so for quite a long time it hangs in the balance as to whether Jean is right in her judgement of the world, because no crisis is caused by her blurting out something sudden.

Stories in this issue:

  • Concrete Surfer (writer Pat Mills, artist Christine Ellingham)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Two Mothers For Maggie (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat
  • Waking Nightmare! (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Zodiac Prince(artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Paula’s Puppets (artist Julian Vivas)
  • Shadow on the Fen (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Darling Clementine (artist Richard Neillands, writer Alison Christie)

 

Jinty 18 February 1978

Jinty 18 February 1978

Isn’t this a great cover combination! Beautifully full of art and colour, and I like the curved composition too. The contrast between light & fluffy, and dark & sinister, is also well-thought-out.

“The Zodiac Prince” is a rare story with a male protagonist. He is sent to Earth by his long-suffering father (the Zodiac King, of course) because he was too lazy to do his allotted job properly, namely handing out talents that should have been assigned at birth to girl children between certain dates. That means that his mission (whether he accepts it or no) is to belatedly give out talents to girls between 8 and 15. He does this, rather randomly I must say, with a whirl of his massive medallion; and as this is a humour strip he causes chaos on his way, with everything ending happily after the chaos subsides. Of course he has to have a human girl as sidekick; this is his friend Shrimp, who is one of the earliest victims of his chaos-causing and still puts up with him (while giving him a well-deserved ear-bashing on occasion too).

In contrast, “Shadow on the Fen” is a proper spooky spooky story. Linden James is a mopey teen who’s gone down in the world because of her dad’s illness; they had to move to a rural location and she misses her old friends and way of life. She wishes for a friend at the old wishing tree; a flash of light and someone who has far more serious problems appears: Rebecca has been whisked into the 20th century from the 17th, where / when she was running for her life from an angry mob who thought she was a witch. They were incited by her evil cousin, Matthew Hobley, ‘the Witchfinder’ – and it seems he may also have found a way to travel in time after his quarry!

“Two Mothers for Maggie” has no magic or fantasy elements: it is part kitchen-sink drama, part literal soap opera. Maggie Jones has got a part in a long-running tv soap and is tasting fame and fortune as a result; co-star and screen ‘mother’ Simone Keyes is mentoring and teaching her lots. It seems however that Simone may be trying to encourage Maggie away from her real family, with the best intentions in the world… but with no appreciation of those important ties. This is a stronger story than the wish-fulfilment “Jackie’s Two Lives“: at heart it is about inequality and injustice.

Stories in this issue:

  • Concrete Surfer (writer Pat Mills)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Two Mothers For Maggie (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat
  • Waking Nightmare! (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Zodiac Prince(artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Paula’s Puppets (artist Julian Vivas)
  • Shadow on the Fen (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Darling Clementine (artist Richard Neillands, writer Alison Christie)

Jinty 11 February 1978

Jinty 11 February 1978

Stories in this issue:

  • Come Into My Parlour (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Two Mothers For Maggie (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat
  • Waking Nightmare! (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Concrete Surfer (writer Pat Mills)
  • Paula’s Puppets (artist Julian Vivas)
  • Land of No Tears (artist Guy Peeters, writer Pat Mills)
  • Darling Clementine (artist Richard Neillands, writer Alison Christie)

Spooky story “Come Into My Parlour” finishes this week: it is a story of possession and witchcraft drawn atmospherically by Douglas Perry. The evil character in this story is an old witch, a real gruesome hag; next week sees a new story being drawn by the same artist but with the evil being supplied in by a witch-hunter, who is superficially smoother and sleeker, but just as menacing and villainous underneath.

Also finishing is “Land of No Tears“, the science fiction classic that was so popular a reprint was demanded. Pat Mills was clearly busy at this time, because out of the three or four stories he wrote for Jinty, two of them overlap in this issue: “Concrete Surfer” is not one covered in detail in this blog yet, though its time will come. It has great action art and a gung-ho message; a mixture of class warfare and daredevil skateboarding action. I wish I knew who the artist was!

Jinty 16 September 1978

Jinty 16 September 1978

We are now solidly into the era of covers based on images from the stories inside, combined in a fluid montage that to my mind produces some beautiful designs that have stood up well over the years.

Of the stories inside, particular note should perhaps be taken of “7 Steps To The Sisterhood”, one of the few Jinty stories with a diverse cast. The main protagonist is Shelley, a blonde, white girl but right by her side helping her to solve the mystery is her Indian friend Nirhani; the setting is an international school and many of the other characters are non-white, including (as it turns out) the eventually-unmasked villain. There is some stereotyping at work in this story but nevertheless it is considerably better than the invisibility or outright racism normally seen in weekly comics of this era.

Stories in this issue:

  • Dance Into Darkness
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Wild Rose (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Clancy On Trial (artist Ron Lumsden)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Alley Cat
  • 7 Steps To The Sisterhood (artist Ron Smith)

Jinty 25 March 1978

Jinty 25 March 1978

Yay! “Concrete Surfer” is in this issue. Written by Pat Mills, there is a clear streak of class antagonism running right through this tale of skateboarding and rivalry. I mostly like it for the amazing artwork – another unidentified artist at present, I believe. “Two Mothers for Maggie”, here on its last episode, is by easily-identified Jim Baikie; this is a tale of one of the established escape avenues from the working class (acting) and the stresses it brings to the lives of the rest of the family.

“The Zodiac Prince” is fun stuff but mostly notable for being one of the very few stories in all of girls’ comics where the protagonist is a male – and a dishy young man, at that. I guess it had to be played for laughs to make that departure from the norm work at all. In definite contrast we also have a real tale of good versus evil, “Shadow on the Fen”: Rebecca has travelled through time from the Puritan era while running away from her menacing witchfinder cousin, who is of course secretly an evil witch himself, while she is innocent.

Stories in this issue:

  • Concrete Surfer (writer Pat Mills)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Two Mothers For Maggie (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat
  • Waking Nightmare (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Zodiac Prince (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Paula’s Puppets (artist Julian Vivas)
  • Shadow on the Fen (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Darling Clementine (artist Richard Neillands, writer Alison Christie)