Tag Archives: Always Together

Jinty 15 February 1975

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi and Mike White)
  • Tricia’s Tragedy – first episode (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (unknown artist – Merry; writer Terence Magee)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Prisoners of Paradise Island (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Jinty Made It Yourself – So Can You! (feature)

This issue is very close to Valentine’s Day, and so it features Katie Jinks receiving an appropriate heart-shaped card. What she doesn’t know is that her friends Liz and Sue are playing a trick on her – but as they soon find out, putting Katie into a romantic daze “means she’s a danger to life and limb! Our lives and our limbs!” How true – Katie jinxes her friends’ attempts to get a date for the Valentine Dance that night, while she herself gets an invite from the dishy lifeguard. Heh heh.

This issue has the first episode of “Tricia’s Tragedy“, following hard on the heels of the previous week’s final episode of the Alan Davidson-written “Jackie’s Two Lives“. It is seems pretty typical that a story by one artist / writer combination is often followed by another story from the same team, so while we do not have any definite indication that this story was also written by Alan Davidson, it seems a good likely hint. Tricia starts off the story by training in the local quarry pool because her family is too poor to use the public baths very often. We are told that if she can manage to win the Lloyd Trophy, then everything could change for her family.  But in the same few pages, her chance to continue using the quarry pool is dashed, by a complaint from the rich side of the family.

Merry is puzzled because someone else is playing practical tricks on the wardens in the reformatory – but they are tricks that go too far and will rebound on the joker. Of course everyone thinks it’s Merry who’s doing it while she knows it’s someone else – but who would have the nerve to do it, and why? Whatever the reasons, it spells trouble for Merry.

Kat is playing horrible tricks on Mouse but she is a careful and thorough worker, so all the ‘accidentally on purpose’ slips that Kat makes are undone by Mouse. The task that Mouse is trying to accomplish is to wash some expensive theatrical costumes, and it all goes off so well that Kat is driven to a desperate step to blacken Mouse’s name. She tries to chuck the hamper in a rubbish truck – but instead puts herself in the path of a passing motorbike, and hurts her leg badly!

Sally Tuff’s hockey team try to leave Paradise Island – they are not exactly prisoners, but they are tricked into staying as Miss Lush fools them into thinking that it doesn’t matter how little they train and how much they eat or drink – they are unbeatable no matter what! Sally knows different, but will she be able to do something about it?

It’s Beth’s birthday in “Always Together…” – as a small girl who doesn’t understand death, she is expecting her mother to come and give her a present, or at least to send her a card. Her brother and sister are working hard to make it a lovely birthday for her, as much as they can… but an unexpected visitor drops the bombshell that makes little Beth believe that her mother truly is dead. It is enough of a shock for her to fall down in a faint. Will the truth kill her, as her sister believes it might?

The girl in the mirror has Mia forging a number of letters, but this time in a good cause – she ends up clearing the Major’s name. Mia has also been noticed as someone who is pretty enough to make a living as a model – we are told this will lead to amazing developments later.

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Jinty 21 September 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Jackie’s Two Lives (artist Ana Rodriguez, writer Alan Davidson)
  • Wenna the Witch (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Jinty Made It Herself… so can you! (craft feature)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • The Hostess with the Mostest (artist Stanley Houghton)
  • Left-Out Linda (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Wild Horse Summer
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

I have been on a bit of a hiatus recently due to a very busy patch at work and some achy wrists from too much typing. Things have now settled down on both fronts so hopefully I will be able to ease myself back into blogging – and of course Mistyfan has been keeping things going on the blog with a recent focus on stories published in other titles and issues of other titles too.

This is issue 20 of Jinty and it feels quite thick and substantial – on counting the pages, it seems this was still running at a 40 page length at this point. There’s certainly quite a lot in it – the Katie Jinx story is a four-pager which continues a short story arc about Katie learning how to do hypnotism. She’s not quite as successful as she thinks she is being, because her school chums are fooling her by pretending to be hypnotized! But can she hypnotize a charging prize porker before it flattens her? I suspect not!

In “Jackie’s Two Lives“, Jackie meets Mrs Mandell for the first time. Of course she has to lie to her family in order to do that. That is only the tip of the iceberg, as Mrs Mandell starts to manipulate her further. It sounds so innocuous but it will all end badly, as we know.

Wenna is being persecuted as a witch – her local friends are being prevented from seeing her by their prejudiced parents. In fact the whole class of her year have been kept away from school – very cruel! Not surprisingly, Wenna takes this as a cue to run away.

The family in “Always Together…‘ are already runaways – elder sister Jilly is shocked to read in the paper that the water they have been using in cooking is polluted and likely to make them ill. Indeed, they all end up coming down with something. Jilly bravely keeps things going but once they are better there are the continuing challenges of before. How will they get enough money to eat and sustain themselves? Jilly’s talent for sketching will hopefully help but that might not be enough, because the little family are still not very strong and healthy.

In “Jinty Made It Herself” the reader is advised on how to adapt an old jumper into a different piece of clothing such as a tank top.

Linda is feeling very left-out in the story of the same name. Her mother has remarried and she has a step-sister, which rather spikes Linda’s plan of being expelled from school so that she can hang out with her mother and be as close as they were before everything changed. Step-sister Lorette seems rather nice and is certainly trying hard to be friends but Linda is having none of it. What’s more, when she does try to make amends by cooking tea, it all seems to go wrong and she is unhappier than ever.

Merry at Misery House is unhappy because her parents are suffering money troubles due to her father being taken ill. The other reformatory girls come up with a plan to earn a bit of cash that Merry can send off home. Unfortunately the way they earn it involves exposing themselves to illness, and soon the whole of Misery House starts to come down with virulent influenza. Yikes, that’s a real killer.

Daphne of “Wild Horse Summer” is made to go out picking sloes with the other orphanage children – everyone’s being very kind but all Daphne wants to do is to see the splendid white horse that she is secretly making friends with. On her ride, though, she spots that the farmhouse is on fire, with no-one left there to put it out! Her secret will be out but she has to alert everyone.

Finally, “Angela’s Angels” features a daring rescue from a crashed light plane – nurse Sharon rescues her hero, Neil Crosby, a tennis star. Fat lot of thanks she gets from him when he realises that he is paralysed and may never be able to walk again! There are lots of anguished faces in the beautiful art by Leo Davy.

Jinty #40, 1 March 1975

Cover 1 March 1975

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mike White)
  • Tricia’s Tragedy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terry Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Prisoners of Paradise Island (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Hostess with the Mostest
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie) – last episode
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)

Katie fools a pony-napping gang in the cover story – there are some crooks who are stealing away the foals of some wild ponies and selling them to a nearby pony riding school. You’d think the school would soon spot that the ponies are wild, but the crooks tell them that ‘they’ll soon settle down’! Well, luckily Katie has hitched a couple of rides – first on one of the mother ponies trekking after her stolen baby, and then in the truck taking the ponies away. So she soon foils the plans, and is a hero to the neighbourhood.

Tricia’s tragedy takes place in this issue – cousin Diana dives too close to Tricia when she is in the pool, and the next thing Tricia knows, Diana seems stunned… unconscious! and when she wakes up, suddenly the cousin has been struck blind.

In Merry at Misery House, she is trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of the sinister figure – the joker who is turning the place upside down, but only at times when Merry is blamed for the pranks! But at last the prankster gets Miss Ball dismissed as deputy warden – and Merry finally gets a clue as to what is happening. We are promised that she will be unmasking the joker – next week.

The Kat and Mouse Game” is nearing its climax. Mouse is still dancing Kat’s part and letting her take the credit, but is hurt because Kat doesn’t seem to be acting like a real friend and taking any interest in Mouse’s small dance solo. The scheming Kat plots to sabotage even this small triumph – but we can tell that it will rebound on her, one way or another. The sample page on the story post shows you what happens in the following week’s episode…

The Prisoners of Paradise Island aren’t yet seeing through the luxury trap that Miss Lush has set for the hockey team. Sally Tuff has managed to get out a radio message to Miss Granley, their sports mistress – will she be the saving grace?

It is the last episode of Always Together…. Little sister Beth is desperately ill but all is sorted out in the final few pages – even to the extent of restoring the lost mother and the family home!

Finally, in “Slave of the Mirror“, Mia is still being manipulated by the mirror at the times when she feels most resentful for her sister’s bossy ways. But nice old Major Rose has build Mia a beach hut that she can escape to when she feels stressed out. She does so, and prepares to go for a dip – unaware that she is being watched by two men. Are they sinister stalkers such as we would expect them to be nowadays, or far more benign?

Jinty 8 February 1975

jinty-cover-8-february-1975

Stories in this issue:

 

This week Katie’s torn between getting her own back on a horror who keeps plaguing her with practical jokes and sticking to her New Year’s resolution of being nice to people. Katie’s jinxing turns out to be the perfect compromise.

Speaking of practical jokes, they are the order of the day in this week’s episode of “Merry at Misery House”. Merry has turned to pranking Miss Ball. Then another practical joke is pulled on Miss Ball – but it isn’t Merry! What’s going on here?

It’s the final episode of “Jackie’s Two Lives”. History threatens to repeat itself for the obsessive mother who hasn’t learned her lesson from the last time she drove her daughter too hard to win the Princedale Trophy. Next week, Jackie will be replaced by another Ana Rodriguez story, “Tricia’s Tragedy”. Jinty sure liked to keep her artists in business. As with Jackie, “Tricia’s Tragedy” sounds like it has a rich vs poor basis, and there’s a trophy at stake again.

Sally seems to have succumbed to the old adage, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. Actually, it’s another scheme to bring the “Prisoners of Paradise Island” to their senses. And it works! But will it last, or will the devious Miss Lush come up with another ploy to ruin them as hockey players?

Bird-Girl Brenda is given an ostrich egg and thinks it is a most appropriate gift for her. But perhaps it isn’t so appropriate when she starts having odd dreams about the egg.

The latest trick forced upon “Slave of the Mirror” destroys the reputation of an innocent man. But – surprise, surprise – the face in the mirror breaks down in tears when she hears what she’s done to the man! Maybe the spirit has a better side to her nature after all?

Kat definitely does not have a better side to her nature though. She’s playing nasty tricks on both Mouse and the juniors that Mouse has taken under her wing. Then she’s trying to ruin their costumes, while still trying to find a way to get Mouse expelled. All the while she still expects Mouse to do all her chores and cover for her in the role of the Tiger in the ballet show. What a nerve!

Dot is inspired to play Indians this week, which brings heap big trouble on her. Heap big angry croquet players play her at her own game and stake her out on lawn.

Ma Siddons has been so much more nasty than usual that Dora has walked out with the dogs. They’ve now taken refuge on a farm, where hijinks are ensuing between the dogs and the donkey. Things get even more hilarious when the Siddonses catch up and try to take the dogs back.

A Canadian offers to adopt the children in “Always Together”, but Beth won’t budge because she believes they should wait for their mother.

 

Jinty 30 November 1974

Jinty cover 30 November 1974
Jinty cover 30 November 1974.
  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mike White)
  • Jackie’s Two Lives (artist Ana Rodriguez, writer Alan Davidson)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terry Magee)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Wild Horse Summer – last episode
  • Calling All Overseas Readers! – competition
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • The Hostess with the Mostest
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

In this issue, Jinty addresses a common gripe from overseas readers – not being able to enter Jinty competitions (because they were several months behind British readers as Jinty was brought out by ship). Jinty has started a competition especially for overseas readers.

Katie’s still out sleuthing to clear her father’s name. But her latest suspects look like real thugs! On the other hand, maybe we should feel sorry for them with the Jinx on their tail.

It is the final episode of “Wild Horse Summer”. Jed’s hatred for the white mare has been asking for serious repercussions from the beginning, and now he gets it – he has accidentally hit Daphne while trying to shoot the mare! He is so upset that he packs his bags. But his action also has positive results that wrap up the story. Its replacement next week is Jinty’s first Trini Tinturé story, “Prisoners of Paradise Island”.

Riches again lure Jackie to carry on with Mrs Mandell as her fake daughter, despite all the warning signs that this woman is clearly mentally unbalanced and danger is imminent. She turns her back on her own family even more now – and not even Mum’s birthday turns her around again.

A stray dog is alleviating the misery at Misery House for the girls, who have adopted him as a pet. But the prison authorities are not having that and are out to crush it. Miss Ball tries to shoot the dog, and then she and fink Adolfa try to slip him some poisoned meat.

Mouse just seems to be getting even more gullible at readily she falls for Kat’s tricks. Kat has tricked Mouse into being her nursemaid, and then she gives Mouse bad advice in order to trick her into dancing badly for an exam.

Ma Siddons wants to put a dog down because she thinks it is savage. When the previous owner from the circus tries to put her straight, she doesn’t listen, so it’s up to Dora’s quick wits to save the dog.

In “Always Together”, a bad accident with fire has given Beth a fear of it, which means the children have to find another way to keep warm in freezing weather. And then a new headmaster bans Johnny and other gypsies from the school because he hates gypsies. Jeepers, aren’t there laws against such discrimination?

“The Slave of the Mirror” has thrown the mirror over the cliff, but it pops back again to force her to cause more trouble at Scully House. Now it’s making her steal money, and she’ll be in even more hot water if she’s caught next week.

Always Together… (1974-75)

Sample images

1 March 1975 - final episode

1 March 1975 - final episode
click thru
1 March 1975 - final episode
click thru

Publication: 27 July 1974 – 1 March 1975 (29 episodes)
Artist: Phil Townsend
Writer: Alison Christie

Translations/reprints: translated into Greek and published in Manina; translated into Dutch and published in Tina.

Synopsis

The story starts with Nell Harvey burying her husband; her 12 year old daughter Jill stands alongside her at the funeral to support her in this grim time. Over the years, Nell works hard at all jobs that come her way, to fulfill her dead husband’s dream of buying a home for them all to live in together. But the constant working at all the job possibilities that comes her way is too much. She disappears, and isn’t seen again for several days – until the local news report that the body of a woman has been found in the river, a woman answering to Nell’s description! The kids have no other relatives and so Jilly, now age 15, is put in the position of primary carer – if the authorities will let her, of course.

Their life in the shadows begins once they realise that the cottage that their mum had put a deposit on is too expensive for them to keep up the payments on, given that their only income would be a paper round or similar odd jobs. Of course they want to stick together – bearing in mind their mother’s prophetic last words to Jill the morning that she disappeared. The question for the rest of the serial is whether they will be able to do this. Firstly they go back to their old lodgings as squatters (the council won’t put them on the list for a council house as they are too young) but it doesn’t take long before a local bully informs the social workers about them. And of course if they are taken into care, it means splitting them up – Jilly, Beth and Johnny all into different children’s homes…

As soon as she turns 16, Jilly is determined to leave school, get a job, and to do what she can for her little family. Presents and treats for them bought with her wages only twist the knife further in the wound when she has to go at the end of the visit. It’s not long before she chucks in her job and comes to get the kids so that they can all run away together – where at least they can be a family again. It does mean living in a cave – a cave that Jilly remembers from stories that their dad told her about, from when he stayed in it many years previously.

At first it is hard for the kids to adjust, and of course there are lots of difficulties to overcome – the weather, finding food, getting money. They find friends – an artist who gives them a meal and sympathy. But if it’s not one thing it’s another – the stream near the cave turns out to be polluted, the kids are chased away from a nearby village for being “thievin’ gypsies”, and Beth still thinks their mother is only “away” rather than drowned and never coming back.

On the plus side, Jilly develops her skill at sketching and starts to sell charcoal drawings at the market, which brings in money – and they make friends with the local gypsies, which means that Johnny can go to the local school, disguised as one of them. But winter is coming and outdoor living is only going to get harder… It’s not the only danger, as Beth has one accident after another (living in a cave is hardly as safe as houses! first she falls down a quarry and later on she gets too close to the fire and is burned!). There are also close shaves with the authorities, who they are constantly afraid of being caught by. There are plenty of strokes of luck – rather implausibly on occasion (for instance the headmaster who bans all the gypsies from the local school, including Johnny of course, until Jilly accidentally knocks the headmaster over with an old pram, saving his life from a large brick that dropped down at just the right time…).

When they meet a local nosey reporter who wants to use them as a human interest story, it seems the game may be up. They manage to outsmart him, but the next challenge is Christmas – which they manage to make much more festive than is entirely likely. It’s a heartwarming sight nevertheless, to see them feasting and making merry in their “little stone palace”, still managing to stay together!

The village sees a visitor who may be positive or negative for them – it is an old friend of their father’s, come to visit his childhood haunts. The little family save him from the inclement weather and grow closer as a result. Close enough that the family friend even offers to take them home – he and his wife have never had children and have always longed to. Could this be a fairy-tale ending? In some stories, yes; but in this one, little Beth has never-ending faith that her mummy will still come home for her – and so the family must stay, for her sake.

Not long after, it comes to an even more heart-tugging ending. Beth is desperately ill and unresponsive to treatment, but a nurse recognizes Beth’s face from a sketch kept by a patient in a local convalescent home. The patient in question lives in a daze and initially doesn’t recognize them, but Jilly and Johnny recognize her – it is indeed their mother! And once she sees little Beth, all is well again.

Thoughts

This is the first Phil Townsend artwork published in Jinty, and it is likewise the first Alison Christie story in these pages too. The combination of these two creators working on heart-tugging stories was clearly popular from the start – this one ran for much longer than the other comparable serials with clear start and end points, such as “Make-Believe Mandy” and “Gwen’s Stolen Glory”. It never had the most prominent position in the story paper – first or second story or a cover spot – but then during most of this period Katie Jinx claimed the lead spot by right.

The tear-jerking element is very effective; by the end of the story even I was ready to wipe away a tear or two. The characters struggle with extreme poverty and the things that often come with it – ill-health, envy at others’ possessions, irregular schooling and even irregular heating and eating. The threat of official condemnation and sanctions is always close, with officialdom breathing down their necks. The length of the story suggests to me that it probably was spun out a little longer than it might otherwise have been, due to its popularity – I think some of the accidents towards the end are arguably a little forced and may betray a story that was getting a little over-stretched. Having said that, I think this is probably also an impression received from reading the whole story in one sitting, which is not the experience that the original readers would have had of the story on first publication. I wonder if any of the reprints or translations trimmed the length of it at all?

I quibble with the ending. Is it realistic that the mother should have been lying in a convalescent home for all that time, only to be found just at the right point to save little Beth’s life? Well, no – not that realism is the be-all and the end-all, I appreciate, but I do feel it stretches credulity a little far. The decision to turn down an adoption into the possible new life in Canada is pretty poignant though, and that could not have worked without another, happier ending just round the corner, so I can certainly see the point of the eventual ending.

There is quite a bit of overlap with “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, which was written and drawn by the same team some years later (published in 1978-79). “Rainbow” is also very long (36 episodes, so even longer than “Always Together…”). The orphaned family in the later story is not quite as large – there are two children rather than three, and the eldest is not as old as Jilly’s sixteen – but once again their father dies off-camera and their mother is shown much more close-up (though not for long), and the children decide they must keep together come what may. There are also more adventures in the latter story, partly due to the wartime setting and partly because the children do more travelling – from England to Scotland. The scenes where the protagonists squat in a pillbox during the depths of winter are particularly reminiscent of similar wintry scenes in “Always Together…”, though. To my mind, “Rainbow” has the slight edge on “Always Together…” in terms of giving us an ending that is both neater and (slightly) more plausible. I realise however that may just be because I have more childhood memories of reading the later story, and living it as it happened.

Jinty 23 November 1974

Jinty cover 23 November 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx from St. Jonah’s (artist Mike White)
  • Jackie’s Two Lives (artist Ana Rodriguez, writer Alan Davidson)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terry Magee)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Wild Horse Summer (artist and writer unknown)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

Katie Jinks is trying to help her dad with his interview for a new job, but of course jinxes it all over the place! The real problem though is that her dad’s reputation has been blackened by the way he lost his last job, leaving Katie furious and desperate to clear his name.

Jackie Lester is finding out more and more how Mrs Mandell will drive her cruelly and without regard for safety. In Misery House, stray dog Mr Nobody is looking out for Merry’s safety but will that work for long, or will he be destroyed, as per the Warden’s orders?

New girl Leticia is about as soppy as you can get, and a soft target for Kat’s mean-spirited domination over her. This story reminds me quite a lot of “Slave of Form 3B”, but without the hypnotism. Kat’s wangling gets Mouse moved out of the hostel where she’s supposed to stay (and where other people might find out about Kat’s emotional hold over the shyer girl) and into staying at Kat’s own home.

Revenge-crazed Jed sets it up to look like the Wild Horse has escaped from her barn, even though it’s the middle of a thunderstorm – but Daphne has seen what’s going on, and gone with her beloved white horse. In the darkness, Jed’s shot doesn’t hit the horse, but the girl! He is filled with remorse, but the mare doesn’t know that, and this may be the turning point that may turn her wild in earnest… We are promised the final episode next week.

The homeless family in “Always Together…” go from bad to worse luck. They are not dragged back to the children’s home, but Jilly’s hurt her arm badly and can’t earn money, and Beth goes too close to the fire and sets herself alight!

 

Jinty 16 November 1974

Jinty cover 16 November 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx from St. Jonah’s (artist Mike White)
  • Jackie’s Two Lives (artist Ana Rodriguez, writer Alan Davidson)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terry Magee)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie) – first episode
  • Wild Horse Summer  (artist and writer unknown)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • The Hostess With the Mostest (artist Stanley Houghton)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

The cover story with Katie Jinks has a humorous start (with a prat-fall as usual), but moves quickly into a more thrilling story-line than we usually expect from Katie. Her father is home from sea, but with a secret – he was fired from his job because he was suspected of smuggling! Katie vows to help get him started in a new life, but you can also bet that she’ll end up trying to find out what really happened, too.

Jackie is turning her back further against her real family, while being ensnared more and more by Mrs Mandell. And more mysteries – how can Monsieur Charelle, the famous couturier, say that her measurements have hardly changed since the last time he saw her, two years ago?

Merry and co at Misery House have discovered that their mystery visitor isn’t a ghost, but a dog that has sneaked in! He’s lovely company for them, but of course the warden won’t be happy.

This issue sees the start of another rivalry / slavery story – “The Kat and Mouse Game”. Leticia has just joined ballet school Barton Grange, and spiteful bossy Kat has got her claws into her already, getting her to do chores and listen only to her and no one else. And of course even though Leticia – or Mouse, as Kat nicknames her – will have her chances of success at the school spoiled, too.

“Wild Horse Summer” is at a dramatic point – Daphne is stuck down an old mine shaft, an dependent on the wild horse to go for help. Of course the wild horse is torn between her love for Daphne and her fear of humans, but in the end she is instrumental in rescuing Daphne. It sounds like wonderful news for the girl, who will surely be allowed to keep the horse after all that – but farmhand Jed is still crazy with hatred for the white mare!

The kids in “Always Together…” are sleeping in a remote cave on the moors but still trying to do normal things, like taking part in a school concert. But one of the attendees to the concert is a Mr Giles, who knows they are runaways and may drag them back to the children’s home if he spots them… always a cliffhanger in this story.

Mia Blake is still thinking that she can stop being the Slave of the Mirror if she throws it away – but it will not break or free her from the spell of driving away all guests at the house run by Mia’s sister.

Jinty 7 December 1974

Jinty cover 7 December 1974

  • The Jinx from St. Jonah’s (artist Mike White)
  • Jackie’s Two Lives (artist Ana Rodriguez, writer Alan Davidson)
  • Get Time on Your Side! – competition
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terry Magee)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Prisoners of Paradise Island – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Jinty Made It…for Christmas – feature
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)

“The Hostess with the Mostest” and “Bird-Girl Brenda” do not appear in this issue. Maybe they have been pushed out by the competitions and features, including Christmas features that are leading up to the Christmas issue.

A new story, “Prisoners of Paradise Island” is a slave story, but the cage is a complete contrast to the harshness of the reformatory in “Merry at Misery House”. Rather, the prison is a tropical island and the prisoners are pampered with treats and luxury instead of being tortured and abused like Merry and her fellow inmates. But the intention behind it all is just as evil as the sadistic Misery House staff – it is meant to ruin the girls and make them unfit to win a hockey championship. It’s Trini Tinturé’s first story for Jinty, and Tinturé became a regular Jinty artist, lasting well up to Jinty’s last issues in 1981.

And in our regular Jinty slave story, the Warden is out to crush the girls’ new-found joy: a dog that has somehow found its way into Misery House. She’s tried poison and now it’s bullets – but then the dog’s owner turns up to claim him.

The wedges Mrs Mandell is driving between Jackie and her family are getting wider. Jackie has ruined her own mother’s birthday dinner because of it, hit her sister when she tries to talk sense into her, and the blurb for next week tells us that it’s going to get worse because it will be the ‘death’ of Jackie Lester.

Kat is sabotaging Mouse’s dancing while making sure she does not go too far, because she does not want to lose her mug. And Mouse is such a mug that she does not listen to warnings from the other girls about Kat.

The “Slave of the Mirror” is still under the mirror’s evil influence to drive off customers from the boarding house. And now she is being directed to get rid of Inez, the new help.

Prejudice against gypsies erupts in “Always Together”. Johnny has been kicked out of school, just because the new headmaster has a personal hatred towards gypsies and bans them all from the school. Hmm, aren’t there supposed to be laws against that kind of thing? But it’s the Harveys’ pram to the rescue, of all things.

A cat in the dogs’ hotel? Yes, that’s Mrs. Siddons’ latest charge this week. And to make matters worse, the cat is a real troublemaker.

Katie goes sleuthing to clear her father, who has been wrongly sacked on suspicion of smuggling. She spreads her jinxing along the way of course, but has found vital evidence. Or has she? She has been warned that she has got things all wrong.

 

Jinty 14 December 1974

Jinty cover 14 December 1974.jpeg

  • The Jinx from St. Jonah’s (artist Mike White)
  • Jackie’s Two Lives (artist Ana Rodriguez, writer Alan Davidson)
  • The Hostess with the Mostest
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Jinty Made it…for Christmas (feature)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Prisoners of Paradise Island (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)

This issue has just arrived in my collection.

Kate discovers plotters aboard her dad’s ship and is out to expose them. Knowing our jinx, maybe we should pity the poor plotters. Meanwhile, another crook pulls a fast one over Mrs Siddons with a phoney ghost act. By the time she finds out, she has paid good money to him to exorcise the ghost. But given what an unsavoury character she is, Dora has more sympathy for the crook.

Jackie goes too far – she fakes her own death so she can play up to Mrs. Mandell as her daughter Isabella full-time. But she had forgotten what a hard mother Mrs. Mandell can be, and already the demands are starting. Meanwhile, Jackie’s sister Wendy is not convinced she is dead – but how can she prove it?

Two different types of punishment cells appear in this issue. For “Merry at Misery House”, it’s a week in solitary on meagre rations of bread and water, which puts her in the infirmary. And then she is very surprised to see the sadistic Warden suddenly being friendly to her! But it can’t be sincere, so what’s the Warden up to now? For Sally in “Prisoners of Paradise Island”, the punishment cell is a room filled with luxury, temptation, and gorgeous fruit to eat (far better than bread and water). But Sally is determined not to let this type of punishment room break her either.

A new threat threatens the Harveys in “Always Together” – a nosy reporter who has realised they are runaways and wants the full story! New help, Inez, arrives at the hotel, and the evil power over Mia, the “Slave of the Mirror” is forcing her to cause trouble for Inez. But Mia is soon caught out. And at least someone has caught Kat out in taking advantage of Mouse – her own mother, who stops her pocket money in punishment. But not even this causes Mouse to see through Kat.