Tag Archives: Big Cat

Story Theme: Journey Story or Quest

The Journey Story or Quest was a popular story theme at certain points in Jinty and in other titles. Indeed, at some points in 1976, it would have been possible to be reading an issue of Jinty which included three or even arguably four journey stories in the same week’s comic (see 24 April 1976 for an example). It’s a story framework which allows the creators to vary the setting and characters as much as they like, and to experiment with a range of local touches if desired (Scottish kilts, Welsh mountains, or European stereotypes could be brought in depending on the story). Within a Quest theme the dramatic tension is kept up, too – the protagonist is always thinking of the thing that keeps them on the journey – the danger they are avoiding or the goal they are trying to reach.

The journey story is of course focused around a lengthy journey, but it is also something of a quest, as the protagonist has someone she needs to find or something she needs to do before she can stop journeying. She does not just head out for the fun of it or to see the sights; there is some motivating reason for her to keep moving. Apart from the journey element, the other themes of the story can be fairly varied: there are journey stories in Jinty which are rooted in science fiction, humour, love of aninals, and more.

Core examples

Song of the Fir Tree” (1975-76). This story has siblings Solveig and Per traveling across Europe after they are released from the concentration camp they were held in during WWII. They travel from Germany to Norway under their own steam, constantly having to keep one step ahead of their enemy Grendelsen (though at the same time, unknown to them, their father is chasing after them also).

This was the first journey story printed in Jinty. Clear precursors outside of British girls comics are “I Am David” and “The Silver Sword”, both of which feature long journeys and have child protagonists dealing with the aftermath of WWII.

Fran of the Floods” (1976). After her home town is overwhelmed in flooding, Fran Scott travels the length of an apocalyptic Britain to see if her sister is alive and well in Scotland. This popular and well-remembered journey story is one of survival against the odds and courage in the face of barbaric behaviour on the part of other survivors.

Bound for Botany Bay” (1976). Betsy Tanner is transported to Australia; in addition to the lengthy sea journey, once she gets to Botany Bay she runs off and travels across dangerous countryside, eventually finding her father who was sentenced to transportation earlier on.

For Peter’s Sake!” (1976). Set in the 1930s, Carrie Lomax has a brother who is seriously ill. Her grandmother’s pram has rocked many babies back to good health in a seemingly miraculous way and she hopes that it will do the same for little Peter. However, Carrie and the pram are in Scotland and the rest of her family is in London, and she needs to push the pram all the way back to him on foot.

The Darkening Journey” (1977). Thumper has been separated from his owner Julie, who is moving house with her family, across Britain to the west country. To add to the pathos, both of them are going slowly blind: Julie because she needs an operation to cure her, and Thumper because of an accident at the time they were separated. Together with his friend Beaky, a clever talking rook, he travels towards the setting sun to see if he can be reunited with his beloved owner.

Race For A Fortune” (1977-78). This is a humourous take on the journey story: Katie McNabb must race her snobby cousins in a journey to inherit her skinflint great-uncle Ebeneezer’s money. The one who reaches Ebeneezer’s home village of Yuckiemuckle first, starting out from the south of England with no money to help them, will win the race and the terms of the will. Katie and her cousins battle it out, each overtaking the other at various points on their travels.

“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (1978-79). This is the longest, most epic of all the journey stories in Jinty (indeed so long is it, at 36 episodes, that to date I have quailed before the mighty task of writing a story post for it!). Dorothy and Max are an orphaned brother-sister pair who run away from the state care they are put into when their mother is killed. Inspired by the Wizard of Oz song, they travel from the south of England all the way to Scotland, hoping to find happiness at a care home called Rainbow’s End.

Edge cases and uncertainties

The core stories listed above all feature epic, dangerous, and long journeys as a central aspect of the story. There are other stories in Jinty which feature travelling on the part of the protagonists, but without it being such a central part of the plot.

Then There Were 3…” (1976). This is more of a mystery story: ten girls hire a narrowboat and travel on the water for some time, but the plot primarily focuses on the mystery of what is behind the occurrences that spook the girls. Is it something supernatural in origin, or is it down to a purely human villainy?

“The Big Cat” (1976-77) When her grandmother dies and she is evicted from the gypsy camp she lives in, Ruth travels with the big cat Ayesha that the story is named after. We do not currently have a story post about this to confirm if this is more of a journey story, or a fugitive story where the protagonist runs away and spends time in hiding rather than in travelling towards a clear goal.

Not to be confused with…

There are plenty of stories that include an element of journeying or travelling, such as those ones where the main character runs away: for instance Jinty‘s first issue includes the story “A Dream for Yvonne“, where Yvonne runs away from the circus to become a ballerina. She does not travel throughout the story unceasingly until she reaches her goal, though: she runs away multiple times, loses her memory, is threatened by jealous rivals, and is eventually accepted by both her family and the ballet school. The journeying is not the main point of the story, but rather her challenge lies in how to be accepted by family and friends.

Likewise in many stories there is a dramatic finale where the protagonist runs away either to elicit sympathy or to enact some specific deed: Gail in “Gail’s Indian Necklace” and Lee in “Daddy’s Darling” are two such examples from Jinty‘s early days. I am not counting these either, as the main focus of the story is again not on the journey itself, which is pretty limited in the span of story time that it takes up.

Fugitive stories may overlap considerably with the journey story, but again the key question in my mind is whether the fugitive keeps running, or mostly hides away somewhere. “Always Together…” (1974-75) has an orphaned family (well, almost – read the story summary for more detail) who run away from the welfare state mechanisms which are threatening to split them up. They do not keep running continuously, but instead camp out in a few locations and fend for themselves throughout the bulk of the story.

There are a few stories with castaways (“Desert Island Daisy“, “Girl The World Forgot“): if you are going to be cast away on a desert island you can hardly avoid having travelled, somewhere along the lines! But the focus is then on the predicament of the main character, not on a prolonged journey. The same goes for “Alice In A Strange Land” which has a transatlantic plane journey at beginning and end of the story, and a dramatic crash landing in an early episode, but which does not focus on those elements in the core plot.

Elsewhere…

Journey-themed stories were of course not confined to the pages of Jinty, though the April 1976 spike in popularity of these stories is perhaps only seen in this title. The following stories are not meant to be a complete list of journey stories, but just to give a flavour of the prevalence and the variety of them across both IPC and DC Thomson. (Many thanks to Mistyfan for providing scans of the below and other stories, and also to Lorrbot and the Girls Comics of Yesterday site, which I checked for mention of journey stories.)

  • Glen, A Dog on a Lonely Quest (Tammy, 1971)
  • Janet and her Travellin’ Javelin (Debbie, 1974)
  • Towne in the Country (Tammy, 1976-77)
  • The Ride-Away Randalls (Debbie, 1978)
  • The Wandering Starrs (Bunty, 1978-79)
  • One Girl and Her Dog (Tammy, 1978-79)
  • Jumbo and Jet (Tracy, 1981)
  • Jet’s Incredible Journey (Suzy, 1986)

Other thoughts

This post is already rather long, but I have more thoughts about the theme. Another post will follow, discussing aspects of how journey stories actually worked in more detail, looking at some of the stories mentioned above.

Jinty and Lindy 1 January 1977

Jinty cover 1 January 1977

Contents in this issue:

Jinty’s New Year issue for 1977 was bang on New Year’s Day. Jinty says “make it a great New Year – with us!” Indeed, in my opinion 1977 was the year Jinty hit her stride. In 1977 she cast off the Lindy logo that had stayed with her throughout 1976. But what really defined 1977 as the year Jinty hit her stride was fully establishing her trademark science fiction and jauntiness with strips like the quirky “Fran’ll Fix It!” and her “smash hit” story of 1977, “Land of No Tears”. In the same year, Jinty added her resident spooky storyteller, Gypsy Rose. It was also in 1977 that Jinty added Guy Peeters and the unknown Concrete Surfer to her team, who would go on to draw some of her biggest classics.

Oddly, although Gypsy Rose did not appear in Jinty until 29 January 1977, there is a horoscope in this issue saying, “Gypsy Rose looks at the stars”. Readers must have been wondering, “Who the heck is Gypsy Rose?” The horoscope appears on the same page as the blurb for a new story, “Mark of the Witch!”, so perhaps it was meant as a foreshadowing for Gypsy Rose too. If so, it is an odd one, because it gives no hint of who Gypsy Rose is supposed to be. Is it the pen name of the astrologer who writes the horoscope or something?

The cover itself is a beautiful one, with its ingenious use of blues, yellows and reds. The white space lightens things up and does not make the cover too heavy. The seasons look a bit mixed. Mandy’s water-skiing panel hints at summer, while the holly the poor old druid is about to sit on implies winter. The rock Gertie puts the holly on makes it reminiscent of a Christmas pudding, which further adds to the winter theme. While Mandy and Gertie look happy on the cover, we get the opposite with Ruth and Ayesha, who are on the wrong end of a farmer’s gun.

Of course we have New Year features. There is a page where pop stars like Paul McCartney and Paul Nicholas list their resolutions for 1977. In “Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag!” Henrietta mishears the word “resolution” as “revolution” and enchants everyone at school into a revolution instead of making resolutions. Alley Cat starts off New Year doing what he does best – annoying the Muchloots. In this case it’s raiding their larder for a New Year feast. Gertie triggers a series of events that establishes Stonehenge – its purpose being a tourist attraction – and its opening has New Year celebrations included.

Now, on to the other stories:

“Daisy Drudge and Milady Maud” is the first of Jinty’s stories to end in 1977, with the mixed-up identities of the skivvy and the high-class girl being sorted out once they finally find each other. This also marks the end of Jinty’s serials with 19th century settings, which had been introduced when Lindy merged into Jinty way back in November 1975. Its replacement next week is Phil Townsend’s first 1977 story, “Mark of the Witch!

So far there is no end for Hetty King’s ordeal. Hetty is lumbered with looking after Jo, but Jo hates Hetty because she wrongly blames Hetty for her sister’s death. Hetty manages to secure a job as a temporary PE teacher at her new locality after Jo’s hatred forced her out of her old one, but she faces an uphill battle to win respect from the pupils. And how long before Jo’s hatred interferes with everything?

Mandy applies makeup to adopt a new persona, “Bubbles”, and goes water-skiing. But really – wearing a wig while water-skiing? No wonder the episode ends with Mandy’s secret in danger.

Martine’s odd behaviour is getting worse and worse. Tessa can’t figure out what the hell is going on, except that Martine seems to be acting like the crazed woman she plays onstage.

As already mentioned on the cover, Ruth and Ayesha have a scary moment with a farmer. Fortunately he turns friendly after Ayesha saves his life. But then a shoplifter makes Ruth the scapegoat for her crimes, taking advantage of the prejudice against gypsies.

In “Is This Your Story?”, Lynn Carter feels her family don’t appreciate her and she envies her friend Mary for being an only child. But when both girls end up in hospital, right next to each other, Lynn learns that some people may not be as enviable as she thinks and she draws closer to her family.

In “Sceptre of the Toltecs”, both Clare and a class bully begin to suspect that Malincha, the mystery girl from Mexico, has strange powers. The blurb for next week says there will be more evidence of this.

Jinty and Lindy 29 January 1977

Stories in this issue:

  • The Ring of Death – first Gypsy Rose tale (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sceptre of the Toltecs (artist Cándido Ruiz Pueyo / Emilia Prieto)
  • Starsky and Hutch, the best of mates! (feature)
  • Made-Up Mandy (artist Audrey Fawley)
  • Freda, False Friend (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • The Big Cat (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • The Mystery of Martine (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
  • Mark of the Witch! (artist Phil Townsend)

This issue gives us the first of a long line of Gypsy Rose stories – a spooky storyteller series which gives the Jinty editors the flexibility of commissioning a number of different artists and writers and running the resulting stories as they suit best. Most of the stories include Gypsy Rose as an active participant in the tale and helping to resolve the mystery; but later on a number of spooky stories from other titles had a panel of Gypsy Rose art pasted over the other storyteller so that it could be rebranded as a Jinty-style story. I have uploaded “The Ring of Death” into the Gypsy Rose summary post, so do head over to that to read it. You will notice some art that is repeated in subsequent Gypsy Rose stories, such as the image of her seated figure, displaying her patchwork skirt to best advantage.

Malincha’s wicked uncle Telqotl is plotting ways to trap her and to steal the golden sceptre. The two girls manage to give him the slip at the museum but they are soon trapped in a department store and he has managed to put out all the lights by mystic means!

Mandy Mason, the humble caretaker at an elegant beauty salon, ends up going to a posh safari park by accident and has a chance to turn herself into Raquel, the fearless white huntress. But at the end of this episode she is trapped in a cage with two adult lions running towards her as she holds a cub in her arms! Audrey Fawley draws lovely human figures but sadly the lions just look like round bouncy creatures who aren’t very convincing to my eyes.

It is also the first episode of “Freda, False Friend”. Freda’s father is a police officer; he seems to have suddenly got a promotion as the family move to a posh big house and start driving in a swanky new car. It all turns out to be a ruse though – he wants her to make friends with Gail, the girl next door, because the police have suspicions about Gail’s father. Very unpleasantly for Freda, she is being made into a spy against her will!

In “The Big Cat” Ruth saves a stag from being hunted by the local staghounds, but for her pains she is driven off from the village that she has been working in. It was a very unfriendly village, with people who hated to see strangers come along, but still it was a depressing thing to have happen.

Martine is claiming that the ballet school is her house, even though it was sold to Miss Bond some time previously. The worry of what is happening to her sister causes Tessa’s ballet dancing to suffer, and her relationships with her classmates are also suffering. But the most dangerous thing is the chance it gives her jealous rival, to score over her!

Emma Fielding is torn between believing in Alice’s attempts to be friends, and her father’s bitter denouncing of those attempts as just charity. The spiteful local girls look like they want to make it all go wrong for Emma, too.

Jinty & Lindy 15 January 1977

jinty-lindy-cover-15-january-1977

Stories in this issue

 

I have just acquired this issue. The pages are loose, so it is possible something is missing in the middle, though I see nothing noticeably missing in the issue. If anyone sees anything missing in the list above, please let me know.

In “Go On, Hate Me!”, Hetty gets Jo out of two big scrapes, but the little hatemonger does not appreciate it one bit. She still hates Hetty as much as ever and now she’s turned other girls against her. However, we are told that all the hatred is going to bring an act of love next week. It sounds the end of the story then, and things are finally going to change for Hetty, thank goodness.

“Is This YOUR Story?” changes its title to “Could This Be YOU?” for some reason. The story is about a girl who is picked on because she is tall. When the teasing finally gets too much for her, a teacher comes up with a clever plan to help her use her height to her advantage and beat the bullies.

“Made-Up Mandy” also comes up with a plan to beat the bullies at her old school, who have bullied a friend out of the lead in the school play. She plays “ghost” to teach the bullies a lesson – but now she is in danger of being found out.

However, there is no respite from the bullying for poor Emma in “Mark of the Witch!”, despite Alice’s help to get her accepted at the riding club. No matter what she does, Emma is always “Black Emma” the bad lot in the eyes of the other kids.

There are no bullies in this week’s episode of “Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag!”. However, there is a vain girl in serious need of a lesson, and Henrietta is always ready to oblige.

“The Big Cat” is in big trouble – she got trapped in a warehouse that was being demolished. Ruth manages to get her out, but she’s injured.

“The Mystery of “Martine” is deepening, with Martine’s inexplicable behaviour growing even more troubling for her sister Tessa.

In “Sceptre of the Toltecs”, Malincha is giving guarded explanations for why her evil uncle is after her; she says she can’t reveal everything without consulting her father. That’s a bit annoying, especially as it looks like the evil uncle has now arrived.

Gertie Grit lands in the future this week instead of a period in Earth’s history. She helps out a dog that doesn’t want to be part of a space programme.

 

 

Ana Rodriguez

One of the artists mentioned in the recent talk about girls comics was Ana Rodriguez. David Roach has a set of portfolio samples used to showcase her drawing abilities (see below) which credits her as such. Initially I had little luck in finding any internet trace of her but eventually I found an entry for her on Spain’s comic artist database, Tebeosfera, as Anita Rodriguez Ruiz . This also links to an entry on Lambiek’s Comiclopedia.

Ana Rodrigues art sample
Art from “Cindy of Swan Lake”, published in Tammy

Stories in Jinty:

Stories in Tammy:

  • Mandy and the House of Models (1973)
  • Trina Drop-Out (1973)
  • Last Song at Sunset (1974)
  • Cindy of Swan Lake (1979-80)

(The latter list is taken from Catawiki, with many thanks to that site.)

She also drew a large number of stories in DC Thomson titles such as Debbie, Judy, Tracy. See the Girls Comics of Yesterday site for posts tagged with her name.

Her particular focus is clearly on girls comics, though there is little solid information on the Tebeosfera and Comiclopedia sites about other work done by her. Here are some pages from “Blind Ballerina”, where Ana Rodriguez’s showcasing of the girl protagonist’s faces is very evident.

Ana Rodriguez 27 September 1975

Ana Rodriguez 27 September 1975
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Ana Rodriguez 27 September 1975
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Jinty & Lindy 22 January 1977

Jinty 77

One of the most colourful and striking Jinty covers in my opinion, and it’s another of my favourites. On the cover, Henrietta is making it plain to Sue that she does not like Sue putting an umbrella into her while Emma stops a runaway horse but gets no thanks. As far as the villagers are concerned, she is a “bad ‘un” and that’s that. Only Alice is friendly and in this issue she offers her hand of friendship again. Will Emma take it next week?

Two stories end in this issue. Hetty reaches breaking point and snaps from all the hatred she is receiving. But Jo sees the consequences of the hatred against Hetty that she fermented and learns the value of forgiveness – not to mention getting her facts straight. Druid Caractacus finally catches up with Gertie, but she is pleased to see him because she is in a spot of bother. Next week we will see the start of one of Jinty’s most enduring and popular features – “Gypsy Rose’s Tales of Mystery and Magic“. Also starting next issue is “Freda, False Friend”, Phil Gascoine’s first Jinty story for 1977.

The origin of the Sceptre of the Toltecs is revealed, so the story is heading for its climax now. Made-Up Mandy has played “ghost” to help a friend, but narrowly missed being caught. And now she’s set on going on safari, although her nasty employer Miss Agate won’t allow it. So we have a pretty good suspicion that Mandy will be headed back to the make-up kit for another disguise next week. Whatever has possessed Martine is still causing trouble and  it’s all Tessa can do to concentrate on ballet so she can get into the City Ballet Company.

 

 

Jinty 26 March 1977

Jinty cover 12

  • The Box of Hate! – Gypsy Rose story (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sceptre of the Toltecs (artist Emilia Prieto)
  • Easter’s Coming! Feature
  • Spell of the Spinning Wheel (artist Jim Baikie, writer Alison Christie)
  • The Big Cat – final episode (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • The Darkening Journey – first episode (artist José Casanovas)
  • Made-Up Mandy (artist Audrey Fawley)
  • Freda, False Friend (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Mark of the Witch! (artist Phil Townsend)

Gypsy Rose tales always led off the mark during this run in Jinty, and they would have done even more so when they featured on the cover as they do here. This week’s story is about a box inhabited by an evil poltergeist that causes havoc in an antique shop. Poor Trish Drew is being blamed for the damage and turns to Gypsy Rose for help.

It’s the final episode of “The Big Cat”. Regretfully, my copy has a page missing at this point. However, it looks like Ruth and Ayesha save Mrs White from a fire started by the villainous Barwell, become heroines, and everything turns out rosy.

“The Darkening Journey” begins. Thumper the guide dog becomes separated from his blind owner Julie Burton when they move and he gets scared off by a firecracker. He sets off to find Julie with the help of his new friend, Beaky the rook. Little does he know that it is going to be a long, long journey that does not end in Jinty until 6 August 1977.

Rowan can’t figure out why she keeps falling asleep. But by the end of the episode, she has figured out that it is the “spell of the spinning wheel”. Fortunately her father believes it. But as they discover, the mother just won’t!

In “Sceptre of the Toltecs”, the girls have taken off with the sceptre as they feel it is not safe to keep it in the house with evil Uncle Telqotl about. They haven’t realised he has followed them, but they catch on when they get trapped in a hut by an out-of-season blizzard!

“Made-Up Mandy” has disguised herself to fill in for a pop star who doesn’t want her stuffy aunt to find out she is one. But Mandy’s in big trouble when the fans see through her disguise thanks to a naughty dog. And now it looks like the aunt is going to find out everything because of those fans!

“Freda, False Friend” finds out she was wrong about her dad causing the Grands’ accident. But now Gail has found Freda out! Things are going to head up to the climax now.

Emma, the girl with “the mark of the witch”, now seems to be getting even more witchy with her new get-up, conduct of revenge against the villagers, and weird things happening like storms appearing around her and a boy having an accident after she put a curse on him. But there is nothing supernatural about the revenge she takes on Dave Young for setting the trap that her mother fell into – she smashes down his father’s grain field.

Jinty and Lindy 19 March 1977

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And here is the third of the special issues (5-19 March 1977) with the Zodiac Chart pieces. Is it coincidence, or was the Zodiac chart the reason Gypsy Rose featured on all three covers?

The Gypsy Rose story, “The Hound from Hades”, is a story where spectral hound vengeance is wreaked on a man who ill-treats his dogs and he ends up in a watery grave. Misty would be proud of this one. Just one thing – on the cover it says “the hound from Hades takes his revenge!”(my emphasis) – but in the story, the spectral hound is female.

The “Spell of the Spinning Wheel” takes effect when Rowan pricks her finger on it and is surprised to feel a funny tingling feeling in her body. Does she drop off to sleep for 100 years? Well, she does fall asleep when she hears a humming noise….

The trap some boys set for Emma is sprung in “Mark of the Witch!” – but it comes back to bite the villagers who persecute Emma. It puts Emma on the warpath of revenge and starting her Book of Vengeance. The first name to go in there is that of the leader of the boys who set the trap.

In “Freda, False Friend”, Freda’s spying has her convinced that Gail’s father is innocent. But her dad is not listening. Then the Gail’s parents are hurt in a car crash and the accident seems to be linked to Freda’s father.

Malincha decides the “Sceptre of the Toltecs” is not safe in the house while that evil uncle is after it. But Jenny isn’t letting Malincha go off by herself.

“Made-Up Mandy” gets herself into another fix when she makes herself up to stand in for a pop star. She gets cornered by fans who want a song – but she can’t sing for “toffee nuts”!

We are also told that next week “The Darkening Journey” will start. What story it replaces is unclear as no stories have finished in this issue or preceding issue. Perhaps it replaces the Zodiac chart, which has now finished.

Jinty and Lindy 12 March 1977

jinty cover 2

  • So Long at the Fair – Gypsy Rose story (artist Keith Robson)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sceptre of the Toltecs (artist Emila Prieto)
  • Spell of the Spinning Wheel (artist Jim Baikie, writer Alison Christie)
  • The Big Cat (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • It’s In the Stars…for David Soul (feature)
  • Made-Up Mandy (artist Audrey Fawley)
  • Freda, False Friend (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Mark of the Witch! (artist Phil Townsend)

This follows on from Comixminx’s entry on Jinty and Lindy 5 March 1977. This is the issue where the evil spinning wheel makes its appearance – not only in its story, but also on the cover. So its entry wants for nothing. Its “frightening powers” are not yet manifest, but its reputation for them is when people warn Rowan not to buy the spinning wheel and say they wouldn’t touch it “for all the tea in China”. They don’t explain why, though. But the blurb for next week says it will become evident when Rowan pricks her finger and becomes “bewitched”. Sounds like something out of Sleeping Beauty.

The Gypsy Rose tales always seem to come first during this particular run of Jinty and Lindy. Funfairs have a history of striking terror in girls’ comics. This one is no exception, as the cover makes clear. Lucy and Gwenny stumble across a funfair and Lucy can’t resist. She doesn’t know there should be no funfair on that spot – there has not been one since a funfair collapsed through subsidence there and killed dozens of children.

Terror strikes at another funfair in “The Big Cat”. Ruth resorts to dangerous rodeo riding on a “demon mustang”. She wins the money but gets knocked out.

Malincha reveals her powers in “Sceptre of the Toltecs”. Unfortunately it is causing nasty Clare to spread nasty rumours that she is a ‘jinx’ and a ‘witch’, so the other girls are turning against her. Meanwhile, the evil uncle realises Malincha’s powers are strong and is appealing to his god for extra strength. Will his extra strength prove too strong for Malincha?

Mandy’s plan to clear Nikki of stealing works. But fresh trouble isn’t far off, of course. Freda’s spying on her friend gets stymied when her hand gets badly injured from bullies at hockey. And now she faces discovery as well. This issue sees how long Emma lasts with breaking in her horse and who drops first. But back at Fielding Castle, some nasty youths have set a trap for Emma – and unfortunately it looks like Emma’s mother could fall into it instead!

Jinty and Lindy 5 March 1977

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Stories in this issue:

  • Gypsy Rose: The Doll’s Dark Secret (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sceptre of the Toltecs (artist Emilia Prieto)
  • Spell of the Spinning Wheel (artist Jim Baikie; writer Alison Christie) – first episode
  • The Big Cat (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Made-Up Mandy (artist Audrey Fawley)
  • Freda, False Friend (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Mark of the Witch! (artist Phil Townsend)

I dug this issue out to send the first episode of “Spell of the Spinning Wheel” to Mistyfan, but the opening story is the one that first grabs your attention: it is a really creepy Gypsy Rose story with a deadly doll, haunted by a vengeful ghost. It is very nearly responsible for turning a loving sister into a cold-blooded murderess… Terry Aspin makes sure the reader gets the creeps, as ever.

“Sceptre of the Toltecs” aims to give you the creeps, too: the sinister uncle has persuaded a jealous schoolgirl to put his talisman into Malincha’s bag so that he can acquire the sceptre and ‘crush the world underfoot!’ The protagonists are seriously threatened by Uncle Telqotl’s dark power but we are told in the strap-line for next week’s episode that though his power is strong, so is Malincha’s.

“Spell of the Spinning Wheel” gets off to a dramatic start. Rowan Lindsay is out with her dad, a shepherd, when he falls down the side of a quarry and severely injures himself: he will always walk with a limp thereafter and has no chance to make his name as a famous runner, in the way he’d hoped. He’s also lost his job as he can’t be a shepherd without being fit and able, so the family are in financial difficulties. The evil spinning wheel has not yet made its appearance, but it’s foreshadowed in the advert for next week: ‘I wouldn’t take that spinning wheel for all the tea in China, lass!’.

In “Mark of the Witch!“, Emma Fielding saves a vicious, wild horse from being shot – because it has a dark streak in its hair just like she does, and she believes they were meant for each other. But she has to set out to tame it first, which means riding bareback as long as it takes – throughout the night if need be. In the meantime her mother is worried about her and wishes she knew where she’d disappeared to; and Alice Durrant knows Emma’s whereabouts but doesn’t know how she can possibly help her.