Cover artist: Robert MacGillivray
Characters/serials on the cover: Sandy Rawlings; Molly Mills; Belinda Bookworm; Wee Sue; Bella Barlow; Mary Moldesworth from Bessie Bunter?; Push-along, Patti; Bessie Bunter; Miss Bigger
- Bella (artist John Armstrong)
- The Black and White World of Shirley Grey – first episode (artist Diane Gabbot, writer Jake Adams?)
- Push-along, Patti (artist Juliana Buch)
- Wee Sue (artist Robert MacGillivray)
- Help Yourself to a Holiday – competition
- Molly Mills and the Echoes from the Past – new story (artist Douglas Perry)
- Edie and Miss T (artist Joe Collins)
- Tune-In (feature)
- Belinda Bookworm (artist Giorgio Giorgetti)
- Imaginary Abbie – Strange Story from the Mists (artist Eduardo Feito)
- Rita My Robot Friend (artist Tony Coleman)
While it is out of the garage, I am going to discuss the issue where Tammy celebrated her 10th birthday (sadly, this is something Jinty never reached). Tammy certainly pulls out the stops to celebrate: her commemorative cover; Edie and Miss T redecorating their rooms with 10 years’ worth of Tammy; Miss Bigger taking Wee Sue and her friends on a special tour to the Tammy office; and Molly reflecting on her 10 years at Stanton Hall (once Pickering points out she had been there that long). And of course it wouldn’t be complete without celebratory competitions.
When revisiting past Tammy characters, we see that the focus is on ones who are currently running (Belinda Bookworm), have appeared in comparatively recent years (Thursday’s Child, Cindy of Swan Lake), or whose memory still lingers on (Olympia Jones, Babe of St Wood’s). The only really early Tammy character to reappear is Cat Girl. There are no Slaves of ‘War Orphan Farm’, Aunt Aggie, School for Snobs, Beattie or any of the characters from the first years.
Wee Sue has a very special commemorative story, reproduced below. Miss Bigger takes the class on a tour of King’s Reach Tower to see how Tammy is produced. Sue ends up in the copy room where she falls asleep trying to read 10 years’ worth of Tammy. Her dream takes her to flashbacks of Tammy characters, old and new, and finally Tammy’s birthday party. The Tammy stories referenced to in the Wee Sue story are, in alphabetical order:
Babe of St. Wood’s
Cindy of Swan Lake
Jeannie and Her Uncle Meanie
My Terrible Twin (not mentioned, but the protagonists are recognisable)
Sandy Rawlings (three stories appeared in total, individually titled)
The Cat Girl
However, the Molly story does reflect back on the early days and hints at how different the tone of Tammy was back then. Molly not only remembers the time she arrived at Stanton Hall but also how much more cruel Pickering was back in the early days. Indeed, the Molly strip has become tamer now in comparison to what it was in Tammy’s early years. It has clearly been toned down. Pickering is still a bully who picks on Molly, but the stocks, beatings, dungeons and cold duckings in the lake are now a thing of Tammy’s past, thank goodness. Even the catty Betty and Kitty, who played a dirty trick that nearly got Molly sacked on her first day, have lost their cattiness and are more friendly with Molly.
Tammy herself has been toned down as well. When she was first launched, she revelled in stories filled with darkness, cruelty, torture and suffering. But readers loved it and her sales rocketed. Stories with the Cinderella theme or slave theme (girls used as slaves in one form or another) abounded, and a number of them, such as “Slaves of ‘War Orphan Farm’” and “The Four Friends at Spartan School” really pushed the envelope with the tortures their heroines went through. But by the late 1970s these had all faded. All that remained of them was Bella Barlow, who is still badly treated by Jed and Gert Barlow, although she has just rescued them from hard times.
But Tammy had not gone all light and soppy. Her current stories, “Belinda Bookworm”, “Push-along, Patti” and “Rita My Robot Friend” all feature heroines who are being bullied/ostracised at school and trying to rise above it. Tammy’s new story, “The Black and White World of Shirley Grey”, will also feature some extremely vicious and horrifying bullying in the weeks ahead.
It has been just over a year since Misty merged with Tammy. The Misty logo is smaller now and there have been fewer spooky stories than when Misty joined. But the Strange Stories from the Mist continue, as do Edie and Miss T and the Misty horoscope.