Tag Archives: Carlos Cruz

Princess II, #21, 11 February 1984

Princess 21 cover

  • School of Dark Secrets (artist Carlos Cruz) – final episode
  • Laura in the Lyon’s Den (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Stefa’s Heart of Stone (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • The Runaway Clown (artist José Canovas?)
  • How Mean Are You? – Quiz
  • Horse from the Sea… (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Pet Book part 3
  • Rowena of the Doves (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • The Saddest Dog in Town (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Fun Fair (puzzles)

This is Princess II’s one and only Valentine issue. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which gives it topical flavour. Only Sadie in Waiting actually commemorates Valentine’s Day (below), and we get a hint that Grovel has a softer side, though of course he won’t admit it.

“School of Dark Secrets” reveals its secret. The staff are descended from the Witches of Barnham. All they need to complete the coven and receive the powers of the original witches is Judy, the descendant of Alvira, the 13th witch in the portrait. Too bad for the witches they failed to spot the clue that the portrait of Alvira had been painted over with that of Judy’s great-great-grandmother, so they grabbed the wrong descendant. Now did someone paint the portrait over to fool the witches or because they couldn’t stand the sight of Alvira’s ugly mug? At any rate, the school is closed down and then reopened with more wholesome staff.

Laura is way too much for Mrs Lyon this week – she actually throws a huge, creamy cake in the woman’s face! She’s still serving in the restaurant though.

Stefa starts on the path to turn her heart into stone to avoid feeling grief again. Everyone is upset by the change in her but don’t realise why. The doctor advises a complete change. A fat lot of good that’s going to do.

Princess, the elephant performer, is so jealous of “The Runaway Clown” that she sets a tiger on her. This backfires big time on Princess, and it looks like it’s about to lead to the Big Top going up in flames as well.

The Treetoppers fend off an escaped lion, but their treehouse is still facing the bulldozers. Then Sheena has a brainwave – but what is it?

The origin of the “Horse from the Sea” is revealed this week. Legend says a Penrose married the daughter of the King of the Sea, and she came up from the sea on the horse. Ever since then the horse has appeared whenever the heir of Penrose is in danger, which apparently is what is happening now.

Rowena’s father, King Guthlac, has sent her to summon her three brothers to his aid. One brother has already refused, as has the second this week, because he’s in the power of a vampire. It’s all down to the third now.

In “The Saddest Dog in Town”, a clue emerges as to who the dog’s lost owner is. He is linked to Jess, a girl who wanted to learn ballet, but her parents couldn’t afford it. But where is Jess?

Sadie in Waiting Valentine

Advertisements

Princess II, #19, 28 January 1984

Princess 19 cover

  • The Saddest Dog in Town (artist Eduardo Feito) – first episode
  • Laura in the Lyon’s Den! (artist Bob Harvey) – first episode
  • Stefa’s Heart of Stone (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie) – first episode
  • School of Dark Secrets (Carlos Cruz)
  • The Runaway Clown (artist José Canovas?) – first episode
  • Rowena of the Doves (artist Peter Wilkes) – first episode
  • Are You a Scaredy Cat ? Quiz
  • Horse from the Sea (artist Rodrigo Comos) – first episode
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Pet Book (artist Mario Capaldi) – feature
    Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos)

 

This is where Princess switches to the Tammy format (same newsprint, style and page count) and starts printing reprints from Tammy and Jinty. A new comic using reprints is not a good sign. It is an indication of an ailing comic and cutting costs, or perhaps even that the decision had already been made to merge Princess with Tammy.

The reprints are “Stefa’s Heart of Stone”, “Horse from the Sea” (Jinty) and “Rowena of the Doves” (Tammy). Later another reprint, “The Dream House” from Tammy, joins the lineup. Stefa was one of Jinty’s most popular stories. There was a huge demand to repeat her story in “Pam’s Poll“. Despite this, it was a repeat that did not eventuate in either the remainder of Jinty’s run or her merge into Tammy, but it finally did so in Princess and would continue in the Tammy merger.

However, there are also totally new stories. In “The Saddest Dog in Town” the Dentons take in Sammy, a dog who hitched a ride into town, but there is a real mystery as to why Sammy is so sad. It appears to be linked to his searching for something (or someone?) and disappointed to find it.

In “Laura in the Lyon’s Den!”, Aunt Leroy decides it’s time to get someone to sort out her spoiled and mischievous niece, Laura. That’s definitely a good idea, but is the approach – give Laura a holiday job in the family restaurant under the strict supervision of Mrs Lyon – going to work out? Mrs Lyon herself is not happy about such a burden, and Laura’s a real handful. Still, Laura could meet her match in Mrs Lyon as she definitely has what it takes to deal with a rotten brat.

In “The Runaway Clown” Cindy runs away from a children’s home where she always puts her foot in it. She is drawn to the circus, where she goes to the rescue of a tightrope walker in trouble although she’s never walked a tightrope before.

The Treetoppers’ treehouse is in danger. The site is going to be demolished to make way for a stadium. The Treetoppers decide they’re going to put up a fight. Meanwhile, Judy tries to get her father to take her away from the “School of Dark Secrets”, but Miss Grimkin is onto Judy and manages to pull the wool over Dad’s eyes.

Princess Bee goes away; Grovel takes advantage to open the place to guided tours, and passes himself off as a lord. He is in danger of being caught out when Princess Bee returns unexpectedly. Sadie graciously covers up for him – while still teaching him a lesson.

Princess II, #18, 21 January 1984

Princess cover 18

  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story) – final episode
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?)) – final episode
  • School of Dark Secrets (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Lena Lends a Hand… (artist John Johnston) – complete story

Issue 18 was the last Princess II to use the Girl II format and newsprint that the series had used since #1. From #19, Princess II switched to the same format, newsprint and page count as Tammy. She dropped the photo stories and the colour pages and became an exclusively picture story comic like Tammy. In so doing, she broke away from being the sister comic to Girl II and became more like the sister comic to Tammy, though she did not say so. She hailed the new look as “great news”, but it was clearly anything but. In fact, it was a sign that she was in trouble and cutting costs. This is particularly telling in her reprinting old serials from Tammy and Jinty. Years later these reprints had the benefit of enabling some of the original artwork from IPC girls’ comics to survive, of which very little has. But at the time, a new comic falling back on reprints from older titles was a very, very bad sign.

Princess great news

As Princess II drops the photo stories this issue, naturally this is the last episode of “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Clare finds a way to lay the troublesome ghost of Arabella Hood and free herself from Arabella’s power: create a ballet about Arabella’s life to give her the fame that her premature death deprived her of.

Also ending this issue is “Fairy Tale”, our tale of mixed-up fairy tales. It gets even crazier with a genie who grants two wishes instead of three, and he is so deaf he often mishears your wishes – to the cost of the evil Morgana when she calls upon him for wishes. The greedy Angie does not emerge from the adventure much improved once the girls return home, though she does get a comeuppance for it.

“Lena Lends a Hand…”, the complete story, is clearly a filler story to mark time until the whole new lineup begins in the new look Princess next issue. Lena tries to follow the Brownie motto and lend a hand one Saturday, but her efforts always keep going wrong – until she unwittingly lends a hand to catch a thief.

Judy Marshall is beginning to unravel the mystery of “The School of Dark Secrets”. The school staff are in some sort of secret occult, and they say their thirteenth sister has arrived, which completes the coven. They are referring to a portrait, and when Judy gets a look at it, she finds it is of a girl who looks just like her!

Grovel is taking delight in spooking everyone with the ventriloquism he has learned from a book. But it isn’t long before Sadie learns to fight fire with fire.

A club called the Treetoppers has formed around Sheena’s treehouse. But someone is spying on them. Is it the snobby Beverley Sneed, who’s already suspicious, or someone else? Sheena soon finds that somebody has definitely been around the treehouse, and they’ve stolen her bike too.

Princess II, #16, 7 January 1984

Princess cover 16

  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story)
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?))
  • School of Dark Secrets (artist Carlos Cruz) – first episode
  • Best of Friends… (photo story)
  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos?)
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

The cover story is Princess’ one and only ballet story, “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Clare is in the power of a ghost ballerina named Arabella Hood whose power can make her dance brilliantly, but also makes her life a nightmare, and Arabella can harm others around Clare as well. The advantage of doing it as a photo story is that we get correct and graceful ballet; after all, they would have to use real ballerinas for the models. This is something that does not always happen with hand drawn ballet stories (depending on the style and research of the artist). The disadvantage is that the ghost does not look very convincing, especially as the photo story is in colour, which shows flesh colour more. More white makeup on the model or shooting the serial in black and white might have helped.

In “Suzy and Snowdrop”, poor Jane makes a complete fool of herself at a gymkhana when her demanding Aunt Alice forces her to enter it although she’s scared stiff of horses. Then Suzy realises Aunt Alice seems to have a thing about mounting horses herself, and she finds the answer to that mystery when she opens a silver box. But then, it looks like Aunt Alice has driven Jane too far because Suzy discovers she’s run away.

There is some controversy about the artist who draws “Fairy Tale” (below). The work is signed Julio Bosch, but the same or similar style has been ascribed to Martin Puigagut. I don’t know whether it is the same artist using a pseudonym or two different artists with a similar style. Both things have happened in girls’ comics. Some clarity could be useful here. In the story, Jane and her selfish, greedy cousin Angie find themselves in a fairy tale world where all the fairy tales are getting mixed up. They meet the frog prince who needs the kiss of a princess to change him back, and the only ones available are Sleeping Beauty and Morgana, the evil villainess of the story. Then it’s a dash of Snow White when the magic mirror says the awful Angie (of all people!) is the fairest in the land, not Morgana. So Morgana tells her guards to find Angie and “off with her head!” Hmm, do we have a sneaking hope that Morgana will succeed there?

Fairy tale

In “School of Dark Secrets”, Judy Marshall does not like the creepy-looking Miss Grimkin, headmistress of Tadbury Boarding School, who seems unusually interested in her. It should be very suspicious when Judy is given a free space at Miss Grimkin’s school, which has never happened to anyone before. And things sure get creepy when Judy hears chanting in the night. Nobody else does, because it looks suspiciously like they are being drugged from drinking the hot chocolate they receive.

In “Sheena and the Treetoppers”, Sheena Hunter and her siblings are thrilled about the treehouse they have found. They discover the treehouse was very dear to Edwina, a girl who had to leave it behind to get married. Then Sheena starts getting dreams of Edwina urging her to save the treehouse. Is the treehouse haunted or something? I cannot quite identify the artist. I’m leaning toward Rodrigo Comos, but I am not sure.

Sheena

“Best of Friends…” is the old three’s a crowd routine. Katie Thomas and Lizzie Burton have been best friends until Linda comes along and Katie feels she is being shut out of things. Or is it her jealousy and emotional reactions that are tearing the friendship apart? That’s the question this week.

Sadie runs after a piece of litter that Grovel dropped. By the time she catches it and drops it in the bin, she has left a messy trail of chaos behind her. The same gag has also been used in “Snoopa”.

Jinty 29 August 1981

JInty 29 August 1981

In the text story profiled on this week’s cover, the paper boy is Suspect Number One when mail gets stolen. But readers must have noticed another Suspect Number One on the cover – one with cute puppy innocence.

The Gypsy Rose story is a bit surprising because it is not a recycled Strange Story. It is completely new, with both Gypsy Rose and the story being drawn by Pam of Pond Hill artist Bob Harvey. The story is about a spoiled, stuck-up rich girl who learns money isn’t everything – from a kite, would you believe!

The school governors visit in “Dracula’s Daughter”. It’s a bit incomprehensible that such an upright, stuffy lot are governors of a liberal, free-and-easy school. But it also gives you a clue as to what the hell they were thinking when they put Mr Graves, a man from a strict, old-fashioned grammar school, in charge of the free-and-easy one as headmaster. However they are reconsidering appointing him for the wrong reason – they have been deeply offended by Lydia’s one-girl demonstration against his changes, and his job is now on the line.

Mo’s crime world in “Worlds Apart” ends with her concrete shoes, and Jinty seems to be using it to make a statement about the evils of crime. When one world dies and another takes over, the usual pattern is for the firemen (at the chemical accident that caused the girls’ worlds to come true) to linger over the unconscious form of the particular girl whose world is about to unfold. But in this instance the story dwells on Mo’s murder and her thinking that she has been killed by very crime world she dreamed of. And in the real world, the firemen are looking at the unconscious Mo, who recovers briefly before drifting off into the next world, which is Clare’s. But the firemen don’t pause over Clare at all. Then Clare’s world starts with the girls becoming stupid sub-humans called “dullards’. The reason they are stupid in Clare’s world is that brainy Clare always considered them stupid in the real one. And they are being used as guinea pigs in her laboratory.

Elsewhere, Tansy finds a hanky with a knot in it and wracks her brains to remember what she tied the knot for. She finds out that what she should have remembered was to check to see if the hanky was hers in the first place! Angela’s Angels are dealing with a difficult patient who is bitter after being told he is now paralysed from the waist down. In “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”, Abigail thinks she can bring down the Choos’ restaurant when she hears them talking about “paddy fields” and thinks they are setting up rice paddies in the garden. But she ends up looking a noodle, as usual. In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, things get steamed up when Sir Roger neglects a kettle and it burns out. And Dad turns Arab to protect the secret of the “Holiday Hideaway”. Although Hattie helps him, she hopes he will learn his lesson after ruse gets him caught in drenching rain and stop all this nonsense. Some hopes!

The Sweet and Sour Rivals (1981)

  Sample Images

Sweet and Sour

(Click thru)

Sweet and Sour 2

(Click thru)

Sweet and Sour 3

Publication: 25 July 1981-26 September 1981

Artist: Carlos Cruz

Writer: Unknown

Reprint: Girl Picture Library #26 as “Sweet and Sour”

In comics, rivalry between businesses always had a ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ format, with the bad business out to pull every trick in the book to come out on top of the good one, which always conducted itself honourably. Sometimes this was done in a serious manner, with lots of dirty, dangerous subterfuge that could even threaten lives. Other times it was done in a comic manner, with the ‘bad’ business getting a comeuppance every week. The best-known example of this is “Store Wars” from Whizzer & Chips.

The humour format of the good business vs bad business was used in one of Jinty’s last humour stories, “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”. The rivalry is over two restaurants: the newly-opened Choo’s Chinese Restaurant and Riverside Cordon Bleu Restaurant, which is the snobbiest restaurant in town and charges the highest prices. But the rivalry is not fought by the owners but by their daughters, Susie Choo and Abigail Beaton. Abigail is just as snooty as the restaurant and recruits help from class bullies Janet and Debbie to find ways to bring Suzie and her restaurant down. Fortunately Suzie has a friend too – Mandy Mead – who thought her school was as dull as dishwater until Suzie joined the class. But Mandy was instantly struck at how Suzie could play brilliantly at hockey after the bullies smash her stick (she’s used to chopsticks) and be such a whiz at mental arithmetic (because she orders things by numbers) and now thinks school is going to be fun with Suzie around.

Indeed it is fun, but it is not free from trouble. Abigail and the two bullies are out to sabotage things for Suzie and her restaurant. For example, they smash the sign Suzie has created to advertise the new restaurant, set motorcycling toughs to bully the Choos into giving them free meals, and recruit a parking warden “Dora the Dragon” (with offers of a free meal) to harass the restaurant with unfair parking tickets. But they always fail in the end, due to a combination of Suzie’s ingenuity and a dash of her Chinese culture. For example, Susie turns the smashed sign into a model Chinese junk and floats it around on the river as an advertising stunt. A fierce-looking (but harmless) panda is let loose in the restaurant to scare the motorcycle bullies off. Dora the Dragon meets her downfall from a Chinese dragon that the Choos are using for more advertising. The school bullies are blackmailed into carting Suzie and Mandy back to school in makeshift Chinese rickshaws.

It all climaxes at the school open day fete. The Choos set up a Chinese food stall, and Abigail sets out to make them look fools by poking fun at Chinese food names and then setting dogs on the stall (a reference to the Chinese dog-eating culture). But Suzie beats the dogs with a great wall of china – real china. The final panel has Mandy saying to readers that Suzie is her old ‘china’ – Cockney slang for mate.

How PC all the Chinese references and play on Chinese culture and words would be in today’s climate is anyone’s guess. But it is a nice change to have an ethnic girl as the star of the show, something that didn’t appear much in Jinty. The story itself is fun, filled with inventiveness and comeuppances that are guaranteed to delight readers, and can rate as one of the stronger stories in the last days of Jinty.

Jinty 5 September 1981

Jinty cover 1981

In this issue, “Dracula’s Daughter” takes a turning point, and it is an extraordinary one! Mr Graves, the authoritarian headmaster who has believed fun and play belong in the home and not in school, surprises the girls when he allows them to have some fun with comedy videos in gratitude for impressing the governors and saving him from the sack. So Mr Graves is finally learning to not to be so rigid in his views about how to run a school? Will the story actually end with him becoming human and a popular headmaster at the school? Maybe – we’ll have to see how it pans out. On the other hand, Miss Snape has turned nasty towards his daughter Lydia because Lydia spoiled her obsequious tactics to become deputy head. So Lydia’s hopes that her problems are over are going to be dashed in the next episode.

It’s now the fifth world in Worlds Apart. It’s the turn of brainy Clare, and her world is one where intellectualism rules and the rest of the girls are sub-humans who are treated as lab rats. But there are people in this world who don’t like this sort of thing. They have rescued the girls and turned them loose in the wild. Unfortunately the wild is not looking friendly, so will the girls survive?

The Sweet and Sour Rivals take a break from rivalry over their restaurants. In this issue the sour rivals pull dirty tricks on the sweet ones during a cross-country run. But as usual, things turn sour for the sour rivals in the end.

Angela’s Angels are having problems with a patient who’s all bitter after being left paralysed. And a jealous tea-girl is causing trouble for Jo because she is jealous of her.

Pam of Pond Hill is currently not running, but her strip ended with an open invitation for readers to ask for her back. She appears on the back cover to introduce us to the lineup of 1982 annuals, which probably raised the hopes of readers who wanted her to return.

Hattie is still lumbered with doing all the donkey work in covering up for her family who would rather hide in the house than admit they could not afford their holiday. This time it’s delivering phoney postcards. And then the secret is in danger again when girl guides do window-cleaning on their house.

Jinty & Penny 25 July 1981

Image

(Cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • With Best Wishes… – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Dracula’s Daughter – (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Holiday Hideaway – (artist Phil Gascoine) – first episode
  • The Veiled Threat – Gypsy Rose (artist Tony Highmore)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost – (artist Hugh-Thornton Jones)
  • Happy Ever After – special feature
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz) – first episode
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

This is the last Jinty to feature the Penny logo. It would return, but be reduced to a smaller size, before being dropped shortly before the merger with Tammy. In this issue, Jinty commemorates the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981. So the issue is big on the wedding theme. The text story, “With Best Wishes”, brings us a story based on the royal wedding. For this reason, the text story is on the first page of this issue, which is very unusual for a text story. Jinty also has a competition to honour the wedding, with Kodak cameras as top prizes, and the back cover gives instructions for making party pieces for your own royal wedding celebration. And there is “Happy Ever After”, a feature telling us about the things to use to wish for happiness and good luck in a marriage.

Good luck is lacking in Gypsy Rose’s wedding themed story, “The Veiled Threat”. Liz is getting married, and her Aunt Vicky tells Liz how her mother forced her to marry a man for money although she couldn’t stand him and protested loudly at the wedding. When Liz wears Aunt Vicky’s veil (and there seems to be a black cloud hanging over it), she starts acting the same way Aunt Vicky did at her wedding. Is it wedding nerves or the veil? In the end, Liz gets happily married – without the veil. (By the way, this was a reprint of another Strange Story, and I have the original to prove it.)

Tansy of Jubilee Street also celebrates, with the family and friends determined to go to London to see the wedding. But they run into transport problems, including being diddled with a gypsy wagon – which they end up pulling themselves after the horse collapses. But everything works out even better than Tansy imagined when they catch the attention of a television crew.

“The Sweet and Sour Rivals” starts. It is one of the more rare stories that features ethnicity, because it stars a Chinese girl. Also starting is “Holiday Hideaway”, about a family who hide in the house and pretend to be on holiday, just because Dad is too embarrassed to let the neighbours know they can’t afford the real thing after his business failed.

Jinty 1 August 1981

Image

(Cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • For Pete’s Sake – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Witching Bones – Gypsy Rose (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

Here we in the era of the cover-sized versions of the spot illustrations that Mario Capaldi drew for the text stories inside. Way back in the early days of Jinty there were some text stories, but they were sporadic and soon disappeared. But in 1981 they started again. And this time it was not only on a regular basis but the text stories took prominence by being featured exclusively on the cover. It is intriguing to ponder on the reasons for the resurgence in text stories. There had been a resurgence of text stories, in the form of Misty, which featured them regularly, and her text stories produced classics such as “The Doorway to Evil” and “The Little White Dot”. But Misty‘s text stories faded not long after she merged with Tammy in 1980. Yet the text story was revived in Jinty in 1981. Perhaps it was due to changeovers in the editing teams?

Another thing to note about the cover is that it drops the Penny logo.

“Pam of Pond Hill”, which used to appear first in a Jinty issue, has been stopped for the moment. The last episode concluded with an invitation to readers to ask for it back. Meanwhile, “Dracula’s Daughter” is now the first story we see when we open a copy of Jinty.

The Gypsy Rose stories of 1981 were reprint now (with perhaps a few exceptions). They were either older Gypsy Roses or, more often, reprints of Strange Stories which substituted Gypsy Rose for the Storyteller. This did enable Jinty readers to see some artwork from non-Jinty artists, such as John Armstrong and Tony Highmore.

This week’s episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” is a highlight. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn drop in after a misunderstanding gets Sir Roger on the wrong side of Henry – and we all know what that will mean! But Henry gets more than he bargained for when he gets on the wrong side of Gaye for eating the Sunday dinner. She calls him an “over-stuffed spectre!” and chases him off with a broom. “Verily, thou has a right one there!” Henry tells Sir Roger, “And I thought I wast hag-ridden!”