Tag Archives: Carlos Cruz

Jinty 19 September 1981

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi) – final episode

Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)

‘Girl Called Scarecrow’ (artist Veronica Weir) – Gypsy Rose story

Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)

Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)

Man’s Best Friend – Toy Dogs

Stacy’s Posy (artist Mario Capaldi) – text story

The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz)

Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

Winning Ways – Volleyball (writer Benita Brown)

Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

“Dracula’s Daughter” ends this week. The final episode has a four-page spread instead of the usual three, which further suggests this story was brought to a quick conclusion to help clear the decks for the merger. The extra page helps to develop the ending further and give things more room to breathe.

The ending: Everyone at Castlegate is relieved when Mr Graves decides to leave. He is returning to his old grammar school, this time as headmaster, after finding out its discipline has slipped so badly that its pupils are running amok, vandalising property, and getting into trouble with the police. Bully teacher Mrs Snape is leaving too, which is another great relief for Castlegate. She is transferring to another school, as she did not like her pupils’ company any more than they did hers – only to find one of them is going to follow her to her new school. Sonya, the popular teacher driven out by Mr Graves’ over-zealous drive to run the school on his strict grammar school lines, returns as headmistress, so the school’s even happier.

However, the ending doesn’t have everything being resolved with Mr Graves and Mrs Snape simply leaving Castlegate. It both surprises and impresses us by having Mr Graves develop and emerge less bigoted about schools should be run. He’s still a disciplinarian and wearing that dreadful, old-fashioned teacher’s gown that earned him the nickname “Dracula”. But he’s gone from believing his way is the only way to run a school to accepting that there is no one way of running a school. He’s also modified his view that fun does not belong in a school and should be kept in the home. Now he’s allowing some fun things at school and showing his pupils he has a funny side. His farewell gift to Castlegate reflects this: a complete collection of Dracula films to remember him by! The boys at the grammar school might get a surprise when they see the change in him. Perhaps even the teachers too.

Sadly, no improvement in the character of the horrible Mrs Snape, so there is a worry about the pupils at her new school. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all. At least she leaves Castlegate with a comeuppance of sorts.

The fifth dream world in “Worlds Apart” is now dying with its creator, Clare. Hers is the only imaginary death in the story that is not shown, so we don’t see how her dream world ultimately backfired on her, caused her death, and taught her the ultimate lesson about how horrible her dream world is. We are informed that the sixth and final dream world (followed by the conclusion to the story) will be a “horror film world”. Its creator is Jilly, a girl who seems to be in a perpetual state of fear. 

“Holiday Hideaway” is also approaching its conclusion. Hattie manages to save the family pretence (hiding in the house, pretending to be on holiday) from unravelling again. However, we are informed they are going to get “the shock of their lives” when they “‘come home’” next week. We suspect this has something to do with being caught out. 

This week’s Gypsy Rose story is a new one, not a repeat or a recycled Strange Story. Julia is bullied and called “scarecrow” because of her straw-like appearance and thin build, and being a bit timid. However, her scarecrow build helps one of her bully classmates (thin enough to slip out when they’re trapped in a barn and get help) when she has an accident. After that, everyone wants to be friends with Julia. However, Julia can’t tell them that she got help from a real scarecrow, which pointed her in the right path to take for help.  

In the other stories, the text story has Stacy dress up in period costume for a town festival. It brings back a ghost from that era, who presents her with a posy. Tansy believes she’s brilliant at general knowledge, but when she enters a quiz competition her history knowledge proves deficient and she gets landed with extra history homework. Coincidentally, Gaye does the same thing with Sir Roger, and even forces the poor ghost to wear a dunce’s hat. Suzie Choo brings Chinese themes to the school open day. Alley Cat wants to go fishing but doesn’t want to get caught in the rain. Instead of a raincoat he uses his bin for protection. The results are a bit mixed but work out in the end.

Jinty 12 September 1981

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)

Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)

Where the Heart Is (artist Mario Capaldi) – text story

Rosemary for Remembrance (artist Russ Nicholson?) – Gypsy Rose story

Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)

Man’s Best Friend – Terriers – feature 

Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)

Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

Winning Ways (writer Benita Brown)

The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz)

Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy) – final episode

Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

We continue our September theme with a couple of September Jinty issues from 1981.

In hindsight, one senses this issue marks the first signs of Jinty’s wind-down towards the merger. The reason for this is that this week’s penultimate episode of “Dracula’s Daughter” feels like the story’s being brought to a quick conclusion. Only with the previous episode did things take a surprise turn with ultra-disciplinarian Mr Graves deciding to bend his rigid views that fun belongs in the home and not at school, and allow a comedy show in gratitude to the girls. By contrast, Mrs Snape (no relation to Severus Snape but definitely the same breed of teacher) turned against Mr Graves’ daughter Lydia because she mucked up her hopes for deputy principal. Now she’s bullying Lydia big time. Both things had potential to be developed further with more episodes. Perhaps the writer had plans to do so, but the Editor told him/her to finish the story fast, we’ve got to start clearing the decks for the merger. As it is, we’ve barely got into this turn of events, and then things come to a fast head when the girls find a phone booth vandalised. Nasty Mrs Snape blames them for it and drags them to the police station.

In the letter column, one reader asked for “Pam of Pond Hill” and “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” to be retired, believing they’d worn thin, and suggested more SF stories. In response, Editor asked readers to share their views and whether they wanted Pam to return (she had ended some issues earlier, with readers invited to ask for her back). The answer must have been a resounding yes, as Pam did return before the merger and then carried on with the merger itself. The Editor had no comment about Gloomy Ghost (its end came in the last issue of Jinty), which incidentally has a metal-detecting theme this week. 

“Angela’s Angels” concludes. The Angels are celebrating because they’ve passed their exams. Of course they know there’s a long way to go yet before they’re qualified nurses, “but it’s so rewarding!”. 

“Holiday Hideaway” shows no sign of a fast conclusion. Or, for that matter, any conclusion to the charade the family goes through in the name of pride: hide in the house because Dad doesn’t want people to know they can’t afford their holiday. And poor Hattie is lumbered with the job of keeping the secret safe from close shaves. This week it’s helping the family avoid being caught while a girl guide does their windows and lawn.

“Worlds Apart” is on its fifth dream world come alive and there is one dream world to go. So there is no ending for this story just yet, but it’s definitely getting there. Brainy Clare seems to have forgotten her humanity in her dream world of intellectualism. She only sees her classmates, who are subhuman “dullards” in this world, as lab rats in her research laboratory. Dullard rights demonstrators have rescued the girls and turned them loose into the wild, but it’s full of dangers and predators. Added to that, Clare is catching up with the girls. But then Clare suddenly finds her heart again when her superiors want to capture the “dullards’” perils all on television and she protests that it’s cruel.

“Tansy of Jubilee Street” carries on as usual. In this week’s story, Tansy becomes a marshal for a cycling rally. But things backfire when she unwittingly starts a rally craze in Jubilee Street.

This week’s Gypsy Rose tale is another recycled Strange Story. Nobody in the family but Susan appreciates Gran’s enthusiasm for herbs. Rosemary is Susan’s favourite. Susan takes some herb cuttings for the family’s new flat, but they don’t seem to flourish as well as they did at Gran’s. Gran appears and gives Susan some advice on reviving them – and then Susan hears Gran just died. Spooky! Not surprisingly, the herbs flourish after that, especially the rosemary.

In “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”, a bullying motorcycle gang causes trouble at the Chinese restaurant. They keep barging in and forcing the establishment to give them free meals. Instead of the police, Suzie Choo brings in a giant panda to drive them off, courtesy of the zoo and her Chinese friend there.

The premise of the text story, “Where the Heart is”, would be used again in Tammy’s “Telling the Bees” in Tammy, 12 November 1983. A Puritan girl finds a wounded Cavalier soldier and hides him while nursing his wounds, and romance begins to bloom.

Alley Cat’s on the back cover, in blue print. Melvyn goofs and brings Alley Cat light bulbs instead of flower bulbs. But when Spotty Muchloot makes trouble, Alley Cat puts the bulbs to good use against him. Meanwhile, Snoopa visits a hall of mirrors – and finds the one showing his normal reflection the most horrible.

Princess II, 14 January 1984

Princess II cover 14 January 1984

  • School of Dark Secrets! (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story)
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes ) – final episode
  • Best of Friends… (photo story) – final episode
  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess – Bright Ideas Box (feature)

Surprisingly, there is no Princess Di pin-up in this issue. Instead, we get a how-to-make page. Meanwhile, two stories end this issue and two reach their penultimate episodes.

Feeling responsible for Katie and Lizzie falling out, Linda hatches a plan to bring the “Best of Friends” back together. It not only succeeds but gets Linda happily accepted as a third friend as well.

In “Suzy and Snowdrop”, matters come to a head when Jane runs off because of her demanding Aunt Alice – but doesn’t get far because she falls asleep in the stable. Meanwhile, Suzy discovers why Aunt Alice has been so demanding – she was trying to get Jane to take her place after she lost her nerve from a riding accident. Auntie turns over a new leaf and even gives Snowdrop back to Suzy.

“Fairy Tale” and “The Ghostly Ballerina” are the stories on their penultimate episodes. The evil Morgana is obliged to kiss the Frog Prince to make him human – “Yeeeuuurgh!”, to which he replies, “the feeling’s mutual!”, so he can kiss Sleeping Beauty awake. But now Morgana is sending everyone to the executioner’s block so she can be fairest in the land. Now this really has us wondering what can happen in the final episode to have everyone in this mix-up of fairy tales live happily ever after – minus Morgana, of course.

Clare Thomas is now well and truly understanding the nightmare of being in the power of “The Ghostly Ballerina”, and it’s driving her mad. Then her friend Sonja suspects something is wrong. So we know Sonja will help somehow and eagerly await to see how she does so in the final episode.

For some reason “School of Dark Secrets” gets an exclamation mark in its title this week. Maybe it’s because Judy gets a clue about its dark secret: a legendary coven of witches that needs 13 to be complete. Could this coven be the staff at her school – which Judy has suddenly noticed are all women? This could explain the weird goings-on Judy saw in the night, but they are one short of 13, to Judy’s relief. But in the final panel the headmistress says: “Our waiting is over. The thirteenth one is here!” Now who can that be? Oh, surely not…who we think it is?

The Treetoppers Secret Society is formed, but it gets Sheena and her siblings into trouble with their parents. They get a grounding that interferes with their next meeting. Can they find their new friend Jenny and explain?

Grovel is lazing about, as usual (watching Playschool?!). But he is forced to get his hands dirty digging up his shoes, which Princess Bee’s corgi has buried in the garden. The trouble is, the corgi has buried a lot of other shoes in the garden too, not to mention bones.

 

Jinty 26 September 1981

schoolgirls passing a collection box with the words Mayors Appeal on it

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Freda’s Fortune – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • All over a farthing… – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Child’s Play – Gypsy Rose story (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways – sports tips
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals – last episode (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)

This is one of the last few issues of Jinty before the merger with Tammy. As a result it is full of penultimate episodes (Holiday Hideaway, Worlds Apart), a final episode (The Sweet and Sour Rivals) and complete or nearly complete stories (the Gypsy Rose story, and the first half of the two-parter Freda’s Fortune).

Freda wins a pony in a raffle – a stroke of luck for her, as she has longed for one since she was a toddler, but also some bad luck because not only does she have to find somewhere to keep it and food to feed it, she also earns the envy of snobbish Susan who will stop at little to throw a spoke in her wheel.

The text story “All over a farthing” has a struggling girl give away a lucky farthing to the school charity appeal, only to find that it brings luck back to her and her unemployed father in an unexpected way.

The Gypsy Rose story, “Child’s Play”, is a new one this week, drawn by Phil Townsend (though the subsequent week’s issue will have a reprint of a story by Trini Tinturé from 1977). I reprint it below.

“Holiday Hideaway” is coming to an end – the family in hiding prepare to ‘return from holiday’ which will mean they have to continue to lie to their friends by pretending they have been away on a cruise ship holiday all along. But the episode ends by a reveal that they can’t possibly have been on the ship – the liner never left England in the first place! How will Hattie Jones and her family keep their heads up now?

This is the last episode of “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”: at the school fair Mandy and her friend Suzie Choo face off against Abigail Beaton whose family run the town’s snootiest restaurant. As often happens with schoolgirl rivalries, the envious antagonist overreaches herself and the good girl(s) have to save the day, including the antagonist herself. This time the jealous rival entices a horde of hungry dogs to all the food stalls, risking her own parents’ food stall as well as the Choo’s one; and Suzie saves the day by building a wall of plates to keep the dogs away. Yes, it’s a Great Wall of China (groan).

In “Worlds Apart” the six schoolgirls are transported from brainy Clare’s world into scaredy-cat Jilly’s world – one inhabited by horror monsters. Read all about it in the summary of that story, linked to above.

Page 1, “Child’s Play” – Gypsy Rose story

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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

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

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Sweet and Sour 2

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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 the play and puns on Chinese culture and words would be in today’s climate is anyone’s guess. Still, 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.