Tag Archives: Casey Come Back!

Jinty 30 June 1979

Jinty cover 30 June 1979

  • Casey, Come Back! – final episode (unknown artist – Merry)
  • The Forbidden Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Nothing to Sing About (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Keep Your Fingers Crossed! (feature)
  • The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trine Tinturé)
  • The Hill that Cried – Gypsy Rose story (artist Shirley Bellwood)
  • Some Scarecrow! (Michael Jackson feature)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Beauty on a Budget (feature)

This issue’s cover portrays two water scenes, but they are a complete contrast. In “The Forbidden Garden” it’s a life-or-death situation where Laika and Kara nearly drown in floodwaters, while in “Bizzie Bet and the Easies” it’s fun-and-sun by the sea. And for once Bet scores a final laugh over the Easies.

In “A Girl Called Gulliver” there’s water trouble too, as our last Lilliputians set themselves sailing down the river in an old tea kettle – only to find they forgot to check it was seaworthy first, and it isn’t!

It’s the last episode of “Casey, Come Back!”, one of the three-part stories that appeared in Jinty in 1979 but give the impression they could have done with more prolonged treatment. Next we see the start of the Jinty classic, “Almost Human”, and “Mike and Terry”, Jinty’s response to popular demand for a detective story.

Pandora’s difficulty with maths has forced her hand to use the witchcraft box. But she finds she won’t get her box to work unless she gets herself a familiar, which means swallowing her dislike of cats. So meet Scruffy, the cross-eyed cat who doesn’t like Pandora any more than she likes him.

“The Disappearing Dolphin” leads the scuba divers to exciting archaeological finds. But Mrs Ormerod-Keynes, who is trying to stop the expedition, is not impressed. Now why could that be?

Gypsy Rose is back this week, but it feels like a filler. Gypsy Rose all but disappeared in 1979, making intermittent appearances. She never achieved the long-standing regularity of the Storyteller in June/Tammy. The Gypsy Rose story this week is clearly another recycled Strange Story. A Cornish family are faced with selling their farm, but strange things start to happen when a hill starts crying and wailing…

Alley Cat artist Rob Lee breaks the fourth wall and presents Alley Cat with some tasty treats to cheer him up in the last panel after Alley Cat gets a bit of a disappointment with this week’s episode.

Linette’s actions to shut her father’s music out of her life is really hurting her schoolmates, who are still fans of it. This week she has to change schools as well, but her attitude is making the transition even more difficult.

Jinty 16 June 1979

Jinty cover 16 June 1979

  • Casey, Come Back! – first episode (unknown artist – Merry)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • The Forbidden Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Alley Cat
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Nothing to Sing About (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Take Your Pick! – General Knowledge Quiz
  • The Disappearing Dolphin – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Four-Footed Friends (artist Peter Wilkes, writer Alison Christie)
  • Your Own Seaside Rock! (feature)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)

As the cover announces, there are two new stories in this issue. And the moment we open up the issue, we see the first one: “Casey, Come Back!”. Josie Stanton lives a lonely life with her grandfather. While not downright cruel or abusive like some guardians we’ve seen in Jinty, grandfather does not show Josie any affection, takes her for granted, and just expects her to work hard on the farm. Casey the dog is the only friend Josie has. Then grandfather deprives Josie of even that when he sells Casey! Looks like he’s taken Josie for granted once too often.

The other story is another Trini Tinturé story, “The Disappearing Dolphin”. An underwater archaeological dig turns to mystery when a dolphin shows up and then disappears without explanation.

“The Four-Footed Friends” is now on its penultimate episode, so we will be seeing a new story pretty soon. Mrs Marshall finally pushes Laura too far with her ridiculous carry-on about germs and mixing with ‘common’ people. So now Laura is running away, with the dogs in tow!

In “The Forbidden Garden”, they have advanced the programmed rainfall, which puts Laika’s precious plants in danger of being ruined. Talk about “it never rains but it pours”!

In part two of “Nothing to Sing About”, Linette’s father dies. Linette blames the fans, despite her mother saying it was just a heart attack that could have struck at any time. Linette’s bitterness is making everyone suffer, and she’s vowed never to sing again. Hmm, that may be harder than you think, Linette!

Pandora has been confident that she can get by at stage school without her aunt’s box of witchcraft. But her confidence is shattered when she gets mixed feedback on why she was such a hit at her school show, with some saying that she is not all that good and just gets noticed because she is “so pushy” and a “big-head” (no arguments there). So she gives in to her aunt and accepts the box.

In “A Girl Called Gulliver”, Maloney snatches Gwenny’s bag to get his hands on the Lilliputians. But then a policeman gets his hands on Maloney! However, more trouble is soon brewing for the Lilliputians, in the form of a vacuum cleaner and then a cat, whom Minty is determined to fight.

Bizzie Bet hopes the Hobbies Fair will make the Easies more active. But of course they go for a hobby where they can still go easy. And it’s yoga. Maybe they should try meditation too.

Story length through Jinty’s life

I have created a new page listing the stories in Jinty by publication date. This seemed like an interesting and useful addition to the list of stories in alphabetical order that has been in place on the blog since we started. As part of the information on that new page it seemed sensible to count the number of episodes for each story, too (where possible) – luckily for me, the Catawiki data that I was using to compile this information gave me the ability to include that for almost all stories. As I put together the list, I got the impression that in the last year of Jinty‘s publication, the story length was getting shorter and shorter: so I pulled together some stats on it.

For each year below, there are some stories I excluded from the statistics, either because I didn’t have a complete count of all the episodes (for instance where a story had started in Lindy or Penny before their merger with Jinty), or because they were by their nature long-running humour strips with no specific start or end point. I’ll give a list of the excluded stories and their running lengths further down this post.

  • For 1974, the mean story length is just under 16 episodes and the mode (most usual) story length is 13 episodes
  • For 1975, the mean is just under 18 episodes and the mode is 16 episodes
  • For 1976, the mean is just under 15 episodes and the mode is 19 episodes
  • For 1977, the mean is just over 14 episodes and the mode is 11
  • For 1978, the mean is just over 16 episodes and the mode is 18
  • For 1979, the mean is just over 14 episodes and the mode is 12
  • For 1980, the mean is 11.5 episodes and the mode is 12
  • For 1981, the mean is 11 episodes and the mode is 10

We can see that the two averages do go up and down over the run of Jinty. Having said that, the drop-off in episode length in 1980 and 1981 does look like a real change, despite that context of background variation. (I’m not going to do any full-on statistical analysis with standard deviations and so on though!) Both average figures are down in those two years, because there are fewer long stories pushing up the mean as well as a general trend to the slightly shorter length of 10 – 12 episodes.

Which stories did I exclude from the analytics, and why?

  • The humour strips with no specific story arc: “Dora Dogsbody” (94 episodes), “Do-it-Yourself Dot” (62 episodes), “The Jinx From St Jonah’s” (112 episodes), “The Snobs and the Scruffs” (12 episodes), “Desert Island Daisy” (9 episodes), “Bird-Girl Brenda” (27 episodes), “The Hostess with the Mostess” (19 episodes), “Bet Gets The Bird!” (11 episodes), “Alley Cat” (163 episodes), “Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag!” (111 episodes), “Bizzie Bet and the Easies” (27 episodes), “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” (96 episodes).
  • “Merry at Misery House” (66 episodes) is not a humour strip but like those above, it has no specific overall story arc, no obvious beginning or end that is worked towards throughout its run. I have therefore excluded that too. The same goes for “Pam of Pond Hill” which ran to a mighty 126 episodes in Jinty and then on into Tammy of course.
  • The stories that I have incomplete episode information about: “Finleg the Fox”, “Penny Crayon”, “Hettie High-and-Mighty”, “Gypsy Rose” (these stories are not catalogued on Catawiki as a group), “Rinty n Jinty”, “Seulah the Seal”, “Tansy of Jubilee Street”, and “Snoopa”. Various of those would be excluded even if I had complete episode numbers, of course.
    • Edited to add: further information has been given in the comments below. “Finleg” and “Hettie” ran for 7 episodes in Lindy, and “Tansy” ran for 45 episodes in Penny. “Seulah” ran for 11 episodes in Penny, and then started a new story in Jinty & Penny, which I hadn’t really realised. The two Seulah stories were more like separate arcs in a bigger story than self-contained stories in themselves. Many thanks to Marc for this information! I will add them into the spreadsheet and see if it makes any difference to the years in question.
    • “Snoopa” ran for 45 episodes in Penny, which Mistyfan confirms below (many thanks). As a gag strip, this would not be included in the year-on-year statistics in any case.

Longest run of an individual story? “Alley Cat” has all the others beat, at 163 episodes; runners-up are “Pam of Pond Hill” at 126 episodes, and then “The Jinx From St Jonah’s” and “Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag!” neck and neck at 112 and 111 episodes respectively. However, if you exclude these and look at the length of the ‘normal’ stories, then the top three are “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (36 episodes), “Fran of the Floods” (35 episodes), and “Always Together…” (29 episodes). (Phil Townsend does particularly well for long-running stories, as “Daddy’s Darling” clocks in at 24 episodes and “Song of the Fir Tree” at 22 episodes.)

At the other end of things are some short stories. There are only two single-episode stories: “Holly and the Ivy” and “Mimi Seeks a Mistress”. “Freda’s Fortune” is the only two episode story. “Mimi” was a reprinted story, printed towards the end of 1980; possibly “Holly” and “Freda” were intended for publication in annuals or summer specials and then used as filler.

There are a few 3 or 4 episode stories: “The Birds”, “The Changeling”, “Casey, Come Back!”, and “The Tale of the Panto Cat”. This is also an odd length for a story – long enough to allow for a bit of development, but short enough to feel a bit abruptly cut off when you get to the end. Of these four, I’d say that “The Birds” is the one I find uses its length most successfully, though “Panto” works pretty well as a seasonal short. The slightly-longer “Her Guardian Angel” (5 episodes) likewise uses its length reasonably well to give us a seasonal amusement.  Some other shorter stories, such as “Badgered Belinda” (7 episodes), do read like they have probably been cut down from an originally-intended standard length of 10 – 12 episodes.

The spreadsheet with this information is available on request – please comment and I will be happy to email it to you if you want.

Jinty 23 June 1979

Jinty 23 June 1979

“Nothing To Sing About” in this issue is not one of artist Phil Townsend’s best-remembered stories nor one of his most heart-wrenching, but it deals with grief at losing a loved one to an early death a bit more effectively than the rather silly “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” did. Linette Davis’ erratic behaviour is rightly set down to the shock of her dad’s early death, and she has not yet worn out her mother’s (or the readers’!) sympathy.

The Four-Footed Friends” finishes in this issue: Laura’s mother’s attitude is changed once Riley the mongrel heroically pushes Laura away from a falling brick wall. She explains finally that it was her own grief at losing her baby boy many years ago that made her snobbishly push away Riley and his owner Josie.

Stories in this issue:

  • Casey, Come Back! (unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • The Forbidden Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Nothing To Sing About (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Four-Footed Friends (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)

Unknown Artist (Merry)

A number of the artists on Jinty remain as yet unidentified. One of the main artists we would love to identify is the person who drew one of the Jinty stories in the very first issue, “Merry at Misery House”. For convenience in this article, I will use the pronoun ‘her’ for this artist, and refer to her as ‘Merry’. (Of course, I have no knowledge at present as to whether she really was a female artist, or anything much about her. I like to think she may have been a British artist; somehow I get a vibe of classic British style, as if her art would be right at home in a Bunty or Girl annual from a previous decade. I also like to think she may be female, but if asked to substantiate my feeling I would have to go down some route of gender essentialisation, pointing to the delicate lines or similar, so I shall avoid doing that. That is, any guesswork is all supposition and imagination!)

6 March 1976 page 1
(click thru)
6 March 1976 page 2
(click thru)
6 March 1976 page 3
(click thru)

‘Merry’ seems to have been particularly associated with Terence Magee at various points in time: she drew “Merry at Misery House” in Jinty, but also “Four Friends At Spartan School” (published in Tammy in 1971-72), and “Slave of the Trapeze” (published in Sandie in September 1972, but originally commissioned for Tammy). The Jinty stories attributable to her are as follows:

  • Merry at Misery House (1974)
  • Hettie High-And-Mighty (1975)
  • Friends of the Forest (1976)
  • Miss Make-Believe (1979)
  • Casey, Come Back (1979)
  • Tale of the Panto Cat (1979)

The post about “Merry at Misery House” also includes artwork from “Four Friends at Spartan School”. In these earlier stories, the composition of individual panels is mostly based around a middle distance view: the characters are seen full body, or three-quarters, and you get lots of interaction between them. The slightly later story “Friends of the Forest” (above), in particular, gives a ‘closer up’ feel, with tight focus on the faces of the characters. In this example there are fewer panels on a page, too, giving a more open feel. It is really nice to see an artist changing the way they work as they go along and experimenting with new looks; as a reader you feel that it wasn’t just a treadmill or a grindstone, despite the busy schedule that many of the artists must have put in to create so many pages of amazing art.

I should also add that some of the stories attributed above to ‘Merry’ have previously been attributed to other artists: “Hettie High-And-Mighty” to Jordi Badia, and “Miss Make-Believe” tentatively to Sarompas. I am however confident of this attribution to ‘Merry’; there is a typical stance that she draws with hands in a specific position that is unmistakable. I will feature it when I come to illustrate “Miss Make-Believe” later; it can also be seen in the bottom-left panel of this page from “Hettie High-And-Mighty”:

(click thru)
(click thru)

Any information leading to a positive identification of this artist will be very gratefully received.

Edited to add: other stories drawn by this artist include

  • Bess’s Secret Brother (Judy, 1984)