Tag Archives: Champion from Nowhere

Tammy 24 June 1972

School for Snobs (artist J. Badesa, writers Pat Mills/John Wagner) – final episode

The Uxdale Urchins (artist Eduardo Feito) – first episode

The Saint of the Snows

Lulu – cartoon

The Champion from Nowhere (artist Tom Hurst)

The Witch of Widcombe Wold (artist Jesus Redondo, creator Terence Magee)

Jill’s Only Joy (artist John Armstrong)

Tina on a Tightrope (artist Roy Newby)

Take Over Biddie 

A Special Tammy Portrait – Peter Osgood

5 Radios To Be Won! – Competition

The Dragon of St George’s (artist Douglas Perry)

No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon)

Here Comes Trouble (artist Luis Bermejo)

Now we come to part 2 of our Tammy June month round robin with a June issue from 1972. It’s been over a year since Tammy started, and we can see how Tammy has developed. When she first started, there was nothing in the way of humour to balance things. Her focus was on darkness, cruelty and ill-used heroines. She ramped it up to the max, which sometimes went over the top. We’ve still got the cruelty and ill-used heroines, especially Molly Mills, but Tammy is now injecting more comedy and lightweight stories into the mix, so there is a better balance of stories than before. 

Tammy now has a cartoon strip (Lulu), something she didn’t have when she began. However, the most notable example of Tammy’s increasing use of humour is “School for Snobs”, a special school devoted to curing girls of snobbery in hilarious come-uppance ways (but it must be said that it did go overboard at times!). The first School for Snobs story ends this week. It’s not the “snob of the week” format that it would have in its sequels; it was a story arc about reforming two snobbish sisters. One reforms pretty quickly and learns a lot from the school, but the other is a tough nut to crack. It’s not until the final episode this week that she finally decides to make an effort to change. 

A mix of drama and humour is used in “The Dragon of St George’s”, about an army sports mistress who runs athletics military style at a boarding school. She’s nicknamed “The Dragon”, and under normal circumstances in girls’ comics she would be a tyrant teacher hated by all the girls. Instead, Tammy turns it around by making the Dragon the heroine of the piece. And why is this? The Dragon is helping the girls to keep the sports they love so much in the face of the mean headmistress and the head girl who don’t approve of athletics and want the school to be exclusively academic. The story was so popular it scored an appearance in a Tammy annual. 

The 1971 Tammy focused more on unredeemable villains, such as Ma Thatcher of “Slaves of ‘War Orphan Farm’” and Miss Bramble of “The Four Friends at Spartan School“, but now we are getting some humorous villains. One is Ma Sload of “The Champion of Nowhere”, who is taking advantage of an amnesic girl and her talent for tennis. Although Ma Sload is a serious villain, there is a dash of humour to her too, which makes her oddly endearing. We are also getting villains played more for humour than cruelty. One is the “Witch of Widecombe Wold”, who is always making trouble for her descendant, Lynn Halifax, when she moves to Widecombe Wold, but each week the witch ends up with things backfiring on her and looking stupid. Still, we must remember she is still a villain who has to be got rid of.

“Here Comes Trouble” is another indication of how Tammy is developing. As well as her usual ill-used heroines, she is working on having some really ballsy protagonists who don’t take things lying down. 

“Take Over Biddie” is also another example in how Tammy is exploring different types of character portrayal and telling things from a character’s point of view. The story is told from the point of view from Biddie’s cousin Grace. Biddie has had an unhappy home life because of her snobbish mother. Grace has felt sorry for Biddie, but now she’s beginning to suspect Biddie is pushing her out. However, we suspect Grace will still be going through moments where she does not know what to think of Biddie.

Tammy had a high preponderance of period stories in her early years. Her current period stories are “The Saint of the Snows” and “Tina on a Tightrope”. Curiously, her period stories had dwindled by the 1980s.

“Jill’s Only Joy” is the only story I have seen where John Armstrong drew a ballet story. And when you look at the artwork, you have to wonder why he didn’t draw more ballet stories. Jill Carter is striving to be a ballerina, not only in the face of cruel step-parents but also because she wears glasses. And this week she also has to contend with a ballet teacher who is really picking on her. 

In 1971, Eduardo Feito began his long-running streak in drawing horse stories for Tammy with “Halves in a Horse”. This week he starts on “The Uxdale Urchins”. Girls save coal mine ponies from being put down and start a riding club with them, “The Uxdale Urchins”, but they soon find they have to contend with the snobs from another riding club.

Tammy and Sally 1 April 1972

Tammy & Sally 1 April 1972

  • Lori Left Behind (artist Luis Bermejo)
  • School for Snobs (artist J. Badesa, writers Pat Mills and John Wagner)
  • Rona Rides Again (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Lulu (cartoon)
  • Skimpy Must Ski! (artist Tom Hurst) – final episode
  • The Long and the Short (artist Antonio Borrell)
  • Steffi in the Swim (artist Victor Ramos?)
  • No Hope for Cathy (artist Victor Hugo Arias)
  • Maisie’s Magic Eye (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • A Special Tammy Portrait – Ryan O’Neal
  • Talk It over with Trudy – problem page
  • The Champion from Nowhere (artist Tom Hurst)
  • Paula on a String
  • No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon)

Easter is coming, so I am bringing out some Easter-themed Tammys from my collection. This is the earliest one I have, and it’s from 1972. It has a very cute cover on making decorated Easter eggs. The date coincides with April Fool’s Day, so it’s not surprising to see Lulu (Tammy’s cartoon strip at the time) play April Fool’s jokes with Easter eggs. But she’s the one who becomes the fool because her April Fool’s jokes all rebound on her. At least the one Mum plays on Lulu is a good-natured one that gives Lulu a happy ending, in the form of a ticket to the circus. Tammy also has an Easter-themed competition. Just find the two Easter eggs that are identical and you are in the running to win a mini-mod wrist watch!

It is part two of “Lori Left Behind”. Lori Danby’s father did not make a wise choice in leaving her in the care of the Jimsons – they are making her an unpaid slave in their café. Lori is trying numerous ways to escape. So far she’s not had any success, but by the end of this episode she has come up with an idea that sounds like a winner. Let’s see if it is next week.

“School for Snobs”, one of Tammy’s classic stories, is on part two as well. Two ultra-snobby sisters, Cynthia and Pamela Masters, have been sent to a special school that reforms snobs. It does so in wacky ways that provide loads of laughs for the readers. Cynthia and Pamela aren’t giving up their snobbish ways that easily, but by the end of the episode headmistress Hermione Snoot is confident that her school is starting to take effect on them. Don’t be too sure about that, Hermione – you’re only on part two, after all!

“Rona Rides Again” was reprinted in Jinty annual 1982. Rona Danby is regaining her nerve for riding with the aid of her new horse Flo. The trouble is, Flo is prone to strange fits, which messes up her gymkhana performance with Rona in this episode. It also has people saying she is a rogue horse that must be destroyed, so Rona has to keep Flo protected from that.

It’s a double helping of Tom Hurst artwork. The first is in the final episode of “Skimpy Must Ski!”, where Skimpy Shaw must win a big ski race. Unfortunately her rival is pulling all sorts of dirty tricks to get ahead. The other is “The Champion from Nowhere”. Ma Sload takes advantage of the protagonist losing her memory to entrap her with lies, make her a slave, and give her the false identity of Mary Spinks. Ma is even using “Mary’s” talent for tennis to enslave her. “Mary” is now beginning to suspect that Ma Sload has told her a load of lies about her identity, but it looks like Ma Sload is about to pull another trick to foil that one.

“Maisie’s Magic Eye” makes Miss Morphit (“Morphy”), the tyrannical sports mistress of the piece, jump in the river after saying “Oh, go jump in the river, Morphy!” to an early gym session. This backfires in the end because it gives Morphy the idea of making the class go swimming in the river instead of gym. Brrrr!

On the subject of swimming, “Steffi in the Swim” is an odd swimming serial. Steffi James is terrified of swimming after a childhood incident, but she’s receiving swimming lessons from a coach who is so mysterious that she keeps in the shadows while giving Steffi swimming lessons and Steffi does not even know her name. Even more oddly, she’s starting Steffi off with backstroke instead of freestyle. As it is, Steffi is now beginning to swim, but now bullies are getting suspicious of her secret.

“The Long and the Short” are two cousins, one tall (Debbie) and one short (Vally), who are in an athletics team. Vally gets dropped because the wrong shoes make her perform badly. She gets reinstated with Aunty Nan’s help, but Debbie is worried because she has not heard from her parents. Then a telegram arrives. Will it have good or bad news about Debbie’s parents?

“Paula on a String” is being forced by her uncle and aunt to pretend to be a long-lost granddaughter in order to cheat Mrs Morley out of money. Paula decides to stop the charade and leaves Mrs Morley a note about it. However, her scheming relatives aren’t giving up and are planning something even worse to get what they want out of Mrs Morley. But what is their plan?

Pickering, the cruel butler in Molly Mills, is convinced a ghost is haunting him (the bully does betray a superstitious streak now and then). Meanwhile, Molly is convinced that the caretaker, Carter, is acting suspiciously. Things take a really bizarre turn when Pickering sacks Carter – and then disappears from Stanton Hall. His note says he is quitting Stanton Hall because he can’t stand that ghost any longer.