Tag Archives: Cinderella Smith

Jinty 19 April 1975

Jinty cover 19 April 1975

 

  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Tricia’s Tragedy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Jinty Makes It: A Sunflower Banner – Feature
  • Merry at Misery House (unknown artist – Merry; writer Terry Magee)
  • Tee-Shirts Are Tops! – Competition
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Tuesday’s Child is Full of Grace… – complete story (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Bet Gets the Bird! (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Philip Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Face the Music, Flo! – first episode (artist Jim Baikie)

 

Katie is helping her Aunt Lucy out at her small hotel while on holiday. Oh, dear – we all know what help from Katie the Jinx can turn into!

Tricia finds her blinded cousin Diana is following her around and thinks she’s being haunted by guilt. More likely she’s being haunted by something more fishy. Diana seems to have learned to walk around town blind in a remarkably short length of time. And how does she always know where to find Tricia if she’s blind?

Merry gets her memory back in the most shocking way possible – she sees her wanted poster, which tells everyone she’s on the run from a reformatory! Now she remembers, how long can she hide it from the family who are looking after her, especially as they now want to adopt her?

There is more parrot trouble than usual with this issue, because Ma Siddons is lumbered with a parrot at the hotel this week. He’s given her husband a good nip on the nose and loves a good nip himself – of rum! And in “Bet Gets the Bird!”, Rosy Posy needs a pick-me-up, but Bet can’t figure out what. And it isn’t rum.

“Face the Music, Flo!” starts this week. It has a twist on the theme where the protagonist wants to pursue a dream, but the parent does not want them to because either they got burned by something similar or they want to decide the career. Instead of a parent it’s an interfering sister, Flo, who tries to stop her brother Greg pursuing a show-business career because their late father tried the same but it didn’t work out. But Greg’s going ahead all the same. Is Flo right to stop him or will she find out she should have stayed out of it – even if she did promise her late mother she would make sure Greg got a steady job instead of going into show business?

Daddy shows his darling that he still has eyes only for her. Maggie collapses but Daddy won’t get a doctor. Lee has to do it.

Meanwhile, Cindy’s scored a small triumph over her nasty cousins. But it looks like things are going to get even worse for her next week now they’ve caught her writing a letter to her father. And it begins with Cindy suddenly being absent from school the next day and nobody knows why.

 

 

Jinty 10 May 1975

Jinty cover 10 May 1975

  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Tricia’s Tragedy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (unknown artist – Merry; writer Terence Magee)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Which Four-Footed Friend Are You? – Quiz
  • Friday’s Child is Loving and Giving… – complete story (unknown artist)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Bet Gets the Bird! (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Philip Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Cry in the Night! Jinty’s Favourite Spooky Stories (text)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

Katie’s trying her hand at golf – sounds like a recipe for disaster already. But in fact Katie gets some lucky flukes. The trouble is, they get her roped into a match against a pompous golfer, and £25 is at stake!

In “Tricia’s Tragedy” Dad’s getting more and more suspicious of his relatives when he discovers they’re trying to deprive Tricia of sleep and stop her winning the Lloyd Trophy. He’s resorting to some breaking and entering into their house to do some investigating. But will he get away with it, and can he find anything that will shed some light on things?

In “Merry at Misery House”, the Warden and Miss Ball are behaving more suspiciously too. They’re putting the inmates out to work on a farm. Is that legal? The farmer’s phone call to the Warden indicates that it is not; it’s all for profit on both sides. For Merry and Co it just means more misery, because the farmer soon shows he is just as cruel as the reformatory staff.

Cinderella Smith now has to take on even more work in order to raise the money to buy back her treasured pendant that her mean cousins sold. But at the end she hasn’t got enough and time has run out! What to do?

In “Daddy’s Darling” Daddy turns human for once and sees to it that Joe gets a train set for his birthday. But the kids in the playground are being mean towards Lee because they think she is a softie from all her dad’s mollycoddling.

In “Face the Music, Flo!”, Flo’s interfering with her brother’s music career and (accidentally) messing up his guitar finally bites back at her. He’s so angry when he finds it all out that he’s walking out and leaving her all alone!

Concealing a parrot at school reaps more consequences for Bet. Bully Prissy finds out and starts blackmailing her and her friends. Rosy Posy manages to put a spoke in that wheel, but now Prissy’s really out to get her!

Layabout Ma Siddons gets a shock when two Welsh collies are booked into the dogs’ hotel. They are working dogs that demand that people keep them working, and they are rounding Ma Siddons up like a sheep (someone had to do it).

 

 

Jinty 29 March 1975

Jinty cover 29 March 1975

  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Tricia’s Tragedy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (unknown artist – Merry, writer Terence Magee)
  • Easter Fun with Jinty – feature
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Bet Gets the Bird! (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Philip Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)

 

This is Jinty’s first Easter issue. To celebrate, Jinty has “Easter Fun with Jinty”, which tells you how to make an Easter egg cake and felt Easter bunnies. The Jinx from St Jonah’s has an Easter theme too – Katie is invited to an Easter holiday fancy dress show. But we all know our jinx, and she really excels herself when she persuades a friend to dress up as a gorilla!

“Slave of the Mirror” and “The Kat and Mouse Game” look like they are nearing the end. Mia, the slave of the mirror, finds surprise help in Inez. Inez has not only worked out what the mirror is doing to Mia but also found out information that could help free her from the mirror. In “The Kat and Mouse Game”, Kat has the gall to continue taking advantage of Mouse after getting her expelled. This time it’s conning Mouse into taking her place in the ballet show and dancing Kat’s way to success for her. But Kat did not bargain on everyone finding out who was really dancing the role! Trouble is, how is this going help Mouse clear her name and declaw the scheming Kat?

Merry has escaped from Misery House. But she had the bad luck to lose her memory in an accident. She cannot remember who she is, that she is on the run, or that she has to raise help for the girls at Misery House. And now the cruel staff of Misery House have discovered her escape and spitefully locked up her friend Carla in a detention cell.

Tricia’s guilt complex is turning her into a slave to her cousin Diana and leaving her with no time to train for the event she promised her father she would win. Dad does not believe a word Diana’s family are saying about the matter – and neither do we. There has been something suspicious about it all from the beginning.

A pompous sergeant major is bossing Dora and the dogs around like they’re in the army. As if life wasn’t miserable enough with Ma Siddons.

In part two of “Cinderella Smith”, Cindy’s first full day with her cousins gets worse and worse as their abuse becomes more and more apparent. It begins with slogging in the stables with nothing to eat. Then she finds they’ve taken away all her clothes and are forcing her into tatty, patched replacements – and she has to wear them when seeing her new headmistress. But what’s really the pits of cruelty in this episode is Cindy finding the bacon in her substandard breakfast looks suspiciously like what was in the dog’s dish a while earlier! Even the mean Ma Siddons doesn’t go that far with Dora.

And it’s part two of “Bet Gets the Bird!” as well. Bet discovers she hasn’t thought through the consequences of having the teachers think her parrot Rosy Posy is a pupil. She has to cover for Rosy Posy in class and produce homework from her – which the pesky parrot messes up and Bet lands in trouble because of it!

Lee remains “Daddy’s Darling” while he shows nothing but a heart of stone to everyone else. This week it’s making Lee’s two evacuee friends walk to school in pouring rain although one has a limp and the other has a cold – while he gives Lee a cosy lift.

 

Jinty 19 July 1975

Jinty 19 July 1975

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • The Happy Ghost (spooky text story)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Father Knows Best! (poem)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)

Part two of Katie’s babysitting story. Someone breaks in and it’s all hijinks as Katie gets ready to tackle a burglar jinx-style. But is he a burglar or has Katie blundered again?

It’s crunch time in The Valley of Shining Mist to see if Debbie passes the test of overcoming her stammer by winning a poetry reading contest. She surprises herself and her detractors by getting through two verses without a stammer, with a little help from the Shining Mist. But that won’t be enough to win – or will it?

The going is getting rougher for Barbie because she won’t tell anyone she is blind. It’s causing misunderstandings and now she’s been injured because she couldn’t see a stool had been shifted.

The plan to get sick Hilda out of Misery House and into medical care with the gypsies is underway. But Miss Ball and the Warden are out to destroy the camp, which could ruin everything.

Mrs Siddons has an unsavoury track record of undercutting the dogs’ food in order to save money for herself, and this week she does it again. But of course she pays for her meanness in the end.

It’s getting even harder for Cinderella Smith to keep her modelling secret from her cruel cousins – she’s being mobbed by autograph hunters.

More and more people are finding out about The Green People – Moura escapes from the soldiers, but now she ends up in a circus where she is put on show as a freak. Fortunately Julie has a plan to rescue her.

Daddy still won’t open his heart to the Hope children – his love is all reserved for his darling, who is ill in bed after searching for the Hopes.

Greg and Flo finally seemed to have sorted things out. Unfortunately the greedy manager isn’t having that and is scheming to come between them.

Jinty 12 July 1975

Jinty 12 July 1975

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Jinty Makes…Treasure Trove! (feature)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

It’s babysitting time for Katie, and you can imagine that’s not a good combination with her jinxing. And then a mysterious intruder adds to the problem.

The first test of the Valley of Shining Mist is for Debbie to overcome her infamous stammer. We should have guessed.

Cinderella Smith is beginning to realise just how difficult it is going to be to hide her modelling from her cruel cousins – the job itself is plastering her face everywhere.

Not even the Misery House nurse cares about the sick Hilda, so it’s up to the girls to get help. And it arrives in the form of a gypsy girl named Jessie who can virtually waltz in and out of Misery House when she wants to – now that says something about its security. And Jessie’s giving Miss Ball even more cheek than Merry!

Poor blind Barbie is still undergoing her humiliating punishment. Then things begin to look up, but not for long – Barbie ends this episode in trouble with the law.

A bully teacher is a new enemy for Julie and the Green People, and she gets off to a good start by taking the necklace Julie uses to communicate with them. And now Moura’s been captured by the soldiers.

In “Daddy’s Darling”, Daddy is being booed and hissed for his treatment of the Hope children but it does nothing to soften his attitude. As far as he is concerned, all the love he has is reserved for his darling. And now they’ve run away because of him. So now the story is heading towards its climax and ending.

Flo’s kind nature is now proving good PR for her brother Greg, whose arrogance has not made him popular. But he doesn’t look like he is softening – until Flo finds he has left flowers on their parents’ grave.

In Dora Dogsbody, Mrs Siddons demonstrates her meanness when she tries to put a dog down because his owner has defaulted on the bill and Dora is trying to save him. It turns out the dog’s habit of pinching the mail was to blame. And we are informed Mrs Siddons will get a lesson about meanness next week. But we bet it won’t last long.

Jinty 7 June 1975

Jinty 7 June 1975

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodriguez) – first episode
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Jinty Makes a Jaunty Bolero (feature)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Potted Peril! (poem)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine) – first episode
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie)

For once Katie is ousted off the cover in favour of a gorgeous splash cover that introduces us to a new story, “The Green People”. This story is Jinty’s first science fiction story, and no doubt sets the stage for things to come, including “Fran of the Floods”, “Almost Human” and other science fiction classics from Jinty.

The other story that starts this issue is in a more traditional vein – the tradition of blind ballerinas who are determined to become ballet stars. But they have to overcome the obstacles of their disability and prejudice as well as the typical jealous rivals and bad luck.

Cinderella Smith is the most extreme Cinderella story I have seen in that the ill-used heroine is forced to work in chains! Not even Cinderella herself suffered that humiliation. Fortunately our heroine has figured out how to pick the locks on them and is working on other escape routes so she can slip off to a party.

In “The Valley of Shining Mist”, it is more the fairy-godmother for our ill-treated heroine, when she finds herself in the magical Valley of Shining Mist for the very first time and meets Mrs Maynard. But things are not going to be a fairy-tale ending so easily, especially when Debbie’s bad habits from her ill-treatment lead her to steal a hairbrush from Mrs Maynard.

The Warden farms out Merry & Co as slave labour to a farmer. And somehow we get the feeling that it is a hint of more underhand things going on at Misery House. Meanwhile, the girls find a sympathiser who helps alleviate their plight. But then he gets found out and the farmer is now planning something nasty.

Slaving is something Flo is also forced to when she takes a job at Greg’s club and also has to sleep in a condemned house. And when her brother finds out he is not pleased because he is such a bighead now.

“Daddy’s Darling”, Jinty’s first World War 2 story, features Lee Simons, a heroine who suffers a very different sort of unhappy home life. It takes the form of a father who is so overprotective that he withdraws her from school to teach her at home. And the teacher is a dragon! Sounds just like “The Four-Footed Friends”, which appeared some years later. But instead of dogs upstaging the overprotective parent, it’s friends from school who come to share Lee’s lessons when their school is bombed.

How would you like a day off school? Just call in Katie Jinx to jinx the entire school staff packing. And this is what she does in her story this week. Pity they couldn’t put Katie in Lee’s class.

It’s fancy-dress parade time in Dora Dogsbody, with Mrs Siddons determined that she will not be upstaged as Nell Gwynn. And to this end she dresses Dora in a clown suit. But guess who ends up with the booby prize?

Jinty 30 August 1975

Cover 19750830

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Blind Ballerina (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee) – last episode
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Valley of Shining Mist (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé) – last episode
  • The Green People (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Barracuda Bay (artist Santiago Hernandez)
  • Face the Music, Flo! (artist Jim Baikie) – last episode
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)

I recently bought two batches of early Jintys from Peggy in Greece – how amazing and unexpected the movements of these items of ephemera can be! I will mostly be posting about them in date order (this has filled in a number of gaps I had from 1974 and early 1975), but I wanted to start with this one, out of order. This is because as soon as I set eyes on it I gave a gasp of recognition – this was an issue that immediately felt familiar to me, despite not having seen it since passing on my original set in the early 80s. I believe that although my sister bought the first few issues of Jinty at least, there must then have been a gap in buying those early issues, which is why I missed out on some of those early stories such as “Always Together” and “Slave of the Mirror”.

I think this also emphasises the role of nostalgia in (my) reading. I have enjoyed reading those earliest issues which I have no very definite memories of as a child, but the thrill for me is not the same as it is when re-reading one that is much more vivid to me due to the feelings it evokes. I suppose this means that I really am hard-pressed to distinguish between how good I think the stories are objectively, and how good they make me feel…

This issue has a number of stories finishing up at once, making way for three new stories next week: “Ping-Pong Paula”, “Song of the Fir Tree”, and “Golden Dolly, Death Dust!” The first of those new stories is a direct replacement – family conflict story  “Face the Music, Flo!”, drawn by Jim Baikie, is replaced by another in a similar vein. Tearjerker “Song of the Fir Tree” could arguably be said to replace long-running slave story “Merry at Misery House”, but it’s more of a stretch; and certainly “Cinderella Smith” is not directly comparable to the spooky tale “Golden Dolly, Death Dust!”. It feels to me as if with this upcoming set of new stories, Jinty will move its focus slightly.

At this point, “The Jinx From St Jonah’s” has returned to its light-hearted Mario Capaldi ways – with a goat on the front page, you can bet there will be a certain amount of farmyard capers ahead, and so it proves!

“Blind Ballerina” and “Merry at Misery House” bring a more serious tone back, of course, but this is the last episode of “Merry” and it ends in happiness, though hardly hi-jinks. Misery House is closed down, Merry’s parents turn up to take her home as her name has been cleared – nice timing! – and the rest of the girls don’t go forgotten either. Even cruel Adolpha redeems herself by saving Merry’s life when the cruel wardress was setting her up for a very literal – and deadly – fall.

“Cinderella Smith” likewise has an escape from bondage and a happy ending; Cindy is away from her horrible aunts’ house when it burns down, all their cruelty is revealed, and she is able to carry on with her modelling career and live with her dear schoolfriend who has supported her all along. “Face the Music, Flo!” gives us a miraculous turnaround on the part of twin brother Greg, who was setting off for the US without knowing that his sister was deathly ill and sinking fast… his arrival at her bedside gave her hope to live again. Although the machiavellian manager runs off with the money and they need to make new careers for themselves, they do that – together. Aww.

“The Valley of Shining Mist” is perhaps my favourite Carlos Freixas story. Sometimes his lines can be a little thin or his faces a little repetitive (he draws a lot of his characters with an ‘oh’ shaped mouth of astonishment or worry – a drawing mannerism that I am not very keen on overall). This story feels as if the art is very solid, with more variety in how he draws the faces. But perhaps I am biased, with this being a story I remember with great nostalgic fondness.

Finally, the episode of “Dora Dogsbody” is light and frothy. Like “Jinx”, there are times when this story has had darker or more serious moments, but not in this week’s strip. Dora and the Siddonses are stuck with hippies overnight – a fun and friendly caricature of a commune, where only those who contribute through working will eat. Obviously Mrs Siddons is in for a bad time! It’s nice to see Dora being recognized and appreciated.

Jinty #43, 22 March 1975

Jinty cover 43

  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Tricia’s Tragedy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terry Magee)
  • The Miser’s Ghost (text story)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Cinderella Smith – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Bet Gets the Bird! – first episode (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot

After so many years, I finally came into a complete copy of this issue. My old copy had pages missing.

Now I have a complete copy, I can read The Kat and Mouse Game episode in its entirety. Kat’s trick succeeds in getting Mouse expelled, but then Kat realises she still needs to take advantage of Mouse to continue the role of the Tiger in the ballet as Mouse can perform it better than she can. But we are told that Kat is going to play one trick too many next week. Ah, the thing that has been the downfall of many a troublemaker in so many stories. And now that I can read the Dora Dogsbody episode, I see an ex-sergeant major is trying to run the dogs hotel in military fashion and even the unpleasant Siddonses are unhappy about it. However, the arrogant sergeant-major does not meet his Waterloo until next week.

As the cover shows, Kate the Jinx tries her hand at ballet, but it meets with her usual disaster. The same goes when she tries supposedly harmless things for a hobby like turning pages for the school orchestra or stamp collecting.

Merry escapes from Misery House (and it’s about time!). But last week we were warned that fate was going to play a cruel trick on her. And it is now revealed to be amnesia. How can Merry stay on the run and keep one step ahead of Misery House if she’s lost her memory?

Two new stories start: “Bet Gets the Bird!” and “Cinderella Smith”. Bet saves Rosy Posy the parrot from a cruel man and brings her to her boarding school. But we can see Rosy Posy is going to bring hijinks to Bet’s school, and she starts by being mistakenly enrolled as one of the pupils! And as the title of the latter suggests, we have a new Cinderella-type story. Cindy Smith goes to stay with her cousins while Dad goes away. Cindy thinks it’s going to be great because the cousins are so wealthy and they have animals. But she did not count on her cousins being so horrible, and already they’re laying into her with a cane and giving her a ghastly room. And next week Cindy starts school in second-hand clothes when her cousins can more than afford to buy her a whole new uniform.

The “Slave of the Mirror” tries to get rid of the mirror. But she should have guessed she wouldn’t be able to get rid of the haunted mirror that easily. “Daddy’s Darling” isn’t proving popular in school because her father’s over-protective treatment of her has her classmates thinking she is a snob. And now another evacuee is arriving in the household, but what is Dad going to say? He was not happy with one evacuee to begin with.

In “Tricia’s Tragedy”, Tricia begins to learn the reason for the feud between her family and Diana’s. But Dad is being thrown out before he can properly explain – now what have Diana’s parents got to hide? And it casts even more suspicion on the events that are binding Tricia to Diana.

The Cinderella Theme

Pat Mills has said on online that the Cinderella theme was one of the lynchpins in girls’ comics. This feature will examine the Cinderella theme and how it played out in Jinty.

As the name suggests, the Cinderella theme refers to stories where girls are treated like Cinderella. Their parents, step parents or other types of guardians abuse them, use them as cheap labour, exploit them and take advantage of any talent they may have. There may be a wicked stepsister type (cousin, sister, stepsister or whatever) who is the nasty spoilt one and the exploitation is often geared towards investing in the spoilt one’s advancement, such as in Knight and Day and Make Believe Mandy from Jinty.

Cinderella 1.jpg

(Click thru)

Sometimes there is no wicked stepsister type at all, such as in the most famous example of the Cinderella story in girls’ comics, Bella Barlow from Tammy. Starting as another Cinderella serial, Bella proved so popular that she lasted for ten years, and was stopped only by Tammy’s cancellation.

And there are times when the Cinderella is the eldest of a group of siblings. They are all being abused by a nasty guardian, but it is the eldest who takes the brunt but also retains the determination to protect her siblings in any way she can and win through. Examples of this type of Cinderella story are more readily found in DCT titles, such as Slaves of the Singing Kettle from Tracy.

Some Cinderella themed strips are played for laughs, with the wicked stepmother or sisters getting a comical comeuppance every week. The best known example is Cinderella Jones from Judy. But for the most part it is serious, emotional abusive fare, and that was how it was played in Jinty.

The abuse occurs mostly because the abusers are nasty bullies or neglectful/lazy types who don’t care for the girl, or it is a combination of the two. But sometimes they have deeper motives. In Sadie and the Sticks (Tammy) and Champion in Hiding (Jinty), for example, it is revealed that the abusers are in the pay of an even bigger criminal. In Make Believe Mandy the abusers are motivated by a deep hatred and the reason for it forms the mystery of the story. It starts to unravel once Mandy realises she is not related to them by blood, which is a common reason for it all in Cinderella stories.

Cinderella 3.jpg

(Click thru)

As per the original, rescue may come in a supernatural form, such as Whistle and I’ll Come and Moonchild (Misty), Girl with the Power (Tracy), The Clothes Make Carol (Tammy), and The Valley of Shining Mist (Jinty). But in most cases the girl has to look to her own salvation. This usually takes the form of a hobby or talent that the girl is determined to pursue (gymnastics, ballet, music, a sport, art, a craft, sewing and herbology are just of the things that have been used). Or it may be a special secret, such as an injured animal. Whatever it is, it is not her only consolation in her unhappy home life but her ticket to freedom and happiness. Of course the road is not smooth; the abusers throw up obstacles along the way, and even take advantage of her ability. Running away often happens, which either leads to the resolution of the story or turns it into a fugitive story. But it is the fairy godmother type who usually resolves it, either by discovering the abuse or stumbling across the girl’s talent. Cinderella stories typically end up with the girl being adopted by a loving family, being reconciled with her former abusers who had a change of heart, or her talent/secret finally gives her an escape to happiness.

Cinderella 2.jpg

(Click thru)

Strangely, Tammy, the pioneer in darkness and cruelty, did not have a Cinderella sto in her first lineup. Her first Cinderella story, which came later, was Little Miss Nothing, and it set the template in Tammy, though the theme must have been much older than that in girls’ comics. Once discovered, there was no stopping the Cinderella story in Tammy until it, like the slave story, faded from Tammy by the late seventies. Only Bella remained from former times. Until then, Cinderella stories in byTammy included Jumble Sale Jilly, Tess on Tap, Sadie in the Sticks, Nell Nobody, Common Cathy, Sally in a Shell and, of course, Bella.

However, Jinty did have a Cinderella story in her first lineup as she was following the early Tammy. Notable Cinderella stories in Jinty were:

Make Believe Mandy (1974): the first one, starting in the first issue. Mandy Miller is abused her family who seem to hate her and compare her unfavourably with her sister Dinah.

Cinderella Smith (1975): The abuse of Cindy Smith under her cousins is so extreme that she is forced to wear shackles on her legs when she is working.

The Valley of Shining Mist (1975): Debbie Lane has been so psychologically damaged by the abuse from her adoptive family that she has become wild and thieving and has no confidence, which is reflected in a stammer. Then Debbie discovers confidence and can talk properly when she discovers the magical Valley of Shining Mist. But she soon finds that she has to learn to function that way outside the valley as well.

Finleg the Fox (1975): this story started in Lindy and concluded in the Jinty & Lindy merger. Lame Una Price is sent to the Dray family at Blindwall Farm in the hope of a country cure for her poor health. But the Drays are not very welcoming, nor do they welcome Finleg, the fox Una befriends.

Champion in Hiding (1976): Mitzi Morris is forced to live with her horrible Aunt Shirley, who does not treat her well. Mitzi has to hide her dog Firefly from Aunt Shirley as she is determined to train him as a sheepdog champion, but Aunt Shirley is being paid to prevent this.

No Cheers for Cherry (1978): Cherry Campbell’s aunt brings her to her family theatre houseboat with the promise of drama training for the fame that Cherry wants. In reality, the family just want Cherry as an unpaid servant.

The Changeling (1978): Katy Palmer runs away and then steals another girl’s identity to escape her cruel uncle. In an unusual break with the theme, the uncle appears in only the first and last episodes. And he does not seem to launch much pursuit, if any, of his runaway niece, which is what the abusive guardian usually does when the girl runs off. But then he doesn’t get much chance as this story only ran for three episodes.

Knight and Day (1978): Pat Day is removed from her foster family because her natural mother, Mrs Knight, suddenly wants her back after years of ignoring her. But Pat soon finds that Mum only wants her so they can get a council flat and stepsister Janet is spiteful. This story is unusual in having the natural parent being cast in the wicked stepmother role while the foster parent is the good parent.

Spirit of the Lake (1979-80): Sometimes Mum shares the Cinderella role with the heroine, as is the case in this story. Karen Carstairs and her mother find themselves unpaid help when they come to stay with their relatives, the Grahams. And snooty cousin Cynthia sneers at Karen for not being able to skate while she is the best skater in the county. But then a fairy godmother appears in the form of the mysterious woman on the lake who starts teaching Karen to skate.

Cinderella 4.jpg

(Click thru)

Evidently the Cinderella theme was less frequent in Jinty than in Tammy, and eventually it faded from Jinty altogether. This may be due to the SF and sports emphasis that took hold in Jinty. Or it may be because stories of darkness, cruelty and tortured heroines faded at IPC because of changes in editorship. By the late seventies the Cinderella stories had faded altogether from Tammy, except for Bella. The same went for the slave story that Tammy had revelled in. Yet the Cinderella story remained popular at DCT, and titles like Bunty and Mandy continued to crank them out in quantity. Yet by the 1990s the Cinderella theme had waned at DCT too, except for reprints. Now what changes in editorship could have taken place here? Another question for comic book researchers to ponder.

Jinty 29 March 1975

Jinty 29 March 1975

The list of Jinty stories is nearly complete: I would like to make sure that there is at least one representative issue posted for each story on that list, with a reasonable description for each story too. So there are some catch-up issues that will be posted, in what may seem a little bit of an odd order.

In this issue most of the stories are ones we’ve already seen – the first missing one in the issue is “The Kat and Mouse Game” drawn by Jim Baikie. This is a story of rivals and deception: Kat is the foe of the meek Mouse, who until the very end is unaware of the true feelings of her secret nemesis. In this episode Kat has managed to get Mouse expelled for cheating, and not content with that she also gets Mouse once again to substitute for her in an important dance that would see Kat get a contract for a ballet company! This is not a story I’ve read all of, and I’m sorry to say I don’t think it’s a very fine example of Baikie’s artwork either, though in this issue the reproduction is not very good which may account for some of my marking-down.

This issue also includes “Slave of the Mirror”, drawn by Carlos Freixas: one of the ‘evil object’ stories so beloved of girls’ comics. Mia Blake has been hypnotized by a sinister mirror found in her sister’s boarding house, and (of course) has been sabotaging all sorts of things around the house under its influence. With the explanation provided by a Spanish au pair we are coming towards the resolution: a ghostly possession by an ill-treated serving girl.

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Tricia’s Tragedy (artist Ana Rodrigues)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • The Kat and Mouse Game (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Cinderella Smith (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Bet Gets The Bird (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Daddy’s Darling (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Slave of the Mirror (artist Carlos Freixas)