Tag Archives: Desert Island Daisy

Jinty #5, 8 June 1974


Katie’s jinxing has a water theme this week, from jinxing water skiers to having the swimming team walk miles in the rain.

Judy tries to get help from the police about the haunting, but of course they’re not going to believe a thing like that. And Judy is even more terrified to realise that whatever is causing the haunting and making her friends dress like Victorian girls is going to target her next!

Gwen is riding high on the glory she has stolen. Of course that means a fall sooner or later, and it is already starting. Julie Waring is getting suspicious and has also overheard Gwen’s troubled conscience speaking out loud. Is Gwen about to be caught out?

The girls try to bust out of Misery House, but they not only fail but are also duped into playing a cruel trick on Carla, who was caught during the escape. One up to Misery House, but we know there will be a next time.

Angela’s Angels are accused of stealing, but it turns out the patient was foisting the blame onto them. We see acid-drop Angela has a heart: she sticks up for the Angels when they are accused and covers up for one somewhat errant Angel later on.

The scheming girls did not mean Yvonne to take a fall down the stairs when they soap the soles of her shoes, and only her acrobatic skills save her. It doesn’t cut much ice with jealous Lisa though, who is furious when Yvonne is chosen over her for the Dance of the Four Cygnets.

Miss Madden’s test for Mandy this week is very odd, even for her. She has Mandy dress up like a princess and then puts her in a posh room, where a two-way mirror enables Miss Madden and her colleagues to watch Mandy. Then Mandy panics for some reason when she hears the tune from a music box. Now what could have brought that on?

The influence of the Indian necklace has Gail’s friends turning away from her while she gets very sneaky and deceptive in getting what she wants. Daisy’s Victorian employers turn up their noses at coconuts and are not impressed with her fishing. It all ends up with their going hungry and Daisy slipping away, full of fish, so they don’t lumber her again. Dora helps out a dog that is being mistreated, but makes sure the dog doesn’t go to the dogs’ hotel either.


Robert MacGillivray

Robert MacGillivray (1913 – 1986) was the artist on only one ongoing Jinty story, though his art also appeared in a number of annuals (often in reprints from other older titles such as June), and so he was more familiar to the Jinty reader than other artists who did only a single strip or two. He had a classic comedy style, with big noses and bizarre contrivances seen in strips such as “Jeannie and her Uncle Meanie”, “Lucky’s Living Doll”, and “The Flights of Flopear”. Jinty‘s “Desert Island Daisy” was a strip done in this ‘big nose’ style too, but Jinty readers also saw some more realistic stories on occasion.

Stories published in Jinty:

  • “Desert Island Daisy” (1974)
  • “Desert Island Daisy” individual stories in the Jinty Annuals for 1975 and 1976
  • “The Spoof of St Elma’s” in the Jinty Holiday Special 1979
  • “They Always Know” – Gypsy Rose story in the Jinty Holiday Special 1981
  • “Boo to the Goose!” in the Jinty Annual 1981
  • “The Lady of the Manor” in the Jinty Annual 1985

The post about the June book from 1970 includes mention of MacGillivray, where he used a slightly more realistic style. I am using that as the example page for this artist, to show a little of his range.

Sam and Suki Save The Day

  • The Girls Comics of Yesterday site includes a tag for Robert MacGillivray, so do check there to see what stories he drew for DC Thomson.
  • Likewise the Tammy Project includes “Maisie’s Magic Eye“, drawn by MacGillivray and published in Sally (reprinted in Tammy). He also drew “Wee Sue” at points in this long-running character’s life; these are mentioned in the posts on this site about the Tammy annuals in 1984, 1985, and 1986.
  • The Comics UK forum includes a discussion thread specifically about MacGillivray, with much information about early work of this prolific artist.

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 6 July 1974

Jinty cover 6 July 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Muesli, Creme aus Rohen Apfeln (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray) last episode
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: papier-mâché elephant)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

Back to the early issues of Jinty, when the Katie Jinks stories had a serious undertone as well as lots of slapstick. The story arc that had champion swimmer Karen refusing to swim, in best tear-jerking style, ends happily as she rescues a drowning Katie and snaps out of the depression she’s been in since her best friend drowned. Unlike earlier episodes, the art all looks like pure Capaldi to me, rather than being finished off by a stand-in artist.

There is no “Pony Parade” this week and it’s also the last episode of “Desert Island Daisy”, signalling a change in the make-up of the title to focus primarily on the more serious stories. In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, matters are clearly moving to a climax, and protagonist Judy is not sure if she’s failed totally with no way of stopping the tragedy! There are still a couple of episodes left before the final denouement, though.

In “A Dream for Yvonne”, circus girl Yvonne has lost her memory and is being made to skivvy for an unscrupulous exploiter, Ma Crompton. By day she has to cook, clean, and tidy up, and by night she has to dance in a skeevy nightclub in skimpy clothes. Cor blimey! Things are about to get worse though as Ma locks her inside while going shopping, only for a fire to break out in the badly-maintained hovel… if it’s not one thing it’s another, eh.

Jinty 29 June 1974

Cover Jinty 29 June 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: rosette)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Rice, Vegetable curry (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 8 – Cara’s Secret (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Seeing Stars: Elton (pinup)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

I am slowly making my way through the 1974 Jintys that I bought recently, while at the same time reading & annotating Mel Gibson’s book, “Remembered Reading“. Some people may have noticed an incomplete draft which was posted by mistake and then swiftly deleted – apologies for any confusion. The book review will be ready in a couple of days, I think.

The “Jinx” lead story continues. New girl Karen sobs heartbrokenly in true tear-jerker style as she exclaims that no-one understands her troubles. Katie is listening and sympathetic, and despite her typical clumsiness, she does manage to shake Karen out of her distress and into a laugh. Karen’s secret sorrow is that her best friend was drowned while they were swimming together, and naturally Karen feels it is all her fault! Not that she will allow Katie to tell anyone else – and so, of course, hijinks ensue.

In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, Judy Mayhew discovers a limitation to Miss Thistlewick’s ghostly power, but nevertheless is captured by her and brainwashed: “My name is Judith Victoria Mayhew. I was born in 1862…”

“Merry at Misery House” has thought up a clever trick to send a message to her parents – she writes a letter using different handwriting and they come to see what has happened and if something is wrong. Of course the wardens won’t allow a revealing message out beyond the four walls of the reformatory: if Merry spills the beans to her parents, Miss Ball will set the fierce dog onto her best friend, Carla. “If only they knew how awful it really is! But I can’t tell them.” Not that Merry is downcast for long – soon she has taken a splinter out of the fierce dog’s paw and befriended it, giving her a chance to try to escape!

Yvonne’s dream has turned nightmarish – following a bike accident she has lost her memory and is being exploited by a cruel woman who is giving her a place to stay and some work, but at a price. The club she ends up working in, doing acrobatic stunts in a fringed bikini, looks pretty sleazy!

Jinty 22 June 1974

Cover 19740622

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • Seeing Stars: Donny (pin-up: Donny Osmond)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Ham and Cheese Savoury, Flenjes (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 7 – Crusader’s Strange Catch (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: flowered headband)

The relatively-serious Jinx story continues, still at the same rate of four pages in this issue. I guess it was seen as a proper lead story at this point, not simply an amusing aside. New girl Karen has been revealed as faking an injury to get out of swimming, which means that Katie is in the clear (her chums thought she’d injured Karen herself). But Katie starts to feel sorry for Karen, and sure that there is some reason behind the way she is acting. Various pratfalls later, Katie sees Karen crying in the school grounds, and trying to burn her old swimming costume. “I can’t stand it! I’ll never swim again! And nobody will ever understand! There’s nobody I can tell about it!” This last page of art, in particular, is classic Capaldi and beautifully done, whereas the cover page once again shows signs of collaborative work with someone who doesn’t do faces quite as beautifully.

In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, the sinister teacher Miss Thistlewick and her Victorian-influenced pupils become a little more sympathetic and vulnerable – the pupils are disturbed and saddened by the hostile reception they’re getting from their classmates, who think it is all a put-on and a bad joke. Miss Thistlewick offers a class trip as a prize for the best essay – on life in Victorian times, which the unaffected pupils tell her is very unfair! But the teacher’s aloof attitude is disturbed when a photo is taken of her alongside the affected pupils – she doesn’t at all want to included. The reason is obvious once it is developed – with no sign of Miss Thistlewick! Protagonist Judy hopes this will be the proof she can show to others (but in vain of course).

I said that the previous episode of “Merry at Misery House” was starting to show the divide-and-rule attitude beloved by repressive regimes. Merry finds out that no one is speaking to her because the warders have threatened dire punishment to anyone who does so. Her spirit is nearly cracked by this removal of her friends’ support – but not quite.

Jinty 15 June 1974

Cover 19740615

This is the earliest issue out of the batch of issues I recently bought from Peggy, filling in a big gap from the beginning of my run of Jinty.

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 6 – A Pony With a Purpose! (text story)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • What’s Cooking? Spaghetti Bolognaise, Torrone di Cioccolato (recipes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: bird feeder)

It’s hard to be sure about the art on this issue of “Jinx”. The figures look very much as if they have been drawn by Mario Capaldi, but the faces less so; I think it must be a collaborative piece. Maybe, as happened with Capaldi at other points, he had over-committed himself work-wise in some way? It is also seemingly the start of an extended, relatively-serious story line for Katie Jinks – a swimming champion from another school is joining St Jonah’s but (of course) things are never so simple. In this four-page episode, new girl Karen is clearly faking an injury to get out of the swimming that she is well-known for – and Katie is unjustly getting the blame for the injury.

In “Merry at Misery House”, Merry is put in with the hardest of hard cases – the high-security section – but her capacity for keeping on going despite tough treatment wins even these girls over. Mind you, we never see these real tough nuts again – they are clearly a point being made by writer Terence Magee. The more striking point is probably the one that leads into the next episode, though – Merry’s real friends, Carla and the others – turn away from her when she is restored to them, precisely because it’s made clear to them by the warders that they will get worse and worse treatment the more they support Merry. Divide and rule… the influence of Terry Magee’s time in Francoist Spain is clear to see.

“A Dream for Yvonne” continues the story of the circus girl who longs to become a professional ballerina despite spiteful rivalries and family opposition. It is beautifully drawn but the faces are not very expressive, which does detract.

In “Gail’s Indian Necklace” the malevolent influence of the evil object is more and more like a pathology, a mental health issue – Gail’s obsessive behaviour and her changes in personality; her horror at what she has done once she comes out of it. The magical telepathy used in the story keeps it on a fantastical level, of course, but there are some quite striking moments where it could almost be done as a straight story about mental health.

Jinty Annual 1976

Jinty Annual 1976

In this annual:

  • Cove of Secrets (same unknown artist as “Concrete Surfer”)
  • Make a Shoulder Bag (crafts)
  • My Giddy Aunt! (text story)
  • The Changing Picture (possibly a reprint of a Strange Story?)
  • The Little Helper (poem)
  • The Courage of a Coward (Carlos Freixas)
  • The Haunted Horse (text story)
  • Just Joking!
  • Who’ll Buy? Who’ll Buy? (article)
  • Dora Dogsbody (Jim Baikie)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot
  • Jinty Made It Herself… so can you! (crafts)
  • Holidays At Home (feature)
  • Minna From Mars
  • Her Ugly Duckling (José Casanovas)
  • The China Shepherdess (text story credited to Linda O’Byrne)
  • Fallow’s End
  • The Time of Your Life? (feature)
  • Minna From Mars
  • Dot’s Do-It-Yourself Dafties
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Good News For The Birthday Girl! (horoscope)
  • Captured By Pirates! (text, non-fiction)
  • Oddities of Nature (article)
  • Gypsy Festival (photos, non-fiction)
  • The Great Picture Puzzle! (text story, illustrated by Terry Aspin)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Fun With Fruit! (recipes, sponsored by McDougalls’s Pastry)
  • Bike Hike Through Britain (board game)
  • Care Of Your Cat (article)
  • Katie Makes a Splash (artist Audrey Fawley)
  • Lesson From The Past (text story)
  • The Little Demon! (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot
  • What’s It All About? (personality quiz)
  • Minna From Mars
  • Eggs-travaganza! (article)
  • The Black Pearl (possibly a reprint of a Strange Story?)
  • By Bike To India (text, non-fiction)
  • Whiz-Kid or Stick In The Mud? (personality quiz)

This is a good solid read even now! There are lots of articles and non-fiction items that are still interesting today (for instance Gypsy Festival, about a Romany gathering in Provence), solid text stories, and spooky comics (two short ones that look like they could be Strange Stories reprints, with the Storyteller panels replaced with descriptive text instead, and one longer one with malevolent ghosts and an annoying girl – “Fallow’s End”, very nicely drawn). If you like the short humour strips, the selection is quite good: three “Minna From Mars” reprints, two “Desert Island Daisy” stories that I expect are specific to this annual, and some two page Do-It-Yourself-Dot strips (in the weekly comic she normally only got one page).

Fallow's End
(Fallow’s End – click thru)

In the “Angela’s Angels” post, Mistyfan mentions the story included in this annual: “The Little Demon!”. The story only features two of the group, Sharon and Jo, who travel (with the little tearaway who is nicknamed a little demon, and his mum) to a remote Scottish island. We now know that Phil Townsend worked with original “Angela’s Angels” artist, Leo Davy, on another nursing strip, so it makes sense that he might have taken up the reins in this case too. I’m interested to see some other outings of artists who are not normally associated with the long-running characters they draw here: Jim Baikie making a good fist of doing “Dora Dogsbody” – Ma Siddons looks as mean as ever, though Dora ends up looking more sweet than cheeky – and Audrey Fawley drawing Katie Jinks.

Dora Dogsbody as drawn by Jim Baikie
(click thru)

“Her Ugly Duckling” is a different artistic twist – it is a Casanovas strip, but one which I think might be reprinted from an earlier time (the characters are wearing very 60s styles). He has gone for a dreamy, romantic art style and the story is likewise one with a hint at the end that a boyfriend may be in the offing, though the main theme is about rivalries and a ladette-to-lady story.

Her Ugly Duckling, José Casanovas art
(click thru)

A personality quiz was a popular item in all sorts of the publications a young girl might read – here you can see if you are a Whiz Kid or a Stick In The Mud, or find out your secret self. These are light-hearted silly items with some undertone of a moral imperative – if your secret self is a mixed-up jumble of all the other types, you are not praised for your moderation but exhorted to choose one type and suppress the less pleasant sides of your personality deliberately.

200th Entry: Jinty Annual 1975

Jinty annual 1975.jpg

  • Eve’s Dream (artist Manuel Cuyas)
  • Cooking Magic! (recipe feature)
  • Token of Gratitude (text story)
  • Happy Memory Coverlet (feature)
  • The Helping Hand (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Puzzle Time (feature)
  • Four on the Road – (update: reprinted from Sally)
  • Dreaming Again (feature)
  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • This Beautiful World 1975 (feature)
  • Sarah – the Spellbinder! (text story)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • Can You Take a Joke? (quiz)
  • Happy Ever After…. (artist Audrey Fawley) text story
  • The Hole in the Wall
  • How to be a Witch! (feature)
  • Mystery of the Devil Dancers (writer Linda Blake) text story
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Second Best Sally
  • Birthday Budgie (game)
  • “Starlight” Saves the Train
  • Midsummer Madness and Michaelmas Magic (feature)
  • It’s a Laugh! (feature)
  • All Right on the Night (poem)
  • Holly Takes the Plunge! (text story)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Ideas…Big and Little!
  • Strawberry Fare! (recipe feature)
  • Oh Dear, David! (text story)
  • Animal Crackers (feature)
  • Button, Button…Who’s Got the Button? (feature)
  • Shirley Finds Her Feet
  • People of the Sea (feature)
  • Date with a Dreamboat (artist Phil Townsend)

It is the 200th entry on this blog, so what to do to celebrate? Well, The Best of 70s Girls’ Comics Annual reprinted the cover from the 1975 Jinty annual, so it seems appropriate to now take a look at the annual itself – which is in fact the first annual Jinty produced!

Jinty herself appears on page 124, saying it is the first-ever Jinty annual and she was granted the right to be the first person to read it. But ye Editor suddenly realised he forgot to include Jinty herself in it and had to take fast action to redress the oversight. So Jinty appears on page 124 rather than page 1, with Gary Glitter himself! What a way to make it up to her and give the readers an extra treat!

The annual has six text stories (oddly, one of them, “Mystery of the Devil Dancers” actually credits the writer, Linda Blake), six picture stories, at least ten features, and the regulars are The Jinx from St Jonah’s, Dora Dogsbody, The Snobs and the Scruffs, and Desert Island Daisy. The last two are unusual because they were the most short-lived features from the original Jinty lineup. And Daisy actually appeared in two Jinty annuals after a short span in the regular comic. By contrast, Merry from Misery House, one of the longest-running stories from the original Jinty lineup, did not appear at all in the annuals. Perhaps Jinty was aiming for more lightweight features with her annuals. Or perhaps Merry was regarded more as a serial than a regular and therefore did not qualify to appear.

Dora Dogsbody is drawn by Jim Baikie instead of her regular artist, José Casanovas. In fact, this was the case with all the annuals Dora appeared in. Do-It-Yourself Dot, the longer running of Jinty‘s funnies, makes no appearance while the short-lived Snobs and the Scruffs does. Another oddity in the lineup.

The Jinx from St Jonah’s retains her regular artist, Mario Capaldi. Katie is unsure about joining the latest roller-skating craze at school because she is klutsy enough on her own two feet. The prospect of being selected for a roller-skating/swimming show decides the matter. Katie sure is determined to get into the show, but will her jinxing wreck her hopes – or the show, maybe? Or will Katie land on her feet somehow, skates and all?

As was frequent with young IPC titles, the annual reprints material from older annuals as she was not old enough to reprint her own material in the annuals. The early Jinty (and Tammy) annuals reprinted a lot of old material (some of it under revised titles) from June, and this was very likely the case with “Four on the Road”; there can be no doubt it was originally a serial, and it may or may not be appearing under a revised title. The story concerns two orphaned Italian children Lola and Toni, who are faced with an orphanage after their grandfather dies. Then their adventures begin when their landlord, Signor Borani, has the children collect two dogs and then they get stranded, forcing them and the dogs to take the the road in order to deliver the dogs to their new owner.

Update: I have found that “Four on the Road” originally appeared in Sally.

One text story, “Holly Takes the Plunge” was ironically reprinted in the last Jinty annual in 1986. Talk about bookends.

Some of the shorter stories such as “Eve’s Dream”, “Starlight Saves the Train” and “Shirley Finds Her Feet” may be reprints from older sources as well, because they are not drawn by Jinty artists. “The Helping Hand” and “Date with a Dreamboat” may be Jinty as they are both drawn by regular Jinty artists. The former is an intriguing story about a student nurse who is struggling with her training until she gets help from a strange character dressed as a jester. Then she sees the same jester in a portrait and discovers he founded the hospital 800 years ago. Someone playing a joke or did the founder return to help the nurse? Whatever the truth, Jinty seems to be stretching credibility a bit with a jester founding a hospital – even if he did persuade the king to grant him the land for it. All the same, the story is fun to read. The latter, quite surprisingly for the times, is a boyfriend-themed story. Claire takes a fancy to Tom, but soon finds herself in a love triangle with Susie – Tom’s boat! And Susie seems to be just as unhappy with the situation as Claire when Claire joins Tom for a sailing in Susie. But of course things work out in the end.

The first Jinty annual can be regarded as an enjoyable read. It cannot be described as having a full Jinty feel as it is a mix of Jinty stories (some of which are a bit surprising) and reprints of older IPC material. But that is understandable as Jinty was still getting established and did not yet have enough material to fill her annuals with her own material. It is a good start to the run of Jinty annuals that would sadly end on a whimper. The last two Jinty annuals were Jinty in name only; they were just a collection of reprints from older comics and not a trace of Jinty material anywhere.

Jinty 1 June 1974

Jinty cover 1 June 1974

This marks the first of the style of cover that I have remarked on previously: a page of “The Jinx From St Jonah’s”, promoted to the front page as an enticement to the reader. The layout is more boxy than is the case later on, with more panels and less of a ‘splash page’ feel (excuse the pun, given what is depicted here). Mario Capaldi’s art is nice, but not quite as elegant as it later becomes: Katie Jinx’s legs and arms in the first panel, in particular, are rather spindly.

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodrigues)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Rafart)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • Pony Parade 4: Snatcher’s Cleverest Trick
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • What’s Cooking? Omelette aux Champignons (recipe)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: bird mobile)