Tag Archives: Dracula’s Daughter

Mario Capaldi

Mario Capaldi (1935-2004) is an odd case of a key Jinty artist. He had a uniquely visible position as a long-term cover artist during not just one but two time periods, strongly setting the visual identity of the comic. Like fellow British artist Phil Townsend, Mario Capaldi had a very solid style, strongly grounded in the day to day world around him; his covers nevertheless show that he was well able to draw a wide range of sports that will have required research and imagination. However, when you come to tot up the comics stories that he did over that time, it is not as substantial a body of work as you might have thought. Despite that, he is clearly one of the key artists of this title.

Jinty cover 17Jinty cover 14Jinty 13 September 1975

He started off his time at Jinty drawing “The Jinx From St Jonah’s“, which from issue 4 occupied a prominent position on the cover almost every week. The cover page was nominally a page of comics in that it showed a sequence of two or three panels, but the big focus was on the splash image, a very dynamic drawing of Katie Jinks typically in the middle of some pratfall or other. This continued until the time of the Jinty & Lindy merger in November 1975. Mario Capaldi continued drawing the story for a while longer but by the middle of 1976 this too had come to an end.

That wasn’t the end of Capaldi’s work in Jinty, but he didn’t appear again regularly for some years. 1976 saw him start a stand-alone story (“Champion In Hiding”) but without finishing it: it was completed by another artist. (“Jinx” had also had episodes continued by other artists, but this is not as surprising for an ongoing humour strip with no fixed end point as it is for a story that will typically not last for much longer than four months or so in any case.) 1977 saw him start and complete another stand-alone story, “Cursed To Be A Coward!”; not one of my top picks, but handily proving he could pull off creepy just as well as zany.

He must have been in the mood for creepy work, because he did a lot of work for sister publication Misty over the two years that it ran. (I assume he did not leave Jinty purely in order to work for Misty, because that was first published in February 1978, some considerable time after the last episode of “Jinx” ran; and even if the first batch of stories for a new comic are likely to be written and drawn some time in advance, that would still mean Capaldi potentially drawing “The Sentinels” for Misty at a similar time as when “Cursed To Be A Coward!” was running in Jinty.)

His return to the pages of Jinty does follow quite nicely on the heels of Misty‘s merger with Tammy, so I could well imagine that’s not a coincidence.  He then drew a couple of key stories for Jinty – one of Mistyfan’s favourites, “Dracula’s Daughter“, and one of my favourites, “Life’s A Ball For Nadine”. It is his cover images, though, that will be a particular part of many Jinty readers’ iconic memories of the title.

His daughter, Vanda Capaldi, has more information his life and artistic development. She also wrote an article specifically for the Misty fansite (currently down, hopefully will return shortly).

[Edited in Jan 2015 to add the following]

It seems sensible to also include a list of the stories that Mario Capaldi is known to have worked on in other titles or publications.

List edited May/June 2020 to add:

Misty – Serials

  • The Sentinels: #1-12
  • Journey into Fear… : #14-27
  • The Cats of Carey Street: #30-40
  • Whistle and I’ll Come… : #43-56
  • Don’t Look Twice: #57-66
  • Winner Loses All! #78-94

Misty – Complete Stories

  • Count the Flowers: #15
  • Ghost of Christmas Past: #46
  • Ghost of Christmas Present: #47
  • Ghost of Christmas Future: #48
  • The Collector: #68
  • One Last Wish: #72
  • A Night of Terror! #74
  • The Treatment: #75
  • Date with Death: #76
  • The Monkey: #80
  • Old Collie’s Collection: #82
  • Three Flowers: #97
  • Forever in Her Eyes: #98
  • Crystal Clear: #99
  • Country Churchyard: #101
  • Crowning Glory: #101

Tammy – Serials

  • Belinda Black-Sheep: 26/8/72-4/11/72
  • Jilly Liar: 11/11/72 -3/2/73
  • Beth All-Alone: 3/3/73-26/5/73
  • The Sign of the Scorpion: 11/8/73-13/10/1973
  • Wee Sue: 27/10/1973 – 14/9//1974
  • All Eyes on 3E: 14/12/74-15/3/75
  • Lill Waters Runs Deep: 22/3/75-14/6/1975
  • Waifs of the Wigmaker: 21/6/75-6/9/75
  • Glenda’s Glossy Pages: 13/9/75-15/11/75
  • Sarah in the Shadows: 7/2/76-24-4-76
  • Secret of the Skulls: 1/5/76-17/7/76
  • Towne in the Country: 24/7/76-30/4/77
  • Daughter of the Regiment: 25/6/77-24/9/1977
  • Now You See Her… : 26/11/77-18/2/1978
  • Gail at Windyridge: 28/1/78-15/4/78
  • Vision of Vanity Fayre: 8/7/78-12/8/78
  • One Girl and Her Dog… : 21/10/1978 – 27/1/79
  • The Moon Stallion: 25/11/1978- 10/3/1979
  • Nina’s Nightmare World: 24/3/79 – 28/4/79
  • The Happiest Days: 9/6/1979 – 11/8/1979
  • Daughter of the Desert: 1/12/79-9/2/80
  • Spider Woman: 19/1/80 – 22/3/80 – filler artist for last two episodes
  • The Sea Witches: 5/4/80-2/8/1980
  • The House Mouse: 9/8/80-16/8/1980
  • Dulcie Wears the Dunce’s Hat: 23/8/1980-25/10/80
  • My “Brother” George: 19/4/1980-14/6/1980
  • Two Leads for Luther: 29/11/80-17/1/81
  • No Haven for Hayley: 21/3/81 – 23/5/81
  • Little Sisters: 9/1/82-22/5/1982
  • Come Back Bindi: 17/7/82-21/8/82
  • Cross on Court: 28/8/1982-30/10/82
  • The Button Box: 20/11/82 -23/6/84
  • Glenda’s Glossy Pages: 8/10/83-10/12/83 – reprint

Tammy – Complete Stories (excluding Strange Stories)

  • The Phantom Coach: 29/03/1980 – text story
  • Natasha: 23/01/1982 – Monster Tale
  • Beauty is Skin Deep: 3/04/1982 – Monster Tale
  • The Plant House: 8/05/1982 – Monster Tale
  • Hearts of Oak: 29/05/1982 – Monster Tale
  • The Evil One: 24/07/1982
  • The Runaway Mop: 16/10/1982

Tammy – Strange Stories/Strange Stories from the Mist (list incomplete)

  • Menace at the Movies: 2/11/1974
  • The Enemy Within: 1/03/1975
  • The One Who Got Away: 17/01/1976
  • The Samurai’s Return: 1/05/1976
  • A Date with Destiny: 29/05/1976
  • The Other Side of the Coin: 10/09/1977
  • The Middle Passage: 19/11/1977
  • Incredible Journey: 5/05/1979
  • Nothing to Laugh At: 2/06/1979
  • The Dogs of Tregorran: 15/11/1980
  • The Spirit of the Sea: 25/07/1981
  • Guardians of the Fen: 5/09/1981
  • The Mists of Time: 15/5/1982 – last appearance of Misty
  • The Collector: 2/01/1982
  • Punchinello’s Dance: 10/07/1982

Other IPC Serials – (list incomplete)

  • Girl Friday: (Dreamer)
  • Three’s Company! (Dreamer)
  • The Mystery of the Unfinished Jigsaw: (Girl II)

IPC Annuals

  • Wee Sue: Tammy annual 1976
  • Towne in the Country: Tammy annual 1978 – text story
  • Wee Sue: Tammy annual 1980
  • Wee Sue: Tammy annual 1981
  • The One Who Got Away: Tammy annual 1982 – Strange Story reprint
  • The Button Box: Tammy annual 1985
  • The Button Box: Tammy annual 1986
  • Blood Orange: Misty annual 1979
  • Don’t Look in the Mirror: Misty annual 1982
  • Out for Blood: Misty annual 1982
  • The Curse of Castle Krumlaut: Misty annual 1983
  • The Frankenstein Papers: Misty annual 1984
  • The Return of the Monster! Misty annual 1986
  • Little Sisters: Jinty annual 1983
  • Journey into Fear… (reprinted from Misty): Girl II annual 1984
  • Secret of the Skulls (reprinted from Tammy): Girl II annual 1986

DCT Annuals

  • Colorado Kate: Bunty annual 1971
  • Blabberbeak: Bunty annual 1973
  • Colorado Kate: Bunty annual 1974
  • Clown for a Day: Bunty annual 1975
  • The Wings of Fear: Bunty annual 1988

Other Annuals

  • Kings of the Castle: Buster Book 1980

Katy

  • The Cats of Carey Street (reprinted from Misty)

DCT Serials 

  • Boy Blue the Rockin’ Robot: Bunty circa #877 (2 Nov 1974) – #892 (15 Feb 1975)
  • Broken Hearts: Bunty #1536 (20 June 1987) – #1542 (1 August 1987); #1627 (18 March 1989) – #1633 (29 April 1989)
  • Which Twin for Captain? Bunty #1615 (24 December 1988) – #1622 (11 February 1989)
  • Out of Step! Bunty #1729 (02 March 1991) –  #1736 (20 April 1991)
  • Selma’s Sanctuary: Bunty #838 (02 February 1974) – #850 (27 April 1974)
  • My Mum is Missing! Suzy #127 (9  February 1985) – #138 (27 April 1985)
  • Zara Phantom of the Track: Suzy #55 (24 September 1983) – #64 (26 November 1983)
  • Hardluck Hannah: Suzy #26 (5 March 1983) – #39 (4 June 1983)
  • Nobody’s Children: Suzy #176 (18 January 1986) – #188 (12 April 1986)
  • The Unwanted One: Judy #526 (7 February 1970) – #541 (23 May 1970); reprinted Judy: #980 (21 October 1978) – #995 (03 February 1979)

DCT Picture Story Library

  • Pandora’s Box, Mandy PSL #66, reprinted Mandy PSL #245
  • Where Have All the Children Gone? Judy PSL #272, reprinted as Where are the Children? Mandy PSL #243
  • No One Wants Nina, Bunty PSL #105
  • Hetty’s Hee-Haw Holiday, Bunty PSL #115
  • Meg-All-Alone, Bunty PSL #117
  • The Secret Cyclist, Bunty PSL #135
  • The Runaway Cookery Queen, Bunty PSL #136
  • They All Hate Hetty! Bunty PSL #146
  • The Dog from Nowhere, Judy PSL #253, reprinted as My Friend Fury, Mandy PSL #201

Battle

  • The Nightmare (later drawn by Jesus Redondo)

Buster

  • Barry and Boing: 14/6/1980 – 30/1/1982

Scream!

  • Ghost Dance: #11, 2/6/1984

Jinty & Penny 25 July 1981

Image

(Cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • With Best Wishes… – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Dracula’s Daughter – (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Holiday Hideaway – (artist Phil Gascoine) – first episode
  • The Veiled Threat – Gypsy Rose (artist Tony Higham)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost – (artist Hugh-Thornton Jones)
  • Happy Ever After – special feature
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz) – first episode
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

This is the last Jinty to feature the Penny logo. It would return, but be reduced to a smaller size, before being dropped shortly before the merger with Tammy. In this issue, Jinty commemorates the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981. So the issue is big on the wedding theme. The text story, “With Best Wishes”, brings us a story based on the royal wedding. For this reason, the text story is on the first page of this issue, which is very unusual for a text story. Jinty also has a competition to honour the wedding, with Kodak cameras as top prizes, and the back cover gives instructions for making party pieces for your own royal wedding celebration. And there is “Happy Ever After”, a feature telling us about the things to use to wish for happiness and good luck in a marriage.

Good luck is lacking in Gypsy Rose’s wedding themed story, “The Veiled Threat”. Liz is getting married, and her Aunt Vicky tells Liz how her mother forced her to marry a man for money although she couldn’t stand him and protested loudly at the wedding. When Liz wears Aunt Vicky’s veil (and there seems to be a black cloud hanging over it), she starts acting the same way Aunt Vicky did at her wedding. Is it wedding nerves or the veil? In the end, Liz gets happily married – without the veil. (By the way, this was a reprint of another Strange Story, and I have the original to prove it.)

Tansy of Jubilee Street also celebrates, with the family and friends determined to go to London to see the wedding. But they run into transport problems, including being diddled with a gypsy wagon – which they end up pulling themselves after the horse collapses. But everything works out even better than Tansy imagined when they catch the attention of a television crew.

“The Sweet and Sour Rivals” starts. It is one of the more rare stories that features ethnicity, because it stars a Chinese girl. Also starting is “Holiday Hideaway”, about a family who hide in the house and pretend to be on holiday, just because Dad is too embarrassed to let the neighbours know they can’t afford the real thing after his business failed.

Jinty 1 August 1981

Image

(Cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • For Pete’s Sake – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Witching Bones – Gypsy Rose (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

Here we in the era of the cover-sized versions of the spot illustrations that Mario Capaldi drew for the text stories inside. Way back in the early days of Jinty there were some text stories, but they were sporadic and soon disappeared. But in 1981 they started again. And this time it was not only on a regular basis but the text stories took prominence by being featured exclusively on the cover. It is intriguing to ponder on the reasons for the resurgence in text stories. There had been a resurgence of text stories, in the form of Misty, which featured them regularly, and her text stories produced classics such as “The Doorway to Evil” and “The Little White Dot”. But Misty‘s text stories faded not long after she merged with Tammy in 1980. Yet the text story was revived in Jinty in 1981. Perhaps it was due to changeovers in the editing teams?

Another thing to note about the cover is that it drops the Penny logo.

“Pam of Pond Hill”, which used to appear first in a Jinty issue, has been stopped for the moment. The last episode concluded with an invitation to readers to ask for it back. Meanwhile, “Dracula’s Daughter” is now the first story we see when we open a copy of Jinty.

The Gypsy Rose stories of 1981 were reprint now (with perhaps a few exceptions). They were either older Gypsy Roses or, more often, reprints of Strange Stories which substituted Gypsy Rose for the Storyteller. This did enable Jinty readers to see some artwork from non-Jinty artists, such as John Armstrong and Tony Higham.

This time the Gypsy Rose tale is a cautionary tale about bullying, and maybe about not messing around with spells. Mandy obtains a spell to use against a couple of bullies who pick on her and call her a witch. Afterwards, both girls end up in hospital. The spell turns out to be a joke one, but Mandy does not know what to think: was it coincidence or did she cause the accidents somehow? The bullies have no doubt she did, but they stop picking on her. The story looks like another recycled Strange Story but I am a bit puzzled as to where the original print might be.

This week’s episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” is a highlight. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn drop in after a misunderstanding gets Sir Roger on the wrong side of Henry – and we all know what that will mean! But Henry gets more than he bargained for when he gets on the wrong side of Gaye for eating the Sunday dinner. She calls him an “over-stuffed spectre!” and chases him off with a broom. “Verily, thou has a right one there!” Henry tells Sir Roger, “And I thought I wast hag-ridden!”

Dracula’s Daughter (1981)

Sample Images

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Publication: 13 June 1981-19 September 1981

Artist: Mario Capaldi

Writer: Unknown

A ranting, raving, power-mad headmaster who tyrannises his new school with his ideas of discipline and how schools should be run – with hard work, discipline, and totally serious study. No fun or free-and-easy teaching methods – Heaven forbid! As far as this headmaster is concerned, fun should be in the home, and not in a school. In his eyes, this free-and-easy school is a total apology, but in three weeks it will be his model school of an old-fashioned grammar school, with uniforms, harsh discipline, and teachers who run their classes the old-fashioned way and no fun methods, and houses with names like Dedication and Application (yes, I can just see modern pupils so happy to be in those houses). The only thing missing is corporal punishment. Pretty odd, as this headmaster was overjoyed to see it retained in his previous school. And this story was published before corporal punishment was outlawed in British schools.

Such is how Mr Graves, the former deputy head of the boys’ grammar, wants to run free-and-easy Castlegate Comprehensive. His idea of transforming the school is to force his grammar-school methods right down its throat, and he even goes as far as to butt in on classes and tell teachers to run their classes his way. And from the outside, his dress, appearance and whole manner of carrying on earns him the nickname of “Dracula” and for his daughter Lydia, “Dracula’s Daughter.” Poor Lydia takes the brunt of her classmates’ outrage towards her father’s campaign, and she does not like it any more than they do. It gets worse when Dracula’s treatment of his teachers forces one out, and she is replaced with Miss Snape, a kindred spirit in Mr Graves’ eyes. But the pupils find out that Miss Snape is a dragon who makes no effort to get on with them, and bullies them from the outset. Even worse, Miss Snape treats Lydia as teacher’s pet because she is after the position of deputy head. But when Lydia’s demonstration against her father costs Miss Snape this chance, Miss Snape turns against Lydia with even greater fury than the rest of the class.

What really carries this story is the incredible portrayal of the character of Mr Graves. He could so easily have been cast as an evil headmaster who inflicts sadism in the name of discipline. We have seen this in the Billy Bunter stories, where temporary headmasters proved so psychotic, sadistic and near-insane in their conduct that the Greyfriars boys threw up barricades against them. In girls’ comics there have been stories of headmistresses inflicting torture on their pupils in the name of discipline, such as The Girls of Liberty Lodge and The Four Friends at Spartan School in Tammy. But unlike these other principals, Mr Graves is not intended to be a flat, if hateful, villain who makes everyone’s life a misery before eventually getting his just desserts like all the rest of them. Rather, he is at heart a good man but completely misguided, rigid, bigoted, and naïve. And on top of it all, he is arrogant, so when he is appointed headmaster, it goes completely to his head. He becomes absolutely power-mad and seems to think being headmaster means he can run a school like a dictatorship. But even more astonishing is the change in Mr Graves at the end. He has modified his views on education enough to become more human in his approach. He is finally allowing some fun into school (putting on comedy videos in gratitude to the pupils who unknowingly helped him at one point), sticking up for them when they are wrongly accused of vandalism, and earning a whole new respect for alternate teaching methods. Above all, he has gone from believing that there is only one way to run a school (his way) to learning that there is no one way of running a school.

This is what puts this story a cut above the more typical stories about bully teachers and principals in girls’ comics. Someone must have been reading The Sky’s the Limit by Dr Wayne Dwyer and its sections of authoritarian thinking when they wrote this story. Mr Graves is a brilliantly conceived portrayal of how authoritarian thinking can be transcended and authoritarians can become more human. And it is all done without any seams showing. Mr Graves does not change completely. He is still strict, wears an old-fashioned teachers’ gown, and talks in an extremely formal manner (even in the home). But he is also letting the school see the human side to his nature, something he would only show in the home before.

Once Mr Graves starts to show he is a human being, the girls begin to like him more. This is something they can never do with Miss Snape, who is a typical bully teacher that does not change, but eventually transfers to another school. Still, the pupils are all relieved when Mr Graves goes back to his old school when he discovers its discipline has slipped so badly that there has been constant trouble with the police. The teacher he drove out before returns as the headmistress, so the girls can look forward to a return to the free-and-easy system. But before he goes, Mr Graves gives another example of how he has changed through his Castlegate experience – a complete collection of Dracula videos to remember him by!