Tag Archives: Food for Fagin

Jinty Titles in Latin Part 3

Here is my third volume of Jinty titles translated into Latin, with some brief commentary.

  1. In loco Mariae (In Place of Mary i.e. I’ll Make up for Mary)

A simple matter of taking the phrase in loco parentis [in place of parent] and adapting it to what Ann is trying to do – take the place of Mary.

  1. Qui est mater Rosae? (Who is Rose’s Mother? i.e. Wild Rose)

At first I thought of “Who is the woman with the moon scar?”, but it was too wordy. I settled on a much simpler title that summed up the mystery of the story and the question Rose is trying to answer.

  1. Hoc robotum lacrimare potest (This Robot Can Cry i.e. The Robot Who Cried)

Similar to the English title, but it is more reflective of how this particular robot was capable of human emotion.

  1. Effugium ex exilio (Escape from Banishment i.e. Bound for Botany Bay)

A working translation for another title gave me the idea of starting with a title that had the Latin for “escape” in it. The end result had alliteration all the way through the title.

  1. Petrus curandus est! (Peter Must Be Cured! i.e. For Peter’s Sake!)

The grammar in Cato’s famous tagline, Carthago delenda est [Carthage must be destroyed] was the inspiration for this one.

  1. Pascendum appetitum aeternum (Feeding the eternal appetite i.e. Food for Fagin)

Straight off I decided not to use the name of the dog in the title, and I never could stand those Oliver Twist references in the story anyway (would a mum seriously name her daughter Olivia Twist?). Instead, I worked on a title that commented on the increasingly difficult task of trying to keep up with that mountainous appetite of Fagin’s on the family’s limited income.

  1. Daemonium, quod intro est (The Demon that is Within i.e. The Mystery of Martine)

I decided against a title that used “Martine”. Instead, I went for translating the name of the play in the story “The Demon Within”, as its title summed up what was going on.

  1. Neglecti et superbi sumus (We are Neglected but Proud i.e. A Boy Like Bobby)

Two boys who were neglected and living in a squalid flat. But they still had their pride, which made it difficult for our heroine to reach out to them. So this was the basis for the Latin translation. Originally I thought of “Two neglected boys”, but that did not sound very interesting. I decided that a title that reflected their pride showing through their neglect made it more interesting. The endings of the adjectives also gave it alliteration.

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Jinty & Penny 18 July 1981

Jinty 18 July 1981 1

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey) – final episode
  • Food for Fagin (artist Trini Tinturé) – final episode
  • Mistaken Identity – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Call from the Heart – Gypsy Rose story (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost – artist Hugh Thornton-Jones
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Winning Ways 33: Table Tennis – Drop Shot (writer Benita Brown)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Alley Cat
  • Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Feature – The Royal Wedding Party pieces

 

This issue carries the final episode of Pam of Pond Hill. But the editor has left an invitation for readers to ask for more Pond Hill stories if they wish. So is it really her last episode or is she just going on hiatus?

Meanwhile, “Dracula’s Daughter” will be taking over the Pam spot the week after next (after the Royal Wedding issue). And things have gotten worse in Castlegate after Mr Graves’ overzealous drive to turn it into a strict, old-fashioned grammar school drives a teacher out – because the replacement is a bully teacher! She picks on the entire form, except for Mr Graves’ daughter, whom she treats as teacher’s pet. Lydia is not happy at this, and realises the bullying she is getting from the other girls because of her father’s campaign will be getting even worse because of it.

“Food for Fagin” ends in this issue too. In this episode Fagin’s gargantuan appetite puts him in danger of being put down – twice. But a twist of fate ends up with Olivia turning Fagin’s appetite to his advantage in a television commercial. So now Fagin is paying for his own food and more.

In the text story, “Mistaken Identity”, a conceited girl brags once too often when she thinks two women have praised her good looks. But she ends up with a very red face and a well-deserved humbling when she finds out that the women were talking about their dog!

Nemesis also strikes in the Gypsy Rose story, “A Call from the Heart”, which appears in full in the next entry. An arrogant Victorian lady causes the death of a Victorian street cry girl who sells lavender. But the girl curses the lady with her dying breath, and the lady had bought lavender from the girl only a few minutes before, so what combination will follow?

The third dream world ends in “Worlds Apart”. It’s a very narcissistic comeuppance for the vain Samantha, who acts as heartlessly as the Victorian lady does to the lavender girl. But nemesis strikes through another curse that causes Samantha’s face to appear as a pig’s head in every mirror she sees. Samantha screams hysterically as she realises she can never see her beautiful face again, and she cannot live without admiring herself in a mirror. Then her screaming shatters all the mirrors – and herself!

In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” it’s hijinks when Gaye and Sir Roger go boating. Tansy of Jubilee Street and her brother Simon start fighting again, this time over who is the better tennis player. But with the way they carry on, they are in serious need of an umpire.

And in “Angela’s Angels”, one of the angels, Helen, has a crippled wing from a burnt arm that has turned septic. But she is scared of getting it treated because Sister Angela could suspend her from her duties if she finds out she is not capable of performing them. So it’s double-bluff time to get treatment while fulfilling duties, but will it work?

Story theme: Evil influence/supernatural influence

This is the first in a new category of post, covering the various story themes seen in Jinty in more detail. As we will see, the story themes are often not clear-cut; many themes overlap or become fuzzy at the edges when investigated further. Nevertheless, definite strands can be traced.

There is a long-running story theme in girls’ comics based around someone or something (normally an object) influencing the protagonist to do things she normally wouldn’t do, in a way that is supernatural or unnatural. The influencing object usually has its own agenda, and in service of this it often ends up taking away the protagonist’s free will, and perhaps even her memory, such are the extremes that are gone to. The object (or, sometimes, person) is often evil, though sometimes it can be just driven by its own underlying requirements, which the protagonist must serve in order to resolve the situation.

Core examples

Probably the purest form of this story theme in Jinty can be found in the spooky story “Spell of the Spinning Wheel” (1977). Rowan Lindsay pricks her finger on the spinning wheel that her mother has just bought and finds that she is made to fall fast asleep every time she hears a humming sound – like the sound of the wheel when it is being used, but also the hum of a hairdryer, a car, and so on. The spinning wheel is entirely malicious: its agenda seems simply to spoil Rowan’s running career and indeed her life. When Rowan tries to give it away or destroy it to save herself, it responds dramatically by trying to make her go over a cliff, drown in a river, or get knocked down by a car; certainly it’s not possible to just tamely pass it on. In the end it must be destroyed by cleansing fire, but this can only happen once the whole family is united in determination to remove its malign influence: the heroine does not have enough power to get rid of it by herself. (In this story this works partly through the wheel’s power and partly through the mother’s disbelief: although the father is soon persuaded of the spinning wheel’s malice, the mother is turned against her family and refuses to co-operate with them until finally the wheel goes a step too far and shows her its true colours.)

Clear examples of this story theme in Jinty are:

  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (1974): Gail acquires a mysterious necklace made of wooden beads in a jumble sale: it originally came from India. Initially it grants some desires that are unspoken, or socially wrong: she cannot afford a bicycle and so the necklace makes her steal one, or she wants her aunt out of the way and the aunt gets knocked over by a car. The necklace has a specific agenda, to be returned to its original location; once Gail complies she is free of its influence and is even rewarded by it.
  • Slave of the Mirror (1975): Mia Blake finds an old mirror in her house and it makes her turn against her sister. The mirror possesses her and makes her destroy things in the house, sabotaging her sister’s attempt to run a boarding house. It turns out to be haunted by the ghost of a Spanish serving-girl who was ill-treated by a previous owner of the house; her spirit is set to rest and the possession stops.
  • Spell of the Spinning Wheel (1977): see above.
  • Creepy Crawley (1977): Jean Crawley comes across an old scarab brooch in a shop; it comes with the promise that it can help her defeat her rival. She doesn’t stay around long enough to listen to the associated warning she would have been given: once it gives her her wish it will go on to further its own ends, up to and including a reign of insects! Very soon she is unable to give up the brooch or gainsay it in any way; the defeat of the evil object has to be done by a friend of Jean’s, and by the rival herself, who has to be persuaded into forgiveness to break the spell.
  • Come Into My Parlour (1978): Jody Sinclair is made to wear a cat’s-paw necklace by an evil witch, who uses it to get revenge on the descendents of a judge who hanged her wicked ancestor. At first she is made to do things against her will as if she were a puppet, but her inconvenient conscience is eventually eliminated by changing her personality entirely. In the end she is only freed when the house that the witch has been living in is burned down, with the witch inside.
  • Paula’s Puppets (1978): Paula finds some mysterious wax puppets and finds they act like voodoo dolls, and she can make things happen to whoever she makes the puppets resemble. At first the bitter Paula uses them to exact revenge, but eventually she realises she can use them to help her father. (Here, protagonist Paula is the active force behind the influencing object, which differs from usual in this story theme.)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (1980): the protagonist finds a hand mirror which starts to control her life and wreak its revenge, ultimately being revealed as due to an angry ghost. As with other stories above, the spirit can only be laid to rest with the help of a wider group of people than just the enthralled protagonist, and forgiveness plays an important part too.
  • A number of Gypsy Rose stories also include this story theme, with a more diverse set of evil or haunted objects such as a handkerchief and a tambourine.

Edge cases

Of course, there are always fuzzy edges around definitions, with examples that don’t match the story theme quite as obviously. Looking at these less clear-cut cases can help to challenge our definitions.

  • The Haunting of Form 2B” (1974) has a whole class being haunted by a ghostly teacher. The schoolgirls are taken over mentally by objects given to them by the ghost, but it’s quite a number of varied objects that are influencing them rather than a specific one or two.
  • In “The Haunting of Hazel” (1975) the protagonist is strongly influenced by a ghostly ancestor, but it feels more like a standard ghost story than a case of possession.
  • In “The Mystery of Martine” (1976-77), the source of the possession is not very clearly delineated: is it the bangles that Martine clanks together, or is it the script written by the playwright, or is it all perhaps in Martine’s mind?
  • Sometimes the object is not that clearly evil, or has an influence without appearing almost anthropomorphic. Tamsin Tregorren finds a silver comb that belonged to her mother in “Combing Her Golden Hair” (1979) and the comb shows her visions and leads her to frolic in the water like a dolphin despite never having learned to swim. Eventually she is brought to the sea where she meets her mother, who is a mermaid, and who wants her to come and live in the sea too. The comb serves the agenda of the mother, who is not evil (and though she is portrayed as selfishly not caring whether or not Tamsin would be able to survive in the same environment, this is never actually proven one way or another).
  • In “Child of the Rain” (1980), Gemma West is strongly affected by the rain after a trip to the Amazon rainforest; it is found that some bark from a tree was left in her leg after an accident in the forest, and it is that that is affecting her, rather than any evil object or tennis-mad spirit .
  • In “Who’s That In My Mirror” (1977), the special mirror in question does not remove Magda’s free will, though it does seem to tempt her to worse and more selfish actions than she would have done alone. It’s also not entirely clear at the end whether perhaps the mirror might be intended as an ultimately moral force, to make her repent of her selfish deeds?

Related but different

Further away again from my core definition sit some related themes:

  • Hypnotism and brainwashing are the keys to “The Slave of Form 3B“, “Prisoner of the Bell”,  “Children of Edenford“, and “Jackie’s Two Lives”: the active agents are people, working in ways that aren’t actually strictly realistic but can’t be classed as supernatural.
  • Wish fulfillment: “Dance Into Darkness” has the protagonist forced to dance whenever music plays, with her free will eroded by the curse she takes on. It could be classed along the same double-edged gift that tempts Jean Crawley, but it feels more like irony than evil. And of course a wish fulfillment story can also be purely mundane, such as in “Food for Fagin” and “Freda’s Fortune”.
  • Not to be confused with: a magical companion, who persuades or helps rather than forcing or tempting. Stories with such a companion include “Guardian of White Horse Hill”, “Her Guardian Angel”, “Daughter of Dreams”. The companion may leave the protagonist in a sticky situation but she is not compelled or possessed.

Other thoughts

It’s an old-fashioned sort of story theme, in many ways. The magical objects in question are typically very gendered – mirrors, necklaces, a brooch, a spinning wheel. It feels like a trope from old stories or fairy tales, continued on in girls’ comics as a morality tale. The girl who is affected by the evil object often picks it up initially for the wrong reasons, or is in places she’s not supposed to be: the object promises revenge or oneupmanship, and the seeds of the main character’s undoing are sown because they are heading in the morally wrong direction from the start.

Jinty & Penny 13 June 1981

Jinty cover 9.jpg

(cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Food for Fagin – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • There’s No One Quite Like Grandad – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Resting Place – Gypsy Rose story (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Dracula’s Daughter – first episode (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Alley Cat

This is one of the few issues where Phil Gascoine‘s artwork does not appear. He is in between “Diving Belle”, which finished in the previous issue, and his next story, “Holiday Hideaway”. Meanwhile, two new stories begin.

The first is a Trini Tinturé story, “Food for Fagin”. Olivia Twist (yes, and the Charles Dickens references continue throughout the story) has always wanted a dog of her own. Eventually her mother agrees, but on the strict condition that the dog won’t eat much, because they have a tight budget. So Olivia gets Fagin – and guess what sort of appetite he develops as he grows?

The second is “Dracula’s Daughter”. We get shades of Dickens again in the form of a headmaster who is virtually Dickensian in the way he believes a school should be run. And he is out to ram it down the throat of his daughter’s free-and-easy school with strong-arm tactics.

In “Worlds Apart”, the girls have finally figured out why they are ending up in these strange worlds; first a world of fatties and now a world of sports-mad people. It is their dream worlds becoming reality. They realise what must be done in order to escape the sports-mad world – Ann, the unknowing creator of the world, must die. But can they really allow Ann to die? At the end of the episode it looks like the question has become redundant when the villains of the piece in this world take a hand.

In “Pam of Pond Hill”, Steve runs away because he can’t stand his stepfather. But of course he would pick a heck of a time to do so – his mother is ill! “Angela’s Angels” have a problem patient, who is bad tempered, violent, and is now climbing out the window – on the seventh floor!