Tag Archives: Here Comes Trouble

Tammy 26 August 1972

Belinda Black-Sheep (artist Mario Capaldi) – first episode

Miss High-an’-Mighty (artist Julio Bosch?)

The Lame Ballerina (artist P. Montero, writer Gerry Finley-Day?)

Lulu (cartoon)

The Uxdale Urchins (artist Eduardo Feito)

Swim for Your Life, Sari (artist Juan Garcia Quiros, writer Gerry Finley-Day?)

Skivers’ School (artist J. Badesa)

Dog Paddle Doris (artist Carlos Prunes, writer Maureen Spurgeon)

The Greek Girl (artist John Armstrong, writer Bill Harrington?) – first episode

Here Comes Trouble (artist Luis Bermejo)

Lonely Romy (artists Luis Bermejo and Miguel Quesada (inks))

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

A Special Tammy Portrait – Don McLean

We come to 1972 in our Tammy August month round, and in this issue, two new stories start: “Belinda Black-Sheep” and “The Greek Girl”. Mario Capaldi, who went on to become one of the longest-standing stalwarts on the Tammy team, starts his first story for Tammy, “Belinda Black-Sheep”. Belinda McRea and her father become outcasts in their fishing village after Dad commits a seeming act of cowardice that led the deaths of his fellow fishermen in a storm. But did he really? Or did he lose his mind in some way and was not responsible for his actions? Or did something else happen? He seems to recall saving them, but he’s become so addled we don’t even know what to think, much know where to start working out what happened. 

In the second new story, “The Greek Girl”, Rose Banks has no confidence in herself, and it shows in her appearance (scruffy) and schoolwork (“appalling”). She wishes upon the statue of Penelope, the Greek goddess of confidence, to become more confident. (Incidentally, there really is a Greek goddess of confidence, but her name is Flaunta, and she is the second cousin of Aphrodite.) Soon after, a girl and a cat who are dead ringers for the goddess and her cat come into Rose’s life. Oops, is it the old “be careful what you wish for” again? Incidentally, this was one of the John Armstrong Tammy stories chosen for reprint in the Misty annuals, and a number of them were written by Bill Harrington.

Miss High-an’-Mighty, a spoiled, arrogant Victorian girl named Ursula Thorndike, has to be the hardest nut of all to crack in redemption stories. Bill Fletcher, a convict made good, is taking her on a tour to see how the other half live in the hopes it will change her. Ursula’s had to agree, as it is the only way to save her family from bankruptcy, but so far none of it is making any impression or improvement on her. 

Molly’s in a really complicated fix. She’s taken in an amnesic girl named Lorna, and then a Lady Lancton claims Lorna stole jewellery from her. Lorna is indeed scared shitless of Lady Lancton, but is it for that reason? Molly’s attempt to get Lorna’s side of things is soon putting her in danger.

In “Lonely Romy”, another Cinderella story, Romy hits the road after her spiteful stepsister frames her for stealing a watch. The truth is discovered later, but by this time Romy’s found a new venue for her paintings.

In “Here Comes Trouble”, the trouble for Mitzi Trouble comes from spiteful Katy Dennison. First Katy dopes her horse, and now she’s started a grass fire that’s raged out of control, just to get Mitzi into trouble, but it’s put lives in danger.

Girls’ comics often had some bizarre premises, and “Dog Paddle Doris” is one. Doris Farrell is making her name as…the best dog paddle swimmer around. Although it’s the only stroke she can do, she’s joined a swimming club and is competing in races, against girls who are doing freestyle. She even wins a freestyle event, but she was doing dog paddle, not freestyle. Aren’t there any grounds for disqualification here? 

“Swim for Your Life, Sari” is another swimming story, about a long-distance relay swimming race for Sari Marsh and her team. But Sari soon finds there is more danger than just the risks of the race – something sinister is afoot, and it looks suspiciously like the relay race is a setup for it.

Jill Hudson discovers Louisa “The Lame Ballerina” isn’t that lame, but thinks there’s a medical problem and wants to be friends. The truth is, Louisa is faking lameness to avoid the ballet she’s being pushed into, and now she sees a glorious opportunity to take advantage of Jill.

“Skivers’ School” looks like it’s riding on the success of “School for Snobs”. But instead of teaching snobs a lesson, the special school teaches ill-mannered girls to behave. Flo and Ethel Binns have been sent to it to learn how to be ladies. The hijinks have their skivvying backfiring on them and being foiled by the headmistress Miss Meake. We’re always left wondering as to whether Miss Meake does this without realising it or not, which is probably a running gag.

The Uxdale Urchins win the semi-finals despite problems along the way, but now there’s a real hurdle – the finals are in London, and they can’t afford a horse box.

Tammy 24 June 1972

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

The Uxdale Urchins (artist Eduardo Feito) – first episode

The Saint of the Snows

Lulu – cartoon

The Champion from Nowhere (artist Tom Hurst)

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

Jill’s Only Joy (artist John Armstrong)

Tina on a Tightrope (artist Roy Newby)

Take Over Biddie 

A Special Tammy Portrait – Peter Osgood

5 Radios To Be Won! – Competition

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

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

Here Comes Trouble (artist Luis Bermejo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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