Tag Archives: Honiera Romeu

“Women Making Girls Comics” – talk at the House of Illustration, 16 April 2016

Along with Dr Mel Gibson, David Roach, and a good-sized audience, on Saturday I took part in a lively and high-quality discussion about female creators of girls comics and many other related topics. It was organized as part of the Comix Creatrix exhibition of female comics artists; a great subject for an exhibition (particularly timely in the light of the kerfuffle at the Angouleme festival this year). As tends to be the case, UK children’s comics didn’t get much of a look-in at the exhibition, though there is a page of Evelyn Flinders pencil art and an incomplete piece of Shirley Bellwood unpublished Misty art both on display. The exhibition is focused on mature readers on purpose – hence the ‘x’ in the word ‘comix’ – but the gap in the coverage of UK girls comics was pretty palpable following discussions on co-organizer Paul Gravett’s facebook page. And lo, it came to pass that some months later the three of us named above were convened at the House of Illustration, near King’s Cross.

Paul Gravett introduced us all to kick off the proceedings, and Mel gave a more in-depth introduction of our various areas of specialities. Phoenix has described the event from his perspective, over on the Comics UK Forum, and there are some other posts on social media by attendees, with further description and photos. The talk was some two hours long (until shortly before it started I’d assumed it would be just 1 hour or so, but there was so much to talk about it never dragged!) and included time for questions as we went along, and afterwards too.

I can’t at this point cover everything that we discussed, partly because I was obviously not in a position to take notes, and partly because of lack of time. I understand that the venue is supposed to have been recording the discussion, and assuming that is forthcoming I will update with details of how to listen to the recording. There are a couple of immediate points of ‘breaking news’ arising from the event, though – David Roach has dug out a set of samples by Emilia Prieto, who is clearly the artist on “Sceptre of the Toltecs” and “Kerry In The Clouds” – both art and signature match. It’s not very clear to me right now as to how the original misattribution could have happened, but the signatures of both artists are very similar, and of course there is always the question of whether a pseudonym was used at any point. I shall nevertheless be amending this blog’s references to specify “Emilia Prieto” instead.

Emilia Prieto
NB artist signature was seen on a different piece of art that I did not photograph

David also clarified some outstanding questions about the artist on “The Cult of the Cat”, credited on this blog as “H. Romeu” or “Honiera Romeu”. The artist’s pen name for many years was “Homero”, riffing off the Homer of antiquity (and ‘Honiera’ must therefore simply be a typo that crept in somewhere along the line). From the end of the 1970s or the beginning of the 1980s he reverted to his real surname (he was a Catalan, and in the Franco era it was forbidden to use Catalan surnames – people had to use the Castilian equivalent) for all purposes. So his real name, which I will change all the references on this blog to use, is “Jaume Rumeu”. However, as his penname during the relevant period was still Homero, I will include this as reference too. It may take a little time to apply this change consistently so do bear with me.

click thru
click thru

One of the discussions points that I was particularly intrigued to hear was the fact that David catalogued some 40,000 pages of Amalgamated Press / Fleetway artwork, and had sight of the payment books from the relevant times – between the 1940s and 1960s I think he said. Between that and the fact that he has information originating from Barry Coker’s agency which dealt directly with many Spanish artists, David clearly has a huge amount of knowledge that is not only derived from long experience of analysing art, but also from actual records and archives. Watch this space for a future email interview with him, therefore!

 

Jinty Annual 1984

Jinty annual 1984

  • The Talking Cat (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Wet Day Fun (feature)
  • Forget-Me-Not at Christmas (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Could You be Top of the Form? (quiz)
  • The Four-Footed Friends (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • The Dog with No Name (text story)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Flower Power (feature)
  • Your Star Qualities (feature)
  • It’s Sausage Time (feature)
  • Capitals of the World (feature)
  • Pet Quiz
  • Fun with Foil (feature)
  • The House across the Way
  • Write On! (feature)
  • Let’s Make Mobiles! (feature)
  • Get Stripy Knitting Pattern (feature)
  • Alley Cat
  • Are You a Good Sport? (quiz)
  • Is It True? (feature)
  • Back to School (feature)
  • Water Safety (feature)
  • The Enchanted Place (text story)
  • Sweet ‘n’ Simple (feature)
  • Children in Other Countries (feature)
  • The Maze Craze (puzzles)
  • Are You a Real Friend? (quiz)
  • Paint a Puppet (feature)
  • Princess Punkerella (artist Jaume Rumeu aka Homero Romeu)
  • Don’t Tell Stories, Brian (text story)
  • The School Journey (game)

Jinty annual 1984 was the last Jinty annual to have any recognisable Jinty material. The next two would be a collection of reprints that were taken from older annuals and were Jinty in name only. Stories that are recognisably Jinty are Alley Cat, Snoopa, and reprints of The Four-Footed Friends and Forget-Me-Not at Christmas. But there is no trace anywhere of Gypsy Rose or Pam of Pond Hill. What appear to be new material are “The Talking Cat”, “Princess Punkerella” and the text stories. And the annual is heavy on features, such as recipes, art & craft, quizzes, general knowledge and games.

We get some Misty in this annual. “The House Across the Way” is a surprise in that it is a reprint from Misty #16. “Princess Punkerella” could be straight out of Misty too, as it is drawn by Honiera Romeu, who was a regular Misty artist. The story is worthy of Misty too, as it concerns a punk girl, Ella Jones, who tries to extort money out of an old lady. The old lady says that her purse has nothing but three wishes. Ella uses the first two wishes to satisfy her greed, but as you might expect, it backfires and Ella’s third wish is to wish she had never met the old woman. Yet this story never appeared in Misty. Neither did “The Talking Cat”, which could be straight out of Misty as well. Shona finds her beloved cat Clovis, who has been taken ill, can suddenly talk. The reason is that he is possessed by an alien, and it’s not long before all the cats in the neighbourhood are talking too! It all turns out to be a dream, but of course Clovis recovers.

While this can be described as the last substantial Jinty annual, it is a bit disappointing that it does not use more Jinty material, even just more reprints. Some of the shorter Jinty stories, such as Tale of the Panto Cat, could have been recycled, and likewise with Gypsy Rose tales. Why did Jinty not use more of her own material – legal reasons, maybe? Or economics? Still, this annual would still satisfy any reader who wants a good read from cover to cover.