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.