Tag Archives: Julio Bosch

Sandie 8 April 1972

Stories in this issue:

  • No-one Cheers for Norah (artist John Armstrong)
  • Slaves of the Sorcerer (artist Desmond Walduck) – first episode
  • Wee Sue (artist Vicente Torregrosa Manrique)
  • Brenda’s Brownies (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Odd Mann Out (artist A E Allen)
  • Silver Is a Star (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Not So Lady-like Lucy
  • Our Big BIG Secret (artist Jim Baikie)
  • The School of No Escape (artist unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Wendy the Witch (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Sandra Must Dance (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Bonnie’s Butler (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Anna’s Forbidden Friend (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • A Sandie Pop Portrait – Sacha Distel (artist Bob Gifford)

The contents have moved around quite a lot in this issue compared to the previous eight – for instance “Silver Is A Star” has been moved much nearer the middle of the paper than it was, and “Anna’s Forbidden Friend” has moved to the last spot (which I think was probably one of the best spots, as providing the denouement of the issue).

Norah hurries to her father’s hospital bed, as he is in a bad way. She hears his side of the story of his disgrace (he says he didn’t do it) and her visit gives him a new will to live.

Catawiki credits both the new story, “Slaves of the Sorcerer”, and last week’s “Little Lady Nobody”, as both being by artist Desmond Walduck. I disagree and have credited “Little Lady Nobody” as being by Roy Newby. Soon I will post about the story, which was the first Sandie story to finish, and you can decide for yourselves. In this first episode, Beth Williams is accused and then acquitted of stealing, but she soon finds herself entangled in a trap that is much harder to escape from. The story is set in 1930, but the historical elements are not very strongly outlined, at least not yet.

Wee Sue rescues a dog from the roadside – she has recognized that its yellow collar means it belongs to a nearby scientific establishment. Researcher Miss Brog claims only to be kind to the animals she is experimenting on – but if so, why did the dog run away?

Susie Man’s elder sister carries out her threat to expel Susie’s classmate Sarah in revenge for Susie’s trouble-making, but the class rally round Sarah and (at Susie’s  further instigation, of course) hide her in the storeroom while they run round trying to find evidence to condemn the Head as a crook and a liar.

Trudy wins a steeplechase event that brings with it a first prize of one hundred pounds – so she is able to buy back Mr MacReady’s pawned saddle. We are told that next she will have to find money to save the stables…

Eva, one of Miss Voor’s mysterious sidekicks, is remorseful and tries to help Dale – but Miss Voor overpowers her mentally and Dale is soon being pushed over the side of a cliff rather than being helped to rescue her classmates.

Sandra has been accepted to the Southern Ballet Company for a trial period, but rival Robinia Drew has also been invited along. One way or another, the twins’ secret seems likely to be out fairly soon – especially as Joan has to sign the contract herself, with her own signature.

Anna is tied up by the roughs from her estate, with a placard reading “I am a traitor”. Julia unties her and then runs away, saying “I don’t want to have anything to do with you or Madeley Buildings any more!” – to the reader, a transparent ploy, but will it fool the onlookers?

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Princess II, #26, 17 March 1984

Princess cover 26

  • The Secret Swimmer (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • The Dream House (artist Mike White)
  • Rusty, Remember Me (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Stefa’s Heart of Stone (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Day and Knight (artist Juliana Buch)
  • Are You a Teacher’s Pet? (quiz)
  • Flight from the Romanys (artist Maria Dembilio)
  • Fun Fair – puzzles
  • Horse from the Sea (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • The Haunted Station (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

 

The merge into Tammy is in three weeks, so how does this issue contribute towards the merger? “The Dream House” has a double episode, it looks like “Flight from the Romanys” is getting close to finishing, but “The Secret Swimmer”, “The Haunted Station”, “Rusty, Remember Me” and “Day and Knight” are on their second episodes. And anyone familiar with the original run of “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” knows it still has a long way to go.

Liza now becomes “The Secret Swimmer” and secretly training for the event Nikki is now out of, because she feels it is the only way to get the girls to talk to her again after wrongly blaming her for Nikki’s accident. But getting up at early hours for training and pushing herself too much are beginning to take their toll.

Mr Day is pushing headlong into his new marriage with Carrie Knight’s mother, despite protests from his daughter Sharon that Carrie is bullying her. Dad is not listening and Carrie is very good at pulling the wool over his eyes. And now Carrie is causing another heartbreak for Sharon – she has to rehome her beloved cat Monk because of Carrie’s asthma.

In “Stefa’s Heart of Stone”, Dad’s job is on the line because of Stefa’s tricks to dodge Ruth, Joy’s look-alike at school. Stefa gets no sleep because her heart of stone is struggling against her guilty conscience. But conscience does not win, and neither does common sense. By the final panel it looks like Stefa will indeed get Dad sacked because of her wanting to avoid Ruth.

Donna Jones needs a vet for the injured fox cub, now named Rusty, but money is a problem. And there is another problem – animals aren’t allowed in their flat, and the caretaker is not the sort who would understand the situation.

Jan Dale is becoming more convinced that the doll’s house is evil and taking away the elder members of the family she is working for. Now Diana, the eldest daughter, has disappeared like the parents, but the two youngest kids seem to be helping it.

Lydia Parks, who has only just escaped from the gypsies who kidnapped her, now has to escape from a workhouse. She finally does, but it’s now more urgent than ever to get home, because her sick friend at the workhouse badly needs help.

In “Horse from the Sea”, Janice and Tracey Penrose discover a rift in the Penrose family that stems from when Charles Penrose blamed his father for a mining accident because the old miser was cutting corners at the expense of safety. It would not be surprising if Janice’s stepfather was descended from the old meanie, because it looks like he’s deliberately keeping Janice an invalid so she won’t inherit, and committing other fraud too.

“The Haunted Station” is more like a time travel device. It has already sent Linda Brent and Wendy Smith to the 1930s, where they get entangled with a frightened girl who is being chased by someone. Now it looks like it’s about to send them back to the 1930s again.

Princess Bee wants to go riding – and so does Grovel. He ends up regretting it because Princess Bee uses him for her mount after he messes things up (below).

Sadie in waiting riding
Horse hijinks, “Sadie in Waiting”, Princess II, 17 March 1984

Sandie 1 April 1972

Stories in this issue:

  • No-one Cheers for Norah (artist John Armstrong)
  • Odd Mann Out (artist A E Allen)
  • Brenda’s Brownies (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Anna’s Forbidden Friend (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • The School of No Escape (artist unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Our Big BIG Secret (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Not So Lady-like Lucy
  • Wee Sue (artist Vicente Torregrosa Manrique)
  • Little Lady Nobody (artist Desmond Walduck?) – last episode
  • Wendy the Witch (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Sandra Must Dance (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Bonnie’s Butler (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Silver Is a Star (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • A Sandie Pop Portrait – Steve McQueen (artist Bob Gifford)

It’s nice to see the some of the elements in colour on the front. Norah’s swimming suit looks great and the colour work really enhances the image taken from the story inside. Last week’s cover showed us Sandra the ballet dancer with brown hair, which looked rather nice. Imagine if this had been published by Marvel in colour inside and out – somehow it seems to make a difference to how you see a character if you imagine them with a different hair colour.

Norah’s cousin tells her that her father is a crook who stole money from the swimming club – and Mrs Maddox believes the story, because she knew him when he was the secretary of the club. She will carry on being Norah’s supporter and mentor though, as she can see that the girl is not also a crook.

Susie Mann thinks the head of the school is living luxuriously at the school’s expense – and the glimpses we catch of the head’s sinister sideways glances have the reader thinking that it must indeed be so.

Anna and her friend Julia have managed to get Mr Crossley to come and talk to the estate dwellers in person – but Ramage has manged to poison the well against the estate owner and he is not well received.

Dale is made to drink a mysterious beverage when she is spying on Miss Voor – but she is helped by Eva, who seems to be at least a bit on Dale’s side against Miss Voor.

In “Wee Sue”, she has to deal with machinations by Miss Chivers who wants her niece to be sports captain instead of Sue – and who is threatening to evict Sue’s mum from her home if Sue doesn’t go quietly.

It’s the last episode of “Little Lady Nobody”. Lady Elaine has been found guilty of being an impostor and is sentenced to be transported for life – but in the nick of time, Sir William Moresby is found alive and on his way home. All comes well at the last moment. An advert tells the reader that next week’s new story will be called “Slaves of the Sorcerer”.

Sandra is dancing superbly well most of the time but her rival does manage to get the wheel-chair bound twin sister out of the way for long enough to nearly put the kibosh on the dancing twin’s chances in front of the great Dame Valerie in the audience.

Trudy finds out that her sporting rivals have gone to the lengths of trying to poison Silver by slipping yew tree leaves in his feed bag – they really are sinking low.

Princess II, #15, 31 December 1983

Princess 15 cover

  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos) – first episode
  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story)
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Enough to Make a Cat Laugh! (artist Phil Townsend) – complete story
  • Best of Friends… (photo story)
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

“Sheena and the Treetoppers” starts this issue and leads off the cover. Sheena and her siblings discover a tree house, and they are determined it’s going to be their secret.

Clare Thomas learns the full story of Arabella Hood, “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Arabella died before her time and ever since then she has been exercising her brilliance through other dancers. She targets mediocre dancers, which makes them easy to fall for her bait. But she just sees them as tools and cares nothing for their wellbeing, and they suffer for it.

In “Fairy Tale”, Angie and Jane have misadventures with a deaf genie who mishears their wishes (would somebody please wish this genie get a hearing aid!), get chased by a giant spider, and pick up the Frog Prince – only to find all the other frogs are yelling that they are the Frog Prince and the frog they have is an imposter.

What’s “Enough to Make a Cat Laugh!” is not funny for the two girls in the story. The girls fight over the cat because each believes she has a claim to the cat. They don’t realise that the cat, in true feline fashion, has been making two homes out of their houses. The cat settles the squabble by giving each girl one of her kittens, and they become firm friends.

In “Suzy and Snowdrop” a clue is dropped as to why Aunt Alice is so merciless in forcing Jane to ride, which will definitely be followed up later. Meanwhile, Aunt Alice forces Jane to enter a gymkhana although Jane is not up to standard, too frightened – and under too much pressure because everyone expects her to live up to the family’s reputation for top horsemanship. Definitely a recipe for disaster.

The “Best of Friends” are in danger of falling out because Katie sees Linda as coming between her and her best friend Lizzie. Or is she just being silly and jealous? Katie’s mum tries to talk to her about it and get her to patch things up, but the friendship remains on the rocks – and is getting even more rocky.

Sadie makes a New Year’s resolution to get up earlier so she can work earlier – much to the annoyance of the still-sleeping Grovel and Cook.

Princess II, #13, 17 December 1983

Princess 13 cover

 

  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story) – first episode
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch) – first episode
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • True Friends for Tansy – final episode
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story) – final episode
  • Cinders on Ice
  • Sadie-in-waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

I have come into a few more Princesses (thanks to Marc), so we continue with more Princess II entries.

Two stories begin and two stories end in this issue. On the cover is the beginning of Princess’s first (and last) ballet story, “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Clare Thomas lives for ballet and is shattered when she is told she has to leave ballet school because she’s not good enough. Then a mysterious ballerina appears and says she can make Clare as brilliant a dancer as she is – but how on earth can she do that?

In the other new story, “Fairy Tale”, Jane Graham and her horrible cousin Angie are whisked away to a fairy tale land where they find Sleeping Beauty. Angie’s response is to steal Sleeping Beauty’s necklace, which shows just how unsavoury she is. Then they find they are now trapped in this world.

The two stories that end are “True Friends for Tansy” and “Alice Spring is Missing!”. Tansy is now free to say that her dad is her friends’ favourite pop star. Her friends are proved genuine – and pinching themselves when they get royal box tickets to his concert. Alice Spring and Carrie finally get help against the kidnappers when the people they were trying to convince actually look into it instead of assuming it’s a joke. They also nab a pickpocket on the train into the bargain.

In the ice pantomime, Ella lands the starring role of Cinderella. The trouble is, the horrible family who abuse her are going to be watching the performance and find out her secret.

Suzy agrees to Aunt Alice’s deal to help Janet to ride because it will keep her near Snowdrop. But Janet is scared stiff of horses and refuses to ride, while her ruthless aunt keeps forcing her to do so because it’s the family tradition and has no sympathy for her problem whatsoever.

Poor Sadie wants to do Christmas shopping, but doesn’t get the chance because everyone else keeps lumbering her with their shopping lists.

Sandie 18 March 1972

I am going to try limiting myself to a maximum of one sentence for each story (particularly focusing on serials) otherwise I fear that I will never get through the pile of Sandies, even though it was a relatively short-lived title. I aim to revisit the serials later in the format of story posts (as we do for stories printed in Jinty and elsewhere): a sample episode, story summary, and discussion of relevant themes and points. So even if the stories are not described in much detail right now, you will get much more in later posts.

Stories in this issue:

  • No-one Cheers for Norah (artist John Armstrong)
  • Odd Mann Out (artist A E Allen)
  • Brenda’s Brownies (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Anna’s Forbidden Friend (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • The School of No Escape (artist unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Our Big BIG Secret (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Not So Lady-like Lucy
  • Wee Sue (artist Vicente Torregrosa Manrique)
  • Little Lady Nobody (artist Desmond Walduck?)
  • Wendy the Witch (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Sandra Must Dance (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Bonnie’s Butler (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Silver Is a Star (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • A Sandie Pop Portrait – Barry Gibb (artist Bob Gifford)

Mrs Maddox finds out some of the abuse that Norah is going through at the hands of her family: Norah is accepted into the swimming club as a non-paying member after all.

Susie Mann discovers that all the school textbooks and other material are decades out of date, and decides to do organize a fete to do something about it.

The episode of “Brenda’s Brownies” this week is particularly good: the last panel is my favourite, I think it really makes it.

Julia helps Anna escape from trouble-makers at her housing estate, but the estate itself is banding together against Anna’s father who is planning to kick them all out, so tempers are rising.

Dale finds a hidden room with CC TV and and witnesses Miss Voor doing mysterious things to their school mate Agnes.

Wee Sue says she’s not that good at gym but with the help of a book she seems to master it very quickly. She seems a bit too much of a wonder girl, I must say.

Little Lady Nobody is not far from an exciting close – Elaine Moresby’s life keeps on being threatened by the associates of her evil uncle. Will she get blown up in the latest attempt?

Sandra and her sister Joan discover they have been tricked by an enemy who has been trying to separate them – they make amends and re-join forces to allow Sandra to keep dancing until Joan’s back is better.

Trudy skips detention at school in order to ride in a race, which she would have won if not for the sneaky trick of her rival, swiftly followed by the medical collapse of her mentor Mr Macready.

Sandie 11 March 1972

Sandie 11 March 1972

Stories in this issue:

  • No-one Cheers for Norah (artist John Armstrong)
  • Odd Mann Out (artist A E Allen)
  • Brenda’s Brownies (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Anna’s Forbidden Friend (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • The School of No Escape (artist unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Our Big BIG Secret (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Not So Lady-like Lucy
  • Wee Sue (artist Vicente Torregrosa Manrique)
  • Little Lady Nobody (artist Desmond Walduck?)
  • Wendy the Witch (artist and writer Mike Brown)
  • Sandra Must Dance (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Bonnie’s Butler (artist Julio Bosch)
  • Silver Is a Star (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • A Sandie Pop Portrait – Dave Cassidy (artist Bob Gifford)

I am behindhand in getting back to these issues of Sandie – partly for personal / work reasons, and partly I suspect that I am making the description of each issue a bit too long to easily complete. Let’s see if there is mileage in cutting down the entries a little.

Norah is being nobbled by her cousin and family – Mrs Maddox is defending and supporting her but the cousin’s nasty trick in putting the clock forward by an hour may prevent Norah from succeeding in her swimming trial.

Susie Mann is still championing the underdogs at her school, even against her own family. It is a real kangaroo court that her friend is facing! Very corrupt goings-on in this school.

Estate Manager Ramage has made it look like protagonist Anna has pinched some fruit that she never did. Her family don’t really believe her, but the fact she says she’s friends with Julia, the landlord’s daughter, is the real clincher in their disbelief. Lots of sobs accompany this Quesada artwork, and worse is to come as the tenants of the estate are all given their eviction order.

Dale has discovered something interesting with the stony-faced enforcers of Miss Voor’s – one of them is smiley and joyful as she sees a swallow flying. What’s that all about?

In “Little Lady Nobody”, Elaine Moresby is still trying to get to the bottom of why her uncle wants to see her dead. She has a chance to testify against him in court (with it all rigged against her, of course) – but her uncle argues that it would be unfair to her friend Mary’s mother. What will Elaine do next?

There is a voting box in this week’s issue, filled out by the owner. At this time, her favourite story was “The School of No Escape”, followed by “Wee Sue” and “Anna’s Forbidden Friend”.

“Sandra Must Dance” – Sandra’s sister Joan hates seeing her twin dancing under her namme, even though Sandra is only doing it to support their gran. The psychic bond between the two girls falters, but Sandra is able to continue dancing because she has had more practice now than before. A secret enemy tries to separate them further via a forged letter – will it work?

In “Silver Is A Star”, Mr MAcReady is out of hospital – though who knows if he is really as well as he claims to be – and Trudy is bidding fair to win her race – until the two snob rivals try to get her disqualified.

Princess II, #28 – final issue – 31 March 1984

Princess 28 cover

  • The Secret Swimmer (artist Phil Gascoine) – final episode
  • The Haunted Station (artist Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?)) – final episode
  • The Dream House (artist Mike White) – final episode
  • Day and Knight (artist Juliana Buch)
  • Horse from the Sea… (artist Rodrigo Comos) – final episode
  • Stefa’s Heart of Stone (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Rusty, Remember Me (artist Eduardo Feito)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

This is the very last issue of Princess. She came to an end after 28 issues and a disturbing change of format from Girl II style to Tammy style with #19, and an equally disturbing fallback on reprints of older material.

Princess great news 1

The Princess stories that do not carry on into the merger are “The Secret Swimmer”, “The Dream House” (Tammy reprint), “Horse from the Sea” (Jinty reprint) and “The Haunted Station”. The last two are given six page spreads to help finish them off.

The ending of “The Secret Swimmer” is a good one that avoids clichés, and is worthy of Jinty. Liza wonders if there is any point in winning the race because all the girls are against her as they wrongly blame her for Nikki’s accident. But when Nikki herself starts cheering for Liza, the girls turn around and start cheering as well. It gives Liza all the encouragement she needs to really compete – yet she still does not win. She is narrowly beaten, but she’s still a winner because she has friends again.

In “The Haunted Station” the Grices think pushing Helen off the cliff means her inheritance is now in their pocket. They don’t realise a tree root has broken her fall, and Wendy and Linda pull her up. Helen goes on to get help from an old housekeeper, Mrs Burke, but Linda and Wendy are whisked back to their own time before they find out how things turned out. Then, at the next stop on the school trip they are surprised to meet Helen Mills, now an old lady who runs a Tudor Tea Gardens attraction. Yes, everything worked out happily for Helen and justice was done. The elderly Helen is very surprised at how Wendy and Linda look so much like her two helpers.

The two schemers in “Horse from the Sea” come to an even stickier end than the Grices – they get drowned during a flood, and the rightful heir is free from their power.

“The Dream House” turns out to be the result of Miss Royd’s quest for immortality that she had begun centuries before, and she uses the minds of small children to wield her power. Jane manages to turn that power against Miss Royd and re-imprison her in her secret room in the dollhouse. But all it needs to turn Miss Royd loose again is for another small child to find that secret room in the dollhouse…

The stories that continue with the merger are “Day and Knight”, “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” and “Sadie in Waiting”. Sharon Day’s father has married Carrie Knight’s mother despite Sharon’s pleas that Carrie is a bully who makes her life a misery, and has even stolen her beloved guitar. Now the bullying is double the misery because Carrie is now living with Sharon and making her life hell at home as well as school, and Dad just won’t listen when Sharon tries to tell him. Carrie and her gang have trashed Sharon’s belongings and now Carrie’s planning a very nasty surprise for Sharon – a piece of meat in her vegetarian school lunch!

In “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” (Jinty reprint) Stefa tries to get herself expelled in order to get away from Ruth, but Ruth keeps foiling her. Meanwhile, and Stefa and her parents make the move into the council house. Stefa’s stoniness gets her on the wrong foot with the kids in the neighbourhood, who react by throwing stones at the statue Stefa models her stony heart on.

Hiding Rusty the fox from the nasty caretaker Mr Jenkins while his leg is in plaster is proving problematic. Jenkins is already suspicious and now he wants to search the flat – which is precisely where the kids have hidden Rusty.

Princess Bee says Sadie will have to go, and Sadie can’t understand what she did to get sacked when Grovel deserves it more. It turns out to be a misunderstanding – Princess Bee has chosen Sadie to be the one to go the annual servants’ conference. Poor Grovel’s in tears at not being the one, but we all know Princess Bee made the right decision.

Princess II, #27, 24 March 1984

Princess 27 cover

  • Flight from the Romanys (artist Maria Dembilio) – final episode
  • Day and Knight (artist Juliana Buch)
  • The Haunted Station (artist Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?))
  • The Dream House (artist Mike White)
  • The Secret Swimmer (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Horse from the Sea… (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Stefa’s Heart of Stone (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Rusty, Remember Me (artist Eduardo Feito)

This is the second to last issue of Princess II before the merge into Tammy, so it’s an issue where things are beginning to wind down. Finishing this issue is “Flight from the Romanys”, where Lydia, a wealthy lord’s daughter, has been kidnapped by gypsies. She has escaped, but it’s a long way home, and she very nearly gets recaptured as well.

“The Haunted Station”, “The Dream House”, “Horse from the Sea” and “The Secret Swimmer” are on their penultimate episodes.

Liza, “The Secret Swimmer”, has been secretly training for a swimming trophy after she is wrongly blamed of putting her friend Nikki out of it. Her secret is exposed, but she has become so good she is chosen to represent the school at the event. But everyone is so against her because of the wrongful accusation that they are going to cheer for the rival schools. So is there any point in even winning? This story was drawn by Phil Gascoine, and I was surprised to learn it was an original Gascoine and not a repeat from Jinty.

“The Haunted Station” is not so much haunted but a time travel device. Linda Brent and Wendy Smith are finding a converted railway station transporting them to the 1930s (and back again).  Their 1980s clothes are arousing disapproval in the 1930s and making them stick out like sore thumbs: “Girls wearing trousers. It’s disgraceful!” But their real concern is Helen Mills, who is a target for murder because her guardians, the Grices, are after her inheritance. The Grices are getting close to succeeding now; in the final panel Mr Grice pushes Helen over the edge of a quarry.

Evil guardians are also out to steal an inheritance in “Horse from the Sea”, and now they’ve caught our heroine as she tries to phone for help. As with “The Haunted Station” supernatural help is at hand, which comes in the form of a magic horse from the sea.

“The Dream House” (reprinted from Tammy) is more like “The Nightmare House”. Jane Dale is convinced a dollhouse is evil and taking family members away to inhabit it as dolls, and that she is next in line. The weird thing is, the two small children of the family are willing to help it. In this episode Jane discovers that housekeeper Miss Royd is behind it all. In fact, Miss Royd says she came with the dollhouse and lived in it for centuries, and Jane is going to do the same!

“Day and Knight” and “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” are the Princess stories that will carry on in the merger. Stefa’s repeat is now up to the point where she wants to leave her new school because of Joy’s look-alike. She storms into her father’s workplace demanding he remove her from the school, which gets him sacked. He has to take a lower paid job, which means the family has to move to a cheaper council house. But none of this moves Stefa’s stony heart. After efforts to dodge school fail, she plots to get herself expelled as her parents won’t let her change schools.

In “Day and Knight”, Sharon Day’s father now marries Carrie Knight’s mother despite Sharon’s protests that Carrie is a bully who is making her life a misery. He just won’t listen (Gran is the only one who believes Sharon), and that is clearly going to come back to bite him and his new marriage. Meanwhile, the wedding is a day of tears for Sharon that she has to choke down for the sake of Dad’s big day. Even if everything does get sorted out in the end (as we expect), Sharon’s forced smiles will be evident in the wedding photos for years to come and be a painful reminder of what used to be.

“Rusty, Remember Me” is the fox story (every girls’ comic has to have one at some point). Donna Jones has to hide an injured fox because she lives in a flat where pets are against the rules and the caretaker is a nasty piece of work. This week they take the fox to the vet, only to hear that the vet’s advice is put him to sleep.

Sadie in Waiting is the other Princess feature that will carry on in the merger, supplanting the Tammy Joe Collins cartoon, “The Crazyees”. This week they screw down the furniture because of a visit from Lady Edna, who’s the proverbial bull in a china shop because she’s so huge. They are annoyed to find it unnecessary when Lady Edna proves she has slimmed down – but they find they have spoken too soon when her huge friends arrive. And by that time they have removed the screws.

Princess II, #18, 21 January 1984

Princess cover 18

  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story) – final episode
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?)) – final episode
  • School of Dark Secrets (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Lena Lends a Hand… (artist John Johnston) – complete story

Issue 18 was the last Princess II to use the Girl II format and newsprint that the series had used since #1. From #19, Princess II switched to the same format, newsprint and page count as Tammy. She dropped the photo stories and the colour pages and became an exclusively picture story comic like Tammy. In so doing, she broke away from being the sister comic to Girl II and became more like the sister comic to Tammy, though she did not say so. She hailed the new look as “great news”, but it was clearly anything but. In fact, it was a sign that she was in trouble and cutting costs. This is particularly telling in her reprinting old serials from Tammy and Jinty. Years later these reprints had the benefit of enabling some of the original artwork from IPC girls’ comics to survive, of which very little has. But at the time, a new comic falling back on reprints from older titles was a very, very bad sign.

Princess great news

As Princess II drops the photo stories this issue, naturally this is the last episode of “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Clare finds a way to lay the troublesome ghost of Arabella Hood and free herself from Arabella’s power: create a ballet about Arabella’s life to give her the fame that her premature death deprived her of.

Also ending this issue is “Fairy Tale”, our tale of mixed-up fairy tales. It gets even crazier with a genie who grants two wishes instead of three, and he is so deaf he often mishears your wishes – to the cost of the evil Morgana when she calls upon him for wishes. The greedy Angie does not emerge from the adventure much improved once the girls return home, though she does get a comeuppance for it.

“Lena Lends a Hand…”, the complete story, is clearly a filler story to mark time until the whole new lineup begins in the new look Princess next issue. Lena tries to follow the Brownie motto and lend a hand one Saturday, but her efforts always keep going wrong – until she unwittingly lends a hand to catch a thief.

Judy Marshall is beginning to unravel the mystery of “The School of Dark Secrets”. The school staff are in some sort of secret occult, and they say their thirteenth sister has arrived, which completes the coven. They are referring to a portrait, and when Judy gets a look at it, she finds it is of a girl who looks just like her!

Grovel is taking delight in spooking everyone with the ventriloquism he has learned from a book. But it isn’t long before Sadie learns to fight fire with fire.

A club called the Treetoppers has formed around Sheena’s treehouse. But someone is spying on them. Is it the snobby Beverley Sneed, who’s already suspicious, or someone else? Sheena soon finds that somebody has definitely been around the treehouse, and they’ve stolen her bike too.