Tag Archives: Make-Believe Mandy

WTFometer VII: Cinderella Story

Comixminx has devised the WFTometer, the idea of which “was to give a framework for looking at how bonkers (or not) a story’s plot was, by comparing the story to an assumed ‘average reader’s situation’. This gives a structured way of comparing stories, including the possibility of finding patterns of oddity in seemingly different stories which are perhaps odd in similar ways”.

This seventh volume of the WTFometer will look at three Cinderella stories that already have entries on this blog. They are Cinderella Smith and Make-Believe Mandy from Jinty, and Bella at the Bar (original Bella story) from Tammy.

As the name suggests, the Cinderella story means a serial where the protagonist is treated like Cinderella by cruel parents, foster parents or other type of guardian. There is often a wicked stepsister type (though not always) who is spoiled and joins in the abuse of the protagonist. Most often the protagonist’s one hope of escape comes from a talent she has discovered or special secret, but the abusers throw all sorts of obstacles in the way.

When comparing the results on the WTFometer, the scores remain the same for agency in small/large things and emotional/physical/mental security. They remain “small difference”. One reason is that the emotional/physical/mental security issues are not serious enough to go into “big difference”. For example, the abuse the protagonist endures is not severe enough to put her at risk of death, so it remains “small difference”. The variations in scores are seen in the sections on household structures and standard real-life talents. This ties in with the Cinderella format, where family structure is the basis for establishing the abuse, and where a special talent/secret is often the key to freeing the protagonist from the abuse. None of the stories hit “extreme” in any category.

First: Cinderella Smith

Score: 10

wtfometer-cinderella-smith

Cindy Smith is sent to live with her two elder cousins while her father is away. They exploit and abuse her to the point of putting her in chains and making her eat out of the dog’s dish. Although they live a luxurious lifestyle they make Cindy live in mean conditions and put her in tattered clothes. Their abuse is prompted by stinginess and hatred towards Cindy’s mother, who is now dead. Cindy takes a secret modelling job. The cousins’ dog Woozums, initially hostile to Cindy, becomes her companion and co-modelling star. Cindy also gets help from her friends at school in working against her cousins’ abuse.

This story scores a 10 on the WTFometer. This is because it is the most consistent with the patterns observed above. There is “small difference” in “standard pets” because of Woozums, which takes up the scoring slightly more. It would score higher if Cindy was an orphan, but she is not. Her father is still alive. The “standard friends” structure remains “standard”, but this is in fact unusual for a Cinderella serial, in which the protagonist tends to be more isolated from any friends to help her.

Second: Make-Believe Mandy

Score: 14

wtfometer-make-believe-mandy

Mandy Miller’s family hate her for some reason. The parents make her do all the housework and slave in their second hand clothes shop while they devote all their attention and money on their spoiled daughter Dinah. The parents always compare Mandy unfavourably with Dinah, calling her ugly, useless and not fit to be seen with her. Whenever Mandy threatens to go one better than Dinah, the parents get even more cruel with her.

Gradually Mandy realises their hatred stems from her not being related to them by blood. She is in fact a foreign princess who was left in their care when calamity struck the country. When payments for Mandy’s upkeep fell through the Millers were left stuck with her. But now officials from Mandy’s home country have located her whereabouts, and after a series of tests to determine her identity, they want her to reclaim her throne. The Millers try to stop this by locking Mandy in the coal cellar, and Mandy is making a seemingly impossible bid to escape through the coal chute.

The scoring is similar to “Cinderella Smith”. One difference that would make the scoring lower than Cindy is that the ticket out Mandy’s misery is her royal birthright, not a special talent, so standard real-life talents are ranked as “standard. However, Mandy scores “big difference” on the two-parent household category because the Millers are not Mandy’s real parents and it can be safely assumed her birth parents are dead, which would make her an “orphan”. So Mandy scores four points higher than Cindy.

Third: Bella at the Bar

Score: 24

wtfometer-bella-at-the-bar

Orphan Bella Barlow is exploited by her Uncle Jed and Aunt Gert, who wring as much money and work out of her as possible. They make her do all the housework, slave at Uncle Jed’s window cleaning business (without payment), don’t feed her properly and keep her off school.

Bella has a genius for gymnastics, but the Barlows either do not allow it because it will make no money for them or they take advantage of it if they do see a way to make money from it. This includes sending Bella to a seaside show where they will get money from her gymnastics acts. The seaside show manager exploits and abuses Bella as much as the Barlows do, and the acts she is being forced to do threaten her health.

Bella follows the same patterns as Cinderella Smith in the real-life talents and emotional/physical/mental security sections, but in other sections it scores higher. Unlike Cindy, Bella is an orphan, which means “big difference” in the two-parent category. The Barlows don’t let her go to school, which means “big difference” in the school category. There is “small difference” in the locality section because of the shift to the seaside show.

Advertisements

Jinty #5, 8 June 1974

jinty-8-june-1974

Katie’s jinxing has a water theme this week, from jinxing water skiers to having the swimming team walk miles in the rain.

Judy tries to get help from the police about the haunting, but of course they’re not going to believe a thing like that. And Judy is even more terrified to realise that whatever is causing the haunting and making her friends dress like Victorian girls is going to target her next!

Gwen is riding high on the glory she has stolen. Of course that means a fall sooner or later, and it is already starting. Julie Waring is getting suspicious and has also overheard Gwen’s troubled conscience speaking out loud. Is Gwen about to be caught out?

The girls try to bust out of Misery House, but they not only fail but are also duped into playing a cruel trick on Carla, who was caught during the escape. One up to Misery House, but we know there will be a next time.

Angela’s Angels are accused of stealing, but it turns out the patient was foisting the blame onto them. We see acid-drop Angela has a heart: she sticks up for the Angels when they are accused and covers up for one somewhat errant Angel later on.

The scheming girls did not mean Yvonne to take a fall down the stairs when they soap the soles of her shoes, and only her acrobatic skills save her. It doesn’t cut much ice with jealous Lisa though, who is furious when Yvonne is chosen over her for the Dance of the Four Cygnets.

Miss Madden’s test for Mandy this week is very odd, even for her. She has Mandy dress up like a princess and then puts her in a posh room, where a two-way mirror enables Miss Madden and her colleagues to watch Mandy. Then Mandy panics for some reason when she hears the tune from a music box. Now what could have brought that on?

The influence of the Indian necklace has Gail’s friends turning away from her while she gets very sneaky and deceptive in getting what she wants. Daisy’s Victorian employers turn up their noses at coconuts and are not impressed with her fishing. It all ends up with their going hungry and Daisy slipping away, full of fish, so they don’t lumber her again. Dora helps out a dog that is being mistreated, but makes sure the dog doesn’t go to the dogs’ hotel either.

Ana Rodriguez

One of the artists mentioned in the recent talk about girls comics was Ana Rodriguez. David Roach has a set of portfolio samples used to showcase her drawing abilities (see below) which credits her as such. Initially I had little luck in finding any internet trace of her but eventually I found an entry for her on Spain’s comic artist database, Tebeosfera, as Anita Rodriguez Ruiz . This also links to an entry on Lambiek’s Comiclopedia.

Ana Rodrigues art sample
Art from “Cindy of Swan Lake”, published in Tammy

Stories in Jinty:

Stories in Tammy:

  • Mandy and the House of Models (1973)
  • Trina Drop-Out (1973)
  • Last Song at Sunset (1974)
  • Cindy of Swan Lake (1979-80)

(The latter list is taken from Catawiki, with many thanks to that site.)

She also drew a large number of stories in DC Thomson titles such as Debbie, Judy, Tracy. See the Girls Comics of Yesterday site for posts tagged with her name.

Her particular focus is clearly on girls comics, though there is little solid information on the Tebeosfera and Comiclopedia sites about other work done by her. Here are some pages from “Blind Ballerina”, where Ana Rodriguez’s showcasing of the girl protagonist’s faces is very evident.

Ana Rodriguez 27 September 1975

Ana Rodriguez 27 September 1975
click thru
Ana Rodriguez 27 September 1975
click thru

Jinty 3 August 1974

Cover 19740803

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Always Together… (writer Alison Christie, artist Phil Townsend)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory last episode
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine) last episode
  • Wild Horse Summer first episode
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

Katie Jinks and friends are investigating mysterious gleams in the water near where they are camping, and find traces of frogmen’s footprints; but as they try to investigate further they are stymied and come to believe that it is all down to Katie’s  foolishness. Katie knows she is right, and follows the frogmen down into the depths – only to get trapped, with her air running out!

The Harvey children need to stick together, when their widowed mother fails to come home from work one day. Eldest child Jill – only 15 or so – tries to hold it all together, even in the wake of a body being found in the river. Her younger brother Johnny understands the situation at least somewhat, but Beth, the baby of the family, heartbreakingly doesn’t really understand what’s happening and says that Jill can pretend to be mummy until her real mummy comes back… In the meantime, they have to find somewhere to live, meaning that they return back to their old digs despite the fact that the houses are ready to be pulled down.

“Gwen’s Stolen Glory” comes to an end, dramatically: by climbing down the cliff in front of Judith, Gwen has triggered Judith’s memory. The shock of its return makes Judith fall down the cliff though, so it is not an identical repeat of the first time – in fact it repeats itself the other way round, as Gwen helps Judith to climb back up the cliff, to safety. The astounding fact of having managed to be brave for once leads Gwen to be able to confess – first to her parents, and then to the whole school. Everything is forgiven and forgotten.

In “Make-Believe Mandy”, she is told by the mysterious Miss Madden that she passed her second test despite disobeying instructions – by proving that her compassion is greater than her self-interest. But Mandy is also downcast to hear that her sister Dinah is also to be tested alongside her. Will she now take Mandy’s one chance of happiness from her?

Merry is trying to cheer up her pals at Misery House by using scraps of material to put on a variety concert – but bully Adolfa is about to put the twist on shrinking girl Lily. Will she give the game away? Find out next week…

It’s the last episode of “Gail’s Indian Necklace”, too. She’s in a tight spot, literally, but the Indian god helps her to get to the point of putting the necklace back where it belongs, even to the extent of working on the security guards’ minds so that they open the special glass case that the god-statue is kept behind… and even helps her escape in the end too. To prove that the god isn’t all bad, she even gets a new bicycle as a reward – the very thing that kicked off the whole story in the first place. Not sure that it’s enough of a reward for all that she has been through, but hey!

“Wild Horse Summer” starts this week, drawn by the same artist as has just finished “Gwen”. Daphne has been in a tragic car accident in which her parents were killed, and she has lost her voice and is in an orphanage as a result. The ‘wild’ in the title refers to her, really; because she can’t speak and is frankly still traumatised, she resorts to violence when threatened. Not that her carers are really all that caring; they put her in a coach to go on a trip despite her still being badly affected mentally by the car crash she was in. At the end of the episode, she has arrived in the countryside; the only thing the orphanage kids are warned of is a horse on the moor that they need to leave alone – because it too is wild. Chances of Daphne leaving alone? Not very high…

Jinty 27 July 1974

Cover 19740727

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Always Together… (writer Alison Christie, artist Phil Townsend) first episode
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada) last episode
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

Katie Jinks starts a new story this week, with pratfalls and slapstick, but that is combined with an exciting story whereby there are mysterious ‘hostile eyes watching’. The sunken village near to where the girls are camping has a tale for them!

This is the first episode of “Always Together…”, which is the first time that Phil Townsend’s lovely artwork has graced the pages of Jinty. It is also the first story by Alison Christie that appears in Jinty. The combination is always an excellent one; tear-jerking stories are not my main reading preference but the two creators together do us proud on this one, and on the later “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. There is quite a lot of thematic overlap between the two but a number of years separate their publication. Here are the pages of the first episode, to whet your appetite for a future story post sometime.

Always Together pg 1

click thru
click thru
click thru
click thru

Gwen is coming to the end of her story: this is the penultimate episode, and she has to struggle with her strong desire for the new life that seems very much in her grasp – which she feels more and more could be costing her soul. Her only answer seems to be a climb down the very cliff that caused the situation in the first place…

In “Make-Believe Mandy”, evil sister Dinah is plotting with her father to take away the possible future that lies ahead of Mandy. Meanwhile, Mandy is still working on Miss Madden’s tests – has she passed or failed the most recent one?

Merry is trying to keep chirpy and the Warden continues to try to divide the girls from each other. At the end of this episode it seems as if the powers that be might have won, by making Merry sign a guarantee of good conduct.

Gail is also very near the end of her story – she makes it to the museum to return the idol’s necklace, but it’s not as easy as just getting in! Hopefully the idol’s powers will help her, when she trips one of the electronic alarms and brings the security guards running… The next episode is promised to be the final one.

Yvonne has reached the end of her story in this issue; she is vindicated in her struggle agains her ballet school rival, who is proved to be a liar and a schemer. Having also regained her memory and made up with her family, all that remains to do now is to indulge her love of and talent for dancing! This is the only story in Jinty with Miguel Quesada’s artwork, though he drew various stories and cover images for Tammy in particular.

Jinty 20 July 1974

Cover 20 July 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos) last episode
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

Katie Jinks is kicked out of her new job, for having inadvertently set off the fire alarm, scared all the customers out of the shop, and soaked her boss in the bargain! The reason she took that job in the first place was to be able to buy herself a swish new swimming costume, which she now can’t afford – but at least she can buy some patches in the store – “It’ll be a little bit of profit for them, to make up for all the trouble I caused!” Of course with Katie it’s never that easy – she is the 100,000th customer to the store and gets a prize as a result – reluctant though the manager is to grant it! This turns out to have been a really good, solid two-parter, with plenty of gags and plot twists. There’s even one at the end – the costume she’s been after is a sunsuit, which shouldn’t be used to swim in – so she has to give it to her mother and resort to patches after all!

The Haunting of Form 2B” comes to an end in this issue. The girls are indeed in big trouble in a small boat, and nearly drown – but it is not Judy Mayhew’s intervention that saves them. The ghost teacher warned a lock-keeper who helped to rescue them just in time. Just as well, as in trying to save them (as she thought) it was actually Judy who was acting massively recklessly and would have got them all drowned. Very much like the curse in Macbeth! But because Miss Thistlewick was able to save the girls in the end, her spirit is now at rest and she can leave them in peace to enjoy their modern lives.

Everything is working out beautifully for Gwen and her Stolen Glory. The grateful parents of the girl that everyone thinks she rescues are buying a house for her and her family to live in, and Gwen’s talent has won her a place at drama school now that she has been given some attention (and now that injured Judith is out of the way). The only risk to Gwen is if Judith ever regains her memory – and Gwen is far-gone enough now to be happy to prevent that from happening.

Make-Believe Mandy has to pass more tests set by Miss Madden. What has complicated things is that Mandy’s cruel family have twigged that there is something going on, and have tried to horn in on what might be coming to her.

We find out in this week’s episode that Merry’s friend Carla is still alive, but being kept hidden so that Merry is psychologically tormented along with being ostracised by her friends. But Merry finds out too, soon enough, and risks quite a lot to get Carla out of where she has been hidden. Miss Ball is even more of an enemy of Merry’s, after that…

Gail finds out something important about her necklace, and now knows what she needs to do to appease the vengeful spirit Anak-Har-Li that lives in it. Of course getting nearer to her goal isn’t easy, as the spirit seems quite happy to hurt people that stand in its way – and possibly Gail’s Aunt Marjorie might soon count!

“A Dream for Yvonne” develops further on its miserable course – she is picked up by a children’s welfare officer who is sceptical about her claim to have lost her memory, so he takes her to a reformatory, which she will be hard-pressed to escape from. Writing this, I am reminded of the fact that Miguel Quesada also drew Tammy‘s “Little Miss Nothing” – a similar Cinderella story.

Jinty 13 July 1974

Jinty cover 13 July 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • What’s Cooking? Myedovyi Muss (honey mousse), Kovrizhka Myedovaya (honey cake) (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: cat towel)

Katie Jinks is knocked off the front page by a competition! Lawks. Things work out for her on the inside though: she applies for a Saturday job at the local department store so as to earn enough for a replacement swimming costume, and jinxes her way into it – and almost certainly out of it, too! The episode ends with her having set off the fire alarm by mistake, and two senior members of staff breaking down the stock room door to get her out before she is burned to death! They won’t be pleased when they realise it’s all a false alarm…

There is a letters page now in Jinty as the publication schedule has caught up with the earliest mail sent in by readers.  This page also includes a filled-in form of the sort you are supposed to send in with your letters: Deborah Halifax (age 10 1/2) voted for her top three favourite stories as being “Bird Girl Brenda”, “Always Together”, and “Make-Believe Mandy”. Two out of those three stories hadn’t actually started yet, so clearly Deborah must have gone back to an old issue to cut out the form, and then changed her mind for some reason.

Judy is still being haunted in Form 2B. She has failed to stop her friends from being taken off by Miss Thistlewick, but a vision brought about by an object from the old school room gives her enough information to get to the lake, hopefully in time to stop everyone from drowning. Or maybe she has brought them to the very place where they are all doomed?! We are promised a resolution in the following week’s episode.

Gwen is being cheered and feted by her schoolmates who only recently mocked her. One holdout still stands against her – Julie Waring – and Julie is almost being bullied in her turn, although everything that she is saying is in fact the truth. Gwen is buying into her own turnaround in fortune far too much, including joining the taunting of Julie – for her own protection, of course…

In “Make-Believe Mandy”, Mandy has further tests of loyalty to Miss Madden to pass after the initial one. Now that her wicked step-family have seen Madden in her big car being so friendly to Mandy, they are intent on buttering her up in case there is something good in it for them.

A nasty accident in “Merry at Misery House” sees her friend being stretchered off. Merry is hopeful that Carla will see a doctor straight away but the officers don’t sound like they’re having any of it. The Warden does get a doctor in but at the price of shutting everyone away so that no-one can pass a message to him – and then soon enough an announcement is made that Carla is dead! Because the accident was due to Merry fooling around, everyone starts blaming her – including herself – until she spots someone who looks like Carla, at the window of a tower…

Gail is still struggling with trying to get rid of the Indian necklace, without success. She has buried it and tried to leave it in the local church. At the end of the episode it hovers over her in her mind, haunting her – it looks quite a lot like the carved mask in “Golden Dolly, Death Dust!”.

Yvonne is still amnesiac in her story, but her circus skills don’t desert her as she climbs out of a window to escape from a fire, despite being locked into her room. She nearly makes it to a more general safety in the form of the theatre and her ballet colleagues, but nasty rival Lisa prevents that too, by bribing the theatre doorman. What a horrid piece of work! No wonder that at the end of the episode, Yvonne feels that everyone’s hand is against her.

The last story in this very full week’s comic is “Angela’s Angels” – the cat is out of the bag that Lesley’s father is a millionaire, not a prisoner held at Her Majesty’s convenience. Time for a different bit of soap opera to kick in…

Jinty 6 July 1974

Jinty cover 6 July 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Muesli, Creme aus Rohen Apfeln (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray) last episode
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: papier-mâché elephant)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

Back to the early issues of Jinty, when the Katie Jinks stories had a serious undertone as well as lots of slapstick. The story arc that had champion swimmer Karen refusing to swim, in best tear-jerking style, ends happily as she rescues a drowning Katie and snaps out of the depression she’s been in since her best friend drowned. Unlike earlier episodes, the art all looks like pure Capaldi to me, rather than being finished off by a stand-in artist.

There is no “Pony Parade” this week and it’s also the last episode of “Desert Island Daisy”, signalling a change in the make-up of the title to focus primarily on the more serious stories. In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, matters are clearly moving to a climax, and protagonist Judy is not sure if she’s failed totally with no way of stopping the tragedy! There are still a couple of episodes left before the final denouement, though.

In “A Dream for Yvonne”, circus girl Yvonne has lost her memory and is being made to skivvy for an unscrupulous exploiter, Ma Crompton. By day she has to cook, clean, and tidy up, and by night she has to dance in a skeevy nightclub in skimpy clothes. Cor blimey! Things are about to get worse though as Ma locks her inside while going shopping, only for a fire to break out in the badly-maintained hovel… if it’s not one thing it’s another, eh.

Jinty 29 June 1974

Cover Jinty 29 June 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: rosette)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Rice, Vegetable curry (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 8 – Cara’s Secret (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Seeing Stars: Elton (pinup)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

I am slowly making my way through the 1974 Jintys that I bought recently, while at the same time reading & annotating Mel Gibson’s book, “Remembered Reading“. Some people may have noticed an incomplete draft which was posted by mistake and then swiftly deleted – apologies for any confusion. The book review will be ready in a couple of days, I think.

The “Jinx” lead story continues. New girl Karen sobs heartbrokenly in true tear-jerker style as she exclaims that no-one understands her troubles. Katie is listening and sympathetic, and despite her typical clumsiness, she does manage to shake Karen out of her distress and into a laugh. Karen’s secret sorrow is that her best friend was drowned while they were swimming together, and naturally Karen feels it is all her fault! Not that she will allow Katie to tell anyone else – and so, of course, hijinks ensue.

In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, Judy Mayhew discovers a limitation to Miss Thistlewick’s ghostly power, but nevertheless is captured by her and brainwashed: “My name is Judith Victoria Mayhew. I was born in 1862…”

“Merry at Misery House” has thought up a clever trick to send a message to her parents – she writes a letter using different handwriting and they come to see what has happened and if something is wrong. Of course the wardens won’t allow a revealing message out beyond the four walls of the reformatory: if Merry spills the beans to her parents, Miss Ball will set the fierce dog onto her best friend, Carla. “If only they knew how awful it really is! But I can’t tell them.” Not that Merry is downcast for long – soon she has taken a splinter out of the fierce dog’s paw and befriended it, giving her a chance to try to escape!

Yvonne’s dream has turned nightmarish – following a bike accident she has lost her memory and is being exploited by a cruel woman who is giving her a place to stay and some work, but at a price. The club she ends up working in, doing acrobatic stunts in a fringed bikini, looks pretty sleazy!

Jinty 22 June 1974

Cover 19740622

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • Seeing Stars: Donny (pin-up: Donny Osmond)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Ham and Cheese Savoury, Flenjes (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 7 – Crusader’s Strange Catch (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: flowered headband)

The relatively-serious Jinx story continues, still at the same rate of four pages in this issue. I guess it was seen as a proper lead story at this point, not simply an amusing aside. New girl Karen has been revealed as faking an injury to get out of swimming, which means that Katie is in the clear (her chums thought she’d injured Karen herself). But Katie starts to feel sorry for Karen, and sure that there is some reason behind the way she is acting. Various pratfalls later, Katie sees Karen crying in the school grounds, and trying to burn her old swimming costume. “I can’t stand it! I’ll never swim again! And nobody will ever understand! There’s nobody I can tell about it!” This last page of art, in particular, is classic Capaldi and beautifully done, whereas the cover page once again shows signs of collaborative work with someone who doesn’t do faces quite as beautifully.

In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, the sinister teacher Miss Thistlewick and her Victorian-influenced pupils become a little more sympathetic and vulnerable – the pupils are disturbed and saddened by the hostile reception they’re getting from their classmates, who think it is all a put-on and a bad joke. Miss Thistlewick offers a class trip as a prize for the best essay – on life in Victorian times, which the unaffected pupils tell her is very unfair! But the teacher’s aloof attitude is disturbed when a photo is taken of her alongside the affected pupils – she doesn’t at all want to included. The reason is obvious once it is developed – with no sign of Miss Thistlewick! Protagonist Judy hopes this will be the proof she can show to others (but in vain of course).

I said that the previous episode of “Merry at Misery House” was starting to show the divide-and-rule attitude beloved by repressive regimes. Merry finds out that no one is speaking to her because the warders have threatened dire punishment to anyone who does so. Her spirit is nearly cracked by this removal of her friends’ support – but not quite.