Tag Archives: Miguel Quesada

The Stranger in My Shoes [1973]

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Published: Tammy 26 May 1973 to 28 July 1973 (skipped 7 July 1973)

Episodes: 9

Artist: Miguel Quesada

Writer: Unknown

Translations/reprints: None known

Plot

At Oldfield Orphanage School Lucy Townsend is the school klutz. She is constantly late, making a mess of things and putting her foot in it. So Lucy is really surprised when she is chosen for a benefactor-paid school trip to Switzerland. The headmistress says this is because Lucy has been deemed the most in need of a change of scene and it is hoped the trip will help her change her ways. As it turns out, it does. But of course it is very far from the way everyone thinks – or even expects.

An escort is supposed to be waiting for Lucy at Victoria Station. But the man is an imposter who proceeds to kidnap Lucy and render her unconscious. When Lucy regains consciousness, she finds herself in the household of Mrs Sage, who hired the man (and doesn’t pay him) to switch Lucy’s identity with that of her daughter Sandra. Sandra is facing borstal, so Mrs Sage pulled the identity switch in order to send Lucy to the borstal in Sandra’s place. Eventually it is revealed that Mrs Sage’s job at the orphanage enabled her to acquire the information she needed about Lucy and the trip to pull off the switch.

Sandra, disguised as Lucy, goes to Switzerland in her place. But although Sandra looks like Lucy, in Switzerland she makes no attempt whatsoever to act like Lucy or convince anyone that she is a nice girl. In terms of behaviour she is still the same old Sandra. Her difficult behaviour is soon getting on everyone’s nerves. They are really surprised to discover she cannot even read or write properly. So, assuming Sandra is not dyslexic or something, this shows how much the Sages have bothered with schooling. Indeed, Sandra not even trying to be a good imposter implies that she is not very clever. In fact, Sandra even brags to one girl about the switch. Unfortunately the girl does not believe it and thinks it’s just a leg-pull. Sandra is soon up to her delinquent behaviour too, and people are soon finding things are going missing.

Back in England, nobody listens to Lucy’s protests that she is not Sandra and how she has been kidnapped and her identity switched with Sandra’s – except one. In the courtroom, probation officer Mrs Bolfry has doubts because Lucy does not sound like Sandra, but she is not 100% convinced. The Sage parents pull all sorts of tricks and lies to convince the court that ‘Sandra’ is unmanageable and delinquent. Lucy tries to escape from them, but is recaptured with the help of a criminal friend of theirs. The court sentences her to six months in borstal.

Mrs Bolfry had made a tape recording of Lucy’s voice. The more she listens to it, the more her doubts grow. She takes the recording to the orphanage for the headmistress to listen to and get her opinion. But the headmistress is away on a school camp in Wales, and the receptionist does not offer any help.

At the borstal, Lucy meets an old friend of Sandra’s, Babs Brown. Babs is a tearaway and a hard case, and she is not impressed to see ‘Sandra’ looks like she is trying to go straight. Lucy gets two days in the detention room because of Babs’ tricks. Then, when Babs comes into the cell with food, Lucy uses strong-arm tactics to get something out of her – anything – that will help prove she is not Sandra. Babs recalls that Sandra has a birthmark on her right shoulder, and when Lucy shows that she has no such birthmark, Babs becomes the first to believe she is not Sandra. After hearing Lucy’s story, Babs helps to smuggle her out of borstal in a laundry basket. It’s a hoary trick, but it works. The trouble is, the laundry man sees her get out of the basket and calls the borstal.

Lucy plans to get back to the orphanage where everyone knows her and can help her prove her identity. But all the people there who knew her are away on the camp and the man at the door tells her to clear off. Mrs Bolfry is Lucy’s only hope now and she heads off to find a phone box.

Meanwhile, the police inform Mrs Sage about the escape. Guessing that Lucy is heading for the orphanage, she and her accomplice head out there, where they intercept Lucy at the phone box before she can put the call through to Mrs Bolfry. However, Lucy manages to scare them off with a bluff that she got through to the orphanage and they are on their way to collect her.

Lucy decides to jump a train to Mrs Bolfry instead, but the Sages see her trying to do so and realised she tricked them. Lucy sees the flunky chasing her and manages to get aboard the train before he nabs her. But when Lucy arrives at the Law Courts she finds the police informing Mrs Bolfry about her escape, and from the sound of things, this is making Mrs Bolfry doubt Lucy’s claims that she is not Sandra.

However, when Lucy appeals to Mrs Bolfry, she finds Mrs Bolfry still has sufficient suspicions to give her a chance. They contact the orphanage to find out where everyone is gone. They find everyone has gone to the Welsh mountains and head out there. Unfortunately Mrs Sage and her accomplice have guessed Lucy was heading for Mrs Bolfry and managed to trace her to the Law Courts. Worse, Lucy spots the man who had foiled her when she first tried to escape from the Sages. And she realises he has seen her head off with Mrs Bolfry.

Back at the borstal, Babs tells the governor that the escapee is not Sandra Sage and urges her to check out a girl going under the name of ‘Lucy Townsend’ at a school in Switzerland. The governor puts a call through to Mrs Bolfry about it and finds she has disappeared.

The man catches up with Mrs Bolfry and Lucy when the car breaks down. He tries to blackmail Mrs Bolfry for aiding and abetting. She calls his bluff and tells him to clear off, because she is convinced enough to take the risk. They fix the car and are soon on their way again. When they stop at a motorway café, the man tries to blackmail Mrs Bolfry again. This frightens Lucy into running away and head out to the school camp on her own. Meanwhile, the man is frightened off when the local inspector overhears and gets suspicious. Mrs Bolfry informs him of her suspicions.

Lucy makes her way to the school camp and convinces the headmistress of who she is despite her altered appearance. Mrs Bolfry and the inspector arrive in time to overhear this, which finally convinces Mrs Bolfry that Lucy is telling the truth. But when they tackle Mrs Sage, she denies everything. So they head to Switzerland to check things out, dragging the protesting Mrs Sage along.

Meanwhile, the girls have realised that ‘Lucy’ is doing the stealing. Hearing this, Sandra does a runner on skis. The girls give chase, as do the police when Sandra tries to sell the stolen goods and the man gets suspicious. A snowstorm is setting in, so Sandra takes refuge in a ski hut. She still has the stolen goods, which she intends to deal with after the weather clears. The girls cannot pursue because one of them has been hurt. So they head back to inform the headmistress, who has now been met by the police inquiry from England.

Lucy insists on being the one to confront Sandra, despite the snowstorm. The owner of the hut, Marcus, takes her there in his dog sleigh. They see warning signs of a potential avalanche on some chalets and Marcus sets off to warn the chalet owners. But there is no stopping the dogs from going to the hut, and they are dragging Lucy along on the sleigh. And without Marcus, Lucy is all on her own against Sandra.

At the hut, Lucy confronts Sandra and gives chase when Sandra tries to run. Then the avalanche starts and they get caught in it. Lucy manages to get out, but Sandra is unconscious. Seeing this, Mrs Sage finally gives herself away when she cries out for her daughter, and it is clear she is referring to the girl who looks like Lucy Townsend. Mrs Sage and the recovered Sandra (still looking like Lucy!) are sent back to England to face charges. The judge calls the whole plot “deplorable”; the sentences he passes are not revealed. Lucy is finally able to enjoy Switzerland. She still looks like Sandra, but the alterations should fade in time.

Thoughts

Serials about fugitives and escapes from prisons and other corrective institutions have always been popular and are one of my own favourite types of serials. Added to this one you have the identity switch, the protagonist battling to prove her identity and escape the borstal she has been thrown into, and double trouble in the form of an imposter who is blackening her name with the crimes she is committing under the identity she has stolen. There is plenty of action and excitement, with chase scenes on both sides, and the final confrontation that occurs in the face of danger for both Lucy and her evil double. It all occurs at a cracking pace that is very tightly plotted. It does not get drawn out with Lucy encountering constant setbacks and failed attempts to prove her identity, though of course the road to get there is not smooth sailing. This is a story you just have to love.

There have been plenty of stories where a girl’s identity is switched with another’s. Sometimes it occurs accidentally (Daisy Drudge and Milady Maud), and sometimes it’s deliberate, as is the case here. Most often the girl faces constant frustration and failure in her attempts to prove her identity, which are sometimes compounded by the handicap of losing her voice (Curtain of Silence), and she makes no headway until the end of the story. It’s a very common way of spinning this type of story out. But this story is an exception, and it makes a refreshing change. Lucy is more fortunate in that she makes progress early on in the story, despite the Sages, what with planting the seeds of doubt in Mrs Bolfry’s mind. At the borstal, Lucy is quick to make a breakthrough – not to mention a breakout – by meeting Babs, who happened to know Sandra and could provide Lucy with information to help her distinguish herself from Sandra. Lucy herself knows people who can help her prove her identity. Unfortunately they all just happen to be away at the moment, and she has to chase them up before the police or Sages chase her down.

By helping Lucy, Mrs Bolfry becomes in effect a fugitive herself. As the blackmailer said, what she is doing is technically aiding and abetting, and she is putting her career and freedom on the line by helping Lucy. But Mrs Bolfry persists because she has enough faith to take the risk, and we all applaud her for her courage and balls in doing what she felt was right, and really putting her neck out in order to do it.

Commendations must also be given to Babs Brown. She is initially set up as a rough, delinquent, and unsympathetic character. To make her even more unsympathetic, she gets poor Lucy sent to the detention room for something she did. But Babs redeems herself once she believes Lucy is not Sandra by helping her make the escape she so badly needed to do. Babs also tries to make headway with the authorities in helping Lucy prove her identity. It does not sound like Babs got very far there, but at least she tried and she redeemed herself even further.

The story does not dwell on the borstal much; the plotting is kept very tight and brief there, and it moves quickly to Lucy’s escape. This is very sensible story writing. From what we see of the borstal, it is not a sadistic reformatory that tortures its inmates with cruel severity as in Merry at Misery House, nor do we see any cruel guards who like to torment the inmates for their own amusement. But then, Lucy does not stay there long before her escape. There is no constant frustration with failed escapes. No, Lucy is out and running from the borstal on the first attempt.

The reason Lucy is in the borstal is unconventional. Usually the protagonist is in the borstal or other penal institution because she has been wrongly convicted, such as Merry Summers in “Misery House”. But in this case the protagonist is there because her identity has been switched with the true delinquent’s. The battle is to prove her identity, not prove her innocence or expose dreadful prison conditions, as Merry is constantly trying to do.

Once Sandra gets to work in Switzerland, we have to wonder why her mother even bothered to pull the switch in the first place. Sandra just hasn’t got the brains to be a good imposter. Although Sandra looks like Lucy she does not even bother to act like her or even try to fool the girls into thinking she is nice. She remains her horrible self, so it’s very easy for suspicion to fall on her once the thefts start. She’s soon on the run as a wanted thief and can’t carry on at the school, which she would be expelled from and sent home. She’s in trouble with the Swiss authorities and could face their version of borstal. She is causing the whole plot to unravel at her end, all because she did not have the brains or inclination to pull off a convincing impersonation. In effect, Sandra just transferred her criminal traits to a new setting under a new identity instead of using her new identity to start a new life in hiding from the borstal as her parents intended. Evidently, although Sandra is a criminal, her mother did not teach her much in how to be a clever one. But it was all just as well for the real Lucy Townsend; it helped her to convince people about the identity switch.

It is pretty predictable that the ordeal turns Lucy around. She is not a problematic or selfish girl as many other protagonists start out as before their nightmare begins. She’s just a klutz and a bit thoughtless, which makes things a bit different. These faults are aggravating, but they are very minor and they don’t make Lucy unsympathetic at the beginning of the story. Naturally, these problems disappear instantly once Lucy’s ordeal begins and she becomes courageous, resourceful, quick-thinking girl. On the whole, Lucy is a good sort right from the start. This would have helped her even more in distinguishing herself from the delinquent Sandra and proving her identity.

 

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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.

Sandie 25 March 1972

Sandie 25 March 1972.png

  • No-one Cheers for Norah (artist John Armstrong)
  • Odd Mann Out (artist A.E. Allen)
  • Brenda’s Brownies – cartoon strip (artist unknown)
  • Anna’s Forbidden Friend (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • The School of No Escape (unknown artist – Merry)
  • Our Big Secret (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Not So Lady-like Lucy (artist unknown)
  • Wee Sue (artist unknown)
  • Wendy the Witch – cartoon strip (artist unknown)
  • Sandra Must Dance (artist Douglas Perry)
  • Bonnie’s Butler (artist Richard Neillands)
  • Silver is a Star (artist Eduardo Feito)

Sandie ran from 12th February 1972 to 10th October 1973 and was edited by John Wagner. She then merged with Tammy, bringing “Jeannie and Her Uncle Meanie” and, more importantly, “Wee Sue”, who would last in Tammy until 1982.

I do not have the first issue of Sandie, so the seventh is presented to represent some Sandie context in Jinty’s family tree. The content of Sandie feels closer to that of the early Jinty than the early Tammy, which was more into dark tales of cruelty, abuse, exploitation and slavery. Sandie did have her share of such tales, but there was more of a blend with other types of serials. She did not have the heavy emphasis on science fiction and fantasy that Sally had either.

Tammy readers would be surprised to see how Wee Sue looked when she first began in Sandie, for her strip bears little resemblance to its premise in Tammy. Here it was not played for light relief and did not use a “story of the week” format where Sue’s famous big brains would come up with ways to get out of various scrapes, being the bane of the bullying Miss Bigger, or sort out someone’s problem. She does not attend Milltown Comprehensive and there is no Miss Bigger at all. Instead, her strip looks more like a serial, and she is a scholarship girl at exclusive Backhurst Academy, which has emphasis on sport. But it is facing closure, so Sue is trying to come up with a way to save it.

“No-one Cheers for Norah” has such a similar premise to Jinty’s “Toni on Trial” that there has been speculation that it was the same writer. Similar to Toni, Norah Day’s father was accused of theft at a sports event years ago; the scandal just refuses to go away and the stigma is now threatening Norah’s own career in the same sport. And both girls have to contend with a scheming, jealous rival as well. But Norah’s story has a tighter plotting than Toni’s; it is resolved in 12 episodes as compared to Toni’s 21, and the resolution is far more action-packed. It may also be the same writer as Jinty’s “Tricia’s Tragedy” as both serials climax with a do-or-die swimming race against a spiteful cousin, who gets roundly booed off for her conduct afterwards.

In “Odd Mann Out”, Susie Mann leads the resistance against the tyrannical administration at her school. The tyranny is not as over the top as in some stories with a dictatorial school (say “The Four Friends at Spartan School” from Tammy), which is quite refreshing. “The School of No Escape” has a school falling under a more mysterious form of oppressive administration – pupils mysteriously disappearing and then turning up in hooded robes and looking like they’ve been brainwashed or hypnotised.

“Anna’s Forbidden Friend” is a poor girl befriends rich girl story. But the threat is not so much from the rich father but his manager, who is conducting unscrupulous evictions. In “Our Big Secret”, the threat to a friendship comes from a Mum who won’t allow dogs, so Poppy Mason has to keep her new dog Pedro secret. This leads to hijinks, such as Pedro unwittingly starting a ghost hunt in this issue.

Aristocracy also features in a few strips. In “Not So Lady-like Lucy” it’s hijinks My Fair Lady style. In “Little Lady Nobody” it’s an evil squire out to cheat his niece out of her inheritance and even – shades of “Slaves of ‘War Orphan Farm’” – make her work in a quarry! It’s even the same artist. Is that coincidence or what? And in “Bonnie’s Butler”, life gets more interesting for Bonnie Belthorp when she inherits a butler called Greston.

There just has to be a ballet story, and in this case it is “Sandra Must Dance”. Sandra can only dance through a psychic bond with her twin sister. Not the best way to be assured of a secure career, as the twins begin to discover in this episode. And now a jealous rival has worked out the secret too.

Eduardo Feito was a popular choice for drawing horse stories, especially ones that feature show jumping. “Silver is a Star” here is no exception.

And of course there are regular cartoon strips. In the case of Sandie it’s “Brenda’s Brownies” and “Wendy the Witch”.

Miguel Quesada

Miguel Quesada (1933- ) drew only one story for Jinty, but his style will be familiar to readers of other girls comics, particularly Tammy.

Pencils by Miguel Quesada, inks by Vicente Melo

The only story he drew in Jinty was published in the very earliest issues:

  • A Dream for Yvonne (1974)

He drew a number of covers and stories for Tammy – a list is below:

  • Little Miss Nothing
  • Gina – Get Lost
  • Linda Left-Out
  • The Ballet in the Back Streets
  • The Stranger in My Shoes
  • Nell Nobody
  • Miss Nobody
  • Back-Stab Ballerina
  • Hidebound Hayley
  • Lord of the Dance

As can be seen, he drew some classic stories with a wide reach and impact – stories such as “Linda Left-Out” were translated into Dutch and Indonesian, for instance, while “Little Miss Nothing” is cited as the key story of the Cinderella theme that was so prevalent in UK girls comics of the time. He drew for a number of other UK titles outside of the girls’ publications mentioned above: for instance he is also particularly known in the UK as an artist on “The Trigan Empire” as well as having some Dan Dare stories under his belt.

In Spain, Quesada is an important award-winning artist with a long-running career; if you can read Spanish, there is a Tebeosfera entry about him listing the publications that he contributed to prior to his UK work, with some biographical detail. There is also a link on that site to a useful and interesting article on ‘The Spanish Invasion’ written by David Roach and translated into Spanish.

The work done by Quesada for UK girls comics is not amongst his most prominent or well-known but his clean style and ability to draw subjects like ballet ensures he will always have a well-deserved place in the memories of his readers. Here are some pages from “A Dream For Yvonne”, from 1 June 1974. (I originally included the episode from 13 July 1974 but the replacement episode more effectively shows off Quesada’s ballet drawing.)

From Jinty 1 June 1974

From Jinty 1 June 1974
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From Jinty 1 June 1974
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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

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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!