Tag Archives: Mike and Terry

Jinty 28 July 1979

Jinty cover 28 July 1979

  • Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Alley Cat
  • The Forbidden Garden – final episode (artist Jim Baikie)
  • The Long and the Short of It! – Competition
  • Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Hot But Happy! – Feature
  • The Bizzie Bet Holiday Dice Game! – feature
  • Picnic with Patti (artist Paul White)
    The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Nothing to Sing About (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)

The stories get pushed off the cover in favour of Jinty’s latest competition, which tests your skills in fashion design. The centre pages have a Bizzie Bet and the Easies dice game (below), which gives you an idea of all the work Bet piles on herself even when she’s not trying to change the Easies. But I have always wondered if anyone ever actually played those dice games that girls’ comics put out.

Xenia not being able to touch Earthlings without killing them gets her in another bind when she comes across a sick woman who needs help. Linette escapes the blackmailing landlady and found refuge with far nicer people. But they are fans of her father, which means more painful reminders of his death.

It’s the last episode of “The Forbidden Garden”. Laika hits on an extremely daring plan to help her dying sister. But she has to run the gauntlet with the police – and with armfuls of real flowers, which stick out like a sore thumb in a world where flora has been rendered extinct because of pollution! Another Baikie story, “Village of Fame”, replaces it next week.

Mike and Terry get caught in a trap set by the Shadow. They escape, but Mike’s adopted a rather weak disguise to get on the Shadow’s trail again – a ridiculous false beard.

Loads of laughs as the Lilliputians get rid of nosey parker Noreen. But fresh trouble is never far away of course, and at the end of the episode Minty has got stuck in a vending machine.

Briony’s got all the prefects ganging up on Pandora and picking on her for the most trivial thing. The box does have a spell for that sort of thing, of course. But Pandora has to choose between using the box to solve the bullying problem or making Scruffy a free cat again, which means no more witchcraft, because she can’t do both because of the timetable.

In “The Disappearing Dolphin” the girls find dirty work afoot with their expedition: their Roman artefact has been stolen and someone has messed around with their underwater samples. They’re off to do some investigating, but it looks like someone is on their trail…

Bizzie Bet game 1Bizzie Bet game 2




Jinty 21 July 1979

Jinty cover 21 July 1979

  • Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Alley Cat
  • The Forbidden Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Budding Genius…or Blooming Nuisance? – Quiz
  • Cornucopia – recipes
  • Picnic with Patti (artist Paul White)
    New from Old! – Feature
  • The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Nothing to Sing About (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)

Xenia finds another runaway, but is forced to get police when he falls down floorboards and she can’t touch him to pull him out. He’s safe but very sour with her. Back on the road again…

It’s the penultimate episode of “The Forbidden Garden” and it’s taking an astounding twist – Laika suddenly finds her garden is now a lush tropical paradise! But what use is it with the police after her and now tipped off that she is in the Forbidden Zone, and still no flower or help for her dying sister?

Mike and Terry become bodyguards to a singer they suspect is a tempting target for the Shadow to kidnap. And talking of singers, Linette is forced to sing to raise money for food and is now being blackmailed and abused at the hostel she is staying at, by the landlady who has discovered she is a runaway. And Linette’s bringing it all on herself by blaming the fans for her father’s death.

Nosey parker Noreen is out to find the Lilliputians in “A Girl Called Gulliver” and wormed her way into Gwenny’s house to do so. But they’re onto her, and now they’re threatening to put a spoke in her wheel, um no, a fork in her foot!

Pandora tries a spell to make her hear better so she can overhear what teachers are saying about her. It works, but the spell starts rebounding when every single noise becomes unbearable and she can’t find a counter-spell. On the other hand, the spell enables Pandora to overhear she has an enemy in Briony, who is out to get rid of her. Don’t be too sure of that Briony, when Pandora is armed with her box!

In “The Disappearing Dolphin” the girls find a Roman artefact and they’re in the paper. But unforeseen consequences have Mrs Ormerod-Keynes and local fishermen up in arms.



Jinty 7 July 1979

Jinty cover 7 July 1979

  • Almost Human – first episode (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Timbuctoo Fashion – Competition
  • The Forbidden Garden – (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Mike and Terry – first episode (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • More Smart Ideas! – Feature
  • Picnic with Patti – (artist Paul White)
  • July with Jinty – Feature
  • The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Nothing to Sing About (artist Phil Townsend)
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)

Two new stories begin in this issue. The first, which went on to become one of Jinty’s classics, is “Almost Human”. An alien girl, Xenia, is left to fend for herself on Earth because her own planet is facing ecological catastrophe. But Xenia soon discovers that her alien touch is deadly to any life form on Earth. Talk about being the Untouchable!

The second, “Mike and Terry”, is the Editor’s response to a recent competition in which readers were asked for what they especially wanted in Jinty. Ye Editor was flooded with requests for a detective story, hence Mike Temple (makes a change, having an adult male as protagonist in a Jinty serial) and his assistant Terry (a woman) on the trail of a master criminal known as “The Shadow”. This must have taken inspiration from “The Zodiac Prince”, which had a similar pairing that proved extremely popular.

Meanwhile, Pandora wants to be rid of the cat she was obliged to magically bind to her in order to make her box work because she hates cats. But it looks like she’ll have to learn to tolerate the cat instead.

Maloney thinks the Lilliputians are leprechauns and is out to catch them. And the Lilliput children are in big trouble on a river. Linette’s hatred of Dad’s fans is driving her to run away from home, which can only lead to big trouble for her too. And in “The Disappearing Dolphin”, Paula and Chris are having problems overcoming local hostilities to their expedition. But it looks like they’ve got an ally at last, with something in his boot that can help them.

In “The Forbidden Garden” Laika discovers that destroying Gladvis’s blackmail evidence is now paying off dividends in a most surprising manner. The headmistress Miss Karvell was among the people she freed, and Miss Karvell has been her secret helper in return. (Pity Gladvis is still in business, using her position as prefect to collect more blackmail evidence to use on pupils and teachers alike.) However, the forbidden garden yields a surprise that is not so pleasant – Laika discovers that the plants she had been cultivating for her dying sister are not beautiful flowers but hideous mutants!


Jinty 18 August 1979

Jinty cover 18 August 1979

  • Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • Village of Fame (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Tom Baker – Doctor Who feature
  • Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Be a Private Eye! (text story with deliberate mistakes to spot)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Nothing to Sing About (artist Phil Townsend)
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Harvest Crossword – Feature
  • Crumbs! That’s a Good Idea! – Feature

The indignity the Lilliputians suffer in this issue makes the cover, and the complementary use of orange and green on the cover makes it even more striking. The silly things thought a sandcastle was for living in, and have been hung up to dry after the soaking they got from the sea. This Gascoine story certainly had several cover slots, no doubt because it was such a fun, upbeat story (unlike the next story Gascoine will draw – “Waves of Fear” –  which is one of Jinty’s most disturbing stories).

This issue is one for Doctor Who fans because it has an exclusive interview with Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor. The text story is unusual too. There are deliberate mistakes in it, and the challenge is to see how good a sleuth you are by picking up as many of the mistakes as you can.

Xenia’s inability to touch Earthlings without killing them causes real problems as she tries to help some people with an accident. The district nurse is getting suspicious.

Sue does not trust Mr Grand’s scheme to use her village as a location for a television serial. And when she discovers just how he is filming it (cameras everywhere and stirring things up to create action), she declares war on him.

Mike and Terry are out to stop a plot to kidnap a ventriloquist, and Mike is turning conjurer to do it. But at the end of the episode he looks like he could do with a disappearing trick when the kidnappers accost him.

In “The Disappearing Dolphin”, Paula and Chris think they’ve worked out who is plotting against them – Mrs Ormerod-Keynes. But now they need to work out why and how.

It’s the penultimate episode of “Nothing to Sing About”. Linette has now been put straight about the cause of her father’s death and realises she was wrong to blame the fans. But her bitter behaviour beforehand has had serious consequences – it wrecked her mother’s new engagement.

Pandora works another spell to get what she wants – a job in a commercial. But she finds a conscience when she discovers it cost Ruth her chance of getting it, and she badly needed the money because her father can’t pay the school fees.

Peter Wilkes

Sample Images

Tansy 1Tansy 2Tansy 3

Peter Wilkes came on board in Jinty in 1978 with “Sea-Sister”. He drew seven stories for Jinty, and made his presence felt strongly in 1981, right up until the last issue, because he was the artist who took over from Ken Hougton for “Tansy of Jubilee Street”. His work on Tansy is enjoyable, although his style did not quite match the zaniness needed to bring Tansy off in the way that Houghton could.

Wilkes has a very pleasing style that can fit several genres, including school, sport and animals. He seems to be strong on dog stories and drew two for Jinty (“The Four-Footed Friends” and “My Heart Belongs to Buttons”). Wilkes also has a knack for fantasy at times, especially if it has a dash of humour in it, as “Her Guardian Angel” does.

Wilkes also drew for Tammy (“Rowena of the Doves”) and Misty (“Master Stroke”, “Poor Jenny”, “Hold Tight, Please!”), but is best remembered for his work on “The Comp” in Bunty. As with Tansy, Wilkes was the second artist on that strip. He also worked in other DCT titles, and a (not complete) listing of his stories in those titles can be found at http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/tag/peter-wilkes/

Peter Wilkes Jinty stories


Girl Picture Library

Girls’ picture libraries. The monthly Commando-style digests where girls could read a complete 64-page story every month as a supplement to their regular weekly comic. Thrillers, humour, drama, horror, supernatural, heart-breakers, fantasy or science fiction stories were told in a once-a-month, one-volume complete story.

The picture libraries also provided stories about favourite regulars such as The Four Marys, Wee Slavey and The Comp. Occasionally there were variations in the formula, such as a story being told over two picture libraries, or a picture library featuring several short stories instead of one complete one. One example was “Scream!” (not to be confused with the IPC comic of the same name), which told five scarey stories to make you scream.

Picture libraries were a long-running staple of four of DCT’s titles: Bunty, Judy, Mandy and Debbie. The Bunty picture libraries lasted 455 issues. This is not surprising as Bunty herself is the longest-running girls’ title in history. The Mandy books finished at the same time as the Bunty ones, but at 277 books. Judy produced 375 books and Debbie 197 books. Towards the end of the run reprints appeared although original stories continued.

In IPC the girls’ picture library had a more unusual and uneven history. June and Princess Tina were the only titles to produce any long-running ones. In fact, the June picture library eventually recycled the old Princess logo to become the wordy title, “June and School Friend and Princess Library Picture Library“. Maybe this was why “Picture Library” was dropped on the cover at some point after #458, though the spine continued to say “June and School Friend and Princess Picture Library” to the end of its run.

Tammy and Jinty were never given any picture libraries although they lasted the longest after June. Yet the photo-story comic, Girl (series 2) was given her own picture library. This lasted for just 30 books. Miniscule compared with the rich histories of the June picture library and its counterparts from DCT. But what gives Girl Picture Library its place on this blog is that although some of the libraries were original material, many of them also reprinted material from Jinty and Tammy.

Most of the reprints appeared under revised titles, some of which were awful and showed little thinking. For example, “Vision of Vanity Fayre” from Tammy was reprinted in Girl Picture Library #2 under the the extremely lame title of “Dear Diary”. Strangely, the last three Girl picture libraries reprinted Tammy stories under their original titles.


There were some oddities and even downright sloppiness in the run, which may indicate what sort of budget or editorship that the series was running to. For example, the cover of #16 (reprint of “My Heart Belongs to Buttons”) changes the appearance of the heroine. Readers must have been surprised or irritated when they opened the issue and found the brunette heroine inside bearing no resemblance to the girl on the cover. And the girl who appears on the cover of #25 (reprint of “Shadow on the Fen”, above) has the wrong hair colour – she is blond on the cover but is a brunette in the story. The witchfinder too looks different – he looks younger and has a fuller face than the craggly gaunt face rendered by Douglas Perry. Still, it is a beautiful, haunting cover.


A more striking oddity was “Sue’s Daily Dozen” being reprinted over two volumes: “Spellbound” and “Bewitched”. But there was no indication in “Spellbound” to say “to be continued”. Readers must have wondered why the story suddenly stopped abruptly. The remaining pages are devoted to “Tiny Tina”, which is Wee Sue under a revised title. “Cathy’s Casebook” also appears in two volumes: “Cathy’s Crusade” and “Dr Cathy”. But the reprint is even odder in that “Dr Cathy” does not come immediately after “Cathy’s Crusade” – “The Old Mill” is in between them.


Naturally, some material and panels had to be cut or modified to make the reprints fit into 64-page pocket size volumes. For example, “Moments of Terror”, which reprints “Waves of Fear”, deletes Priscilla Heath and the orienteering club sequences. Both of these played a key role in the resolution of the story in its original run – realising that the panic Clare Harvey had while her friend was drowning in a cave was a claustrophobia attack and not the cowardice that has made her the most hated girl in town. The revelation is now made by Clare’s mother after Rachel tells her about the trick Jean pulled – playing on Clare’s claustrophobia – to get her expelled.

On the other hand, the editing also mercifully reduces some of Clare’s ordeal; for example, the hostility Clare receives from the townsfolk has been removed completely. Some of the bullying at school and the harsh treatment Clare gets from her parents has been deleted as well. The editing is pretty seamless, but there is one glitch: when Clare is pushed to the brink of suicide, she thinks the business at the club was the last straw. With the orienteering club deleted, readers must immediately have wondered “what club?” or “what’s missing here?”. They would know it’s been reprinted from somewhere else because there was always a caption saying “previously published” for the reprint material.


Cutting out material also had the unfortunate effect of removing key turning points in some plots. For example, the reprint of “Thursday’s Child” removes the scene where an evil flag forces a man to nearly saw his own hand off. Yes, it’s gruesome. But in the original run it was what made the villainess, Julie, who had been using the flag’s power to conduct a revenge campaign against her future mother, Thursday, come to her senses and realise the flag had to be destroyed.

Below is a list of the Girl Picture Libraries, along with their original titles and appearances. The only one that has not been identified is “Penny’s Best Friend” in #8. It could be that this was an original story as not all the Girl Picture Libraries carried reprints, but I need to confirm this.

  1. Patty’s World – original
  2. Dear Diary – Vision of Vanity Fayre from Tammy
  3. Patty’s World – original
  4. The Dolphin Mystery – The Disappearing Dolphin from Jinty
  5. Cathy’s Crusade – Part 1 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  6. The Old Mill – original
  7. Dr Cathy – Part 2 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  8. Penny’s Best Friend – ?
  9. Circus Waif – Wild Rose from Jinty
  10. Stormy Seas – original
  11. Moments of Terror – Waves of Fear from Jinty
  12. The Shadow – Mike and Terry from Jinty
  13. Princess Wanted! – The Perfect Princess from Jinty
  14. The Black Sheep – Black Sheep of the Bartons from Jinty
  15. I’ll Never Sing Again! – Nothing to Sing About from Jinty
  16. A Second Chance – My Heart Belongs to Buttons from Jinty
  17. Winner-Loser! – No Medals for Marie from Jinty
  18. Spellbound! – Part 1 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus A Wee Sue story from Tammy reprinted as Tiny Tina
  19. Bewitched! – Part 2 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus a Strange Story, “A Monumental Detective” reprinted as “The Crook Catchers”
  20. The Inheritance – Race for a Fortune from Jinty
  21. The Fortune-Teller – Cursed to be a Coward! Jinty
  22. Tina’s Temper – Temper, Temper, Tina! from Tammy
  23. Fame and Fortune – Make the Headlines, Hannah! from Tammy
  24. Wonder Girl – Betta to Lose from Tammy
  25. The Witchfinder – Shadow on the Fen from Jinty
  26. Sweet and Sour – The Sweet and Sour Rivals from Jinty
  27. Carol in Camelot – Carol in Camelot St from Tammy
  28. The Happiest Days – Tammy
  29. Thursday’s Child – Tammy
  30. A Girl Called Midnight – Tammy

Jinty 29 September 1979

click thru
click thru

Stories in this issue:

  • Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Alley Cat
  • Village of Fame (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes) – final episode
  • Waves of Fear (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Combing Her Golden Hair (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Miss Make-Believe (unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters) – final episode

Almost Human” Xenia is happy that the lightning strike from last episode has drained enough of her life force that she does not kill earth creatures that she touches – just as well, as a kindly couple take her to the local hospital to have her burned hands treated. But it’s not only her extraordinary strength that still marks her out as an alien: she is also not able to be x-rayed, which raises enough suspicions in the minds of the medical staff that Xenia needs to run away again – this time by jumping out of a window and down several stories! She is still super-powered enough to be able to this easily, though in future episodes this will not be the case.

In “Village of Fame“, developments are afoot. Mr Grand has had all the schoolgirls in Sue’s class hypnotised, apart from snob Angela Grenfield; Sue and ex-spy Mandy are pretending they were also caught by the hypnotist. The fact he missed one girl to his knowledge is infuriating Mr Grand, who clearly has something up his sleeve to make his serial more exciting. The pacing is neat though – the weeks are shown going by with nothing happening, until finally some lever is pulled to get Angela out of the way. Come Monday morning, only the hypnotised girls are in the class: cue the permanent replacement teacher arriving, in the form of… Marvo the hypnotist, looking as sinister as you like!

It’s the last episode of “Terry and Mike”, the girl assistant who is lauded as the person who gets all her best ideas at just the right moments. The master criminal gets away, having been revealed as the person they least expected (he was dressed up as unassuming Cornelius Mumble, the caretaker), but the detective duo managed to free all the kidnapped entertainers and rescue the necklace that was the point of the whole caper. (The villain was reenacting the night of a show when thief Jed Adams hid the stolen necklace, just before some scenery fell on him and made him lose his memory – the idea being that re-staging the night would trigger his memory, as indeed it did.) Next week we are promised the new story “My Heart Belongs to Buttons”, drawn by the same artist.

Waves of Fear” has Clare’s claustrophobia kicking in to such a degree that she runs out of her school assembly and even bites a teacher in order to get free of him as he attempts to prevent her! In “Combing Her Golden Hair”, Tamsin has smuggled a swimming costume out of the house despite her gran’s bag-checking habits. Sadly her silver comb gets mislaid in the changing room (a spot of minor bullying by classmates) and she loses her nerve as the time comes to swim. More bullying in the pool itself doesn’t help. At least by the end she has found her comb again, which encourages her to try again next time… if there is a next time.

It’s also the last episode of “Pandora’s Box”, where we’ve seen the conceited Pandora become softer-hearted as she realises how much she loves her enchanted cat, Scruffy. To save his life (he became ill while helping her cast a spell), she has to give up her heart’s desire – her part in the London musical ‘Alice in Jazzland’. Interestingly, although a lot of the imagery around Pandora and her aunt is that of stereotypical black magic – devilish statues in a circle, for instance – the spell to cure Scruffy is based around the sun, which is life. Pandora and her aunt are portrayed perhaps more like Wiccans than evil witches: they may use their magic for their own advancement but it is not clearly black or white in itself. Pandora does indeed lose her part in ‘Alice’ – and refuses to be just an understudy (more fool her in her unprofessional attitude). But actually that is the last flash of the old Pandora that we see – prompted by Scruffy, she gets her next part through proper hard work and determination, in much more the spirit that will see her have a career in show biz. Good for her! Next week we will see a different kind of pig-headedness in this slot – Bev Barton in “Black Sheep of the Bartons”, drawn by the same artist and written by Alison Christie.

Jinty 14 July 1979

Jinty cover 15.jpg

  • The Forbidden Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • The Forbidden Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Nothing to Sing About (artist Phil Townsend)
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Pandora’s Box (Guy Peeters)

The panel of the repulsive mutant flowers from “The Forbidden Garden” has really made this Jinty cover stick in my memory. Mankind has poisoned the world and plants can’t grow. Laika finds a patch of soil that can support plant life. But the horrible flowers she has just produced are one hard lesson – you can’t go from poisoned, barren earth to plant paradise without a few snags and setbacks along the way.

Meanwhile, Pandora uses her box to produce bewitched ballet shoes to make her dance flawlessly. But the box can’t teach her manners, and Pandora’s self-centredness gets her into  serious trouble when it has her committing an act of sheer rudeness.

It’s part two of “Almost Human”. Xenia has just discovered she can’t touch any Earth creature without killing it. This is now causing problems with integrating with Earth people and plenty of misunderstandings.

In “Nothing to Sing About”, Linette is so desperate not to sing that she runs away – only to find herself in a situation where she is forced to sing or go hungry. But can she do it without breaking down?

Jinty 22 September 1979

Jinty 22 September 1979

Stories in this issue:

  • Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Alley Cat
  • Village of Fame (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Waves of Fear (artist Phil Gasoine) – first episode
  • Combing Her Golden Hair (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Miss Make-Believe (unknown artist ‘Merry’)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)

This is an exciting issue! In “Almost Human“, alien Xenia gets hit by lightning and discovers that far from harming her, it enables her to touch earth creatures without killing them – or at least she thinks it hasn’t harmed her…  In “Village of Fame“, we start to see how much further Mr Grand and hypnotist Marvo are prepared to go for a televisual spectacle – when the villains stoop to mind-control things are only going to escalate! Detective story “Mike and Terry” is more down to earth, with a redeeming touch of silliness to compensate for it just being a bit more ordinary than the other stories.

Cover story “Waves of Of Fear” has some similarities to “Tears of a Clown” in being a fairly realistic story about an ‘issue’, drawn by Phil Gascoine. Clare Harvey feels like she is becoming  a coward, and is shunned by her schoolmates accordingly when she runs away from the dangerous situation a friend gets into, leaving the friend to drown. However, as the story unfolds it turns out that Clare has developed claustrophobia – simply, she has an illness and it is framed as such. When you consider that even now our society is not good at recognizing mental illness as an illness, it was pretty advanced for the time.

“Combing Her Golden Hair” has Tamsin’s gran being stern as ever, but Tamsin (bolstered by the whisperings of the silver comb) is preparing to defy her and go swimming. The story has an out-there premise, but it is handled deftly and actually feels rather tense and sad. Likewise, the last story in the issue, “Pandora’s Box”, is normally not sad but as Pandora becomes less selfish and more soft-hearted the mood changes.

I said that “Miss Make-Believe” was drawn by the unknown ‘Merry’ artist, didn’t I? Look at the page below and see for yourself – the bottom left panel, in particular, has got hairstyles and hands that are very typical of this artist.

Miss Make-Believe pg 1
(click thru)

Jinty 1 September 1979

Jinty cover 1 September 1979

We’ve covered excellent stories “Almost Human” and “Village of Fame” in previous posts; a science fiction and a Big Brother surveillance-story respectively. Bizzie Bet is the lead character in a humour strip that lasts less well than some of her peers did, but which is ephemeral fun nevertheless; “A Girl Called Gulliver” straddled the borderline between being a humour strip and being a standard strip with humorous aspects and enough narrative energy to it to say it has a proper arc.

“The Disappearing Dolphin” reaches its last episode in this issue; it’s an adventure story with archaeology, diving, and a villain who is only unmasked in these last few pages. Beautifully drawn, if not that strong a story overall; the ending is rushed. “Mike and Terry” is an interesting and unusual type of strip – a “career” themed story, where the career in question is – being a detective! Also unusually, one of the title characters is a boy, or rather a young man – private eye Mike Temple has a sidekick, blonde Terry, who is sometimes cleverer and quicker than he is – and sometimes too clever for her own good.

If a lot of the stories are going in similar pairs in this issue, then the last pair needs to be “Pandora’s Box” and “Combing Her Golden Hair”. The former is a story of witchcraft combined with a lead character’s determination to follow her path despite family resistance: Pandora Carr discovers her aunt is a witch who uses magic to get where she wants in life, and who expects Pandora to do the same. However, the stubborn girl thinks she has enough talent to get through her time at stage school without magic, at which her aunt only laughs and says she’s welcome to try. The family resistance is benign rather than constraining – a sort of ‘told-you-so’ – but still forms the spine of the narrative.

However, it is “Combing Her Golden Hair”, here in its first episode, which to me is the stand-out story. In these first four pages we meet lonely schoolgirl Tamsin, who lives with her dragon of a grandmother who forbids her from doing many things she might want to do, such as swimming; a mysterious silver comb entrances her and leads her to start to dream of many impossible things.

Stories in this issue:

  • Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • Village of Fame (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • The Disappearing Dolphin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Combing Her Golden Hair (artist Phil Townsend)
  • A Girl Called Gulliver (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)