Tag Archives: Peter Wilkes

Monster Tales [1982]

Sample Images

 

Published: Tammy & Jinty 9 January 1982 to 10 July 1982

Artists: Hugo D’Adderio, Phil Townsend, Mario Capaldi, Ken Houghton, Jaume Rumeu, John Richardson, Peter Wilkes, Manuel Benet, Tony Coleman

Writers: Roy Preston? Others unknown

Monster Tales was a very unconventional feature that started during the Tammy & Jinty merger. As the name suggests, it was a series where a monster of some sort was central to the tale. The monsters included gargoyles, sea monsters, man-eating plants, possessed objects or elements, dolls, demons, werewolves, freaks, and even the innocuous proving it could be monstrous.

Some of the monsters were just plain evil e.g. “Hearts of Oak”, and the forces of good did not always win against them. Others, such as “The Gargoyle” (below), were used for comeuppance purposes and punishing/reforming unpleasant characters (bullying, stealing, nosiness etc) in the spirit of Misty.

Some were even friendly monsters, or at least not as bad as originally thought, that saved the day. One example of this was “The Fire Monsters”, (below) which turned the cruel punishment of burning at the stake right around. Another was “Curse of the Werewolf”, where girls are left wondering if a feared werewolf from the Middle Ages was all that bad after vandals get captured in a manner that nobody can explain – except that the werewolf lent a hand.

Click thru

Being a monster was also used as a punishment. For example, in “The Devil’s Mark”, a man is transformed into a demon dog as a punishment for his cruelty to dogs. The curse could only be lifted by making up for his cruelty, which he does by getting help for the dogs he neglected.

Monster Tales worked in rotation with the Strange Stories, which now alternated between the Storyteller and Gypsy Rose. In fact, at least two of the Monster Tales (“Stones of Light” and “The Fool on the Hill”) were recycled Strange Stories, so other recycled Strange Stories must have made their way into the Monster Tales too.

Click thru

As neither Tammy nor Jinty were likely to have conceived such an idea, I wonder if it was a carryover from Misty, which had merged with Tammy earlier. Perhaps Monster Tales was originally drafted for Misty, but no room emerged in the merger until Wee Sue, Molly and Bessie had stopped their individual strips and the characters were being rotated with Tansy of Jubilee Street in the “Old Friends” slot. Some of the Monster Tales were indeed so dark that they could be straight out of Misty herself. The cruellest of them all was arguably “Freak Tide” (above), where cruel owners of a Victorian freak show are abducted and taken to a sea-monster world. There they become the freaks in a cruel freak show, and unlike the freaks they once mistreated, they have no chance of escape. What’s more, they have nothing to wear but their nightshirts.

Click thru

When the new-look Tammy was launched on 17 July 1982, Monster Tales stopped running. However, there were still monster-themed stories appearing for a while such as “Black Teddy” and “Bird of Fear”. I suspect these were unpublished scripts from Monster Tales being used up. These stories credited Roy Preston as the writer, so it is reasonable to assume Preston wrote a good deal of the Monster Tales too.

Advertisements

Jinty 30 December 1978

Jinty cover 30 December 1978

  • The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • “Wally” Glad You’re a Winner? (limerick competition results)
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Sea Sister (Peter Wilkes)
  • She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith)
  • Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Marked “Personal” – the file on Peter Dowell
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty (cartoon)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)
  • D.I.Y. Decorations!

As the cover and letter page state, Jinty has returned after a 3-week absence due to one of those strike actions that always bedevilled IPC. The strikes contributed to the downfall of several IPC titles, including Tammy in 1984.

Magic is still causing problems for “The Girl Who Never Was”, not least of which is because she has a limited number of them to use. This problem leads to her getting grounded – magically – and she has a vital swimming contest to go to.

Sue should really watch her words when she asks for something from Henrietta. She has a job in a sweet job but asks Henrietta for a spell to prevent her from touching them so she is not tempted to eat them while selling them. But as Sue soon discovers, the word is “touch”.

The boot camp children’s home gets flooded while Dorothy and Max are shut up alone in the place. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise because it enables them to float away to freedom on an airbed, and the flooding will be a richly deserved comeuppance for that horrible drill sergeant matron upon her return. It might even be the end of the institution, thank goodness. But fresh trouble just has to be around the corner. Dorothy hurts her ankle, so their journey to rainbow’s end is put on hold while she rests it – in the wreckage of a German fighter.

Flooding is also putting an end to the slavery the aliens have put the humans under. And it’s all because the aliens are so terrified of water that they have never developed the skills to handle it. They can’t swim, and they have no water drainage systems, no watercraft, and no methods for coping with flooding – all of which humans have developed because they clearly evolved differently from the aliens. So the humans are free – for the moment.

In “Fran’ll Fix It!”, Fran is trying her hand at being a drill sergeant with the army of schoolgirls she has raised to protect a racehorse. However, the school gardener soon shows Fran how army drill should be done; he used to be a sergeant major.

Cherry finally gets her big break in stardom with her uncle, which gives her a break from the slaving her relatives have her do without her even realising. Later, Cherry sees another opportunity for an even bigger break. But cousin Michelle’s jealous and she wants a piece of the action.

Helen calls for a storm to bring down the cottage so the Ullapond stone can be returned home. But it fails to do so, and her secret is in danger too. If she is found out, she can never return home.

Lisa still can’t forget her piano. She finds it at an auction and gets thrown out when she conducts her usual naff behaviour to get it back. When Lisa discovers its new owner – the Mayor’s spoiled daughter – she resorts to breaking and entering to play it. Then the window slams shut on her precious hands. Will they become so damaged she can no longer play any piano?

Jinty 25 November 1978

Jinty cover 25 November 1978

  • The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • “Wally” Glad You’re a Winner? (limerick competition results)
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Friendship Formulas (feature)
  • The Gift of Christmas Present Making! (feature)
  • She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith)
  • Sea Sister (Peter Wilkes)
  • Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)

This week’s episode of The Human Zoo was deleted from the Tammy & Jinty reprint except for the last panel. What got lost in the reprint? Shona and Likuda meet up with Tamsha’s new action group and the evidence they have collected of their people’s cruelty to animals, including humans. They remove Shona’s obedience collar (which looks like it has disappeared without explanation in the reprint because it has not got this bit), and Tamsha and her action group help Shona and Likuda reach the laboratory to find Likuda’s father and Shona’s lost sister.

Meanwhile, in the magic world, Tina’s still having problems getting to grips with magic. A further handicap is that she can only do one type of spell once. And her alt-parents have now received a letter from school that she isn’t doing too well magic wise. It must be a real affront for a girl who’s used to being top girl to get a letter about, in effect, poor schoolwork.

Henrietta is not keen on window-shopping. Her spells to get out of it end up with the surprise result of Sue getting extra pocket money, which she uses to take Henrietta on some real shopping.

The saga of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” continues. One of these days we will get onto this story, which is second only to “Merry at Misery House” for longevity. In this week’s episode our runaways end up at a children’s home that is definitely not the end of the rainbow. Wicked Witch of the West more like. The matron is a harsh ex-army officer who runs the place like a drill camp and makes poor Max run laps while carrying a heavy pack on his back. She doesn’t listen to Dorothy’s protests that Max is still weak from pneumonia. Now he’s on the verge of collapse.

Cherry’s audition is a disaster and even her uncle, who has been taking advantage of her without her realising, is disappointed for her. Then Cherry bumps into some old friends from home. Will they help free her from her sneaky relatives?

Things are looking up for Lisa’s father because his new job’s doing well. But not for Lisa, whose difficult attitude has made things so difficult for her at school that she is being bullied.

“Sea Sister” finds the lost stone from Ullapond, but can’t shift it because it is cemented into the Bush house. And Jane is finding there are odd things about this visitor of hers – such as her objecting strongly to Jane eating fish and collecting shells from the very depths of the ocean.

Fran is now in charge of minding a racehorse (his owner is the nephew of the headmistress). Among other things, she has to exercise him. And she’s dressed up like Dick Turpin in order to do it because she can’t find anything else! Didn’t this nephew have the sense to provide her with riding gear? No, from what we’ve seen of him, he doesn’t seem to have much sense.

Jinty and Penny 1 November 1980

Jinty cover 1 November 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Contents in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and writer Veronica Weir)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine) – final episode
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Behind the Screen: Robin’s Nest
  • The Secret of Covent House (artist Peter Wilkes) – Gypsy Rose story
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Sue’s Daily Dozen (artist José Casanovas)
  • Winning Ways #31: The Lob (writer Benita Brown)
  • Child of the Rain (artist Phil Townsend)

“Winning Ways” is running a lot of tennis tips. This must be because of Jinty’s tennis story, “Child of the Rain”. Next week a netball story, “Life’s a Ball for Nadine” starts, so it will not be surprising if we start seeing some netball tips in “Winning Ways”.

Nadine will replace “Tears of a Clown”, which ends this week. Last week Jinty promised an emotional ending, which she delivers with Kathy coming home from her time on the run and allowed to keep her new dog. She is astonished to find all the new-improved attitudes from the girls who bullied her and her parents and teachers who failed her. From then on, Kathy progresses so well at school, including becoming the star of the school cross country team with her running talent, that her parents let her throw her first-ever party and treat her to a trendy makeover. At the party Kathy celebrates her new look by ripping up a photo of the old gawky one.

One reader wrote in to say that the ending had her in tears; she thought “Tears of a Clown” was one of Jinty’s best ever and hoped all her future serials would be just as good. Indeed, this story would still stand up today because the bullying issues it commented on still prevail. (How about a reprint, Rebellion?)

Tansy of Jubilee Street and Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost deal with this being Jinty’s Guy Fawkes issue. Spoilsport Dad won’t let Tansy have fireworks or a bonfire; he can be a bit mean at times. Then Tansy finds the school could be the answer. They are willing to provide the bonfire, but the class has to raise the money for the fireworks because the school can’t. So it’s the penny-for-the-guy routine, and with Jubilee Street you can only expect hijinks along the way. The story has been uploaded onto the Ken Houghton page in the panel gallery. Meanwhile, Gaye’s father is willing to have the bonfire, but he can’t afford the fireworks either. So Gaye is using Sir Roger for the penny-for-the-guy routine to raise the money, which he finds a bit undignified. Of course this also leads to hijinks.

It’s Shona’s birthday, which she is trying to celebrate as best she can while marooned on the island. But given her circumstances, it can’t be anything but bittersweet. Meanwhile, Shona’s parents honour her birthday, even though they think she’s dead. If only they knew.

For once, the Gypsy Rose story is an original instead of a recycled Strange Story. New owners move into Covent House, next door to Mary Jones, but there is something strange about them. And they are reacting very oddly to Mary’s cat, Rye. Then Rye mysteriously disappears, yet Mary gets an odd calling from him to come…where she finds him in the centre of some…witches’ coven?

Witchcraft features on a more savoury basis in “Sue’s Daily Dozen”, though Sue is still not convinced of that. And the Daily Dozen does look a bit angry with her for doubting it.

Jemma is banned from the tennis club when a jealous rival frames her for stealing. She needs to find another way to train, and luckily, she finds a disused tennis court next door. But who can she use for a training partner?

The Pond Hill French camping trip is not doing too well, and then it takes a mysterious turn when a strange boy steals Fred’s shirt. We get the feeling the boy is a runaway, and whatever trouble he’s in will drag the Pond Hill campers down with him – but to what?

Minnow [1980]

Sample Images

Minnow 1

Minnow 2

Minnow 3

Published: Jinty 3 May 1980 – 30 August 1980

Episodes: 12 (skipped one issue)

Artist: Peter Wilkes

Writer: Unknown

Translations/reprints: None known

Plot

Minna Purves’ class starts swimming lessons. For some reason Mum is totally against Minna going to the swimming class. She says it’s wrong for Minna, but won’t explain why. However, nobody is excused from swim class without a note, so Minna’s off to it anyway – behind Mum’s back.

Minna has no swimsuit, so she has to make do with an unflattering swimming costume from lost property (no wonder nobody claimed it!) that makes her a butt for teasing, especially from Sharon. They call her “tadpole”, but the swim coach, Miss Garrett, more kindly calls her a “minnow”, and so her nickname is born. Emma is Minna’s only friend in the class.

Surprisingly, Minna soon finds she is a natural in the water and Miss Garrett even thinks she will become a very good swimmer. But when the waves machine comes on, Minna has a strange panic attack that she can’t explain (hmm, could this be what Mum was on about?). Following this, it becomes obvious Miss Garrett will have to give Minna some special attention if she is to regain confidence and carry on swimming.

Mum finally tells Minna that her father was drowned at sea, which gave her a phobia about water and losing Minna to it (but is that all there is to it?). In Minna’s view, this is all the more reason to improve her swimming. The coach for the local swimming club, Mr Byrnes, comes scouting out the class for new members, and Minna wants to join. They do trial laps to get into the club, but the noise from the cheering has Minna going off into another panic attack. This time there is a flashback too, of clouds and seagulls. Minna is pulled out and despite the mishap, Mr Byrnes wants her to join. But there are two problems: first, Minna has to pay fees, and second, she needs the signature of a parent/guardian. Minna addresses the first with her savings, which is easy enough. As for the second, well, she has little choice but to forge Mum’s signature.

While looking for something to copy Mum’s signature from, Minna finds other surprises that deepen the mystery: old letters in a foreign language, and a photograph of her mother and father holding swimming trophies. Later, when Minna wonders why her mother never lets her handbag out of sight, not even indoors, she can’t resist opening it – and finds an Olympic gold swimming medal with her father’s name on it. When Minna tackles Mum about it, Mum says it’s best for Minna not to know why.

That evening Minna goes to the swim club. To her consternation, bully Sharon is there too, but at least Emma is there also. When trying to dive off the diving board, the faces in the water and their voices yelling for Minna to jump set off another panic and she runs off, screaming that she has got to get away or she will drown like her father. As Minna runs off she unwittingly knocks Sharon into the pool, which makes Sharon hate her even more. Minna is encouraged to return to the water later, when there are no voices or faces, and her love of water returns.

Miss Garrett gives Minna a better swimsuit so Sharon will stop teasing her over the old one. But Miss Garrett also wants to question Mum about the strange panic attacks, not realising Minna is swimming behind her mother’s back. Minna does some quick thinking and says Mum is not in – which turns out to be true, as she’s late home from work.

At the next swim session, Sharon has the girls all teasing Minna by splashing water at her – which triggers off another panic attack. Sharon is stricken with remorse when she sees she nearly caused Minna to drown and she has to be pulled out. From then on she gives Minna no more trouble. Minna remembers more from the strange flashback: this time she saw mist over the water. But it all fades again. Miss Garrett says she seems to remember a bit more each time, and Minna finally tells her not to approach Mum about the matter because of the upset it could cause.

Newspaper reporters come in to do a feature on the swim club – and they would take a photo of Minna jumping off the diving board, which makes the front page the next day! Minna tries to hide it from Mum, but of course she finds out eventually. After the initial shock and anger, Mum agrees to let Minna continue with swimming, but she says something odd: “I think the damage may already be done…” Now what can she mean by that? Mum also says that she couldn’t save Minna’s father from drowning, but then Minna wonders how this could be if Mum and Dad were champion swimmers. She realises Mum is not telling her the full story and there is more to it. Mum also seems to be getting more overprotective in her behaviour when she suddenly starts collecting Minna from the swim club. While she does so, Mr Byrnes seems to think he knows her from somewhere.

Then two suspicious-looking men take a photo of Minna and Mum outside the club and drive off in a hurry, and they are clearly not reporters. The strange men send Mum off into a real fright. She whisks Minna off home and locks the place tight. She says it’s something she’s been dreading all of Minna’s life but still won’t explain what the hell is going on.

That night, Minna has more nightmares of the strange flashbacks, and this time she dreams she is a drowning baby with yelling voices all around her. One voice yells, “Leave me. Save the baby!” But as always, it fades.

Next day, Mum goes out to withdraw all their savings and tells Minna not to let anyone in. But the sinister men return and, with the unwitting help of a neighbour, make their way in and kidnap Minna. They tie her up and take her to a ship, which has notices written in the same language as Mum’s letters. They won’t explain what the kidnapping is about because they assume Mum has done it already (which she hasn’t). And then the ship starts sailing.

However, Minna manages to break out when a man brings her food (stupid idiot left the door open while untying Minna’s hands!) and she dives off the ship. (You will find it all on the Peter Wilkes page in the panel gallery.) The swim back to shore in the cold water tests all her new swimming skills to the limit, but she makes it – just.

Minna arrives home, where Mum and Mr Byrnes are so relieved to see her. Mum says the men were using Minna as blackmail to force her to return home, which is an Iron Curtain Eastern European country. Mum met Minna’s father at the Olympic Games, where he won his gold medal (and Mr Byrnes a bronze, which is how he came to know her). When Mum’s home country would not allow her to go to England with her new husband and newborn Minna, he tried to help her escape by boat. But it all went horribly wrong when fog caused the boat to founder against some rocks. Mum managed to save baby Minna from the water, but Dad was killed. Minna realises that this disaster was what she had been recalling in her flashbacks, and now she can see it in its entirety for the first time.

Mum made it to England with Minna, but has always lived in dread of her Iron Curtain home country catching up with her and dragging her back. This was the real reason why she had been so opposed to swimming, and she even gave it up entirely. She also realised her home country would try to grab Minna once they realised what a good swimmer she was, because they never give up.

Sure enough, the men come back to try again. However, the police are waiting for them this time. The police say they will arrange for Mum to remain in England. Mr Byrnes says it would be easier if she married another Englishman (hint, hint!).

A few weeks later, Mum is back in the swim with her new husband (Mr Byrnes, of course). Minna’s panic attacks have disappeared, and she is learning more and more about swimming from her Olympic champion parents.

Thoughts

This story must have been popular, because it prompted one reader to write to Jinty on how she loved the mystery and leaving everything unexplained until the last episode so readers could keep having a go at solving it. She also asked Jinty to write more mystery stories, which was a suggestion Jinty didn’t seem to take up much for the remainder of her run.

Girls always loved mystery serials. It does not take a Sherlock Holmes to guess that Minna’s strange flashbacks, Mum’s opposition to Minna learning to swim, and Dad’s death from drowning are all connected. The mystery is just how they are connected. It deepens when Minna finds evidence that both her parents were swimming champions, so what’s turned Mum off the swimming that made her a champion? It gets even more tantalising when it becomes more and more obvious that Mum is not telling the whole truth. Not even when the sinister men show up, which makes the situation cry out for her to tell Minna everything.

When the creepy men appear in the story, their introduction makes it evident that Mum is not just some problem parent who is unreasonably opposed to the swimming because she was traumatised by a tragedy associated with it, as other parents in similar stories are. It becomes even more so when Mum starts behaving that she is clearly in hiding and making preparations to run away. This not only deepens the mystery still more but also makes it even more exciting. And when Minna is kidnapped by the strange men who won’t tell her what’s going on either and have her bound for some unknown destination, it all comes to a very exciting and dramatic head.

This is the first Jinty story since “Curtain of Silence” to use the topic of the Iron Curtain. As with “Curtain of Silence”, it uses sport and kidnapping as part of the Iron Curtain oppression. Unlike “Curtain of Silence”, however, the Iron Curtain element is not revealed until the end of the story, and it’s all part of the mystery that permeates the story right up until the final episode. We don’t even know the name of the Iron Curtain country or exactly who the kidnappers are. It also raises the disturbing question of just how much people who manage to flee the Iron Curtain ever fully escaped from it. Even in a democratic country, did the shadow of the Iron Curtain continue to hang over them in one way or other?

Jinty and Penny 5 July 1980

JInty cover 5 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Seulah the Seal (artist Veronica Weir) – final episode
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé) – first episode
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Smashing Bangers! – feature
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways # 16: High Jump – the Frosby Flop (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

This issue says farewell to the serial that came over with Penny, “Seulah the Seal”. This must have been a bit sad for former Penny readers, although the ending is happy.

We are also introduced to a new Trini Tinturé story, “A Spell of Trouble”, about the Blacks, who are a family of witches that find their magical lifestyle is under threat. Is it a witchfinder? Is it a witch-hunting mob? No, it’s a gormless non-magical cousin who is such a walking disaster area she would make “The Jinx from St Jonah’s” look competent.

Pam of Pond Hill starts a new story too. Hazel Bayley, who has no friends and isn’t popular, kindly gives Pam a macramé potholder when Pam has difficulty making one for Mum’s birthday. But then Pam sees the same potholders in a department store, and surely Hazel couldn’t have afforded the £5 for one! Pam can think of only one thing…but it couldn’t be, surely? Or could it? We are told there will be more surprises with Hazel the following week, but we doubt they will be pleasant ones.

In this week’s episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” we see the Arthurian legend like we’ve never seen it before. According to Sir Roger, the real-life Sir Lancelot was a fat, short, bald man with a filthy temper and thick spectacles! He inadvertently creates the famous Round Table when he gets into a fight with Sir Roger over porridge. Gaye doesn’t believe a word of it, but the story’s so funny I put it up on the Hugh Thornton-Jones page in the panel gallery.

Lucy Craven breaks “The Venetian Looking Glass” in three and thinks her trouble with the ghost of Lucy Craven is over. But no – it’s trebled! Lucy now has to do the ghost’s bidding by “the power of three!”

It’s part two of the kids vs. adults sports competition in “Tansy of Jubilee Street”. The adults are into serious training, but Tansy has to find surreptitious ways to get the kids off their butts and do it too.

Minnow is now joining a swimming club, but again she has to do it behind her mother’s back. And while in Mum’s room she finds more strange clues to the mystery: letters in a foreign language and a photo that shows Mum and Dad used to be swimming champions! So why’s Mum got such a thing against swimming now?

In “Blind Faith” Clare has to do some breaking and entering to rescue Cromwell from the knacker’s yard – but she’s been spotted doing so!

Jinty and Penny 2 August 1980

Jinty 2 August 1980

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine) – first episode
  • The Last Leap (artist Giorgio Giorgetti) – Gypsy Rose story
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Behind the Screen – Dr Who
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Winning Ways #20: Headstand (writer Benita Brown)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

This week’s issue is one for Doctor Who fans because it has a feature on the show and Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor.

The cover informs us that “a great new story starts today”. That story is “Tears of a Clown”, which, like “Waves of Fear”, is a hard-hitting Phil Gascoine story about the evils of bullying and people in authority handling it badly. Here neither the parents nor the school are picking up that the protagonist, Kathy Clowne, is being bullied, much less step in to help. Instead, they all write her off as a no-hoper who’s no good at anything, not realising that the bullying is responsible for her poor school performance. It sounds all too familiar.

The shoplifting storyline in “Pam of Pond Hill” wraps up this week. It turns out the reason Hazel Bayley resorted to shoplifting was to use the stolen items to make the friends she didn’t have. That sounds all too familiar as well. Poor, foolish girl, who realised too late that it was not the way. She makes friends at Pond Hill in the end once they understand and sympathise, but her foolishness landed her in juvenile court and now she has a criminal record.

Minna finally sorts out her problem with bully Sharon, but now there is a new problem: her secret is in danger when a photographer takes a photograph of her at the swimming club.

Clare makes a new friend in Angie, who helps hide her and Cromwell. But Angie’s Dad has guessed what’s going on and is shadowing her.

This week’s Gypsy Rose is a Strange Story reprint that brings some Giorgio Giorgetti artwork to Jinty. The story is about a window where anyone who approaches it always seems to fall out of it. The doctor says it’s vertigo from the chequered pattern from the path below. However, there is another theory – and more evidence – about an aggrieved spirit of a mistreated servant girl who also fell out of that window. The story has been uploaded into the Gypsy Rose section in the panel gallery.

Tansy is surprised to find everyone in Jubilee Street is turning nice. Ah, so it’s a contest to find the kindest neighbour in the district. Yes, it sounded too good to be true – and so is the contest, which turns out to be as phony as the niceness in Jubilee Street.

Making Angela a witch becomes even more pressing when the Blacks receive a letter to make her one by next Halloween or have their powers removed. Carrie thinks she’s got it in the bag this time when Angela accepts a bet that if she can’t make a friend by the end of the day she’ll agree to be a witch. We shall see…

Sir Roger has sprained his haunting muscles and now he can’t vanish. We have to wait until next week to see if he recovers.

Jinty and Penny 9 August 1980

Cover art by Mario Capaldi

Stories in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Gypsy Rose, ‘The Magic Carpet’
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Behind the Screen: “Fun Factory”
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Winning Ways 21: The Forward Roll (writer Benita Brown)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

Pam has a stroke of luck: she finds a ‘witch ball’ in a jumble sale and suddenly she feels like things are going her way. Coincidence, or something more?

It is early days in the new story, “Tears of a Clown”. Kathy Clowne has had her name put down for cross-country running, done as a joke by her cruel bully Sandra because everyone expects she will be hopeless at it. And even Kathy’s mum is pretty sceptical. Surprisingly, Kathy turns out to be much faster than anyone thought she’d be, but she has an accident and her glasses land in a pond and no-one stops to help her find them. Of course the officials think she joined the race without permission in order to make the school a laughing stock – but at least Kathy now knows that she enjoys cross-country running, and what’s more is good at it too.

The Gypsy Rose story is a reprint from an earlier title: Gypsy Rose just introduces the story and different artwork is used for that panel and the end panel as for the main story art. I don’t recognize this artist offhand but it is certainly a style I have seen before. The story is about a poor laundry maid in old Baghdad, who buys a carpet that is reputed to be magic. She ends up adopted by a Sultan as a friend to his daughter, so it must have worked!

The form that you send in with your letters is currently also showing the issue number (this is listed as Jinty and Penny 316) which it didn’t always.

Carrie Black has a cunning plan to turn Angela into a witch. First she has to turn her evil, so that she won’t mind being trained as a witch. Er – totally foolproof plan, I don’t think! The ring of Queen Nefratti will do the trick, if Carrie can pinch it from the museum.

Minna has to hide the newspaper article that mentions her – photo and all – from her mother. Of course she can’t do that for long, and her mother resignedly says that ‘I think the damage may already be done’. There are still plenty of mysteries ahead, the writer needn’t drag out the suspense of Minna hiding her swimming from her mother any longer.

The last story is “Blind Faith”. Angie is helping Clare and Cromwell live in hiding; Angie’s father finds them and can’t decide what to do, because he can see that his daughter is happy, for the first time in a very long time. I guess he decides not to give them up to the authorities, just yet – and so the two girls and the horse can continue to practice jumping. But what good will it do in the end?

Jinty and Penny 26 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Romany’s Reading – Gypsy Rose story (artist Jim Baikie)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Behind the Screen: John Craven’s Newsround
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Winning Ways 19 – Gymnastics: the Bridge or Crab (writer Benita Brown)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

This is rather a browned copy of the issue, though to be fair the colouring of the cover image also has a beige background which helps give that impression.

Pam is dealing with a tricky situation: her schoolmate Hazel has been shoplifting and all the class has had a share in the stolen goods – will the blame rebound on them too? And – what drove Hazel to do it? Her home life seems far from happy, given the wee glimpse of her parents that we see.

There is a half-page advert for “Tears of a Clown” which starts in the next week’s issue: a hard-hitting tale of some cruel bullying of a misfit girl. It feels a slightly ‘in between’ issue in some ways – we had the last episode of “The Venetian Looking-Glass” in the previous week, and the episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” is the one which is shortened by half a page to fit in the advert. The Gypsy Rose story is a substantial four-pager by Jim Baikie: a girl who helps an old gypsy woman is rewarded by being given a fortune reading. She will be in an accident but will be rescued by a ship. Surprisingly this turns out to happen while she is stranded in a desert – she is rescued by a camel, which of course is also called ‘the ship of the desert’.

Both the Gypsy Rose story and the episode of “A Spell of Trouble” have a fairly large first panel and only 6 panels on the first page: the page layout is far from being a straightforward grid, too. I wonder if that means that Jinty was experimenting with less conventional comics storytelling at this point? Not that episodes of “Concrete Surfer” some two years earlier, for instance, hadn’t also challenged the more staid conventions too, but it is relatively noticeable when there are two stories doing this one after the other. The Blacks are given an ultimatum: no non-witches can live with a witch family, under pain of losing their magic powers – so Carrie and her mum have to turn Angela into a witch, quick sharp!

The feature on TV programs is this week covering the very popular “John Craven’s Newsround”. Interestingly, they explain that there was only about 25% overlap with the main news of the day – the majority of the news stories were written specifically for the children’s show.

In “Minnow”, Minna remembers more about her mysterious past that her mother refuses to talk about – her friends tease her by splashing her with waves but this is her trigger for panicking – in her panic she remembers drowning and seeing faces surrounding her in a mist. Next week she is to be furthered threatened, by strangers at the pool!

Cromwell the blind horse is being given up to the police, but he and Clare are rescued by the blind daughter of the farmer who caught them…

Jinty and Penny 12 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Dark Tower – Gypsy Rose story (artist unidentified)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Behind the Screen – All Creatures Great and Small (feature) – first episode
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways 17 – The Long Jump (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

Mario Capaldi’s action-oriented covers are always a sight to behold. This diver looks almost unrealistically excited, and certainly very enthusiastic to be jumping off that very high platform!

Pam and friends find out that one of the people in her class is probably a shop-lifter, giving people stolen items so as to buy friendship. What will happen next? We are promised disaster to follow Pam’s attempts to help.

The Gypsy Rose story is a reprint, with a very badly bodged image of Gypsy Rose drawn over that of the original story teller. The rest of the story is a slightly old-fashioned spooky story: a girl is kidnapped to get her to reveal the whereabouts of her scientist father, and stranded in a dark tower where no one will find her. A ghost and a locket are the means of her rescue.

Angela White threatens to turn things upside down in the household of Carrie Black, trainee witch. This light-hearted tale has a witchy family with a clumsy outsider foisted on them – Angela is a distant cousin and must be given a home. Unlike in some stories, neither the Blacks nor the Whites are cruel or malicious, but it will take a long time nevertheless for them to get along with each other.

In the letters page one reader writes in to ask for more science fiction stories, because she enjoyed “The Human Zoo” and “The Forbidden Garden” so much. More power to you, Jennifer Murray of Manchester!

This is the penultimate episode of “The Venetian Looking Glass”. Lucy Craven is totally under the power of the evil spirit – she thought she was defeating it by breaking the mirror, but the three pieces of the mirror turn out to have three times the power! Lucy runs down the corridor of the castle and takes her evil ancestor’s revenge by setting it alight to burn. Will her cousin Rosalind be able to stop her or to put out the flames?

“You’ve just tuned in to the first of our occasional series on your favourite TV programmes” – with lots about telly success All Creatures Great and Small. Much of it is interviews with Christopher Timothy, who played James Herriot, but there is a nice photo with Peter Davidson who played Tristam and who is now probably rather more famous as one of the actors who played Dr Who.

Minna is sneaking around behind her mother’s back, to find a signature that she can copy onto the form for joining the swimming club she is set on. She finds a mysterious photo that shows her parents dressed as swimming champions – and later she finds an olympic medal in her mother’s handbag! Minna has a mystery in her past, all right – and it comes out again in the swimming club when she has a sudden flashback of waves thundering and crashing – and the sea drowning her like it did her father!

Clare finds some shelter to keep her and Cromwell out of the night, and even sets up some jumps to start to train Cromwell again. But a raging bull might put paid to all of that…