Tag Archives: Photo story

Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit [1983]

Sample Images

Mr Evans 1Mr Evans 2Mr Evans 3

Published: Princess II, #1 (24 September 1983) to #12 (10 December 1983)

Episodes: 12

Artist: Photostory

Writer: Unknown

Translations/reprints: None

In keeping with the Easter season, we present this rabbit-themed story from Princess II.


Jenny Andrews’ father is a children’s entertainer, but ever since his wife died his heart has not been in it. It gives him too many reminders of his late wife, plus he has also grown cynical about child audiences. As he can’t work properly no money is coming in for the rent, and eviction is imminent.

Dad does manage to perform at a children’s party at the Mortimers’ house. Jenny goes out into the garden to set up the puppet show. She is surprised to find a rabbit in a garden pen talking to her. At first she thinks it is her father’s ventriloquism, but the rabbit says he is in fact Arthur Evans, owner of the local joke/magic shop, who has been missing for weeks. He unwisely tried out a book of spells he found in the market and unwittingly turned himself into a rabbit. He retained the ability to talk, which he hides because he fears people will exploit him. He opened up to Jenny because he feels he can trust her, and he begs for her help to get him back to normal.

When Mr Evans does talk he is very disagreeable and ill-mannered. As a human he was an old grouch and even his wife calls him a “miserable old so-and-so”. As a rabbit he is not much better, but he does have more reason to be irritable considering his ordeal, especially after being imprisoned in the pen. It does not sound like the Mortimer children have treated him well either. When Mrs Mortimer pulls the rabbit’s ears, he protests in a justified but very offensive manner: “Let go, you stupid old bag!” Mrs Mortimer thinks it’s Jenny’s ventriloquism and sends Mr Andrews packing without payment (now we know where the bratty Mortimer kids get it from). So no money for the rent from that job, which means they’re even closer to eviction.

Mr Evans escapes and hitches a ride to the Andrews’ place. There Mr Andrews is so desperate for food and no money for it that he wants to eat the rabbit. The rabbit objects to that of course: “You’ve got to get me out of here before I end up sharing a plate with potatoes and two veg!” He tells Jenny. Mr Andrews assumes it’s Jenny’s much-improved ventriloquism.

Jenny and Mr Evans go to the joke shop for the book, but Mrs Evans has sold it and has no clue as to who bought it. She is not missing her husband much because he was such a misery boots. Mr Evans takes money from the till (hiding it in his mouth) to pay for groceries to keep the Andrews household fed. He does not regard it as stealing. “It’s my shop, my till, and my money! I can’t steal from myself, can I?” he tells Jenny. Yes, but tell the police that. When Mrs Evans discovers the missing money she assumes Jenny trained up the rabbit to steal it, and it’s in the newspaper: “Rabbit Steals Cash!”

The Mortimers come looking for the rabbit, which they correctly suspect got away with Mr Andrews. Mr Andrews pulls a magic hat trick to confuse them and keep the rabbit safe from them. “Squashed me a bit though,” says Mr Evans. “My back’s aching.”

Then grief overtakes Mr Andrews again. He is in no mental state to do a booked show, and they badly need the money from it. So Jenny decides to do the show herself, with the help of Mr Evans. At first he is reluctant because of the child audience: “…I loathe children – smelly, sticky, noisy little brats the lot of them. Always poking and breaking things. Definitely no!” However, Jenny persuades him otherwise. The show is such a success that Jenny is paid a bonus.

Mr Evans can smell other rabbits in the house, and says they are terrified. No wonder – they are being kept in a pen, waiting to be taken to the father’s research station for experimentation. Mr Evans goes into the pen to help them while the pen is not properly secured: “Hey, chaps – now’s your chance to make a break!” This only has Mr Evans get muddled up with them and Jenny takes the wrong rabbit. Later, Mr Evans manages to escape himself, but then he gets caught in a trap.

It doesn’t take Jenny long to realise she has the wrong rabbit, and when she goes back she discovers Mr Evans’ escape and does not know where to find him. Meanwhile, Jenny’s father gets a TV talent entrepreneur to come and listen to Jenny’s ventriloquism act, but her pathetic efforts make him look an idiot. He does not realise the talking rabbit was not her ventriloquism and the rabbit she has is not Mr Evans.

Eventually Jenny finds Mr Evans and frees him from the trap, but he becomes really ill. The vet says the rabbit has a heart condition, and if he were human he would receive hospital treatment, but as he is a rabbit he will have to be put to sleep. Of course this is not an option for Mr Evans. They need the book of spells more than ever now, so they start advertising for it.

The advertising gets no response until Dad gives Jenny the book of spells for a birthday present. So it was in the house all the time!

Dad comes over to believing Mr Evans the talking rabbit is for real and lends a hand with the counter spell. Unfortunately something goes wrong. Mr Evans starts growing into a monstrous giant rabbit, which sends the landlady into faint.

Jenny and her father finally get the magic right and Mr Evans returns to human form. The landlady assumes the giant rabbit must have been one of her dizzy turns. Mr Evans now hopes to make money out of the book, but it has been conveniently reduced to ashes. “Blast!”

Mr Evans can now receive the hospital treatment he needs. He even gets his wife to believe what happened and how the money really got taken from the shop till, so Jenny is cleared. As Mr Andrews is no longer up to entertaining, Mr Evans offers him a job as manager of his joke shop because he is going to retire and take his wife on a world cruise. Mind you, Mr Evans is still a grouchy man, and he is not pleased to be given a salad lunch in hospital: “Oh no – not more lettuce!” Just when he thought he was free of rabbit greens.


Few photo stories in girls’ comics are remembered today, but there seems to be some lingering memory for this one, even if it is a bit bonkers. This has to be due to Mr Evans himself. There is no doubt he is the star of the show. Every time he speaks in his rude, tetchy, sourpuss manner it makes you laugh out loud because it’s so funny. You just have to love it, and for this reason I’ve put up examples throughout the entry.

The story would be far less effective if Mr Evans talked in a more nondescript or formal manner. And for all his cranky ways, he is simply loveable – at least when he is a rabbit – because he’s a rabbit, and rabbits are so cute. “You were impossible as a rabbit,” says Jenny. “I can’t begin to think what you’d be like as a donkey or an elephant!” But that’s what makes it so funny. The juxtaposition of a cute rabbit talking in such a crabby uncivil manner is simply hilarious. His grouchiness makes him less likeable when he is a human, yet endearing as a rabbit. It’s ironic that an old sourpuss like him runs a joke shop.

We can just see the laughs the grouchy talking rabbit would raise if the story were televised, and it would make a delightful children’s programme.

Mr Evans’ surly disposition does not improve much as a rabbit. He is rude even to Jenny when he reaches out to her for help. In some ways he does have reason to be snappy: “You’d be a grouch too, if you’d been turned into a rabbit, lived in a hutch outside in all weathers, been thought of as a tasty meal, and then cuddled like some revolting pet!” Yes, he sure has been through quite an ordeal since he became a rabbit, and being turned into a rabbit must have been very traumatic. It certainly is not very comfortable: “It’s hot, wearing a fur coat all the time!” Added to that is his growing heart condition, which would hardly help his disposition. He becomes even more sympathetic when his illness is diagnosed, so now his very life depends on finding the book of spells and reversing the spell.

Mr Evans’ experiences as a rabbit do open his heart more to other animals. For example, when he encounters the research lab rabbits he thinks “Never thought I’d feel sorry for a bunch of rabbits!”, which shows how much he had thought about animal welfare before. That’s not to say he is a heartless man; his offering Mr Andrews a job shows he’s not such a bad old stick, even if he is a grump. He does not even mind (well at least he doesn’t object) when Jenny tells him how impossible he is, even when he becomes human again.

Mr Evans’ disposition would be projected far better if the story had been drawn. We could really see his surliness brought to life with say, lines and storm clouds around his head indicating anger. This would also bring in even more humour to the story. And his growth to giant rabbit proportions would be brought off far more effectively. Indeed, the story itself would be far better off being a picture story rather than a photo story.

It’s not surprising that Mr Evans’ adventures as a rabbit are a vehicle into the exploration of animal abuse and animal welfare. It begins with Mr Evans being abused by the Mortimer family, and comes up again with the caged rabbits bound for the research lab. Mr Evans even tries to encourage those rabbits into a jailbreak, but they don’t understand him.

When heroines in girls’ comics work in the entertainment business, they are as a rule quite proactive heroines and Jenny is no exception. She may not have enough experience or talent to follow her father, but she is not afraid to speak her mind. Mr Andrews’ occupation (conjuror, clown, ventriloquist, puppeteer) also lends liveliness to the story; the best scene is where he uses the hat trick to hide Mr Evans. This shows what a good entertainer he is, and it’s a real shame he has lost his passion for it. We really hope he would regain it. He does not, but it’s a relief that he is going to get a job where his conjuring skills will be transferable. He will most certainly be a more pleasant man for customers to meet in the joke shop than Mr Evans.


Princess II, #15, 31 December 1983

Princess 15 cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Princess II, #13, 17 December 1983

Princess 13 cover


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Princess II, #18, 21 January 1984

Princess cover 18

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

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

Princess great news

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

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

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

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

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

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

Princess II, #16, 7 January 1984

Princess cover 16

  • The Ghostly Ballerina (photo story)
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Fairy Tale (artist Julio Bosch (Martin Puigagut?))
  • School of Dark Secrets (artist Carlos Cruz) – first episode
  • Best of Friends… (photo story)
  • Sheena and the Treetoppers (artist Rodrigo Comos?)
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

The cover story is Princess’ one and only ballet story, “The Ghostly Ballerina”. Clare is in the power of a ghost ballerina named Arabella Hood whose power can make her dance brilliantly, but also makes her life a nightmare, and Arabella can harm others around Clare as well. The advantage of doing it as a photo story is that we get correct and graceful ballet; after all, they would have to use real ballerinas for the models. This is something that does not always happen with hand drawn ballet stories (depending on the style and research of the artist). The disadvantage is that the ghost does not look very convincing, especially as the photo story is in colour, which shows flesh colour more. More white makeup on the model or shooting the serial in black and white might have helped.

In “Suzy and Snowdrop”, poor Jane makes a complete fool of herself at a gymkhana when her demanding Aunt Alice forces her to enter it although she’s scared stiff of horses. Then Suzy realises Aunt Alice seems to have a thing about mounting horses herself, and she finds the answer to that mystery when she opens a silver box. But then, it looks like Aunt Alice has driven Jane too far because Suzy discovers she’s run away.

There is some controversy about the artist who draws “Fairy Tale” (below). The work is signed Julio Bosch, but the same or similar style has been ascribed to Martin Puigagut. I don’t know whether it is the same artist using a pseudonym or two different artists with a similar style. Both things have happened in girls’ comics. Some clarity could be useful here. In the story, Jane and her selfish, greedy cousin Angie find themselves in a fairy tale world where all the fairy tales are getting mixed up. They meet the frog prince who needs the kiss of a princess to change him back, and the only ones available are Sleeping Beauty and Morgana, the evil villainess of the story. Then it’s a dash of Snow White when the magic mirror says the awful Angie (of all people!) is the fairest in the land, not Morgana. So Morgana tells her guards to find Angie and “off with her head!” Hmm, do we have a sneaking hope that Morgana will succeed there?

Fairy tale

In “School of Dark Secrets”, Judy Marshall does not like the creepy-looking Miss Grimkin, headmistress of Tadbury Boarding School, who seems unusually interested in her. It should be very suspicious when Judy is given a free space at Miss Grimkin’s school, which has never happened to anyone before. And things sure get creepy when Judy hears chanting in the night. Nobody else does, because it looks suspiciously like they are being drugged from drinking the hot chocolate they receive.

In “Sheena and the Treetoppers”, Sheena Hunter and her siblings are thrilled about the treehouse they have found. They discover the treehouse was very dear to Edwina, a girl who had to leave it behind to get married. Then Sheena starts getting dreams of Edwina urging her to save the treehouse. Is the treehouse haunted or something? I cannot quite identify the artist. I’m leaning toward Rodrigo Comos, but I am not sure.


“Best of Friends…” is the old three’s a crowd routine. Katie Thomas and Lizzie Burton have been best friends until Linda comes along and Katie feels she is being shut out of things. Or is it her jealousy and emotional reactions that are tearing the friendship apart? That’s the question this week.

Sadie runs after a piece of litter that Grovel dropped. By the time she catches it and drops it in the bin, she has left a messy trail of chaos behind her. The same gag has also been used in “Snoopa”.

Princess II, #12, 10 December 1983

Princess 12 cover

  • Cinders on Ice (artist unknown)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story) – final episode
  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey) – final episode
  • True Friends for Tansy
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story)
  • Suzy and Snowdrop (artist Peter Wilkes) – first episode
  • Sadie-in-Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

“Cinders on Ice” is the cover story this week. I can’t identify the artist. If anyone can from the cover above, it would be most appreciated. Ella is progressing so well at secret skating that she is going to take part in an ice panto. It’s “Cinderella on Ice”, and guess who’s got the role of Cinderella? Then disaster strikes when Mum unwittingly throws out Ella’s skates, and the dustman has just arrived.

“Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit”, the last remaining story from the first Princess lineup, comes to an end. They finally get the magic right and free Mr Evans from the spell that had turned him into a rabbit. After that the other loose ends get tied up for a completely happy ending – except when Mr Evans is served salad for hospital food, just when he thought he’d finally got away from lettuce. Its replacement next week is a ballet story, and it’s about time Princess had one too.

Princess starts a horse story this week, and it’s about time she had one of those too. Suzy Crandall returns from school camp to an unpleasant surprise – her favourite horse Snowdrop has been sold. When Suzy tracks Snowdrop down she finds he is being forced upon a terrified girl who is being forced to ride by her demanding aunt.

In the final episode of “Atchoo!”, Jenny has resorted to disguising herself as Hannah Hyde for the sake of her classmates after losing the power to actually change into Hannah. This leads to valuable and surprising lessons in self-confidence for Jenny, and she also gains friends and respect after they discover the disguise and assume Hannah was Jenny in disguise all along. Well, it’s not too far from the truth when you think about it.

In “True Friends for Tansy”, even Dad is getting sick of the deception he is putting Tansy through, but he is still not ready to let Tansy tell her friends whose daughter she is. Now those friends want to attend one of his concerts, which they end up doing by trying to sneak in – but security guards catch them.

Carrie and Alice finally manage to escape from the train – only to find the kidnappers right behind them!

Sadie and Cook have to be extra-nice to Grovel – nurse’s orders after he has too many accidents, which come from being the resident comic villain. But their uncharacteristic kindness takes Grovel so much by surprise that he faints, so the nurse has to *groan* tend to him yet again.

Princess II, #11, 3 December 1983

Princess 11 cover

  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio) – final episode
  • True Friends for Tansy (artist unknown)
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story)
  • Cinders on Ice (artist unknown)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

In our cover story, Jenny discovers the power of the formula has worn off. She can no longer change into Hannah Hyde when she sneezes, and there is no more of that formula. But the school needs Hannah Hyde at the netball match, so Jenny hits on a crazy, desperate idea – disguise herself as Hannah Hyde! She has the looks all right, but can she bring off the same confidence and prowess? We find out in the final episode next week.

Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit finally has the spell book to change him back into a man, but reversing the rabbit spell proves more complicated than anticipated. Something goes wrong and he grows to giant rabbit proportions!

Allgold’s exploitation of Grandfather comes to an end. Allgold reckons he’s wrung all he can out of the deteriorating old man who’s losing his power, so he’s only too happy to let Lizzie’s kindly rich lady buy Grandfather out. Allgold has no idea the power is about to pass to another – guess who?

The Murder on the Orient Express – sorry, kidnapping on the train to Scotland – continues in “Alice Spring is Missing”. The people in Alice’s compartment are still holding her prisoner, and she can’t convince anyone of what’s going on except one girl named Carrie, who actually sees what’s going on. The trouble is, Carrie can’t convince anyone else either and soon she’s being held prisoner too.

Princess Bee wants Sadie and Grovel to learn judo, and Grovel gets the flip. However, the judo instructor meets her match in Cook, who clonks her with a chop – a meat chop, that is.

Tansy grows fed up with living the lie and wants to come clean with her friends that her father’s a famous pop star, but Dad won’t allow it. So Tansy is still stuck with the deception she hates, which is causing more complications. And how much longer can she keep it up anyway?

Cinders on Ice manages to skate for help for the injured lady, Miss Thorburn. This has the unexpected but welcome reward of Miss Thorburn giving her free admission to the new skating rink – she’s the new owner – and proper coaching in skating. The trouble is, the two nasty girls Cinders is trying to keep the secret from are about to try out the rink.

Princess II, #10, 26 November 1983

Princess 10 cover

  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey)
  • True Friends for Tansy (artist unknown)
  • Alice Spring is Missing! (photo story)
  • Cinders on Ice (artist unknown)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana pinup

I do not have Princess #9 (maybe one of these days), so I continue with #10.

Allgold finally succeeds in getting the Farthings into his power and milking Grandfather’s ability to talk to animals for all its worth. It’s taking its toll on Grandfather; he’s in such a state of collapse and giving up that he isn’t even trying to escape, though Lizzie sees a chance to do so. Then a trip to the soup kitchen gives Lizzie hope for an ally who could rescue them.

Mr Evans’ health is also taking a dangerous downturn. He was badly injured from a trap and now he’s developed a heart condition that he can only get treatment for if he is changed back into a man; as a rabbit the only treatment for him is euthanasia. Now they need the book of spells more than ever, so they are advertising for it, but where the *$!^%*!# is it? Jenny gets her answer when Dad gives it to her for a birthday present. So it was right under their noses the whole time. It would be!

Jenny’s power, which depends on sneezing, really makes things complicated for her this week, including getting into trouble in a supermarket. It’s either sneezing at the wrong moment or waiting ages for one. And that’s the problem Jenny is left with by the end of the episode. She is stuck outside the house as Hannah Hyde and has to wait for a sneeze to turn her back into Jenny. By the time that happens, Dad will probably have Scotland Yard out looking for her and ready to read out the riot act.

Concealing that her father’s a pop star is still causing problems for Tansy. Among them are friends who think she is open and honest with them, which makes her feel ashamed.

“Cinders on Ice” returns to the Cinderella story, which had been prevalent in IPC titles during the 1970s but had faded by the 1980s. In this case it is not relatives or stepparents who make a Cinderella out of our heroine but a nasty employer and her two daughters. Ella’s reaction to their cruelty is secretly teaching herself to skate and calling herself “Cinderella on Ice”. She has only just got the hang of skating when her first big test comes – skating to get help for a woman who has been in a car crash.

Alice Spring suspects the people she is travelling with on the train are up to no good. Yes, it’s a kidnapping plot, and they don’t do anything much to do it except blackmail Alice into going with them. No chloroform, gag or bonds in sight. She tries to slip a message for help, but the recipient does not believe it. First hope dashed.

Sadie in Waiting wonders why Grovel is not feeling the cold when the heating is busted, which is something he is normally the first to grumble about. The answer is soon revealed, and it backfires on him in the end, of course.

Princess II, #8, 12 November 1983

Princess 8 cover

  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez) – final episode
  • True Friends for Tansy (artist unknown) – first episode
  • Stairway to the Stars (photo story) – final episode
  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)


This issue farewells two stories from Princess’s first lineup: “Ring of Feathers” and “Stairway to the Stars”. The pupils’ stage performance of course keeps the school open, but the euphoria fades a bit when the pupils learn the school exams are about to begin. Oh well, that’s part of any school. In “Ring of Feathers”, Cheryl manages to save the woods with the help of the ring and is also freed from her evil uncle, who is now in well-deserved trouble with the police.

New story “True Friends for Tansy” starts. Tansy Jones starts at a new school with a secret: she must not let anyone know her father is a famous pop star, otherwise she won’t know who her friends are. The trouble is, keeping the secret is interfering with friendships too and affecting Tansy’s popularity. I am having trouble identifying the artist. It looks a bit like John Johnston, but I am not sure. If anyone can help, it would be most appreciated.

Tansy panels

Jenny now realises she has grabbed the wrong rabbit, which messes up a ventriloquist performance she attempts to do. Meanwhile, Mr Evans breaks out of his cage and is now hiding in a hole, which could make it difficult for Jenny to find him again.

Grovel’s personality changes for the better after a bump on the head and he starts treating Sadie kindly. But of course it is too good to last. Sure enough, he returns to normal when Cook clonks him over the head with a frying pan.

Grandfather Farthing’s gift for communicating with animals exposes a groom who was mistreating horses and he is dismissed. But once the groom finds out Allgold is after them, he seizes his chance for revenge. Will this enable Allgold to capture the Farthings next week?

Jenny’s new double life as Hannah Hyde is bringing her the friends, popularity and confidence she had never known before. The trouble is, only sneezing can bring Hannah on, and you can’t just sneeze whenever you feel like it. Moreover, an unexpected sneeze can take Hannah away again, which can be at the worst possible moment. So this double life is proving very awkward for Jenny while her classmates are puzzled by the odd comings and goings of Hannah Hyde.

Princess II, #7, 5 November 1983

Princess 7 cover

  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez)
  • Miranda’s Magic Dragon (artist Carlos Freixas) – final episode
  • Stairway to the Stars (photo story)
  • Atchoo! (artist Bob Harvey) – first episode
  • The Princess Diana Story
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

It’s the Guy Fawkes issue, and it’s Sadie in Waiting who does the honours. Poor Grovel is still in the doghouse after the Halloween fiasco he unwittingly caused last issue. Princess Bee won’t let him attend her fireworks display, but she would have been better off doing so. Grovel decides to have his own fireworks display – which messes up Princess Bee’s!

It’s the last episode of “Miranda’s Magic Dragon”. Miranda puts all the mixed-up magic right after she finally figures out how the magic pendant works – it only works as it should when the intention is good; otherwise things go wrong for the person using it. Pity nobody told Mordac that; he finds out the hard way when Miranda deliberately lets him have it, knowing full well that his intentions will be anything but good. It’s his downfall, of course.

“Atchoo!” starts today. You have to decide whether this one is a completely bonkers story or just plain silly. A weedy girl, Jenny Jeckyll, finds herself turning into a completely different and confident person – Hannah Hyde – after accidentally receiving a dose of her father’s new compound that can turn weeds into roses. The change occurs when Jenny sneezes, and another sneeze changes her back.

Mr Evans has gotten mixed up with a bunch of rabbits that look just like him. As a result, Jenny now has the wrong rabbit!

It’s now official in “Stairway to the Stars” – the council is closing the school down, in one fortnight. The pupils decide they might as well put on their end-of-term show on now then. A surprise turn of events has this turning it into their one chance to keep the school open – by performing it in front of the council. The trouble is, they have only one fortnight to get ready for a performance that was meant to take three months to prepare.

Allgold’s manages to catch up to the Farthings despite the distance they put between him and them. Then grandfather’s power takes a hand and birds attack Allgold’s flunkies. Bird power is also taking a hand in “Ring of Feathers”. The birds help Cheryl to reassemble the real deed her uncle tore up and prove the one he has is a fake. Now Cheryl is racing against her uncle and pouring rain to get the deed to the expert in the village.