Tag Archives: Santiago Hernandez

Tammy 9 April 1983

Tammy 9 April 1983

Cover artist: Santiago Hernandez

  • The Secret of Angel Smith (artist Juliana Buch, writer Jay Over)
  • It’s a Dog’s Life (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Bella (artist John Armstrong, writer Primrose Cumming)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi, (sub)writer Ian Mennell)
  • Spring into Summer! (artist Joe Collins, writer Maureen Spurgeon)
  • Nanny Young (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Tom Newland)
  • Princess and the Bear (artist Hugo D’Adderio, writer Chris Harris)
  • Pair Up for ‘Champions All’! – gymnastics freebie
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • ET Estate (artist Guy Peeters, writer Jake Adams)
  • Take-Away Fashion for Spring – feature

 

Tammy’s spring issue for 1983 immediately follows her Easter issue. It merits inclusion in our spread of Tammy Easter issues because of its colourful cheery cover, which is a very Easter-like cover with those cute little chicks and field full of daisies. It looks like one of the chicks is about to find out that bees are not for eating, though! Tammy also has a spring quiz. When she ran credits, we learnt it was Maureen Spurgeon who wrote the quizzes. She might have written Jinty’s quizzes too.

“It’s a Dog’s Life” and “E.T. Estate” are on their penultimate episodes. When Rowan runs away from the bullying with Riley, she finds the refuge she was aiming for is no longer available, and there’s nowhere else to go. Of course it is not long before the police catch up. It looks like back to the bullying for Riley and Rowan – or maybe not, as the final episode is next week. Meanwhile, other policemen are called in to investigate the goings-on at ET Estate, but the aliens quickly get rid of them with their hypnotic powers. Jenny and Dora are still tied up. Can nothing stop the aliens’ pod from reaching maturity? If it does, it will spell doom for all life on Earth, including the human race.

Abby, getting nowhere with her father over what she knows about “The Secret of Angel Smith” because he’s been led to believe it’s jealousy, decides to play Angel at her own game and act ruthless to get what she wants. Her plan is to force Dad to watch her on the trapeze and let her into the act – but then the trapeze snaps and Abby looks badly injured from the fall! Could Dad’s fears about losing Abby the way he lost his wife (from a trapeze fall) be prophetic after all?

This week’s Button Box tale is a sad, cautionary tale about seeking revenge without getting your facts straight first. So many revenge-seekers in girls’ comics have found out they had persecuted innocent people because they had misjudged them (or had been misled about them). And the girl in the tale (Ann Freeman) suffers for her error far more than they do. She has spent a whole year in shame, tears and guilt, and too ashamed to even write to the girl – her best friend – whom she had hurt so badly in her mistaken revenge. But it doesn’t sound like she has owned up or apologised to her friend, which is the first true step in the healing.

Bella discovers her Uncle Jed’s trick over the gym he had her believe he was renting for her when the gym owner finds her and kicks her out. (Oh, come on, Bella, you really should know have known better!) Sure enough, it was another of Jed’s schemes to make money out of Bella. Now there is a new mystery over the woman who owns the gym – she wears a mask. Bella is drawn back to her, and discovers the mysterious masked lady is a brilliant gymnast.

Nanny is still having problems over Barbara, who is jealous over her new baby brother because it seems that he’s stealing all attention from her. At least Nanny now fully understands the problem.

This week’s complete story is a cautionary tale about showing consideration to both animals and people. The officers of the Second Hussars do not heed Princess Elena’s advice to treat their soldiers considerately, as she does with the mascot bear that they mistreat. The soldiers mutiny in protest of their treatment, and when they take Elena prisoner, the bear repays her kindness by helping her escape.

In the new Pond Hill story, Goofy enters a film competition that requires a short documentary about your school. A film about Pond Hill? Now that sounds even more dramatic and problematic than a soap opera! Yep, it sure is. Goofy finds that even the stern Mr Gold goes gaga when he is in front of the camera!

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Tammy 2 April 1983

Tammy 2 April 1983

Cover artist: Santiago Hernandez

  • The Secret of Angel Smith (artist Juliana Buch, writer Jay Over)
  • It’s a Dog’s Life (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Bella (artist John Armstrong, writer Primrose Cumming)
  • The Button Box (artist Mario Capaldi, writer Alison Christie)
  • Strawberry Delight! Competition
  • Nanny Young (artist Phil Gascoine, writer Tom Newland)
  • The Crayzees (artist Joe Collins)
  • Thief by Night (artist Eduardo Feito) – complete story
  • Easter Bonnets – feature
  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • ET Estate (artist Guy Peeters, writer Jake Adams)

The cover of this Tammy Easter issue has always had me craving for a yummy Easter egg.

But anyway, Wee Sue, Bessie Bunter and even the Storyteller have been dropped by this stage, so how does the issue commemorate Easter? There is a feature on how to make an Easter bonnet, Easter jokes, and Easter hijinks with the Crayzees. Miss T tries a spell to enlarge Easter eggs and thinks she’s succeeded, but finds that what she has really done is shrink herself and Edie so the Easter eggs just look big to them. And when she tries to reverse a spell, she ends up turning herself and Edie into giants, so now the eggs look like mini eggs to them.

You’d think there would be an Easter tale somewhere in “The Button Box”. Instead, it’s shades of “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” with the tale of “ ‘Tough Nut’ Tara”. New girl Tara is a hard case who snubs all offers of friendship. But when it’s her birthday she gives in. She admits to Bev that, like Stefa, she reacted badly to grief and tried to harden her heart so she would not be hurt that way again, but now she realises her mistake. Thank goodness tough nut Tara was not as hard to crack as Stefa!

The complete story slot could have been used for an Easter story. Instead, it’s a reprint of a Strange Story. By this time Tammy was running reprints of Strange Stories, but the Storyteller has been replaced with text boxes.

In the serials, Abby Fox can’t help but be jealous of Angel Smith, the girl who wants to enter the family’s trapeze act while Abby is excluded because Dad does not want to lose her the way he lost her mother. Now Abby suspects “The Secret of Angel Smith”, whatever that is, and Stalky the clown could help her there. But Stalky has oddly clammed up and Abby thinks it’s because the circus boss has been at him over it.

In “It’s a Dog’s Life”, Rowan Small is bullied in the children’s home, and the bullying she gets shares some parallels with the ill-treatment Riley the dog gets next door. Both Riley and Rowan have been making progress in striking back at their abusers, but this week the bullies bring in reinforcements, which trebles the bullying for both of them. Rowan decides it’s time to run away – with Riley in tow, of course.

Bella is so badly out of training that she has to go through the basic tests to get back into gymnastics. It’s a bit of a come-down for an ex-champion like her, but at least she gets through. But Bella should have known better than to believe her devious Uncle Jed would have genuinely been hiring the private gym he found for her. And in the final panel it looks like she is about to find out the hard way…

Nanny Young is in charge of a baby this time, and there are suspicious signs that his older sister Barbara is jealous of him. Nanny tries to reach out to Barbara while looking for the solution, but so far it’s evasive.

The current Pam of Pond Hill story concludes this week. Fortune-seekers have been out to steal Goofy’s inheritance from his great-aunt, which they believe is hidden in the doll’s house that was bequeathed to him. They tear the doll’s house to pieces to find it and leave in haste when they turn up empty. It turns out they didn’t look hard enough.

In “ET Estate”, the alien invaders finally catch up with Jenny and Dora. They hold them prisoner while explaining the next stage of their plan – which will make all life (humans included) on Earth extinct, just to keep them fed!

 

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.

Princess II, #6, 29 October 1983

Princess 6 cover

  • Their Darling Daughter… (artist Bert Hill) – final episode
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez)
  • Miranda’s Magic Dragon (Carlos Freixas)
  • Stairway to the Stars (photo story)
  • Farthings’ Flight (artist Hugo D’Adderio) – first episode
  • The Princess Diana story part 6
  • Mini Princess Diana Pinus
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Fun Fair (puzzles)

Ever since #1, Princess had used selections of letters from her sister comic Girl for her letters page. From this issue she stops saying she is using Girl letters, so she must have been receiving enough letters to start printing her own.

It’s the Halloween issue, but only Sadie in Waiting honours it. Princess Bee is hosting a fancy dress party for Halloween. Grovel is grumbling because he hates Halloween. He hates it even more after he mistakenly attacks Princess Bee (dressed as a gorilla) as SuperGrovel and does mountains of washing up as a punishment.

“Their Darling Daughter” is the cover story, probably because this is the final episode, making it the second to be ejected from Princess’s first lineup. For some reason the title has ellipsis points, which it did not have in the other episodes. Perhaps it’s because of how everything resolves. Up until this point the impression was Mrs Crooks was plotting against Sylvie out of loyalty to the late Rachel. But then Sylvie finds out the real reason: Rachel was really Mrs Crooks’ daughter and Sylvie is really the Townes’ daughter. Mrs Crooks had switched them at birth so Rachel would lead an aristocratic life. Once discovered, Mrs Crooks goes fully insane and sets out to burn the whole house down while taking herself and the bound and gagged Sylvie in it!

In “Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit” Dad’s too overcome with grief over his wife to do a show. Jenny calls upon Mr Evans to help out, but he refuses to do so after the bad experience he had with the other children who captured him after he became a rabbit.

Nasty Uncle John has stolen Cheryl’s ring of feathers, but a bird friend helps her to get it back. She has also discovered Uncle John’s whole plan to destroy the woodlands, and only the ring of feathers can help her stop it. Meanwhile, Mum is hospitalised because Uncle John worked her too hard.

“Farthings’ Flight” starts, and it is Princess’s first period story, set in Victorian times. We meet Lizzie Farthing, whose grandfather has a power over animals and birds. Silas Allgold discovers grandfather’s power, and tries to force them into joining his freak show. Allgold is even going as far as to threaten violence against anyone who employs or shelters the Farthings, so they will have no choice but to crawl to him. Lizzie won’t give in to such blackmail, hence the flight of the Farthings, but how far will they get from Allgold? He looks extremely determined to get them, and he has the money and heavies to back him up.

In “Miranda’s Magic Dragon”, Liz is thrilled to meet King Arthur in person, but then the evil Mordac captures her. Meanwhile, a hint is dropped before Miranda that Paula has stolen her magic pendant, but will Miranda catch on?

In “Stairway to the Stars”, poor Terry is expelled after getting in a fight with bullies who call him “cissy”. But after intervention from Sandy, Terry’s father, who had disapproved of Terry attending stage school, changes his mind about it so much that he persuades the school to reinstate Terry.

Princess II, #5, 22 October 1983

Princess 5 cover

  • The Incredible Shrinking Girl! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones) – final episode
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez)
  • Miranda’s Magic Dragon (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Stairway to the Stars (photo story)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Their Darling Daughter (artist Bert Hill)
  • The Princess Diana story part 5
  • Princess Bright Ideas Box: Pretty as a Picture!

“The Incredible Shrinking Girl!” is the cover story this week. It is only fair, because this is the final episode; the incredible shrinking girl returns to normal size after being hit by fly spray. This was the first story to be ejected from Princess II’s first lineup, after five episodes. The short run should not be taken as a reflection of its popularity, or lack of. As Princess II progressed, many of her serials had short runs, running at 5-6 episodes.

In “Their Darling Daughter”, Sylvie can’t convince her foster parents that Mrs Crooks is pulling nasty tricks to get rid of her. And now Mrs Crooks has turned extra nasty after Sylvie scores her first triumph over her with help from Ben the dog. Mrs Crooks is taking advantage of Sylvie being left alone with her for the weekend by saying it’s going to be her last. Now what can the old bat mean by that? Whatever it is, it sure sounds like she’s knocking off the fancy stuff now and just going in with her big guns blazing at full throttle.

In “Ring of Feathers”, Cheryl discovers her Uncle John is out to destroy the woodlands, and with it the birds’ habitat. But there’s a loophole in his deed of ownership that says the woodlands must be left intact. Looks like the woodlands are safe after all, but Cheryl doesn’t realise her uncle is plotting to destroy the deed and make a forgery. And now Uncle John is stealing the ring of feathers – which will take away Cheryl’s power to get help from the birds.

Things really get in a pickle in “Miranda’s Magic Dragon” this time. Miranda from Camelot is stuck in 1983, and now a mistake on behalf of the evil Mordac whisks Miranda’s 20th century friend Liz away to Camelot – along with her house! Meanwhile, sly Paula is still hiding Miranda’s magic pendant, and without it Miranda is powerless.

Mr Andrews has been desperate to make a meal out of Mr Evans the talking rabbit, not realising he really is a human turned into a rabbit. But this week he pulls a hat trick – literally – to save Mr Evans when his unpleasant owners come in search of him.

Sandy’s audition fails in “Stairway to the Stars”, though she does get handy advice afterwards. Meanwhile, it’s not just Dad who’s calling Terry’s dancing “cissy” – bullies in the street are now doing it as well.

For once Grovel does “Sadie in Waiting” a good turn. Princess Bee is imposing early morning keep fit jogs on the staff, much to Sadie’s consternation. But when it’s imposed on Grovel (much as he needs it), the results put Princess Bee off the idea completely, to Sadie’s great relief.

Princess II, #3, 8 October 1983

Princess 3 cover

Contents

  • Their Darling Daughter (artist Bert Hill)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • The Incredible Shrinking Girl! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Miranda’s Magic Dragon (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Stairway to the Stars (photo story)
  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez)
  • The Princess Diana Story part 3
  • Mini Princess Diana pinup
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)

The third issue of Princess II came with no free gift, which is unusual for the third issue in a new IPC series. Usually all the first three issues of a new IPC series came with gifts.

“Their Darling Daughter” is the cover story this time, and without the free gift there is more room for it on the cover. Unlike Jinty or Tammy, Princess clearly liked to rotate her stories so each would get a chance to be on the cover. That certainly made for more variety on the covers. In the episode, Mrs Crooks tricks Sylvie into ruining Lady Towne’s birthday party by having her show up in the dress Rachel wore when she died, which shocks Lady Towne into a faint. At least it should make Sylvie realise that Mrs Crooks has only been pretending to be friendly with her and is still out to get rid of her.

Mr Evans the talking rabbit hitches a ride home with Jenny – only to find Mr Andrews is so desperate for food and no money to buy it that he wants to eat the rabbit. Will Mr Evans end up in a rabbit stew before Jenny can get to the book of spells that can change him back?

“The Incredible Shrinking Girl” is horrified to find her family is out to make money out of her condition and turn her into a cash cow. They even have a line of incredible shrinking girl dolls planned. Their excuse is that they now have a chance for money when they had always scraped by, and they have the nerve to call Clare selfish for protesting against it. Then they get a shock when they find it looks like a cat has had Clare for dinner.

It’s not just Mordac who’s after Miranda now in “Miranda’s Magic Dragon”. A nasty 20th century girl, Paula, gets suspicious of her and won’t let up until she finds out the truth. Meanwhile Mordac’s servant finally manages to get hold of the pendant while Miranda sleeps.

“Stairway to the Stars” really gets into its stride when it’s revealed that the school is in danger of closing because there are people on the council who don’t approve of funding it. Meanwhile, Terry, the only male protagonist in the story, is revealed to be a Billy Elliot. His father doesn’t approve of him attending stage school because he thinks it’s “cissy”.

Cheryl is beginning to understand the power of the “Ring of Feathers” while the school bullies are getting suspicious of it. Meanwhile, slave-driving Uncle John is working Mum so hard that she faints from exhaustion.

In “Sadie in Waiting”, Princess Bee can’t find a disco outfit. In the end she settles on Grovel’s uniform (a rather odd choice as it is too big for her). All Grovel can find to wear is a maid’s uniform, much to his embarrassment.

Princess II, #2, 1 October 1983

Princess 2 cover

Contents

  • The Incredible Shrinking Girl! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit (photo story)
  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez)
  • Miranda’s Magic Dragon (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Stairway to the Stars (photo story)
  • Their Darling Daughter (artist Bert Hill)
  • The Princess Diana story (part 2)
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins)
  • Princess Diana Pinup

The second issue of Princess II comes with a princess happiness ring. “The Incredible Shrinking Girl!” leads off the cover this time. Clare has now shrunk down to doll size. The parents take her to hospital, but now a media circus is outside to take advantage of the huge story. The parents allow them to do so, despite Clare’s protests that she does not want to be treated like a freak. The parents say they need the money the press is offering for Clare’s treatment – well, that’s what they say, but we suspect greed is overtaking them, and they don’t care for Clare’s feelings.

For some reason they dropped the exclamation mark in the title for “Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit” that appeared in part one. The rabbit explains to Jenny that he is Mr Evans, the owner of the local joke shop. He was trying out a book of spells, but it backfired and he turned himself into a rabbit. Obviously, the consequences of meddling with magic when you don’t know what you’re doing.

Miranda doesn’t fully know what she’s doing with magic either, although she is the granddaughter of Merlin. She’s unwittingly whisked herself from the days of Camelot into the year 1983, but at least she’s found a friend and guide to help her with the time and culture shock. However, the evil Mordac is not far behind and has sent his unfortunate-looking servant, in the form of a raven, to 1983 to steal the “magic dragon” pendant from her.

In “Ring of Feathers”, Cheryl Gibson is finding misery at her new school as well as at home with abusive Uncle John. The class bullies are picking on her and for this reason nobody dares to be friends with her except one girl – and the birds that seem to be hanging around her ever since she acquired the ring. After the birds teach the bullies a lesson, Cheryl finally begins to suspect something funny is going on.

A bully is out for a punishment in “Stairway to the Stars” as well. Linda picks on new girl Sandy, but Sandy finds some friends to help her punish Linda. They’ve tricked Linda into signing a document saying what a conceited pain in the neck she is, and they’re going to put it up on the notice board (hee, hee!).

In “Their Darling Daughter”, Mrs Crooks suddenly becomes all apologetic and friendly to Sylvie, saying she didn’t mean those threats to get rid of her and it was the grief from Rachel’s death. But then it looks suspiciously like Mrs Crooks has tricked Sylvie into selling two pieces of porcelain that could get her into a lot of trouble with Lady Towne.

Princess II, Issue 1, 24 September 1983

Princess 1 cover

Contents

  • Ring of Feathers (artist Santiago Hernandez) – first episode
  • Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit! (photo story) – first episode
  • Their Darling Daughter (artist Bert Hill) – first episode
  • Miranda’s Magic Dragon (artist Carlos Freixas) – first episode
  • Stairway to the Stars! (photo story) – first episode
  • The Incredible Shrinking Girl! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones) – first episode
  • The Princess Diana Story (part one) – feature
  • Sadie in Waiting (artist Joe Collins) – first appearance
  • Princess Diana pinup (feature)

We start the Jinty blog entries for 2018 with the first issue of Princess, which I was fortunate to find while on holiday. No, not the Princess that later became Princess Tina. This is the start of the second Princess series, which used Princess Diana pictures and life story to sell the comic – sadly, not enough, because it merged into Tammy after 28 issues.

Although Tammy was the title Princess II merged into, she started off as calling herself a sister comic to Girl II, IPC’s photo story comic. Indeed, Princess II was the same type of comic as Girl II, including the same newsprint and page size. She had her own photo stories, though she only ran two at a time, so there was more room for picture stories. There were also more colour pages, which must have made her more attractive to buy. One photo story was in full colour while the other was black-and-white, while the photo stories in Girl were all black and white. Later in her run Princess II switched to the same newsprint and style as Tammy and dropped the photo stories altogether. This must have been why Princess II merged with Tammy instead of her sister comic.

In fact, the letters page of Princess II used letters from Girl as she had not received any of her own yet. The winning letter was the one that made sulky old Grovel grin. Readers must have wondered who Grovel was as they did not see his strip, the resident cartoon strip “Sadie in Waiting”, until the last page. Grovel is the villainous (but humorously so) butler of the piece. Grovel is alway sucking up to his employer, Princess Bee (hence his name), and is a bully and a schemer into the bargain, but Sadie the maid was always on the alert to his game. Princess Bee doesn’t think much of his grovelling either, so we have to wonder how on earth he holds onto his job. I wonder if this cartoon drew inspiration from Molly Mills in Tammy.

The first story, which starts off on the cover, is “Ring of Feathers”. Cheryl and her mother move to Scotland to live with Uncle John. He soon makes it clear to them that he’s a mean type, and we’re soon getting hints that he is criminal as well. Meanwhile, birds have been hanging around Cheryl in an odd manner ever since she was given a ring of feathers as a parting gift.

The first photo story, “Mr Evans the Talking Rabbit!”, is the one that appears in colour, and unlike most photo stories it has been remembered. Mr Andrews has lost heart as a kids’ entertainer ever since his wife died, which is not bringing in money for the rent and they’re on the verge of being evicted. While out on an entertainment job, daughter Jenny is very surprised to encounter a caged rabbit that can talk, and it doesn’t appear to be her father’s ventriloquism. But we don’t find out what’s going on until next week.

In “Their Darling Daughter”, Lord and Lady Towne foster Sylvie, a girl in a children’s home, while still grieving for their daughter Rachel. There’s some mystery as to how they actually came across Sylvie and why they fostered her, but there’s one person who is determined to get rid of her. No, it isn’t a spiteful stepsister or cousin, which is usually the case. It’s Mrs Crooks the housekeeper, who worshipped Rachel and doesn’t want anyone taking her place. Unlike most of these types of schemers, Mrs Crooks does not keep her campaign secret from her unsuspecting victim. She tells Sylvie straight off that she wants her out, and why. This story is also unusual for using Bert Hill, an artist who was seen frequently at DCT, but not at IPC.

“Miranda’s Magic Dragon” is not a real dragon. It’s a magic dragon pendant that Merlin bequeathes to his granddaughter Miranda before he dies. Unfortunately Miranda has not got the hang of its magic yet, and her first disaster is to be transported from the days of Camelot into the year 1983. Talk about a fish out of water! Meanwhile, Merlin’s enemy Mordac is after the pendant, and we are getting hints that he is about to make his presence felt in 1983. Gee, what’s he going to make of that time period? Miranda has almost been hit by cars as well as culture and time shock.

Oddly for a girls’ comic’s first lineup, there is no ballet story. Still, we get plenty of dancing in the second photo story, “Stairway to the Stars!”, which is the black-and-white photo story. It is set in a stage school and has a soap opera feel to it. So we get a school story into the bargain.

Clare Humphreys is recruited to test a range of products. She feels it is unhealthy because they are so full of chemicals, but she does not realise how right she is until they start making her shrink.

Towards the end we start seeing Princess Diana herself. It’s part one of her life story, and on the back cover we get the first Princess Diana pinup.

 

Barracuda Bay [1975]; from June & School Friend [1970]

Sample Images

Barracuda Bay cover

Barracuda Bay 1aBarracuda Bay 1b

Published: June & School Friend 23 May 1970 to 19 September 1970. Reprinted Jinty 23 August 1975 to 22 November 1975

Episodes: 14

Artist: Santiago Hernandez

Writer: (possibly) Len Wenn

Translations/reprints: Barracudabaai (in Tina 1971)

Plot

Susan Stevens leads an “extraordinary double life” that alternates between an assistant to a British secret agent, Martin Risen, and odd jobs when not assisting him. The current one is working for a solicitor, which Susan finds dead boring.

Then Risen sends Susan a newspaper ad for an adventurous girl as an assistant (mostly secretarial work with some possible scuba diving) in an expedition for historical treasures in a sunken Spanish galleon at Barracuda Bay in the Bahamas. Susan jumps at the chance to escape her boring job.

Risen added a warning of possible danger to the ad, and later he informs Susan that the department organised it all because they want someone there to help find three missing scientists, Wellington, Menworth and Slade. All three were working on a new process for refining oil, and they mysteriously disappeared off vessels that were sailing in Barracuda Bay. Kidnapping is suspected, and the department’s job is to find them.

In Barracuda Bay, Susan meets her new employers, Mr and Mrs Prinze. The Prinzes want Susan to type up the book on the expedition. Prinze also teaches her to scuba dive, and soon Susan is diving down to the galleon. She finds Risen there too, who instructs her to meet him in Sam’s Shanty restaurant, where he works undercover as a kitchen hand (under a chef who hates him). At the restaurant Risen tells her about a multimillionaire named Cornelius Kane (who looks like Kingpin from Spiderman, and he wouldn’t look out of place in a 1960s James Bond film either). Kane is their suspect, and Susan is to get into his home, the Villa Lotus Flower, and see what clues she can find. Risen warns her not to arouse suspicion or Kane will become dangerous.

Susan manages to wangle her way into Kane’s house, and deliberately leaves her handbag behind so she will have a pretext to return. Meanwhile, Kane and Susan see a fire at Prinze’s store shed. The fire is put under control, but Susan sees suspicious tyre tracks of a truck that backed into the shed. Kane also warns Prinze to lay off his diving expedition, in a most threatening manner.

Suspecting the tyre tracks lead to Kane’s villa, Susan heads back to investigate. Meanwhile, Kane has found Susan’s purse, but it arouses his suspicions – which means he’s now dangerous. Sure enough, he orders his henchman Parker to deal with the suspected snooper if she returns.

However, Susan is one step ahead with binoculars and detects Parker. So she sneaks in the back way. In Kane’s study she finds all the drawers locked, but then sees a glasses case – and Kane does not wear glasses. The case has the initials PJW, which are the same initials as one of the missing scientists. Susan also finds the suspect truck and an empty petrol tin beside it.

Susan has to rendezvous in Barracuda Bay to report to Risen. They then spot an underwater light and dive down to investigate. But as they approach the reef they run into a strange black cloud that blinds them. They are forced to turn back.

That night Parker turns up at the Prinzes’ house to return Susan’s purse and delivers a veiled warning not to go back to Kane’s house. He is also carrying a gun, and his explanation that it is meant for protection does not ring true. Susan realises Kane suspects her.

Then when Prinze takes Susan out on his launch, it floods and sinks. Susan discovers too late that Parker sabotaged it. The sabotage maroons them on a deserted island in dreadful weather. They are surprised to stumble across a shed that is locked, and the padlock is new. They also find a patch outside that looks like oil. Prinze assumes it is somebody storing fuel, which has Susan realise someone could use the island for anchoring big ships. Just then Risen arrives and rescues them after seeing the wreckage of their launch. Susan reports what she has discovered, and Risen decides the shed needs further investigation.

They spot a mysterious yacht approach the island and don scuba gear to investigate. Susan sees Kane, Parker and a man who looks like Wellington on board, but does not realise Kane saw her. He hatches a plot for her to have a fatal ‘accident’ next time she dives down to the wrecked galleon, which he puts in motion the following day.

Down in the galleon, the black cloud returns and knocks Susan out. When she recovers she finds herself trapped in the galleon and her oxygen is nearly gone. Fortunately Risen and the Prinzes sense something is wrong. They see debris floating up from the galleon and realise it is a call for help. Risen dives down to the galleon in the nick of time and realises someone shut Susan in deliberately. He now wants to send Susan home because it is getting too dangerous. Susan insists on carrying on, but Risen puts her in a hotel for her own safety.

Risen investigates the shed and discovers it belongs to Kane. He also finds a newspaper that has marked the arrival of SS Pacific Star, which has another oil research scientist on board, a Charles Scott. Realising Kane is plotting another kidnapping, Susan and Risen head out to the Pacific Star to keep an eye on Scott. The ship is holding a fancy dress party, but Scott is suddenly called away to the boat deck because a man wants to speak to him. But of course it is a trap where Kane’s goons are lying in wait to grab Scott. They are all in scuba gear, which means they must have swum underwater and sneaked aboard. Susan has followed Scott, and as the goons are pressed for time they decide to grab them both. They are taken out by dinghy to a rendezvous with a submarine. The submarine takes them to an underwater cave at Barracuda Bay that has been converted into a secret hideout. This explains why Kane was trying to get rid of the Prinzes and their underwater expedition. Susan guesses the cave is not far from Kane’s house.

Scott chooses this moment to put up a fight, which enables Susan to make a break for it. She finds a scuba suit and tries to dive to safety, but is recaptured with more black cloud, which she learns is black dye they squirt to blind inquisitive divers. Susan is taken to Kane, and yes, the cavern is connected to his villa. But that’s not the only secret in his villa – it also has a cell where he is keeping the kidnapped scientists in chains. Susan is chained up with them.

Kane, being an oil tycoon, wants the scientists and their expertise in oil refinement for developing a secret formula that will make him the richest and most powerful man in the world. To ensure their cooperation Kane is making threats to harm their families. Their work is nearly finished, and Kane plans to move them to Texas for the final tests.

Susan tries to phone Risen for help, but Kane catches her. Because of her stunt, he orders the scientists to be moved to Texas that night. Susan still thinks her message got through, and the scientists decide to make a break for it. They succeed and Risen tries to get them to safety – but then Kane captures the lot of them. He prepares to take the scientists to Texas in his yacht while he follows in the submarine, and he locks Susan and Risen in a cell in the underwater hideout. Charges are rigged to blow up the hideout – and the two prisoners with it.

But a miracle occurs in the form of an earthquake, which damages the hideout enough for Susan and Risen to escape. They don scuba gear and hope Kane left the doorway to the base open so they can swim through. It turns out he has, but not in the way they expected: the quake has caused the doorway to jam right on Kane’s submarine and trap it. Outside help is needed to free Kane and his goons. But then the charges detonate, which blow up Kane and his trapped submarine. The explosion also triggers a tidal wave. Susan and Risen barely manage to survive it.

The Navy soon picks up Susan and Risen, and intercepts the yacht to free the scientists. Susan decides she needs a holiday after all this, but it is to be a relaxing one with deck chairs and ice cream. No more deep-sea diving adventures, thank you very much.

Thoughts

This serial was an odd one to appear in Jinty, because it was not an original Jinty serial; it was reprinted from June. Yes, it had been five years since the original run, which seemed to be the minimum time span before an IPC story could be reprinted. So “Barracuda Bay” was free for a reprint by that stage. However, it is puzzling as to why the young Jinty should suddenly reprint a story from an older comic when she was not even old enough to start her own reprints. And she was more than capable of coming up with her own serial for the slot.

It is difficult to put the reason for the reprint down to economics. Unlike Princess II, Jinty had not become an ailing comic that was being forced to fall back on reprints from older titles to cut costs. Could the serial have been reprinted as a filler, maybe? Most of the episodes are two-pagers rather than the usual three-page spreads Jinty used for her serials, which would make it a neater fit as a filler story.

Barracuda Bay originally appeared at a time when James Bond-inspired serials about spies and secret agents became popular in the late 1960s. It is hard to say if this was still so topical in 1975, but the serial still works because it is full of suspense, mystery, kidnappings, action, dangers, spying, scuba diving, sunken treasure (even if they are historical treasures rather than valuables), and a balmy tropical setting. And it’s all rendered through the artwork of the popular Santiago Hernandez. What’s not to love about these things? Any reader would be hooked with the story because it is so strong, racy, tightly constructed, full of mounting excitement and thrills, and has a very proactive action heroine who’s also a secret agent. Even the title adds to the drama with the word “Barracuda” in it, because the word conjures up images of ocean menace.

Kane and his secret underwater base look like they drew some inspiration from the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and its villain, Blofeld. Like Blofeld Kane is bald, though he is a much heavier and stockier build and does not wear a Blofeld outfit. He does not stroke a lap cat (or any other sort of pet) and is not a camp villain like Blofeld. Still, his decision to blow up his secret underwater base is not unlike Blofeld activating the self-destruct to destroy his own secret volcano base. However, while Blofeld escapes the self-destruct, Kane does not. He gets caught in his own explosion when the earthquake causes his submarine to get jammed in the doorway. A pretty strong way for June to end a villain, but the way things went there was no way around it. Unless, of course, he jumped into an escape pod, fled the submarine before it was blown up, and returned to haunt Susan in her subsequent June stories.