Tag Archives: school story

Dulcie Wears the Dunce’s Hat [1980]

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Published: Tammy 23 August 1980 to 25 October 1980

Episodes: 11

Artist: Mario Capaldi

Writer: Unknown

Translations/reprints: None known

Plot

In the first decade of the 20th century Dulcie (short for Dulcima) Dobbs, a country girl, has to transfer to a town school because of changes in the school system. Being a country girl makes Dulcie a target for prejudice and potential bullying from rich girl Annie Archer (her father’s cotton mill makes him a big cheese in town) and her gang. Once Annie realises Dulcie is so naïve and lacking in perception, and hearing that teacher Miss Brittle applies the dunce’s hat, she and her gang start pulling dirty tricks to sabotage Dulcie’s schoolwork and make her look the class dunce, just so they can get a great big kick out of seeing her wear the dunce’s hat. The whole class is in on it; after all, nobody could miss tricks like diverting the teacher’s attention so Annie can sneak up and mess up Dulcie’s answers on the blackboard. But nobody seems to have any conscience.

Dulcie is so naïve that she can’t pick up on what’s going on, not even when it’s staring at her right in the face. Whenever she does think someone might be causing trouble, she dismisses it because nobody can be that wicked, surely?

Miss Brittle’s application of the dunce’s hat is so harsh that it’s not confined to the classroom. Dulcie has to wear it all the way home and when walking from home to school, so the whole town sees her humiliation. She has to let her father see her wearing the hat but say nothing about it – just let him see for himself. Fortunately for Dulcie, something always seems to happen one way or other that prevents Dad from even seeing the dunce’s hat. Right up to the end of the story he remains thankfully unaware of her shame. Presumably Miss Brittle does not issue school reports to parents either.

The only thing that makes things bearable for Dulcie is finding the hat has all sorts of uses because of its cone shape. When Dulcie finds dogs chasing a rabbit, she saves the rabbit by blocking the dogs’ entrance to its burrow with the hat. When the vicar’s upset because the tip of his steeple got blown away by a storm and a church VIP is coming, Dulcie climbs the steeple and puts the hat there as an interim tip. The vicar is quite surprised to find his steeple suddenly looking miraculously undamaged, but never gets the chance to find out why. A sick boy wants to see a unicorn. Dulcie puts the dunce’s hat on Dad’s horse so it will look like a unicorn from a distance, which sets the boy on the road to recovery. These and other uses for the hat cause a curious love/hate relationship to develop between Dulcie and her hat.

All the same, Dulcie wants to get rid of her hat. But she has no chance while Annie’s campaign continues to interfere with her schoolwork and she seems to half-believe she really is stupid.

Then Dulcie meets a tramp called Gentleman George after saving his cat. George can’t believe Dulcie is stupid. After testing her out, he says her answers were correct, so she is not a dunce. So when Annie next sabotages Dulcie, she is finally forced to suspect that someone is causing trouble for her. And her first suspect is Annie Archer.

Unfortunately Annie realises Dulcie suspects her. To put her off the scent (which works), she suddenly comes over all friendly to Dulcie and invites her to her party. Also, Annie has another reason to invite Dulcie: to pull even more dirty tricks on Dulcie at the party, which includes tricking her into wearing her dunce hat at the party.

However, the dunce hat at the party eventually has Annie laughing on the other side of her face when the 101 uses for it come into effect again. This time it’s a fluke rather than quick thinking on Dulcie’s part, but it does Mr Archer such a good turn that he’s full of praises and gratitude for Dulcie.

This makes Annie so furious that she’s no longer content with getting kicks out of Dulcie in the dunce’s hat. Now she wants to destroy Dulcie completely. To this end she has her maid make a fake dunce’s hat and (unwisely?) tells her why: “I’ll have my own dunce’s hat and get Dulcie Dobbs into her deepest trouble yet!”

Then Miss Brittle announces that there will be an end-of-term test on all subjects the following day (which gives the girls only one night for revision!). Most unwisely, she leaves the test papers out overnight instead of keeping them locked away. Isn’t she at all worried about exam cheats?

As it turns out, not securing the test papers gives Miss Brittle a far bigger problem than exam cheats. Annie sneaks into the school and pours ink all over the papers. She is wearing the fake dunce hat while doing so and making sure the caretaker sees this. The idea, of course, is to frame Dulcie for ruining the papers and get her expelled.

Sure enough, Miss Brittle and the caretaker are waiting for Dulcie next morning and all set to expel her for ruining the papers. Protests of innocence are unavailing. Miss Brittle sends the girls to fetch Mr Dobbs from the market. In the most ironic remark of the story, Miss Brittle tells Dulcie that she is a dunce, will always be one, and be “useless – like that hat!” But it won’t be long before Miss Brittle will be eating those particular words.

All of a sudden the furnaces set the school on fire. Miss Brittle and the caretaker get trapped when part of the roof collapses and Miss Brittle yells at Dulcie to fetch water. But the roof fall has crushed the buckets, so Dulcie uses her hat instead. Still think the hat is useless, Miss Brittle?

Mr Dobbs, Gentleman George and others soon see the school’s on fire, and know Dulcie’s in there. The fire brigade will take time to arrive, so they rally around with bucket chains. Dulcie continues to do her bit with the hat, but it’s not enough. Then the end gets burned, so now she can’t fetch water anymore. Then more of the roof collapses and Miss Brittle and the caretaker need air. So Dulcie applies one final use for the hat – use it as a breathing tube for them. Then the fire destroys the hat altogether; it’s a real inferno now.

Fortunately the fire brigade has finally arrived. The firemen rescue the trapped people and Dad pulls Dulcie out. The girls that had helped Annie make Dulcie’s life such a misery with the hat now cheer her for the two lives she saved. But not Annie herself – she’s off to destroy the fake dunce hat and incriminating evidence against her. However, when Annie arrives home she finds her father with the hat and the maid. The maid must have informed him what she knows because he tells Annie: “I think I know it all now. You’ve done enough damage. That fire could have reached my mill!”

Okay, so maybe Mr Archer hasn’t got things quite right. But that’s how Miss Brittle gets put straight about everything. In hospital a more human Miss Brittle informs Dulcie of this, and that Annie has been sent to a private school. Miss Brittle says that when school resumes she has a feeling she will see a very different Dulcie Dobbs. We also get the feeling Dulcie will be seeing a very different Miss Brittle who won’t be using the dunce’s hat on any more pupils.

There is one last echo of the dunce’s hat when Dulcie is surprised to receive another pointed hat. But it’s a more savoury one this time – a pointed princess hat. Everyone wants Dulcie to be the town carnival princess in honour of her heroism.

Thoughts

DCT ran hundreds of serials about a girl secretly causing trouble for another, whether it’s out of jealousy, personal gain, selfishness, revenge, or just for kicks as Annie does. However, it was less common for IPC to use this formula. So this IPC story is unusual for being an exception to the rule.

Annie taking her spite to a whole new level to destroy Dulcie is not unusual for this type of formula. It’s often what takes the story to its climax and ultimate resolution. The troublemaker gets bored of the game, or gets scared she’ll be found out, or gets her nose put out of joint like Annie does, so that’s when she tries to get rid of her victim altogether. But it leads to her undoing, as is the case with Annie. This is a most effective way of catching Annie out. There was no chance of Dulcie doing so, and Annie was way too spiteful to become remorseful.

However, the story is even more unusual for a whole class to be in on the game. Usually – and more credibly – it’s just one sole troublemaker working secretly. It really is stretching credibility for a whole class to help Annie play those dirty tricks on Dulcie and nobody speak up about it or try to help Dulcie. Isn’t there one person in the whole class who is kind and won’t have any of it? We never see one at all, but you’d think there would be someone. Or do they all get in behind Annie because her father is so important in town?

The situation is not helped by Dulcie’s personality. Like Cherry Campbell in “No Cheers for Cherry”, Dulcie is just too naïve and good-natured to realise what’s going on, not even when it stares at her right in the face. It’s so infuriating. But as with Cherry, Dulcie is sharp in other ways, which helps her to survive. Unlike Cherry though, Dulcie does realise that it is doing so. Dulcie’s true intelligence is best seen in the ways she can think fast in finding ways to put her hat to good use and helping others. This helps to make her situation more bearable and make the hat as much a friend as a badge of shame that she wants to be rid of. The test Gentleman George gives Dulcie also indicates she would be top of the class if not for Annie and her dirty tricks.

There are a lot of contrivances in this story, such as Mr Dobbs remaining totally in the dark about the hat because something always happens to prevent him from seeing it. Some of the 101 uses for the dunce hat come across as a bit silly, such as Gentleman George using it as a megaphone. And as already stated, it is hard to believe a whole class would play those dirty tricks on Dulcie without anyone going against it. Yet we still follow the story for the same reason we always follow this type of “troublemaker” story – we want to know how the troublemaker will be caught out.

Perhaps we should spare a moment for the dunce’s hat itself. Miss Brittle deemed it useless, fit only to shame a slow pupil into doing better. Nowadays we regard the dunce’s hat as a product of less enlightened times that is thankfully no more. So it is a really delightful twist that the dunce hat turns out to have so many uses in the story that are far more savoury than what it was invented for. If the dunce hat could speak about that, what would it say to Miss Brittle who called it useless – “don’t underestimate me!”, perhaps? All the same, we still say “good riddance” when the dunce’s hat gets destroyed at the end of the story. Dulcie’s dunce hat may have had its uses, but it is still a hated object.

 

 

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Anne Digby – Interview

We are fortunate in being able to publish an interview with Anne Digby, children’s author Anne Digbyand writer of girls comics stories. The title she is particularly associated with is Tammy, of course, which saw publication of various text stories written by her, as well as comics adaptations of her already-published children’s books, also done by her. Below she gives some previously-unseen information on her past time in this comics world, which we are very grateful to have.

 

1 I was interested to see your interview with www.booksmonthly.co.uk this month as I know you rarely give interviews.  I would love to know more about your experiences of writing for comics and how you first started, and how this led on to writing children’s books.

Hello, Jenni. Well, like a lot of people, I’d always wanted to write books. The seed was sown in primary school  when I had a poem published  in a children’s magazine and the prize was a handsome hardback entitled, I think, “Sheila’s Glorious Holiday”. I thought how exciting it might be to write a whole book one day and see that in print, too.

At sixteen I became an editorial trainee at Fleetway House and then later become a freelance writer. My first published work of any substance was a full-length book entitled “Ella’s Big Sacrifice” (Schoolgirls Own Library, 1960). In those days the girls’ comics still carried text serials and stories alongside the picture-strips and the best of these were republished in book form under the Schoolgirls Own Library imprint, together with some new works. S.O.L. published two titles a month and, to keep them affordable, they were printed on poor paper and in tiny print. So my first book was hardly the handsome hardback I’d once dreamed about – but at least it was a start.

2  At what stage did you start writing stories in picture-strip format? When did you stop?

It’s difficult to date this exactly. My freelance career in the 1960s was quite varied, including straightforward journalism, which involved a certain amount of travel, and at one stage a staff job with Oxfam. But I always kept my hand in at writing stories for children and the market for picture-stories was becoming much larger than for straightforward text. I adapted to this quite happily – in fact back in my schooldays I’d written and drawn a picture-strip for an unofficial magazine we produced. (This was once confiscated, an episode that was to become the inspiration for one of the plot threads in First Term at Trebizon!) So, once I became a stay-at-home Mum, I dropped the journalism and just concentrated on children’s fiction – in either format – which could be written from the comfort of home.

And when, by the 1970s, the market for girls’ weekly comics with a strong fiction base was shrinking in favour of text-based mass-market paperbacks, it was a natural progression to move on to children’s books.

3 Your trajectory as a writer has involved the movement back and forth between prose fiction and picture-strip fiction. Can you tell us a little about  what differences you see between the two kinds of story-telling media – the things that work better or less well in each, the adaptations that you perhaps had to make when moving between one and the other?

What a fascinating question. Do you know, I think I found remarkably little difference. I think this might be because – once I’ve hit on the basic idea – I’ve always first visualised stories in a filmic way, certain key scenes/ images which appeal to me, around which I create the rest of the plot.

Another point is that writers and artists never worked in a collaborative way at Fleetway or Odhams Press – at  least, not to the best of my knowledge or in my own experience. When starting a script I had no idea who would be drawing the pictures.  I always had faith in an editor to marry the script with the right artist – and some of them were brilliant. One had a blank sheet of paper on which one drew up a grid, sketching in each scene for an instalment (like events in a book chapter), then one went on to describe each scene, frame by frame, for the artist’s guidance – together with the accompanying dialogue, to indicate the size/number of speech balloons required for each frame.  As these descriptions were not for publication, they would be less formal than if they’d been written for a prose work, but that was the only real difference.

For instance, I remember I was once invited to adapt two of my books into picture-strip serials for Tammy. I discovered that both of these scripts – for “A Horse Called September” (which I’d already published as a text serial) and for “First Term at Trebizon” –  in fact just about wrote themselves!

4 I’m sure every writer has their favourite creations.  As you look back on your time of writing for Tammy and other similar titles – are there any particular stories that you are still really pleased to have written, or maybe some you’d prefer to expunge from your memory?

Well, I’m sure there may be some of the latter, but if so they are safely expunged already.

First Term Front Cover
Illustration by Lucy Truman

Going even further back, I suspect that “Ella’s Big Sacrifice” might be one of them. As far as picture strips go, my favourites include “The Dance Dream”, “Olympia Jones” and “Tennis Star Tina” – (Trebizon readers might guess that  I’ve always loved that particular sport). All three stories were reprinted at least once, so hopefully the readers liked them too.

Once again, many thanks to Anne for providing the above interview. Her popular (or indeed, classic) Trebizon series is being reissued by Egmont on the 28 January.

Misty fan added scans from “The Dance Dream”, Girl annual 1982 reprint.

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Dance Dream
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Dance Dream
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Dance Dream

Edited to add: thanks to poster Peace355 on the Comics UK Forum, here are two pages from “Tennis Star Toni” in June (issue dated 10/06/1961; art by Giorgio Giorgetti).

Tennis Star Tina 1

Tennis Star Tina 2

Here also are the pages from the first episode of “First Term at Trebizon”, with associated factfile, from Tammy 19 November 1983. It ended in Tammy 4 February 1984. Thanks to Peace for this, too.

First Term at Trebizon pg 1

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Edited to add: the following stories written by Anne Digby and printed in Girl have been catalogued by Phoenix on the UK Comics Forum. Many thanks to him for this extra information!

  • 21 Newlands Park (May 20 1961 – Feb. 10 1962)
  • Jill Of 21 Newlands Park in The Spring Term Mystery (Feb. 17 1962 – Mar. 17 1962)
  • Jill Of 21 Newlands Park in Island Adventure” (Mar. 24 1962 – Jun. 2 1962)
  • Jill Of 21 Newlands Park in The New Girl (Jun. 9 1962 – Sep. 1 1962)
  • The Missing Masterpiece (Sep. 8 1962 – Nov. 17 1962)
  • The Emergency [complete] (Nov. 24 1962)
  • Jill And Gino (Dec. 1 1962 – Feb. 2 1963)
  • Lindy Goes Pop! (Feb. 9 1963 – Jun. 1 1963)
  • A Present For Haven (Jun. 8 1963 – Sep. 7 1963)

Wanda Whiter than White (1975-1976)

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Publication: 20/12/75-6/3/76

Artist: Ana Rodriguez

Writer: Unknown

Nobody likes a tell-tale, so any reader is guaranteed to despise this smug, sanctimonious, self-righteous, “holier-than-thou” sneak named Wanda White. Wanda is such a despicable character that you may hate her even more than the more typical abusive guardians or spiteful bullies in girls’ comics.

The problem with Wanda is that she takes truth-telling and obeying rules to such extremes that she will not allow even the whitest of white lies or the smallest of infractions. Every time she sees it, she butts in with brutal truth-telling and sneaking, much to the hurt and embarrassment of a lot of people – even school staff. For example, when the school caretaker starts yarning to entertain pupils, Wanda interferes, saying he is telling a load of lies.

But it is Wanda’s next door neighbour, Susie Foster, who suffers the most from Wanda’s constant interfering. Susie leads a double life to pay off what she owes on her pony, Dumdum, but has to do it in secret because her mother disapproves of horse riding. When Wanda finds out, she insists on telling Susie’s mother. But Susie has already told her mother, so Mrs Foster just calls Wanda a tattle tale and shows her the door.  There is also rivalry, as both girls are competing in horse-riding events.

Wanda has no time for being tactful, discreet, thinking about what circumstances might be involved, have some understanding for human foibles, or simply to mind her own business. No, she is an interfering busybody who believes she must keep everybody on the straight and narrow with truth-telling and obeying rules. Wanda’s interfering also gives her a nasty habit of jumping to conclusions and being quick to accuse without getting her facts straight; for example, when she wrongly accuses Susie and her mother of shoplifting. Fortunately they are quickly released once the store finds nothing to hold them on. But Wanda just says, “I find that most unfortunate. Evil must always be punished.”

Nor does Wanda care that she is hurting a lot of people – such as when her tale-telling gets people’s pets confiscated by the council and the Fosters facing eviction. Rather, she expects them to thank her for clearing their consciences over disobeying the rules. And when she embarrasses the school caretaker over spinning yarns to the girls she smiles because “I am at peace with my conscience.” This is something Wanda says so often you might think it is a clue as to what has made Wanda what she is.

And it is. When Susie discovers the truth about Wanda, it is a complete surprise and the twist of the whole story. And what is it? It turns out that Wanda’s own past is not as white as she would have us believe. In fact, she is on probation after being caught stealing. She is going to extremes with honesty to appease her guilty conscience and redeem herself – or perhaps use the infractions of others to put them down in order to feel better about herself?

But in the end Wanda is truly redeemed when she tells a white lie to help Susie in return for Susie saving her life. Susie is impressed, and feels that Wanda is now going to be more human and less whiter-than-white in future.

Stories about how taking truth-telling taken to extremes can turn you into a sneak and cause loads of trouble have appeared elsewhere in girls’ comics. Examples include “The Black-and-White World of Shirly Grey” in Tammy and “Minna Mindreader” in Bunty. However, it is more usual for the truth-telling extremist to be the heroine of the story and suffer more from her extreme truth-telling than anyone else who gets hurt by it. But in this story it is the reverse, which makes it a more atypical and therefore more interesting serial.

Tears of a Clown (1980)

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Publication: 12/8/80-1/11/80
Artist: Phil Gascoine
Writer: Unknown

Your school probably has one – a clumsy, scruffy kid who’s the butt of everyone’s jokes”.

So began the blurb to introduce us to Tears of a Clown the following week. Some readers may have started reading this story about bullying with a guilty twinge because they may well have someone like this in their own classroom, and they may have treated them the same way the heroine is treated in this story. Whether you have or not, this story is guaranteed to make you cry, not least because you can equate it with a real-life bullying situation of some sort or another.

Kathy Clowne is bullied because she is clumsy, gawky, slow-to-learn, and has a surname which makes her open to ridicule. The ringleader, Sandra Simpkins thinks it is a huge joke and tremendous fun to poke fun at “The Clown”. True-life stories from Shout and other teen magazines show that all too often this is how a lot of real-life bullies start: just a bit of fun which escalates into a serious and tragic situation because the bullies never thought what it is like for their victim.

Furthermore, the school and parents let Kathy down. Kathy’s teachers don’t seem to pick up on the problem, nobody steps in to help Kathy as her grades slip to bottom, and neither the school nor Kathy’s parents investigate to find out what is wrong. In fact, the school makes the situation worse by constantly punishing Kathy for lashing out (at the bullying) because they assume she behaving badly. Kathy does not tell anyone what is going on because she is too ashamed to speak out. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?

Like many ill-used heroines, Kathy turns to a talent to prove herself and stop the teasing. In this case it is a talent for running, which Kathy ironically discovers through a trick pulled by Sandra. But Sandra (or sometimes fate) keeps sabotaging Kathy’s attempts to prove her talent, just to keep her the school outcast and laughing stock.

Eventually, Kathy is pushed too far and uses her talent to run away. Little does Kathy know that when she runs off, she finally proves her talent. Her sports teacher sees her crying and tries to catch her up, but fails because Kathy is running too fast – and the teacher is on a bicycle!

Kathy’s disappearance shocks the bullies into repentance. Kathy’s parents realise too late that they have failed her, and are worried sick. The headmistress feels “rather responsible” for Kathy running off – and so she should – and helps the parents with the search.

So when Kathy is found and comes home, she finds that school has changed overnight. Sandra has changed too; when the other girls repented, they turned on her and gave her a taste of what it is like to be an outcast. Moreover, Sandra gets hurt while conducting her own search for Kathy, and this opens the path to reconciliation between the two girls. By the end of the term, Kathy is the star of the cross country team, her school work has improved tremendously, she is very happy at school, and her parents reward her with her first-ever party (and makeover) to celebrate her glowing school report.

Tears of a Clown is regarded as one of Jinty’s best and well-remembered stories, and rightly so. Bullying stories were always popular, and readers always love a good tear-jerker, ill-used heroine, and triumph against adversity. But what gives this story one of its greatest strengths is how it draws on so many real-life bullying situations. Readers will be able to see themselves in some form or another in this story.

Dracula’s Daughter (1981)

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Publication: 13 June 1981-19 September 1981

Artist: Mario Capaldi

Writer: Unknown

A ranting, raving, power-mad headmaster who tyrannises his new school with his ideas of discipline and how schools should be run – with hard work, discipline, and totally serious study. No fun or free-and-easy teaching methods – Heaven forbid! As far as this headmaster is concerned, fun should be in the home, and not in a school. In his eyes, this free-and-easy school is a total apology, but in three weeks it will be his model school of an old-fashioned grammar school, with uniforms, harsh discipline, and teachers who run their classes the old-fashioned way and no fun methods, and houses with names like Dedication and Application (yes, I can just see modern pupils so happy to be in those houses). The only thing missing is corporal punishment. Pretty odd, as this headmaster was overjoyed to see it retained in his previous school. And this story was published before corporal punishment was outlawed in British schools.

Such is how Mr Graves, the former deputy head of the boys’ grammar, wants to run free-and-easy Castlegate Comprehensive. His idea of transforming the school is to force his grammar-school methods right down its throat, and he even goes as far as to butt in on classes and tell teachers to run their classes his way. And from the outside, his dress, appearance and whole manner of carrying on earns him the nickname of “Dracula” and for his daughter Lydia, “Dracula’s Daughter.” Poor Lydia takes the brunt of her classmates’ outrage towards her father’s campaign, and she does not like it any more than they do. It gets worse when Dracula’s treatment of his teachers forces one out, and she is replaced with Miss Snape, a kindred spirit in Mr Graves’ eyes. But the pupils find out that Miss Snape is a dragon who makes no effort to get on with them, and bullies them from the outset. Even worse, Miss Snape treats Lydia as teacher’s pet because she is after the position of deputy head. But when Lydia’s demonstration against her father costs Miss Snape this chance, Miss Snape turns against Lydia with even greater fury than the rest of the class.

What really carries this story is the incredible portrayal of the character of Mr Graves. He could so easily have been cast as an evil headmaster who inflicts sadism in the name of discipline. We have seen this in the Billy Bunter stories, where temporary headmasters proved so psychotic, sadistic and near-insane in their conduct that the Greyfriars boys threw up barricades against them. In girls’ comics there have been stories of headmistresses inflicting torture on their pupils in the name of discipline, such as The Girls of Liberty Lodge and The Four Friends at Spartan School in Tammy. But unlike these other principals, Mr Graves is not intended to be a flat, if hateful, villain who makes everyone’s life a misery before eventually getting his just desserts like all the rest of them. Rather, he is at heart a good man but completely misguided, rigid, bigoted, and naïve. And on top of it all, he is arrogant, so when he is appointed headmaster, it goes completely to his head. He becomes absolutely power-mad and seems to think being headmaster means he can run a school like a dictatorship. But even more astonishing is the change in Mr Graves at the end. He has modified his views on education enough to become more human in his approach. He is finally allowing some fun into school (putting on comedy videos in gratitude to the pupils who unknowingly helped him at one point), sticking up for them when they are wrongly accused of vandalism, and earning a whole new respect for alternate teaching methods. Above all, he has gone from believing that there is only one way to run a school (his way) to learning that there is no one way of running a school.

This is what puts this story a cut above the more typical stories about bully teachers and principals in girls’ comics. Someone must have been reading The Sky’s the Limit by Dr Wayne Dwyer and its sections of authoritarian thinking when they wrote this story. Mr Graves is a brilliantly conceived portrayal of how authoritarian thinking can be transcended and authoritarians can become more human. And it is all done without any seams showing. Mr Graves does not change completely. He is still strict, wears an old-fashioned teachers’ gown, and talks in an extremely formal manner (even in the home). But he is also letting the school see the human side to his nature, something he would only show in the home before.

Once Mr Graves starts to show he is a human being, the girls begin to like him more. This is something they can never do with Miss Snape, who is a typical bully teacher that does not change, but eventually transfers to another school. Still, the pupils are all relieved when Mr Graves goes back to his old school when he discovers its discipline has slipped so badly that there has been constant trouble with the police. The teacher he drove out before returns as the headmistress, so the girls can look forward to a return to the free-and-easy system. But before he goes, Mr Graves gives another example of how he has changed through his Castlegate experience – a complete collection of Dracula videos to remember him by!