Jumble Sale Jilly (artist Juliana Buch)
Aunt Aggie (artist J. Badesa, writer Pat Mills, creator Gerry Finley-Day)
The Cat’s Eye on Katy (artist Douglas Perry) – final episode
The Making of Mary (“Wild Horse Summer” artist from Jinty)
The Sea Spirit (artist Juan Escandell Torres)
A Special Tammy Portrait – Rod Stewart
Simple Simona (artist Julio Bosch?)
The Secret of the Stables (artist Reginald B. Davis)
No Love for Liza (artist Jaume Rumeu)
No Tears for Molly (artist Tony Thewenetti, writer Maureen Spurgeon) – new story
We now turn to 1973 in our Tammy August month round, and the letters from readers in the issue are insightful reading. Two letters indicate Tammy could have been overusing the misery-laden formulas she had been renowned for since her first issue and she still had to strike a better balance with complementary material:
“Nearly all your stories are sad, they’re about orphans and blackmail, cripples and cruel parents, beatings and imprisonments…I get enough horror at school. Can’t you help make the world a happier place by printing more stories like Aunt Aggie…”
“It seems you think all you require to hold us readers spellbound are heroines with not-so-well-off and exceedingly nasty parents and grandparents or guardians…I think you should take all these horrible people out of your comic, or send them to Stanton Hall and Mr. Pickering – for some of their own medicine!”
Eventually the horrible people and sad stories did fade from Tammy, but for now, they continue. Among them is Juliana Buch’s first story for Tammy, “Jumble Sale Jilly”. Jilly Burridge is struggling to be an artist in the face of a family who scorn such things and don’t treat her so well either. This week, it looks like the fairy godmother figure to help Jilly has arrived in her life. In “No Love for Liza”, Liza Bruce also battles to be an artist against the odds piled on by a nasty stepfamily. And we have yet another nasty family in “The Making of Mary”. Mary Regan is forced to live with her horrible Uncle Ernie, who wants to take over her grandfather’s business. To add insult to injury, Uncle Ernie has also framed her grandfather and now he’s in prison. Imagine having to live with the very man who set up your grandfather!
On the same page, there is more on the long-standing Molly Mills debate that made her the most polarising character in Tammy. Some readers liked her:
“I disagree…that Molly Mills is rubbish. She’s great. My Mum and I both read it every week and if you take her out we won’t buy Tammy anymore!”
And others didn’t:
“Is [Molly Mills] going to be in the paper forever? She drives me mad. Please do something about her!”
Meanwhile, the nasty Kitty and Betty have already done something about Molly in her new story this week – they’ve pulled a spiteful trick on her, and now poor Molly faces the sack! But such things are hardly new in Molly. She’s bound to bounce back in the end, and then there’ll be the next time.
Tammy started off lacking humour to help balance her dark material. Two years on, she is building up a stronger presence of humour with strips like “Aunt Aggie”, a rotten schemer acting as a sweet figure on TV who gets her comeuppance every week, and “Simple Simona”, a clueless girl who is always the victim of her scheming cousins without even realising it, but she always triumphs over them in the end – again without even realising it.
Elsewhere, it’s the final episode of “The Cat’s Eye on Katy”, and the letters page indicates it was a popular, gripping story. The witch doctor’s curse is broken by the good ol’ amor vincit omnia (love conquers all), when Katy saves the life of the cat he bewitched into doing evil against her in revenge for his imprisonment. Though he’s thousands of miles away, he knows what’s happened, and he’s still stuck in prison, doing cursing of a different sort: “Cursed white magic has won! My power over cat beast is gone!”. “The Sea Spirit”, which started in the same issue as “The Cat’s Eye on Katy”, is now on its penultimate episode.
Girls love a good mystery story, and there’s a mystery about Silver Star, the horse at Penny Lane’s stable, which she is salvaging from neglect. The mystery deepens when Silver Star responds to a strange whistle, and in the middle of the night, Penny spots him galloping off. Is it that whistle again?