Tag Archives: Snobs and the Scruffs

Jinty #5, 8 June 1974

jinty-8-june-1974

Katie’s jinxing has a water theme this week, from jinxing water skiers to having the swimming team walk miles in the rain.

Judy tries to get help from the police about the haunting, but of course they’re not going to believe a thing like that. And Judy is even more terrified to realise that whatever is causing the haunting and making her friends dress like Victorian girls is going to target her next!

Gwen is riding high on the glory she has stolen. Of course that means a fall sooner or later, and it is already starting. Julie Waring is getting suspicious and has also overheard Gwen’s troubled conscience speaking out loud. Is Gwen about to be caught out?

The girls try to bust out of Misery House, but they not only fail but are also duped into playing a cruel trick on Carla, who was caught during the escape. One up to Misery House, but we know there will be a next time.

Angela’s Angels are accused of stealing, but it turns out the patient was foisting the blame onto them. We see acid-drop Angela has a heart: she sticks up for the Angels when they are accused and covers up for one somewhat errant Angel later on.

The scheming girls did not mean Yvonne to take a fall down the stairs when they soap the soles of her shoes, and only her acrobatic skills save her. It doesn’t cut much ice with jealous Lisa though, who is furious when Yvonne is chosen over her for the Dance of the Four Cygnets.

Miss Madden’s test for Mandy this week is very odd, even for her. She has Mandy dress up like a princess and then puts her in a posh room, where a two-way mirror enables Miss Madden and her colleagues to watch Mandy. Then Mandy panics for some reason when she hears the tune from a music box. Now what could have brought that on?

The influence of the Indian necklace has Gail’s friends turning away from her while she gets very sneaky and deceptive in getting what she wants. Daisy’s Victorian employers turn up their noses at coconuts and are not impressed with her fishing. It all ends up with their going hungry and Daisy slipping away, full of fish, so they don’t lumber her again. Dora helps out a dog that is being mistreated, but makes sure the dog doesn’t go to the dogs’ hotel either.

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Story length through Jinty’s life

I have created a new page listing the stories in Jinty by publication date. This seemed like an interesting and useful addition to the list of stories in alphabetical order that has been in place on the blog since we started. As part of the information on that new page it seemed sensible to count the number of episodes for each story, too (where possible) – luckily for me, the Catawiki data that I was using to compile this information gave me the ability to include that for almost all stories. As I put together the list, I got the impression that in the last year of Jinty‘s publication, the story length was getting shorter and shorter: so I pulled together some stats on it.

For each year below, there are some stories I excluded from the statistics, either because I didn’t have a complete count of all the episodes (for instance where a story had started in Lindy or Penny before their merger with Jinty), or because they were by their nature long-running humour strips with no specific start or end point. I’ll give a list of the excluded stories and their running lengths further down this post.

  • For 1974, the mean story length is just under 16 episodes and the mode (most usual) story length is 13 episodes
  • For 1975, the mean is just under 18 episodes and the mode is 16 episodes
  • For 1976, the mean is just under 15 episodes and the mode is 19 episodes
  • For 1977, the mean is just over 14 episodes and the mode is 11
  • For 1978, the mean is just over 16 episodes and the mode is 18
  • For 1979, the mean is just over 14 episodes and the mode is 12
  • For 1980, the mean is 11.5 episodes and the mode is 12
  • For 1981, the mean is 11 episodes and the mode is 10

We can see that the two averages do go up and down over the run of Jinty. Having said that, the drop-off in episode length in 1980 and 1981 does look like a real change, despite that context of background variation. (I’m not going to do any full-on statistical analysis with standard deviations and so on though!) Both average figures are down in those two years, because there are fewer long stories pushing up the mean as well as a general trend to the slightly shorter length of 10 – 12 episodes.

Which stories did I exclude from the analytics, and why?

  • The humour strips with no specific story arc: “Dora Dogsbody” (94 episodes), “Do-it-Yourself Dot” (62 episodes), “The Jinx From St Jonah’s” (112 episodes), “The Snobs and the Scruffs” (12 episodes), “Desert Island Daisy” (9 episodes), “Bird-Girl Brenda” (27 episodes), “The Hostess with the Mostess” (19 episodes), “Bet Gets The Bird!” (11 episodes), “Alley Cat” (163 episodes), “Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag!” (111 episodes), “Bizzie Bet and the Easies” (27 episodes), “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” (96 episodes).
  • “Merry at Misery House” (66 episodes) is not a humour strip but like those above, it has no specific overall story arc, no obvious beginning or end that is worked towards throughout its run. I have therefore excluded that too. The same goes for “Pam of Pond Hill” which ran to a mighty 126 episodes in Jinty and then on into Tammy of course.
  • The stories that I have incomplete episode information about: “Finleg the Fox”, “Penny Crayon”, “Hettie High-and-Mighty”, “Gypsy Rose” (these stories are not catalogued on Catawiki as a group), “Rinty n Jinty”, “Seulah the Seal”, “Tansy of Jubilee Street”, and “Snoopa”. Various of those would be excluded even if I had complete episode numbers, of course.
    • Edited to add: further information has been given in the comments below. “Finleg” and “Hettie” ran for 7 episodes in Lindy, and “Tansy” ran for 45 episodes in Penny. “Seulah” ran for 11 episodes in Penny, and then started a new story in Jinty & Penny, which I hadn’t really realised. The two Seulah stories were more like separate arcs in a bigger story than self-contained stories in themselves. Many thanks to Marc for this information! I will add them into the spreadsheet and see if it makes any difference to the years in question.
    • “Snoopa” ran for 45 episodes in Penny, which Mistyfan confirms below (many thanks). As a gag strip, this would not be included in the year-on-year statistics in any case.

Longest run of an individual story? “Alley Cat” has all the others beat, at 163 episodes; runners-up are “Pam of Pond Hill” at 126 episodes, and then “The Jinx From St Jonah’s” and “Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag!” neck and neck at 112 and 111 episodes respectively. However, if you exclude these and look at the length of the ‘normal’ stories, then the top three are “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (36 episodes), “Fran of the Floods” (35 episodes), and “Always Together…” (29 episodes). (Phil Townsend does particularly well for long-running stories, as “Daddy’s Darling” clocks in at 24 episodes and “Song of the Fir Tree” at 22 episodes.)

At the other end of things are some short stories. There are only two single-episode stories: “Holly and the Ivy” and “Mimi Seeks a Mistress”. “Freda’s Fortune” is the only two episode story. “Mimi” was a reprinted story, printed towards the end of 1980; possibly “Holly” and “Freda” were intended for publication in annuals or summer specials and then used as filler.

There are a few 3 or 4 episode stories: “The Birds”, “The Changeling”, “Casey, Come Back!”, and “The Tale of the Panto Cat”. This is also an odd length for a story – long enough to allow for a bit of development, but short enough to feel a bit abruptly cut off when you get to the end. Of these four, I’d say that “The Birds” is the one I find uses its length most successfully, though “Panto” works pretty well as a seasonal short. The slightly-longer “Her Guardian Angel” (5 episodes) likewise uses its length reasonably well to give us a seasonal amusement.  Some other shorter stories, such as “Badgered Belinda” (7 episodes), do read like they have probably been cut down from an originally-intended standard length of 10 – 12 episodes.

The spreadsheet with this information is available on request – please comment and I will be happy to email it to you if you want.

Jinty 27 July 1974

Cover 19740727

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Always Together… (writer Alison Christie, artist Phil Townsend) first episode
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada) last episode
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

Katie Jinks starts a new story this week, with pratfalls and slapstick, but that is combined with an exciting story whereby there are mysterious ‘hostile eyes watching’. The sunken village near to where the girls are camping has a tale for them!

This is the first episode of “Always Together…”, which is the first time that Phil Townsend’s lovely artwork has graced the pages of Jinty. It is also the first story by Alison Christie that appears in Jinty. The combination is always an excellent one; tear-jerking stories are not my main reading preference but the two creators together do us proud on this one, and on the later “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. There is quite a lot of thematic overlap between the two but a number of years separate their publication. Here are the pages of the first episode, to whet your appetite for a future story post sometime.

Always Together pg 1

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Gwen is coming to the end of her story: this is the penultimate episode, and she has to struggle with her strong desire for the new life that seems very much in her grasp – which she feels more and more could be costing her soul. Her only answer seems to be a climb down the very cliff that caused the situation in the first place…

In “Make-Believe Mandy”, evil sister Dinah is plotting with her father to take away the possible future that lies ahead of Mandy. Meanwhile, Mandy is still working on Miss Madden’s tests – has she passed or failed the most recent one?

Merry is trying to keep chirpy and the Warden continues to try to divide the girls from each other. At the end of this episode it seems as if the powers that be might have won, by making Merry sign a guarantee of good conduct.

Gail is also very near the end of her story – she makes it to the museum to return the idol’s necklace, but it’s not as easy as just getting in! Hopefully the idol’s powers will help her, when she trips one of the electronic alarms and brings the security guards running… The next episode is promised to be the final one.

Yvonne has reached the end of her story in this issue; she is vindicated in her struggle agains her ballet school rival, who is proved to be a liar and a schemer. Having also regained her memory and made up with her family, all that remains to do now is to indulge her love of and talent for dancing! This is the only story in Jinty with Miguel Quesada’s artwork, though he drew various stories and cover images for Tammy in particular.

Jinty 13 July 1974

Jinty cover 13 July 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • What’s Cooking? Myedovyi Muss (honey mousse), Kovrizhka Myedovaya (honey cake) (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: cat towel)

Katie Jinks is knocked off the front page by a competition! Lawks. Things work out for her on the inside though: she applies for a Saturday job at the local department store so as to earn enough for a replacement swimming costume, and jinxes her way into it – and almost certainly out of it, too! The episode ends with her having set off the fire alarm by mistake, and two senior members of staff breaking down the stock room door to get her out before she is burned to death! They won’t be pleased when they realise it’s all a false alarm…

There is a letters page now in Jinty as the publication schedule has caught up with the earliest mail sent in by readers.  This page also includes a filled-in form of the sort you are supposed to send in with your letters: Deborah Halifax (age 10 1/2) voted for her top three favourite stories as being “Bird Girl Brenda”, “Always Together”, and “Make-Believe Mandy”. Two out of those three stories hadn’t actually started yet, so clearly Deborah must have gone back to an old issue to cut out the form, and then changed her mind for some reason.

Judy is still being haunted in Form 2B. She has failed to stop her friends from being taken off by Miss Thistlewick, but a vision brought about by an object from the old school room gives her enough information to get to the lake, hopefully in time to stop everyone from drowning. Or maybe she has brought them to the very place where they are all doomed?! We are promised a resolution in the following week’s episode.

Gwen is being cheered and feted by her schoolmates who only recently mocked her. One holdout still stands against her – Julie Waring – and Julie is almost being bullied in her turn, although everything that she is saying is in fact the truth. Gwen is buying into her own turnaround in fortune far too much, including joining the taunting of Julie – for her own protection, of course…

In “Make-Believe Mandy”, Mandy has further tests of loyalty to Miss Madden to pass after the initial one. Now that her wicked step-family have seen Madden in her big car being so friendly to Mandy, they are intent on buttering her up in case there is something good in it for them.

A nasty accident in “Merry at Misery House” sees her friend being stretchered off. Merry is hopeful that Carla will see a doctor straight away but the officers don’t sound like they’re having any of it. The Warden does get a doctor in but at the price of shutting everyone away so that no-one can pass a message to him – and then soon enough an announcement is made that Carla is dead! Because the accident was due to Merry fooling around, everyone starts blaming her – including herself – until she spots someone who looks like Carla, at the window of a tower…

Gail is still struggling with trying to get rid of the Indian necklace, without success. She has buried it and tried to leave it in the local church. At the end of the episode it hovers over her in her mind, haunting her – it looks quite a lot like the carved mask in “Golden Dolly, Death Dust!”.

Yvonne is still amnesiac in her story, but her circus skills don’t desert her as she climbs out of a window to escape from a fire, despite being locked into her room. She nearly makes it to a more general safety in the form of the theatre and her ballet colleagues, but nasty rival Lisa prevents that too, by bribing the theatre doorman. What a horrid piece of work! No wonder that at the end of the episode, Yvonne feels that everyone’s hand is against her.

The last story in this very full week’s comic is “Angela’s Angels” – the cat is out of the bag that Lesley’s father is a millionaire, not a prisoner held at Her Majesty’s convenience. Time for a different bit of soap opera to kick in…

Jinty 29 June 1974

Cover Jinty 29 June 1974

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: rosette)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Rice, Vegetable curry (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 8 – Cara’s Secret (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Seeing Stars: Elton (pinup)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

I am slowly making my way through the 1974 Jintys that I bought recently, while at the same time reading & annotating Mel Gibson’s book, “Remembered Reading“. Some people may have noticed an incomplete draft which was posted by mistake and then swiftly deleted – apologies for any confusion. The book review will be ready in a couple of days, I think.

The “Jinx” lead story continues. New girl Karen sobs heartbrokenly in true tear-jerker style as she exclaims that no-one understands her troubles. Katie is listening and sympathetic, and despite her typical clumsiness, she does manage to shake Karen out of her distress and into a laugh. Karen’s secret sorrow is that her best friend was drowned while they were swimming together, and naturally Karen feels it is all her fault! Not that she will allow Katie to tell anyone else – and so, of course, hijinks ensue.

In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, Judy Mayhew discovers a limitation to Miss Thistlewick’s ghostly power, but nevertheless is captured by her and brainwashed: “My name is Judith Victoria Mayhew. I was born in 1862…”

“Merry at Misery House” has thought up a clever trick to send a message to her parents – she writes a letter using different handwriting and they come to see what has happened and if something is wrong. Of course the wardens won’t allow a revealing message out beyond the four walls of the reformatory: if Merry spills the beans to her parents, Miss Ball will set the fierce dog onto her best friend, Carla. “If only they knew how awful it really is! But I can’t tell them.” Not that Merry is downcast for long – soon she has taken a splinter out of the fierce dog’s paw and befriended it, giving her a chance to try to escape!

Yvonne’s dream has turned nightmarish – following a bike accident she has lost her memory and is being exploited by a cruel woman who is giving her a place to stay and some work, but at a price. The club she ends up working in, doing acrobatic stunts in a fringed bikini, looks pretty sleazy!

Jinty 22 June 1974

Cover 19740622

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • Seeing Stars: Donny (pin-up: Donny Osmond)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Ham and Cheese Savoury, Flenjes (recipes)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 7 – Crusader’s Strange Catch (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: flowered headband)

The relatively-serious Jinx story continues, still at the same rate of four pages in this issue. I guess it was seen as a proper lead story at this point, not simply an amusing aside. New girl Karen has been revealed as faking an injury to get out of swimming, which means that Katie is in the clear (her chums thought she’d injured Karen herself). But Katie starts to feel sorry for Karen, and sure that there is some reason behind the way she is acting. Various pratfalls later, Katie sees Karen crying in the school grounds, and trying to burn her old swimming costume. “I can’t stand it! I’ll never swim again! And nobody will ever understand! There’s nobody I can tell about it!” This last page of art, in particular, is classic Capaldi and beautifully done, whereas the cover page once again shows signs of collaborative work with someone who doesn’t do faces quite as beautifully.

In “The Haunting of Form 2B”, the sinister teacher Miss Thistlewick and her Victorian-influenced pupils become a little more sympathetic and vulnerable – the pupils are disturbed and saddened by the hostile reception they’re getting from their classmates, who think it is all a put-on and a bad joke. Miss Thistlewick offers a class trip as a prize for the best essay – on life in Victorian times, which the unaffected pupils tell her is very unfair! But the teacher’s aloof attitude is disturbed when a photo is taken of her alongside the affected pupils – she doesn’t at all want to included. The reason is obvious once it is developed – with no sign of Miss Thistlewick! Protagonist Judy hopes this will be the proof she can show to others (but in vain of course).

I said that the previous episode of “Merry at Misery House” was starting to show the divide-and-rule attitude beloved by repressive regimes. Merry finds out that no one is speaking to her because the warders have threatened dire punishment to anyone who does so. Her spirit is nearly cracked by this removal of her friends’ support – but not quite.

Jinty 15 June 1974

Cover 19740615

This is the earliest issue out of the batch of issues I recently bought from Peggy, filling in a big gap from the beginning of my run of Jinty.

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi – and Mike White?)
  • The Haunting of Form 2B (artist Rodrigo Comos)
  • Gwen’s Stolen Glory
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Pony Parade 6 – A Pony With a Purpose! (text story)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • A Dream for Yvonne (artist Miguel Quesada)
  • Gail’s Indian Necklace (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • What’s Cooking? Spaghetti Bolognaise, Torrone di Cioccolato (recipes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: bird feeder)

It’s hard to be sure about the art on this issue of “Jinx”. The figures look very much as if they have been drawn by Mario Capaldi, but the faces less so; I think it must be a collaborative piece. Maybe, as happened with Capaldi at other points, he had over-committed himself work-wise in some way? It is also seemingly the start of an extended, relatively-serious story line for Katie Jinks – a swimming champion from another school is joining St Jonah’s but (of course) things are never so simple. In this four-page episode, new girl Karen is clearly faking an injury to get out of the swimming that she is well-known for – and Katie is unjustly getting the blame for the injury.

In “Merry at Misery House”, Merry is put in with the hardest of hard cases – the high-security section – but her capacity for keeping on going despite tough treatment wins even these girls over. Mind you, we never see these real tough nuts again – they are clearly a point being made by writer Terence Magee. The more striking point is probably the one that leads into the next episode, though – Merry’s real friends, Carla and the others – turn away from her when she is restored to them, precisely because it’s made clear to them by the warders that they will get worse and worse treatment the more they support Merry. Divide and rule… the influence of Terry Magee’s time in Francoist Spain is clear to see.

“A Dream for Yvonne” continues the story of the circus girl who longs to become a professional ballerina despite spiteful rivalries and family opposition. It is beautifully drawn but the faces are not very expressive, which does detract.

In “Gail’s Indian Necklace” the malevolent influence of the evil object is more and more like a pathology, a mental health issue – Gail’s obsessive behaviour and her changes in personality; her horror at what she has done once she comes out of it. The magical telepathy used in the story keeps it on a fantastical level, of course, but there are some quite striking moments where it could almost be done as a straight story about mental health.

200th Entry: Jinty Annual 1975

Jinty annual 1975.jpg

  • Eve’s Dream (artist Manuel Cuyas)
  • Cooking Magic! (recipe feature)
  • Token of Gratitude (text story)
  • Happy Memory Coverlet (feature)
  • The Helping Hand (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Puzzle Time (feature)
  • Four on the Road – (update: reprinted from Sally)
  • Dreaming Again (feature)
  • The Jinx from St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • This Beautiful World 1975 (feature)
  • Sarah – the Spellbinder! (text story)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • Can You Take a Joke? (quiz)
  • Happy Ever After…. (artist Audrey Fawley) text story
  • The Hole in the Wall
  • How to be a Witch! (feature)
  • Mystery of the Devil Dancers (writer Linda Blake) text story
  • Desert Island Daisy (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Second Best Sally
  • Birthday Budgie (game)
  • “Starlight” Saves the Train
  • Midsummer Madness and Michaelmas Magic (feature)
  • It’s a Laugh! (feature)
  • All Right on the Night (poem)
  • Holly Takes the Plunge! (text story)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Ideas…Big and Little!
  • Strawberry Fare! (recipe feature)
  • Oh Dear, David! (text story)
  • Animal Crackers (feature)
  • Button, Button…Who’s Got the Button? (feature)
  • Shirley Finds Her Feet
  • People of the Sea (feature)
  • Date with a Dreamboat (artist Phil Townsend)

It is the 200th entry on this blog, so what to do to celebrate? Well, The Best of 70s Girls’ Comics Annual reprinted the cover from the 1975 Jinty annual, so it seems appropriate to now take a look at the annual itself – which is in fact the first annual Jinty produced!

Jinty herself appears on page 124, saying it is the first-ever Jinty annual and she was granted the right to be the first person to read it. But ye Editor suddenly realised he forgot to include Jinty herself in it and had to take fast action to redress the oversight. So Jinty appears on page 124 rather than page 1, with Gary Glitter himself! What a way to make it up to her and give the readers an extra treat!

The annual has six text stories (oddly, one of them, “Mystery of the Devil Dancers” actually credits the writer, Linda Blake), six picture stories, at least ten features, and the regulars are The Jinx from St Jonah’s, Dora Dogsbody, The Snobs and the Scruffs, and Desert Island Daisy. The last two are unusual because they were the most short-lived features from the original Jinty lineup. And Daisy actually appeared in two Jinty annuals after a short span in the regular comic. By contrast, Merry from Misery House, one of the longest-running stories from the original Jinty lineup, did not appear at all in the annuals. Perhaps Jinty was aiming for more lightweight features with her annuals. Or perhaps Merry was regarded more as a serial than a regular and therefore did not qualify to appear.

Dora Dogsbody is drawn by Jim Baikie instead of her regular artist, José Casanovas. In fact, this was the case with all the annuals Dora appeared in. Do-It-Yourself Dot, the longer running of Jinty‘s funnies, makes no appearance while the short-lived Snobs and the Scruffs does. Another oddity in the lineup.

The Jinx from St Jonah’s retains her regular artist, Mario Capaldi. Katie is unsure about joining the latest roller-skating craze at school because she is klutsy enough on her own two feet. The prospect of being selected for a roller-skating/swimming show decides the matter. Katie sure is determined to get into the show, but will her jinxing wreck her hopes – or the show, maybe? Or will Katie land on her feet somehow, skates and all?

As was frequent with young IPC titles, the annual reprints material from older annuals as she was not old enough to reprint her own material in the annuals. The early Jinty (and Tammy) annuals reprinted a lot of old material (some of it under revised titles) from June, and this was very likely the case with “Four on the Road”; there can be no doubt it was originally a serial, and it may or may not be appearing under a revised title. The story concerns two orphaned Italian children Lola and Toni, who are faced with an orphanage after their grandfather dies. Then their adventures begin when their landlord, Signor Borani, has the children collect two dogs and then they get stranded, forcing them and the dogs to take the the road in order to deliver the dogs to their new owner.

Update: I have found that “Four on the Road” originally appeared in Sally.

One text story, “Holly Takes the Plunge” was ironically reprinted in the last Jinty annual in 1986. Talk about bookends.

Some of the shorter stories such as “Eve’s Dream”, “Starlight Saves the Train” and “Shirley Finds Her Feet” may be reprints from older sources as well, because they are not drawn by Jinty artists. “The Helping Hand” and “Date with a Dreamboat” may be Jinty as they are both drawn by regular Jinty artists. The former is an intriguing story about a student nurse who is struggling with her training until she gets help from a strange character dressed as a jester. Then she sees the same jester in a portrait and discovers he founded the hospital 800 years ago. Someone playing a joke or did the founder return to help the nurse? Whatever the truth, Jinty seems to be stretching credibility a bit with a jester founding a hospital – even if he did persuade the king to grant him the land for it. All the same, the story is fun to read. The latter, quite surprisingly for the times, is a boyfriend-themed story. Claire takes a fancy to Tom, but soon finds herself in a love triangle with Susie – Tom’s boat! And Susie seems to be just as unhappy with the situation as Claire when Claire joins Tom for a sailing in Susie. But of course things work out in the end.

The first Jinty annual can be regarded as an enjoyable read. It cannot be described as having a full Jinty feel as it is a mix of Jinty stories (some of which are a bit surprising) and reprints of older IPC material. But that is understandable as Jinty was still getting established and did not yet have enough material to fill her annuals with her own material. It is a good start to the run of Jinty annuals that would sadly end on a whimper. The last two Jinty annuals were Jinty in name only; they were just a collection of reprints from older comics and not a trace of Jinty material anywhere.

Do-It-Yourself Dot (1974-1976)

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Publication: 11 May 1974-(?) 1975
Artist: Alf Saporito
Writer: Unknown

“Dot’s good at making things – especially at making a nuisance of herself!”

Thus ran the blurb to introduce readers to Do-It-Yourself Dot, one of the two cartoons in Jinty’s first lineup. And Dot enjoyed a far longer and more successful run than Jinty’s other cartoon in the lineup, The Snobs and the Scruffs. It is not hard to see why. Dot is the more superior cartoon, because unlike the Snobs and Scruffs, she is a far more rounded and colourful character who has a proper name. There is more variety, with different situations and differing outcomes every week. The only thing that stays the same is what invention Dot has come up with this time that starts the action off.

Dot, as the blurb says, is good at making things. She takes inventiveness to heights that would rival her nearest equivalent, “Clever Dick” in Buster. She can make sailboats, ventriloquist dummies, a go-cart powered by a hair dryer, a boomerang out of a broken hockey stick and even jigsaw puzzles out of old pieces of cloth. The trouble is, her inventions don’t always work out as she planned. In her first episode she makes her very own harp. However, her music talent is nowhere near as good as her inventiveness. But in the end the harp proves its usefulness as a chipper. Yes, sometimes Dot’s inventions work out in the end, though not as she originally planned. In one episode she makes a steam pudding, but it ends up with the consistency and weight of a cannon ball. Annoyed, she throws it away where it ends up foiling an escaped convict. And yes, you guessed it – the pudding becomes a new iron ball for his chain.

Sometimes Dot’s inventions don’t work out so well, especially if she really is using them to cause a nuisance. In one episode she makes stilts and uses them to play pranks on some golfers. But she ends up hung up to dry after landing in wet cement and needing a wash. At other times, the inventions just backfire, such as when she tries to use her do-it-yourself hand picker to nab a criminal, but it goes wrong and she ends up in trouble with a policeman and saying “How come my do-it-yourself ideas always land me in trouble? Moan!”

But of course there are the times when things work out well for Dot. For example, a bully wrecks her aforementioned go-cart with snowballs and brings down a whole heap of snow on her front path. He intends to put the blame on Dot, but her quick thinking ensures that her father has the bully clearing the path.

However it goes, readers always have to admire Dot’s inventiveness and resourcefulness. One suspects that many wished they could be as handy as Dot is with do-it-yourself.

There seem to be some similarities between Dot and Fran Anderson, the zany fixer-upper of “Fran’ll Fix It!” Both girls use their talents and quick wits to fix things up. Some of them are successful and others are not, but readers are always guaranteed a hilarious situation that will raise loads of laughs. It is tempting to wonder if Dot was an influence on Fran.

Jinty 10 August 1974

Cover Jinty 10 August 1974

The cover looks in places a little as if another artist could have done the finishing, but that could perhaps simply be the print quality; certainly the black and white story pages inside are clearly Mario Capaldi doing the Jinx From St Jonah’s; the transition to another artist still lies a little ahead.

There is some sort of special “pull out” in the middle pages – part 5 of 6 – “all about you!” – with tips on looking after your skin and a section of horoscope (Virgo and Libra). More interesting to me now is the first episode of “Left-Out Linda” drawn by Jim Baikie – the first time I know of this long-term and popular artist appearing in Jinty. Another new story starting this issue is “Wenna the Witch”, art by Carlos Freixas; again the first instance I know of his art appearing in Jinty.

Stories in this issue:

  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Always Together… (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Wenna the Witch (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Make-Believe Mandy (artist Ana Rodrigues)
  • Merry at Misery House (writer Terence Magee)
  • What’s Cooking? Ayrshire Shortbread, Helensburgh Toffee (recipes)
  • Jenny – Good or Bad Friend?
  • Bird-Girl Brenda (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • Left-Out Linda (artist Jim Baikie)
  • The Snobs and the Scruffs
  • Wild Horse Summer
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Jinty made it herself… so can you! (craft: make a scented pillow)