Tag Archives: Spoof of St. Elma’s

Robert MacGillivray

Robert MacGillivray (1913 – 1986) was the artist on only one ongoing Jinty story, though his art also appeared in a number of annuals (often in reprints from other older titles such as June), and so he was more familiar to the Jinty reader than other artists who did only a single strip or two. He had a classic comedy style, with big noses and bizarre contrivances seen in strips such as “Jeannie and her Uncle Meanie”, “Lucky’s Living Doll”, and “The Flights of Flopear”. Jinty‘s “Desert Island Daisy” was a strip done in this ‘big nose’ style too, but Jinty readers also saw some more realistic stories on occasion.

Stories published in Jinty:

  • “Desert Island Daisy” (1974)
  • “Desert Island Daisy” individual stories in the Jinty Annuals for 1975 and 1976
  • “The Spoof of St Elma’s” in the Jinty Holiday Special 1979
  • “They Always Know” – Gypsy Rose story in the Jinty Holiday Special 1981
  • “Boo to the Goose!” in the Jinty Annual 1981
  • “The Lady of the Manor” in the Jinty Annual 1985

The post about the June book from 1970 includes mention of MacGillivray, where he used a slightly more realistic style. I am using that as the example page for this artist, to show a little of his range.

Sam and Suki Save The Day

  • The Girls Comics of Yesterday site includes a tag for Robert MacGillivray, so do check there to see what stories he drew for DC Thomson.
  • Likewise the Tammy Project includes “Maisie’s Magic Eye“, drawn by MacGillivray and published in Sally (reprinted in Tammy). He also drew “Wee Sue” at points in this long-running character’s life; these are mentioned in the posts on this site about the Tammy annuals in 1984, 1985, and 1986.
  • The Comics UK forum includes a discussion thread specifically about MacGillivray, with much information about early work of this prolific artist.

Jinty Holiday Special 1979

Jinty holiday special

  • Cover: Jim Baikie
  • The Girl on the Pier (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • It’s a Dog’s Life – text story (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Cuckoo Cookery (feature)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • The Captain’s Bride – text story (artist Terry Aspin)
  • It’s Your Day to be Special! (feature)
  • The Spoof of St. Elma’s (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Alley Cat
  • Masquerade (artist Shirley Bellwood)
  • Fishing for Compliments! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • A New Hobby for Every Mood! (feature)
  • My Lady’s Fan (text story)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Colourama (feature)
  • Grey Owl and the Beaver (text story)
  • The Ghost of Charlotte – Gypsy Rose story

I have the misfortune to be missing a few pages in this special, so I do not have the ending to “The Spoof of St. Elma’s” or the title of the text ballet story that follows. If anyone can help, I would be most grateful!

Update: I now have the missing information, which I will supply later.

The special starts off with a Cinderella story “The Girl on the Pier”. The McLorys and their niece Belinda move into a seaside town where they start a guest house. But it’s Belinda who is lumbered with all the work and no pay. A bit of fun would make it better, but  there’s no fun either – except for her friend Noreen who promises fun on the pier when it opens. And when it does, Belinda has the time of her life and Noreen says she can stay forever. Back at the guest house, the uncle and aunt are puzzled by their niece’s disappearance, as the only pier around is one that burned down years ago. They begin to think they will never see their unpaid slave again….

With “The Spoof of St. Elma’s”, Jinty takes a rare foray into the theme of the sadistic school where the headmistress believes in the harshest discipline that makes for torture. But there is a twist that turns the theme upside-down. The “cold and unfeeling” Miss Reed, who takes great pride in making  St Elma’s “the harshest and strictest school in the country” (grim teachers and appointing the hardest girls as prefects are among her methods) retires and is replaced by Miss Steele. Miss Steele was chosen by Miss Reed herself for carrying on the Reed tradition, so the pupils brace themselves for more of the same. But Miss Steele seems to be poking fun at the whole thing when she humiliates the grim teachers by having them do PE in front of the pupils and then tell them to sing nursery rhymes, mimic an air raid to teach pupils about World War 2, and other bizarre things she directs over the newly-installed loudspeakers that are soon turning the harsh discipline of Miss Reed on its head. The odd thing is, nobody ever sees Miss Steele – they just hear her voice over the loudspeakers. Sadly, I am missing the story beyond page 30, so I have no idea what Miss Steele was playing at. If anyone can help, please advise me! I sure would like to know what happened!

In another school story, “Fishing for Compliments”, the headmistress growls at Chrissie for lousy schoolwork and hopes the new maths teacher can do something with her. When the new teacher, Miss Mayhew, moves into Chrissie’s house, Chrissie hopes to take advantage of Miss Mayhew’s love of fishing to divert Miss Mayhew from her grades. But things rebound on Chrissie during a fishing trip and she ends up with extra maths after all. But in the end, everything’s happy and everyone’s laughing over their misadventures.

Regular Jinty features are Bizzie Bet and the Easies and Gypsy Rose – which looks like another recycled Strange story that substitutes Gypsy Rose for the Storyteller. The story is about a brutal aristocrat who takes on a new wife, Charlotte. His brutality ends up killing her, but her ghost takes revenge when he tries to get rid of his former in-laws. He ends up perishing and becoming a ghost himself while they inherit his estate! A most satisfying tale of revenge and retribution on domestic violence.

No Fran, although she had her sequel in 1979. Maybe she showed up in other specials – she certainly made it to an annual or two. But Alley Cat and Rinty ‘n’ Jinty are there to give us the expected dose of laughs!

Update: Helsbels of www.comicsuk.co.uk has supplied me with the missing information. The text story is called Masquerade, and the entry has been amended accordingly. And Miss Steele turned out to be a computer, the only thing Miss Reed thought was capable of carrying on her hard, unfeeling discipline. Too bad for Miss Reed that Miss Steele malfunctioned, hence the goings-on that turned Miss Reed’s regime on its head. And now the computer has blown altogether. Miss Reed says she will soon get Miss Steele up and running the Reed way, but she does not get the chance. The governors are not impressed and neither are the teachers of Miss Reed’s ilk, who resign. They are replaced by school staff and a headmistress who take the opposite approach to Miss Reed, and the school becomes a happier place. So Miss Reed ended up destroying her own regime instead of perpetuating it!

Thank you, Helsbels!