Tag Archives: Sweet and Sour Rivals

Jinty 26 September 1981

schoolgirls passing a collection box with the words Mayors Appeal on it

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Freda’s Fortune – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • All over a farthing… – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Child’s Play – Gypsy Rose story (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways – sports tips
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals – last episode (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)

This is one of the last few issues of Jinty before the merger with Tammy. As a result it is full of penultimate episodes (Holiday Hideaway, Worlds Apart), a final episode (The Sweet and Sour Rivals) and complete or nearly complete stories (the Gypsy Rose story, and the first half of the two-parter Freda’s Fortune).

Freda wins a pony in a raffle – a stroke of luck for her, as she has longed for one since she was a toddler, but also some bad luck because not only does she have to find somewhere to keep it and food to feed it, she also earns the envy of snobbish Susan who will stop at little to throw a spoke in her wheel.

The text story “All over a farthing” has a struggling girl give away a lucky farthing to the school charity appeal, only to find that it brings luck back to her and her unemployed father in an unexpected way.

The Gypsy Rose story, “Child’s Play”, is a new one this week, drawn by Phil Townsend (though the subsequent week’s issue will have a reprint of a story by Trini Tinturé from 1977). I reprint it below.

“Holiday Hideaway” is coming to an end – the family in hiding prepare to ‘return from holiday’ which will mean they have to continue to lie to their friends by pretending they have been away on a cruise ship holiday all along. But the episode ends by a reveal that they can’t possibly have been on the ship – the liner never left England in the first place! How will Hattie Jones and her family keep their heads up now?

This is the last episode of “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”: at the school fair Mandy and her friend Suzie Choo face off against Abigail Beaton whose family run the town’s snootiest restaurant. As often happens with schoolgirl rivalries, the envious antagonist overreaches herself and the good girl(s) have to save the day, including the antagonist herself. This time the jealous rival entices a horde of hungry dogs to all the food stalls, risking her own parents’ food stall as well as the Choo’s one; and Suzie saves the day by building a wall of plates to keep the dogs away. Yes, it’s a Great Wall of China (groan).

In “Worlds Apart” the six schoolgirls are transported from brainy Clare’s world into scaredy-cat Jilly’s world – one inhabited by horror monsters. Read all about it in the summary of that story, linked to above.

Page 1, “Child’s Play” – Gypsy Rose story
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Jinty 29 August 1981

JInty 29 August 1981

In the text story profiled on this week’s cover, the paper boy is Suspect Number One when mail gets stolen. But readers must have noticed another Suspect Number One on the cover – one with cute puppy innocence.

The Gypsy Rose story is a bit surprising because it is not a recycled Strange Story. It is completely new, with both Gypsy Rose and the story being drawn by Pam of Pond Hill artist Bob Harvey. The story is about a spoiled, stuck-up rich girl who learns money isn’t everything – from a kite, would you believe!

The school governors visit in “Dracula’s Daughter”. It’s a bit incomprehensible that such an upright, stuffy lot are governors of a liberal, free-and-easy school. But it also gives you a clue as to what the hell they were thinking when they put Mr Graves, a man from a strict, old-fashioned grammar school, in charge of the free-and-easy one as headmaster. However they are reconsidering appointing him for the wrong reason – they have been deeply offended by Lydia’s one-girl demonstration against his changes, and his job is now on the line.

Mo’s crime world in “Worlds Apart” ends with her concrete shoes, and Jinty seems to be using it to make a statement about the evils of crime. When one world dies and another takes over, the usual pattern is for the firemen (at the chemical accident that caused the girls’ worlds to come true) to linger over the unconscious form of the particular girl whose world is about to unfold. But in this instance the story dwells on Mo’s murder and her thinking that she has been killed by very crime world she dreamed of. And in the real world, the firemen are looking at the unconscious Mo, who recovers briefly before drifting off into the next world, which is Clare’s. But the firemen don’t pause over Clare at all. Then Clare’s world starts with the girls becoming stupid sub-humans called “dullards’. The reason they are stupid in Clare’s world is that brainy Clare always considered them stupid in the real one. And they are being used as guinea pigs in her laboratory.

Elsewhere, Tansy finds a hanky with a knot in it and wracks her brains to remember what she tied the knot for. She finds out that what she should have remembered was to check to see if the hanky was hers in the first place! Angela’s Angels are dealing with a difficult patient who is bitter after being told he is now paralysed from the waist down. In “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”, Abigail thinks she can bring down the Choos’ restaurant when she hears them talking about “paddy fields” and thinks they are setting up rice paddies in the garden. But she ends up looking a noodle, as usual. In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, things get steamed up when Sir Roger neglects a kettle and it burns out. And Dad turns Arab to protect the secret of the “Holiday Hideaway”. Although Hattie helps him, she hopes he will learn his lesson after ruse gets him caught in drenching rain and stop all this nonsense. Some hopes!

The Sweet and Sour Rivals (1981)

  Sample Images

Sweet and Sour

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Sweet and Sour 2

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Sweet and Sour 3

Publication: 25 July 1981-26 September 1981

Artist: Carlos Cruz

Writer: Unknown

Reprint: Girl Picture Library #26 as “Sweet and Sour”

In comics, rivalry between businesses always had a ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ format, with the bad business out to pull every trick in the book to come out on top of the good one, which always conducted itself honourably. Sometimes this was done in a serious manner, with lots of dirty, dangerous subterfuge that could even threaten lives. Other times it was done in a comic manner, with the ‘bad’ business getting a comeuppance every week. The best-known example of this is “Store Wars” from Whizzer & Chips.

The humour format of the good business vs bad business was used in one of Jinty’s last humour stories, “The Sweet and Sour Rivals”. The rivalry is over two restaurants: the newly-opened Choo’s Chinese Restaurant and Riverside Cordon Bleu Restaurant, which is the snobbiest restaurant in town and charges the highest prices. But the rivalry is not fought by the owners but by their daughters, Susie Choo and Abigail Beaton. Abigail is just as snooty as the restaurant and recruits help from class bullies Janet and Debbie to find ways to bring Suzie and her restaurant down. Fortunately Suzie has a friend too – Mandy Mead – who thought her school was as dull as dishwater until Suzie joined the class. But Mandy was instantly struck at how Suzie could play brilliantly at hockey after the bullies smash her stick (she’s used to chopsticks) and be such a whiz at mental arithmetic (because she orders things by numbers) and now thinks school is going to be fun with Suzie around.

Indeed it is fun, but it is not free from trouble. Abigail and the two bullies are out to sabotage things for Suzie and her restaurant. For example, they smash the sign Suzie has created to advertise the new restaurant, set motorcycling toughs to bully the Choos into giving them free meals, and recruit a parking warden “Dora the Dragon” (with offers of a free meal) to harass the restaurant with unfair parking tickets. But they always fail in the end, due to a combination of Suzie’s ingenuity and a dash of her Chinese culture. For example, Susie turns the smashed sign into a model Chinese junk and floats it around on the river as an advertising stunt. A fierce-looking (but harmless) panda is let loose in the restaurant to scare the motorcycle bullies off. Dora the Dragon meets her downfall from a Chinese dragon that the Choos are using for more advertising. The school bullies are blackmailed into carting Suzie and Mandy back to school in makeshift Chinese rickshaws.

It all climaxes at the school open day fete. The Choos set up a Chinese food stall, and Abigail sets out to make them look fools by poking fun at Chinese food names and then setting dogs on the stall (a reference to the Chinese dog-eating culture). But Suzie beats the dogs with a great wall of china – real china. The final panel has Mandy saying to readers that Suzie is her old ‘china’ – Cockney slang for mate.

How PC all the Chinese references and play on Chinese culture and words would be in today’s climate is anyone’s guess. But it is a nice change to have an ethnic girl as the star of the show, something that didn’t appear much in Jinty. The story itself is fun, filled with inventiveness and comeuppances that are guaranteed to delight readers, and can rate as one of the stronger stories in the last days of Jinty.

Jinty 5 September 1981

Jinty cover 1981

In this issue, “Dracula’s Daughter” takes a turning point, and it is an extraordinary one! Mr Graves, the authoritarian headmaster who has believed fun and play belong in the home and not in school, surprises the girls when he allows them to have some fun with comedy videos in gratitude for impressing the governors and saving him from the sack. So Mr Graves is finally learning to not to be so rigid in his views about how to run a school? Will the story actually end with him becoming human and a popular headmaster at the school? Maybe – we’ll have to see how it pans out. On the other hand, Miss Snape has turned nasty towards his daughter Lydia because Lydia spoiled her obsequious tactics to become deputy head. So Lydia’s hopes that her problems are over are going to be dashed in the next episode.

It’s now the fifth world in Worlds Apart. It’s the turn of brainy Clare, and her world is one where intellectualism rules and the rest of the girls are sub-humans who are treated as lab rats. But there are people in this world who don’t like this sort of thing. They have rescued the girls and turned them loose in the wild. Unfortunately the wild is not looking friendly, so will the girls survive?

The Sweet and Sour Rivals take a break from rivalry over their restaurants. In this issue the sour rivals pull dirty tricks on the sweet ones during a cross-country run. But as usual, things turn sour for the sour rivals in the end.

Angela’s Angels are having problems with a patient who’s all bitter after being left paralysed. And a jealous tea-girl is causing trouble for Jo because she is jealous of her.

Pam of Pond Hill is currently not running, but her strip ended with an open invitation for readers to ask for her back. She appears on the back cover to introduce us to the lineup of 1982 annuals, which probably raised the hopes of readers who wanted her to return.

Hattie is still lumbered with doing all the donkey work in covering up for her family who would rather hide in the house than admit they could not afford their holiday. This time it’s delivering phoney postcards. And then the secret is in danger again when girl guides do window-cleaning on their house.

Girl Picture Library

Girls’ picture libraries. The monthly Commando-style digests where girls could read a complete 64-page story every month as a supplement to their regular weekly comic. Thrillers, humour, drama, horror, supernatural, heart-breakers, fantasy or science fiction stories were told in a once-a-month, one-volume complete story.

The picture libraries also provided stories about favourite regulars such as The Four Marys, Wee Slavey and The Comp. Occasionally there were variations in the formula, such as a story being told over two picture libraries, or a picture library featuring several short stories instead of one complete one. One example was “Scream!” (not to be confused with the IPC comic of the same name), which told five scarey stories to make you scream.

Picture libraries were a long-running staple of four of DCT’s titles: Bunty, Judy, Mandy and Debbie. The Bunty picture libraries lasted 455 issues. This is not surprising as Bunty herself is the longest-running girls’ title in history. The Mandy books finished at the same time as the Bunty ones, but at 277 books. Judy produced 375 books and Debbie 197 books. Towards the end of the run reprints appeared although original stories continued.

In IPC the girls’ picture library had a more unusual and uneven history. June and Princess Tina were the only titles to produce any long-running ones. In fact, the June picture library eventually recycled the old Princess logo to become the wordy title, “June and School Friend and Princess Library Picture Library“. Maybe this was why “Picture Library” was dropped on the cover at some point after #458, though the spine continued to say “June and School Friend and Princess Picture Library” to the end of its run.

Tammy and Jinty were never given any picture libraries although they lasted the longest after June. Yet the photo-story comic, Girl (series 2) was given her own picture library. This lasted for just 30 books. Miniscule compared with the rich histories of the June picture library and its counterparts from DCT. But what gives Girl Picture Library its place on this blog is that although some of the libraries were original material, many of them also reprinted material from Jinty and Tammy.

Most of the reprints appeared under revised titles, some of which were awful and showed little thinking. For example, “Vision of Vanity Fayre” from Tammy was reprinted in Girl Picture Library #2 under the the extremely lame title of “Dear Diary”. Strangely, the last three Girl picture libraries reprinted Tammy stories under their original titles.

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There were some oddities and even downright sloppiness in the run, which may indicate what sort of budget or editorship that the series was running to. For example, the cover of #16 (reprint of “My Heart Belongs to Buttons”) changes the appearance of the heroine. Readers must have been surprised or irritated when they opened the issue and found the brunette heroine inside bearing no resemblance to the girl on the cover. And the girl who appears on the cover of #25 (reprint of “Shadow on the Fen”, above) has the wrong hair colour – she is blond on the cover but is a brunette in the story. The witchfinder too looks different – he looks younger and has a fuller face than the craggly gaunt face rendered by Douglas Perry. Still, it is a beautiful, haunting cover.

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A more striking oddity was “Sue’s Daily Dozen” being reprinted over two volumes: “Spellbound” and “Bewitched”. But there was no indication in “Spellbound” to say “to be continued”. Readers must have wondered why the story suddenly stopped abruptly. The remaining pages are devoted to “Tiny Tina”, which is Wee Sue under a revised title. “Cathy’s Casebook” also appears in two volumes: “Cathy’s Crusade” and “Dr Cathy”. But the reprint is even odder in that “Dr Cathy” does not come immediately after “Cathy’s Crusade” – “The Old Mill” is in between them.

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Naturally, some material and panels had to be cut or modified to make the reprints fit into 64-page pocket size volumes. For example, “Moments of Terror”, which reprints “Waves of Fear”, deletes Priscilla Heath and the orienteering club sequences. Both of these played a key role in the resolution of the story in its original run – realising that the panic Clare Harvey had while her friend was drowning in a cave was a claustrophobia attack and not the cowardice that has made her the most hated girl in town. The revelation is now made by Clare’s mother after Rachel tells her about the trick Jean pulled – playing on Clare’s claustrophobia – to get her expelled.

On the other hand, the editing also mercifully reduces some of Clare’s ordeal; for example, the hostility Clare receives from the townsfolk has been removed completely. Some of the bullying at school and the harsh treatment Clare gets from her parents has been deleted as well. The editing is pretty seamless, but there is one glitch: when Clare is pushed to the brink of suicide, she thinks the business at the club was the last straw. With the orienteering club deleted, readers must immediately have wondered “what club?” or “what’s missing here?”. They would know it’s been reprinted from somewhere else because there was always a caption saying “previously published” for the reprint material.

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Cutting out material also had the unfortunate effect of removing key turning points in some plots. For example, the reprint of “Thursday’s Child” removes the scene where an evil flag forces a man to nearly saw his own hand off. Yes, it’s gruesome. But in the original run it was what made the villainess, Julie, who had been using the flag’s power to conduct a revenge campaign against her future mother, Thursday, come to her senses and realise the flag had to be destroyed.

Below is a list of the Girl Picture Libraries, along with their original titles and appearances. The only one that has not been identified is “Penny’s Best Friend” in #8. It could be that this was an original story as not all the Girl Picture Libraries carried reprints, but I need to confirm this.

  1. Patty’s World – original
  2. Dear Diary – Vision of Vanity Fayre from Tammy
  3. Patty’s World – original
  4. The Dolphin Mystery – The Disappearing Dolphin from Jinty
  5. Cathy’s Crusade – Part 1 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  6. The Old Mill – original
  7. Dr Cathy – Part 2 of Cathy’s Casebook from Jinty
  8. Penny’s Best Friend – ?
  9. Circus Waif – Wild Rose from Jinty
  10. Stormy Seas – original
  11. Moments of Terror – Waves of Fear from Jinty
  12. The Shadow – Mike and Terry from Jinty
  13. Princess Wanted! – The Perfect Princess from Jinty
  14. The Black Sheep – Black Sheep of the Bartons from Jinty
  15. I’ll Never Sing Again! – Nothing to Sing About from Jinty
  16. A Second Chance – My Heart Belongs to Buttons from Jinty
  17. Winner-Loser! – No Medals for Marie from Jinty
  18. Spellbound! – Part 1 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus A Wee Sue story from Tammy reprinted as Tiny Tina
  19. Bewitched! – Part 2 of Sue’s Daily Dozen from Jinty, plus a Strange Story, “A Monumental Detective” reprinted as “The Crook Catchers”
  20. The Inheritance – Race for a Fortune from Jinty
  21. The Fortune-Teller – Cursed to be a Coward! Jinty
  22. Tina’s Temper – Temper, Temper, Tina! from Tammy
  23. Fame and Fortune – Make the Headlines, Hannah! from Tammy
  24. Wonder Girl – Betta to Lose from Tammy
  25. The Witchfinder – Shadow on the Fen from Jinty
  26. Sweet and Sour – The Sweet and Sour Rivals from Jinty
  27. Carol in Camelot – Carol in Camelot St from Tammy
  28. The Happiest Days – Tammy
  29. Thursday’s Child – Tammy
  30. A Girl Called Midnight – Tammy

Jinty & Penny 25 July 1981

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(Cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • With Best Wishes… – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Dracula’s Daughter – (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Holiday Hideaway – (artist Phil Gascoine) – first episode
  • The Veiled Threat – Gypsy Rose (artist Tony Highmore)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost – (artist Hugh-Thornton Jones)
  • Happy Ever After – special feature
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz) – first episode
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

This is the last Jinty to feature the Penny logo. It would return, but be reduced to a smaller size, before being dropped shortly before the merger with Tammy. In this issue, Jinty commemorates the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981. So the issue is big on the wedding theme. The text story, “With Best Wishes”, brings us a story based on the royal wedding. For this reason, the text story is on the first page of this issue, which is very unusual for a text story. Jinty also has a competition to honour the wedding, with Kodak cameras as top prizes, and the back cover gives instructions for making party pieces for your own royal wedding celebration. And there is “Happy Ever After”, a feature telling us about the things to use to wish for happiness and good luck in a marriage.

Good luck is lacking in Gypsy Rose’s wedding themed story, “The Veiled Threat”. Liz is getting married, and her Aunt Vicky tells Liz how her mother forced her to marry a man for money although she couldn’t stand him and protested loudly at the wedding. When Liz wears Aunt Vicky’s veil (and there seems to be a black cloud hanging over it), she starts acting the same way Aunt Vicky did at her wedding. Is it wedding nerves or the veil? In the end, Liz gets happily married – without the veil. (By the way, this was a reprint of another Strange Story, and I have the original to prove it.)

Tansy of Jubilee Street also celebrates, with the family and friends determined to go to London to see the wedding. But they run into transport problems, including being diddled with a gypsy wagon – which they end up pulling themselves after the horse collapses. But everything works out even better than Tansy imagined when they catch the attention of a television crew.

“The Sweet and Sour Rivals” starts. It is one of the more rare stories that features ethnicity, because it stars a Chinese girl. Also starting is “Holiday Hideaway”, about a family who hide in the house and pretend to be on holiday, just because Dad is too embarrassed to let the neighbours know they can’t afford the real thing after his business failed.

Jinty 1 August 1981

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(Cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Holiday Hideaway (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • For Pete’s Sake – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Witching Bones – Gypsy Rose (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • The Sweet and Sour Rivals (artist Carlos Cruz)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)

Here we in the era of the cover-sized versions of the spot illustrations that Mario Capaldi drew for the text stories inside. Way back in the early days of Jinty there were some text stories, but they were sporadic and soon disappeared. But in 1981 they started again. And this time it was not only on a regular basis but the text stories took prominence by being featured exclusively on the cover. It is intriguing to ponder on the reasons for the resurgence in text stories. There had been a resurgence of text stories, in the form of Misty, which featured them regularly, and her text stories produced classics such as “The Doorway to Evil” and “The Little White Dot”. But Misty‘s text stories faded not long after she merged with Tammy in 1980. Yet the text story was revived in Jinty in 1981. Perhaps it was due to changeovers in the editing teams?

Another thing to note about the cover is that it drops the Penny logo.

“Pam of Pond Hill”, which used to appear first in a Jinty issue, has been stopped for the moment. The last episode concluded with an invitation to readers to ask for it back. Meanwhile, “Dracula’s Daughter” is now the first story we see when we open a copy of Jinty.

The Gypsy Rose stories of 1981 were reprint now (with perhaps a few exceptions). They were either older Gypsy Roses or, more often, reprints of Strange Stories which substituted Gypsy Rose for the Storyteller. This did enable Jinty readers to see some artwork from non-Jinty artists, such as John Armstrong and Tony Highmore.

This week’s episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” is a highlight. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn drop in after a misunderstanding gets Sir Roger on the wrong side of Henry – and we all know what that will mean! But Henry gets more than he bargained for when he gets on the wrong side of Gaye for eating the Sunday dinner. She calls him an “over-stuffed spectre!” and chases him off with a broom. “Verily, thou has a right one there!” Henry tells Sir Roger, “And I thought I wast hag-ridden!”