Tag Archives: Terry Aspin

Jinty 2 February 1980

Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)

Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)

Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer Benita Brown?)

The Perfect Princess (artist Trini Tinturé)

House of Ghosts (artist Robert MacGillivray) – Gypsy Rose story

Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)

Sports Pages – featuring Karen Witt

Winning Ways 4 (writer Benita Brown)

White Water (artist Jim Baikie)

When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

In this issue, Alley Cat and Gypsy Rose return for 1980. This week’s Gypsy Rose story (recycled from Strange Stories) brings readers some Robert MacGillivray artwork, which has not been seen in Jinty since “Desert Island Daisy”.

It looks like Laura’s task is to liberate a captive Viking princess in “When Statues Walk…” from these walking Viking clay statues. Another one of them gets broken, and Laura is worried a teacher will discover the secret if she puts the pieces together. 

In “The Perfect Princess”, bratty Princess Victoria gets rid of another rival, Isabella. Sally, the remaining rival, is pleased about that, as Isabella was the favourite. But she doesn’t realise Victoria plans to get rid of her next by making it look like she pulled that trick on Isabella.

Dragon hijinks abound in “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”. First it’s a dragon teacher, and now Roger’s playing St George with some visitors dressed as a Chinese dragon.

The latest Pam of Pond Hill story adds to the increasing presence of sport in Jinty. Marty Michaels has a big problem: her sister Trina, who goes overboard with crazes, and thinks she either knows it all or can gain it from books. Trina’s latest craze is to become an athlete. Although she eventually realises it’s not for her, it’s the immediate springboard to her next craze: interfering with Marty’s athletics by becoming her self-appointed trainer. Marty thinks this sounds ominous, and she can only be right. We doubt books alone would make anyone a good sports trainer.

In the other sports stories:

Sneaky Cynthia is doing a stakeout to find out what this accelerated learning is that’s turning Karen into a brilliant ice-skater. Of course she can’t see “The Spirit of the Lake”, who’s giving Karen coaching – and as a result, she gets a shock that causes her to have an accident. This could make things awkward for Karen. 

More sabotage for “Toni on Trial” from jealous Julie. This week, she loosens the spikes in Toni’s shoes, and when Toni falls on top of her as a result, she accuses Toni of doing so on purpose. And with so many people thinking badly of Toni because of her mother’s disgrace, it’s all too easy for the accusation to gain traction.

And finally, Bridie has to resort to some “equal rights for women” arguing to get into a canoe club for Boy Scouts. They make their own canoes, which could give her the canoe she needs, but then she discovers there’s a snag – their canoes are for troop use only.

Jinty 19 January 1980

Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)

Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)

Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer Benita Brown?)

The Perfect Princess (artist Trine Tinturé)

In the Soup! – Cookery feature

Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)

The Battling Burtons – sports feature

Winning Ways 2 (writer Benita Brown) 

White Water (artist Jim Baikie)

Jinty Calendar of Verse – part 2 of a pull-out feature

When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine, idea Terence Magee, writer Gerry Finley-Day?)

This week’s episode of “When Statues Walk” takes the cover spot, and it is one of Jinty’s best covers. One look, and you can’t take your eyes off it. In the episode, all this haunting by creepy Viking statues is giving Laura nightmares, and the nightmare includes a wolf with a demon tail. But the excavations reveal the body of the wolf in question. Was there more to it than just a dream?

Brother Herbert, the ghost monk from way back in part one of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” who gave Sir Roger the power to materialise for more effective haunting, is not pleased to find Sir Roger over-familiarising himself with the living instead. He sends in a ghost bulldog to deal with the matter, but one plate of food from Gaye and he’s their best friend.

In “Pam of Pond Hill”, Terry threatens disco trouble, but Pam strikes at the very heart of the problem – Terry’s brother Stan. His prejudices against teachers, due to bad school experiences, have prompted Terry to become the school troublemaker. Giving Stan a piece of her mind completely turns the corner, and she really surprises Stan in how his prejudices against teachers get challenged. In fact, they get so much challenged that he himself prevents the dreaded disco disaster from happening.

In “Spirit of the Lake” Karen takes to midnight skating to keep things up with her mystery coach. “The Perfect Princess” (not) is now trying to get rid of Sally by tying her up and taking her place at a ball to make trouble for her. In “Toni on Trial”, Toni thinks she’s got the hurdling layout sussed for the trials, but she doesn’t know jealous Julie set up the hurdles at the wrong distance, to make her screw up at the trials. In “White Water”, Bridie disobeys orders not to do canoeing practice unsupervised and gets expelled from the club. Undeterred, she’s going to get her own canoe. 

Jinty 12 January 1980

Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)

Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)

Your Free “Decorette” Transfer – gift 

Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer Benita Brown?)

The Perfect Princess (artist Trine Tinturé)

Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)

Tracy Austin – feature

Winning Ways (writer Benita Brown) – first appearance

White Water (artist Jim Baikie)

Jinty Calendar of Verse – part 1 of a pull-out feature

When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine, idea Terence Magee, writer Gerry Finley-Day?)

Grate Idea! – cookery feature

It’s New Year, and Jinty celebrates with part one of a pullout calendar, in verse, which also takes the cover spot this week. Starting “Winning Ways”, a feature on sports tips, was also fitting to start at New Year, and part one is this issue. “Winning Ways” was written by Benita Brown, who is thought to have written “Spirit of the Lake”, Jinty’s only ice-skating story. No new stories can begin for New Year in this issue, as the current ones still have a way to go, and “The Perfect Princess” is only on its second episode. 

Jinty sure has been getting bigger on sports over the December–January period. She now has sports pages, “Winning Ways”, and three sports serials: “Spirit of the Lake” (ice-skating), “Toni on Trial” (athletics), and “White Water” (canoeing). 

There are disco problems in “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, in the form of a ghost jester. When Sir Roger unwittingly upstages him at the disco, he’s riled and is going to lodge an official complaint. 

Sally Smith steals a girl’s identity to get into the contest for “The Perfect Princess” to replace Victoria, the princess who’s been deemed unfit to inherit the throne because she’s a real terror. Knowing girl’s comics, Sally can only get away with that deception for so long, and she’s had one narrow escape already. Meantime, Sally has an even bigger problem – Victoria is trying to get rid of her and the other candidates, and she’s got rid of one already. But Victoria may find Sally is not so easy to get rid of.

Another terror, Terry, threatens trouble in Pam of Pond Hill. Pam is helping her form teacher, Miss Peeble, to find her feet. She’s lacking in confidence and assertion, has a lot of unruly kids in her class and other pupils walk over her, and now she’s in charge of the school disco. But Terry is bringing in even more larrikins with him to the disco and says it’ll be a riot. Disco dread for Pam, and will it be disco disaster for Miss Peeble?

And speaking of terrors, terror really ups the scale in this week’s episode of “When Statues Walk…”. A statue walks all right – right into Laura’s flat for the pendant in her possession! Thanks to Laura’s dog, it doesn’t succeed. And now there’s a very tearful call for help coming from the pendant. 

Jinty 2 December 1978

The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)

Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)

Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)

Let’s Go Nuts! Cookery feature

Jinty’s Top-Model Game – feature 

She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith)

Sea Sister (artist Peter Wilkes)

Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)

The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters, writer Malcolm Shaw)

Home-made Christmas cards – feature 

It is now December, and Jinty is starting off the countdown to the festive season with a feature on how to make your own Christmas cards. Sadly, the rest of her Christmas countdown got cut off by a strike, causing her to miss three issues that December. In the New Year, Jinty belatedly printed the episode of Fran’s Christmas party, which must have been intended for the Christmas issue. Strangely, Tammy was not affected and had all her issues that month. Perhaps the IPC strikes did not affect their titles all the same way.

As we see on the cover, things are getting stormy in “Sea Sister”, and she’s not the only serial with it this week. Storms and floods are turning the tide in both “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “The Human Zoo” and helping our heroes to escape their respective confinements. In the former, it’s a cruel children’s home. In the latter, it’s an alien lab, which is also demonstrating that the aliens, so advanced compared to Earth, are light-years behind Earth when it comes to a flood crisis. Their technology is not made for water except in avoiding it. There’s no water drainage, no boating vessels, no flood control, no rain gear or umbrellas. They can’t even swim although they have seen it from humans. All because they are afraid of water, presumably because of their evolution.  

The Girl Who Never Was is given some magic spells to help her survive in the magic world, but there are drawbacks. The biggest one is a limit on the number of spells, so Tina has to really use her head in how she uses them – or avoid wasting them. Will it help the selfish Tina acquire the good sense she badly needs?

In “She Shall Have Music”, good sense is still very far from Lisa’s thinking. Her parents have given her an electronic piano so at least she has something for piano practice, but the arrogant Lisa considers it way beneath her and angrily kicks it to pieces like the spoiled brat she is. Her parents are deeply hurt, but all she can think about is piano, piano, piano. Then she tracks down her original piano, which is going up for auction. Knowing how obsessive she is about getting that piano back, this can only mean more trouble. 

Sue and her fun-bag are annoyed at how Aunt Thora goes on and on at how you should spread a little happiness wherever you go and keep a smile on your face at all times…with Henrietta around, that is asking for it!

In Alley Cat, Spotty Muchloot thinks he’s foiled Alley Cat at last when he bells the cat, but it backfires on him because of unforeseen consequences.

Fran plays Dick Turpin and “ghost” to keep a horse safe from crooks, but they track her and the horse down all the same. Better come up with something fast to fix them, Fran!

Cherry’s luck finally seems to have changed, with a big chance that could finally break her free of the relatives that she doesn’t even realise are exploiting her. But we’re not counting our chickens with her still in the clutches of those sneaky relatives.

Jinty 18 November 1978

The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)

Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

Limerick Winners – contest results

Somewhere Over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)

No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)

Welcome to…Rainbow Corner! – Feature 

Shadow Games – Feature

She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith)

Sea Sister (artist Peter Wilkes)

Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)

The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters, writer Malcolm Shaw)

Biscuit bonanza – feature

Fran sure deserves the cover spot this week because of her latest potty antic – landing a horse she’s trying to protect in the school swimming pool! She’s really excelled herself this time. 

Spotty Muchloot pulls another trick on Alley Cat, this time to keep him tracked and stop him pinching his food. But of course Alley Cat’s fast to detect it and turn the tables on Spotty. 

Tina (The Girl Who Never Was) and Lisa (She Shall Have Music) continue to make their difficult situations even more difficult for themselves because of their selfish attitudes, because of which they can’t see beyond themselves or realise there could be different ways to handle their situations. At the end of it, it looks like Lisa’s in trouble in front of the whole school, but there’s a strange development for Tina. 

This week, our space aliens in “The Human Zoo” demonstrate that in some ways, they are not as advanced as we first thought, and Earth has the upper hand over them in some areas. Shona and her friend Laika glimpse the aliens’ farming methods – which is done by hand ploughs and tools, and captured humans as (cruelly treated) beasts of burden – while Earth, far less advanced, has long since gone over to mechanised farming in developed nations. These aliens have the flying saucer, food replicator robots, a time machine and the flying skateboard, but they don’t have the frikkin’ tractor?! The logic to it is that farming machines would need repair and maintenance, whereas slave humans can be quickly replaced. Oh? For how much longer? The aliens are driving native humans to extinction, and it is getting too expensive to take ones from Earth. Considering how efficient and cost-effective Earth’s mechanised agriculture is by comparison, these aliens would do well to take a leaf or two out of our book. Well, on to the alien city, where things take a surprising but weird twist in Shona’s search for her lost sister Jenny. 

A police cell? That’s the latest shelter for our runaway orphans in search of the home “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, as the police haven’t anywhere else to put them. Don’t worry, the door’s not locked. The police have to do their duty and send them back where they started, but our orphans are working – well, singing – their way to the policemen’s hearts. 

Cherry gets an audition, but whether by accident or design, her mercenary relatives have dolled her up to such ridiculous levels that Cherry’s not on form for it. Can she recover and turn things around, or will there be no cheers for her again?

“Sea Sister” finds the stone she came for. The trouble is, it’s been set into a wall to fix a hole. And she’s growing attached to her new friend, Jane Bush, but she can only stay until she retrieves the stone. Things are definitely getting problematic. 

Jinty 15 September 1979

Almost Human (artist Terry Aspin)

Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)

Village of Fame (artist Jim Baikie)

Mike and Terry (artist Peter Wilkes)

Gwynne’s Quiz Show

Your Pet Hates – Results

Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

Rinty ‘n’ Jinty – cartoon

Combing Her Golden Hair (artist Phil Townsend)

Miss Make-Believe (artist “B. Jackson”) – first episode

Upsy Downsy Mascot – feature 

Pandora’s Box (artist Guy Peeters)

In this issue, Jinty publishes the results of a pet loves and hates competition, and there appears to be more emphasis on the hates. Pet peeves included squeaky chalk, mushy peas, bullies, vandalism, spiders, litter, glib expressions and coat hangers. Some of the replies about pet peeves were put into verse, which was very imaginative.

As we’ve got a pet peeve theme going, let’s look at other peeves in the issue.

In “Pandora’s Box”, everyone, including the headmistress, is peeved with Pandora for jumping queue on the audition for “Alice in Jazzland” when she had no right to even enter it. The girls have turned cold towards her. She uses a spell for “melting hearts of ice” to make them nice to her again. Pandora would have been better to cast that spell on herself; she had little regard for her cat Scruffy being peeved at having to sit on ice blocks and shivering while she cast the spell. Now poor Scruffy has caught a bad chill because of it.

In “Combing Her Golden Hair”, Gran’s peeves are vanity and Tamsin trying to swim. So Gran goes absolutely bonkers when Tasmin tries to swim in the new pool at a classmate’s party. Tamsin’s also suspicious at gran’s claims she isn’t allowed to swim because chlorine’s bad for her asthma, especially as there is no evidence to support this and Gran won’t even allow a doctor to look into it. So Tasmin’s delighted when a new teacher demands medical certification before any pupil can be excused swimming. Now gran’s claims will be put to the test. 

Spotty Muchloot’s pet peeve, as always, is Alley Cat. He goes to extreme lengths to keep Alley Car out of his house and away from his grub while his folks are away, but Alley Cat turns the tables, as usual.

We are informed that “Bizzie Bet and the Easies” will not appear next week. This week, Bizzie Bet and Kate Easie’s peeve is a school bully named Erica and both agree that something’s got to be done about her. They do it themselves – without realising – with Erica constantly getting on the wrong end of their respective Bizzie and Easie ways. Erica emerges bruised, battered, drenched, and given the fright of her life. And after all that, when they see the state Erica’s in, they think someone else has saved them the job of sorting her out. 

In “Miss Make-Believe”, the sequel to “Daughter of Dreams”, shy Sally Carter is peeved that everyone is treating her as courageous when she is not. It was her imaginary friend Pauline, come to life, who was behind it all, by entering Sally for a bravery-testing contest at Playne Towers. The test? A six-month safari. Meanwhile, Pauline discovers the servants are up to no good. Could this be the real test?

In “Village of Fame”, Sue’s peeves are Mr Grand and her inability to prove he’s up to no good in the name of TV ratings. This week, teacher Miss Pebblestone is accused of accidentally starting a fire at school. The evidence looks black against her, though Sue and Mandy suspect Mr Grand faked it, and poor Miss Pebblestone is forced to leave the village. Now Sue’s brother Jason goes missing, and Sue and Mandy suspect Mr Grand engineered it for yet more ratings.

In “Almost Human”, Xenia’s peeve is her alien touch, which is deadly to Earth life, so she can’t touch anything living on Earth. Some gypsies discover Xenia’s secret and are willing to let her stay after she saved them from a poisonous snake. But Xenia goes on the run again because of her alien touch. We are informed a thunderstrom is going to have “extraordinary effects” next week. Will this be good or bad for Xenia?

“Mike and Terry” must be peeved they failed to stop the Shadow again. He’s also after an escaped convict – who turns up in Mike and Terry’s car! The common denominator is a theatre show from 1976: the Shadow is kidnapping everyone involved in it. But why? Let’s hope the escaped convict can shed some light on the matter. 

Mainstay Jinty artist Phil Gascoine takes a holiday this issue, but he’s back next week with “Waves of Fear”. From the looks of the blurb, the protagonist is going to have worse things than peeves; she’s on “the crest of a wave…that was suddenly to smash her life into a thousand, terrifying pieces!”.

Jinty 30 April 1977

  • Creepy Crawley (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Cassie and the Cat – Gypsy Rose story (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Mark of the Witch! — final episode (Phil Townsend)
  • Alley Cat
  • The Darkening Journey (artist José Casanovas)
  • The Robot Who Cried (artist Rodrigo Comos, writer Malcolm Shaw)
  • Kerry in the Clouds (artist Cándido Ruiz Pueyo, writer Alan Davidson)
  • Spell of the Spinning Wheel (artist Jim Baikie, writer Alison Christie)
  • Don’t Forget to Remember! (craft feature)

This issue is from a great period of Jinty’s run. It includes a number of real classic stories that have stood the test of time and memory (“Creepy Crawley”, “Spell of the Spinning Wheel”, and “The Robot Who Cried” being the obvious stand-outs) and all in all is a really solid read.

“Creepy Crawley” shows the how mean the main character Jean Crawley can be: she goes to see her rival Mandy who is recovering from the bee stings that the scarab brooch caused to happen. But even when not under the control of the scarab badge Jean allows her jealousy to control her, enough so that she voluntarily goes back to wearing the scarab and letting it give her ideas on how to get the better of Mandy. And it’s not just limited to ideas – the scarab’s control over insects means that Mandy’s beautiful wooden sculpture is eaten by termites before it can beat Jean’s pretty painting in the school art competition.

In the Gypsy Rose story “Cassie and the Cat”,  Cassie rescues a cat from some bullies, but the cat is far from what it seems. Enjoy the creepy story, atmospherically drawn by Terry Aspin, at the end of the post.

It is the final episode of “Mark of the Witch!”, and outcast Emma Fielding redeems herself by saving rich girl Alice Durant, the girl who she’s persecuted in revenge for the persecution that Emma herself has suffered at the hands of the local villagers. As they keep each other afloat in the raging river, Emma takes a moment to think “It’s funny.. I could die, but I feel sort of happy! Happy to be fighting and struggling with Alice instead of against her!”

“The Robot Who Cried” is an invention of the bushily-moustached Professor Targett – codenamed KT5, she escapes from the laboratory and discovers that she can pass for a real girl – assuming she can sort out how human emotions like friendliness or loneliness work in real life, of course.

In “Kerry In The Clouds”, Kerry Langland is taken under the wing of famous actress Gail Terson, but Ms Terson clearly has an agenda of her own. There are echoes of the story “Jackie’s Two Lives”, also written by Alan Davidson – both feature a poor girl with ambitions beyond her station, manipulated in sinister ways by an older woman. Spanish artist Cándido Ruiz Pueyo provides some very stylish hairstyles and clothing.

Spell of the Spinning Wheel” is a rare foray of Alison Christie’s into a spooky mystery story – I wish she had done more of it, it was very memorable. Rowan Lindsay is sporadically struck down by a mystery tiredness – she’s worked out that it is related to hearing humming sounds but she hasn’t persuaded anyone other than her dad to believe her yet, and the doctors have now forbidden her from running again.

(click thru)

(click thru)

(click thru)

(click thru)

Girls’ Crystal Annual 1967

Girls Crystal annual 1967

Cover artist: Peter Kay

Before Jinty, Tammy or even Bunty, there was the Girls’ Crystal (originally called The Crystal for the first nine issues). The Girls’ Crystal began on 28 October 1935 and was published by the Amalgamated Press and later Fleetway. It was published as a story paper but was reworked as a comic on 21 March 1953, and so it continued until 18 May 1963, when it merged with School Friend.

Here I present the only Girls’ Crystal annual I currently have as the cover ties in with the Christmas season. The Girls’ Crystal annuals started in 1939 and lasted into the late 1970s. Some of the stories were reprints from the Girls’ Crystal, which I suspect was the case with “Expelled!” and “Pepita Roams the Road”.

More information on the Girl’s Crystal and its annuals can be found here.

http://www.friardale.co.uk/Girls%20Crystal%20Annual/Girls%20Crystal%20Annual.htm

http://www.friardale.co.uk/Girls%20Crystal/Girls%20Crystal.htm

http://ukcomics.wikia.com/wiki/Girls%27_Crystal

Contents

Picture Stories

  • Not Like Lassie
  • Pepita Roams the Road (artist Robert MacGillivray)
  • Caught in the Act!
  • Jimmy in a Jam
  • Expelled!
  • When Fame Came to Fay

Text Stories

  • The Christmas Present (artist Dudley Wynne)
  • Mam’selle X Finds Danger at Midnight
  • Lady Jane
  • A Feather in Gillian’s Cap (artist Terry Aspin?)
  • The Witch on the Rock (Lorelei legend)
  • Tabu Island (artist Peter Kay)
  • The Silly Princess (based on The Swineherd from Hans Christian Anderson)
  • The Girl in the Moon (Goddess Diana legends)
  • Coconut Takes Over
  • The Last Empress of China (artists Sep & Scott)

Features

  • Party Magic
  • Sleep Sweetly
  • Schoolgirls in Australia
  • Just Jo (cartoon)
  • At Home in an Icy World
  • Sports and Pastimes Crossword
  • Tea in the Highlands
  • Picture Quiz
  • Butterflies for Your Party
  • Popsy
  • Silkworm Wonder
  • “Prickles” in the Garden (writer Melville Nicholas)

In its heyday, a major attraction of the Girls Crystal annual was the Noel Raymond series, written by Ronald Fleming under the pseudonym of Peter Langley. At the time it was almost unheard of for a male writer to write under a pseudonym in the girls’ papers. The Noel Raymond series was also unusual for using a male lead in a paper where the leads were exclusively female. But this annual appeared in 1967, 14 years after Girls’ Crystal disappeared into School Friend, so it is likely the annual was falling on reprints. “Expelled!” looks like a reprint from Girls’ Crystal. I could be wrong, but it looks like the story has been retitled.

The annual is a very good read and still bears up pretty well. It has 159 pages, so there is plenty of reading, and gives scope for reprints of two serials. “Pepita on the Road” is an early Robert MacGillivray. Pepita is an Italian girl who runs a puppet show. Then a volcanic eruption devastates the village and Pepita answers the call for funds to rebuild it by hitting the road to help raise money with her puppets. In “Expelled!”, Pauline Kane is wrongly expelled (as you might have guessed) and is determined to clear her name. Her determination takes her to the lengths of shacking up in a shabby backstreet boarding house instead of going home while trying to work out who framed her. Pauline gets a horrible shock when the trail leads to her own sports teacher, who even resorts to kidnapping her once Pauline rumbles her. And there seems to be a link between the teacher’s animosity and Pauline’s father, who is a famous lawyer. Pauline tells her story in her own words; unfortunately her dialogue comes across as formal and old fashioned when read today. All the same, “Expelled!” is one of my favourite stories in this annual. If anyone can provide information on when Pauline’s story originally appeared and what the original title was, if any, I will be pleased to hear it.

There are shorter picture stories as well. In “Caught in the Act!”, it is a delight to see two female magicians as the leads, who perform a popular disappearing act. They are forced to reveal the secret to the reader after partly using it to foil a robbery, but don’t worry ladies, I won’t repeat it here! “Jimmy in a Jam” is about a little brother who likes to help, but he always ends up as the one needing help. However, the jam he gets into is not due to klutiziness, but to a silly woman who is not looking after her dogs correctly, so Jimmy and the ex-gardener have to resort to drastic measures to ensure one of the dogs gets proper vet care. And it wouldn’t be complete without a ballet story, which we get with “When Fame Came to Fay”. Fay gets her chance of fame in the ballet show after the lead walks out. But when Fay learns the show needs the original lead if it is to really succeed, she has to choose between the show and her own opportunity.

Of course there are text stories too. Among them: a Mam’selle X story, a Christmas story for the Christmas season when it was published, and a castaway story with a mystery attached. One of the more striking text stories is “The Last Empress”, which tells us how a Chinese girl named Orchid was chosen to be one of Emperor’s wives. To be chosen was her dearest wish, but little did Orchid know that from there she would ultimately rise to become Empress Tzu Hsi, the last empress of China, and become even more powerful than the Emperor himself. The feature “Silkworm Wonder”, on Chinese silkmaking, ties in with the Chinese theme of this story.

Legends and fairy tales also make their way in here. There is no happily ever after for “The Silly Princess”, a retelling of “The Swineherd”, when her handsome prince decides she is not fit to marry him after she arrogantly rejects his gifts because they are natural but falls over him when he disguises himself as a swineherd and offers her a trinket. “The Girl in the Moon” tells us how anyone Diana fell in love with was doomed to misfortune because of her vow of chastity leads to difficult choices between her principles and her feelings. And the “Witch on the Rock” is not a witch but the legendary siren of the Rhine, Lorelei.

 

Mandy #1269, 11 May 1991 – last Mandy published

Last Mandy cover

Cover artist: Claude Berridge

  • The Greys and the Greens – final episode (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Best Friends! – final episode
  • Pippa’s Paper Round – final episode
  • Freda Who? – final episode
  • Gwen’s Goats – final episode
  • Selfish Susan – final episode (artist Dudley Wynne)
  • Glenda the Guide
  • Angel – final episode (artist Dudley Wynne)

This was the last-ever issue of Mandy. After a long run that began on 21 January 1967, Mandy and her sister comic Judy both ended so they would amalgamate into a whole new comic, Mandy & Judy (later M&J), instead of one incorporating and absorbing the other, as was so often the case with mergers.

Mandy’s cover story of the week was usually a series of misadventures that played on a single word or phrase, such as knots, stars, melting, music, ups and downs, and guesswork. This sometimes had a happy ending, sometimes not. But in this case it is meeting up with Judy, the cover girl from the comic she will amalgamate with next week. Judy moves in next door to Mandy, and the two girls come together when Mandy’s dog Patch goes missing and it’s Judy who finds him. This is the last time Claude Berridge drew the Mandy cover stories as he had done for years, and the last time Norman Lee drew Judy’s cover story. Next week Guy Peeters takes over for both Mandy and Judy in their new two-in-one comic.

As this is Mandy’s final issue, her stories come to an end. The only exception is “Glenda the Guide”, which carried on in Mandy & Judy but didn’t last long. This was a humour strip about a blundering girl guide who is always trying to win badges, but her efforts always lead to failure and loads of laughs for the readers.

In the other stories, Lindy Grey is always getting into trouble by copying her favourite soap, “Life with the Greens”. Now it’s her birthday, she decides not to copy it to be sure of a happy birthday. Ironically, Lindy’s birthday copies the soap all by itself and nothing goes wrong! Then the soap finishes, but Lindy is eager to watch and copy its replacement because the star is also called Lindy.

The two girls in “Best Friends!” are anything but. They hate each other but keep being shoved together because their mothers are friends. Then an emergency brings the two girls together when their mothers come down with food poisoning, and they are surprised to learn that their mothers started off as enemies too.

Pippa Roberts has all sorts of adventures on her paper round. This time it’s helping an old man who refuses to go into a home. Pippa’s solution is for a neighbour to help him with housework in exchange for him helping her with her garden. Brilliant!

“Freda Who?” is one of two Mandy reprints. Karen Wilkinson is puzzled by new girl Freda, who seems to be oddly clueless about things. Now it is revealed that Freda comes from the 23rd century, where warfare has rendered England virtually uninhabitable. Freda’s father sent her on a one-way time travel into the 20th century to save her life. This reveal must have had readers in tears.

Gwen is taking five goats across the country to Melbury Market as a publicity stunt for her mother’s health food shop. In the final episode she finally gets to Melbury and gets all the publicity she could want, plus a welcome lift to get her goats home.

Susan Smith has been faking deafness to continue getting favoured treatment after the genuine deafness from an illness wore off. But of course it all has to unravel in the end, which is what the whole of the final episode is all about. A new girl, Sonia, who had the same illness, has gotten suspicious of Susan. After several attempts, Sonia eventually succeeds in exposing Susan’s deceit to the other girls. Susan puts on the bravado, saying what fools she’s made of them, it’s been great fun, and she’s come out the winner. But she soon finds out she is no winner because nobody ever trusts her again.

It is fitting that the last-ever Mandy ends on the final episode of the most popular serial she ever ran: “Angel”. A wealthy Victorian woman, Angela Hamilton, is diagnosed with an incurable illness. She goes into the London slums to dedicate her remaining time to caring for the needy as “Miss Angel”. This was Angel’s second reprint in the regular Mandy comic, and the reprint in Lucky Charm makes it three. Angel was not reprinted in the Mandy & Judy merger (probably too close to the last reprint in Mandy). But as the lineup for Mandy & Judy explains, she did carry on in the amalgamation with “The Diary of Angel”.

 

Mandy 1Mandy 2

Jinty 30 December 1978

Jinty cover 30 December 1978

  • The Girl Who Never Was (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sue’s Fantastic Fun-Bag! (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • “Wally” Glad You’re a Winner? (limerick competition results)
  • Somewhere over the Rainbow (artist Phil Townsend, writer Alison Christie)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
  • No Cheers for Cherry (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Sea Sister (Peter Wilkes)
  • She Shall Have Music (artist Ron Smith)
  • Fran’ll Fix It! (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Marked “Personal” – the file on Peter Dowell
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty (cartoon)
  • The Human Zoo (artist Guy Peeters)
  • D.I.Y. Decorations!

As the cover and letter page state, Jinty has returned after a 3-week absence due to one of those strike actions that always bedevilled IPC. The strikes contributed to the downfall of several IPC titles, including Tammy in 1984.

Magic is still causing problems for “The Girl Who Never Was”, not least of which is because she has a limited number of them to use. This problem leads to her getting grounded – magically – and she has a vital swimming contest to go to.

Sue should really watch her words when she asks for something from Henrietta. She has a job in a sweet job but asks Henrietta for a spell to prevent her from touching them so she is not tempted to eat them while selling them. But as Sue soon discovers, the word is “touch”.

The boot camp children’s home gets flooded while Dorothy and Max are shut up alone in the place. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise because it enables them to float away to freedom on an airbed, and the flooding will be a richly deserved comeuppance for that horrible drill sergeant matron upon her return. It might even be the end of the institution, thank goodness. But fresh trouble just has to be around the corner. Dorothy hurts her ankle, so their journey to rainbow’s end is put on hold while she rests it – in the wreckage of a German fighter.

Flooding is also putting an end to the slavery the aliens have put the humans under. And it’s all because the aliens are so terrified of water that they have never developed the skills to handle it. They can’t swim, and they have no water drainage systems, no watercraft, and no methods for coping with flooding – all of which humans have developed because they clearly evolved differently from the aliens. So the humans are free – for the moment.

In “Fran’ll Fix It!”, Fran is trying her hand at being a drill sergeant with the army of schoolgirls she has raised to protect a racehorse. However, the school gardener soon shows Fran how army drill should be done; he used to be a sergeant major.

Cherry finally gets her big break in stardom with her uncle, which gives her a break from the slaving her relatives have her do without her even realising. Later, Cherry sees another opportunity for an even bigger break. But cousin Michelle’s jealous and she wants a piece of the action.

Helen calls for a storm to bring down the cottage so the Ullapond stone can be returned home. But it fails to do so, and her secret is in danger too. If she is found out, she can never return home.

Lisa still can’t forget her piano. She finds it at an auction and gets thrown out when she conducts her usual naff behaviour to get it back. When Lisa discovers its new owner – the Mayor’s spoiled daughter – she resorts to breaking and entering to play it. Then the window slams shut on her precious hands. Will they become so damaged she can no longer play any piano?