Tag Archives: Toni on Trial

Jinty 8 December 1979

Jinty 8 december 1979 1

Here we have a competition with “40 gay Gypsy dolls” to win (hmm, how times have changed over the use of the word ‘gay’). And it is an issue big on stories finishing or approaching their conclusions, so the decks are being cleared for the Christmas/New Year lineup.

The ending to “Combing Her Golden Hair” takes you completely by surprise because it’s not what you expect from stories about abusive guardians and salvation from magical objects. Next week Jinty’s most enduring regular, “Pam of Pond Hill” starts.

In the penultimate episode of “Waves of Fear”, Clare is now on the brink of suicide (strong stuff for a girls’ comic to hint at!), unaware that her luck is finally beginning to change. Once Rachel weasels the truth about Clare’s expulsion from that horrible Jean, people in authority finally begin to realise that Clare’s uncharacteristic behaviour is due to a mental illness, not cowardice or delinquency. But by the time they finally catch up to Clare, the search for her has led to Rachel facing another accident in the very same cave where the trouble started. So it’s all going to end where it began next week.

“My Heart Belongs to Buttons” is also on its penultimate episode, and it’s ironic. Julie, who has rejected Buttons II for so long, now can’t bear the thought of letting him go!

Black Sheep of the Bartons” is at its climax too, with Bev finally realising how selfish she has been when her thoughtless conduct leads to her sister Ruth going off in search of her, and now Ruth’s life is in danger.

Jinty starts her Christmas story “Tale of the Panto Cat”. Daisy Green Youth Club is planning their Christmas special, but bossy-boots Verna is spoiling everything, including Christmas, by taking over everything, from what they are to do for their special to the (dreadful) lines they are given. And everything Verna does is geared towards putting herself in the spotlight as the star of the show.

In “Toni on Trial”, Toni finally finds out what the mystery is about her late mother – she was accused of stealing a sports trophy. Now Toni is being tarred with the same brush by everyone in town, and it’s interfering with her running career. And the person wielding the biggest brush seems to be the sports coach, Miss Rogers. She tells Toni her mother was “nothing but a common thief” – and right in front of all the other athletes!

Bridie has vowed “White Water” will ride again, but runs into her first obstacle –her embittered mother, who is burning Dad’s sailing books.

Story theme: Sports

Many apologies for the long break in between posts. Life has got hectic and the run-up to Christmas didn’t help!

Jinty and Penny cover 7 February 1981

Stories featuring sports are very prevalent across the range of girls’ comics titles. This clearly taps into both the day-to-day experiences of many or most schoolgirls (playing on their hockey or netball teams) and into aspirational ideals (winning regional or national contests, going on to have a career in their chosen sport, excelling at unusual sports). At one end of this theme, many many stories will have some element of sports included, simply as a part of the protagonist’s daily life; I don’t count these as “sports stories” per se. At the other end of the spectrum, there are stories that are clearly mostly about the pursuit of excellence in the protagonist’s chosen sport, with a sprinkling of some complicating factor to spice the story up, such as peer rivalry. And in between there are stories where the sports element are strongly included but given a reasonably equal weighting with other elements.

To me, therefore, a “sports story” needs to feature the sport in question as the main story element, or with equal weight with the other elements. Often the story positively teaches us various details of that sport in a didactic way, as if part of the expectation is that readers might have their interest sparked by that story and go on to take it up themselves. The protagonist is someone who takes seriously the idea of practice, learning, improvement in their chosen area: they are not just naturally gifted without trying at all, and part of the drive of the story is about their drive to improve or to excel.

It seems obvious, but it also needs to be a sport not an art: as you would expect, there are plenty of ballet stories, and these are excluded from my categorisation. Ballet has its rivalries but it is not a competition with winners and losers, except in artificial ways that the writer might set up (for instance in “The Kat and Mouse Game”, the ‘winner’ gains a contract with an influential ballet impresario).

Finally, it is worth remembering Jinty also had a strong focus on sports in ways that lay outside of the stories themselves: for a period of time there was a specific sports section in the comic, with articles about specific sports, improvement hints and tips (such as how to win at a bully-off in hockey), and interviews with sports women and men. Over and above this, there was a lengthy period where Mario Capaldi drew cover images illustrating a very wide range of sports – netball and rounders, yes, but also archery, bob-sledding, ski-jumping… These are not sports stories, but form part of the context in which the sports-themed stories need to be read.

Core examples

There are so many strong sports stories that it is hard to choose a single one as a core example. A wide range of sports are represented: ones that a schoolgirl might well have direct experience of such as hockey, gymnastics, running; and more unusual ones like judo, water-skiing, and figure skating.

“White Water” (1979-80), drawn by Jim Baikie and included in the sports section that Jinty ran for a year or so from late 1979, is a classic example of a story that includes teachable elements as well as dramatic ones. Bridie is in a sailing accident with her father, who is killed: her grieving mother moves them away from the sea and into an industrial city that depresses Bridie mightily. As well as grieving for her father, she also has a gammy leg that was badly hurt in the accident, so Bridie is pretty fed up; but she then finds out about a local canoe club. She is determined to learn canoeing, especially once she is told about sea or white-water canoeing. Along the way there are rivalries and misunderstandings – her mother hates the idea of Bridie doing anything at all like sailing, and the existing star of the canoe club doesn’t like the challenge represented by this bright (and sometimes tetchy) new member. But the story includes lots of information about canoeing techniques, certainly enough to either help interest a reader in the sport, or even to help someone already learning it.

You can see below the wide range of sports represented in Jinty.

  • Prisoners of Paradise Island (1974) – hockey
  • Hettie High and Mighty (1975) – hockey
  • Ping-Pong Paula (1975) – table tennis
  • Tricia’s Tragedy (1975) – swimming
  • Miss No-Name (1976) – athletics
  • Go On, Hate Me! (1976-77) – athletics, particularly running
  • Battle of the Wills (1977) – gymnastics and ballet.
  • Concrete Surfer (1977) – skateboarding
  • Cursed to be a Coward! (1977) – swimming
  • Curtain of Silence (1977) – cycling
  • Spell of the Spinning Wheel (1977) – cross-country running
  • Darling Clementine (1978) – water-skiing
  • Wild Rose (1978) – gymnastics
  • Black Sheep of the Bartons (1979) – judo
  • Prisoner of the Bell (1979) – gymnastics
  • Waves of Fear (1979) – swimming/hockey/orienteering
  • Toni on Trial (1979-80) – athletics
  • White Water (1979-80) – sailing/canoeing (see above for details)
  • Blind Faith (1980) – showjumping
  • Tears of a Clown (1980) – long-distance running
  • Child of the Rain (1980) – tennis
  • Minnow (1980) – swimming
  • Spirit of the Lake (1980) – figure-skating
  • Tearaway Trisha (1980) – cycling
  • The Bow Street Runner (1981) – long-distance running
  • Diving Belle (1981) – high-diving
  • Life’s A Ball for Nadine (1981) – netball (and disco dancing, competitively)

 

Edge cases

As ever, there are clearly-related stories that don’t quite fit in the main theme. Sports are such a pervasive trope in the life of Jinty and other girls’ comics precisely because they were an important part of many girls’ school lives. Of course they also made up a big part of other popular fiction read by girls; it becomes a reinforcing theme that is always available for use.

  • Jackie’s Two Lives (1974-75) – features a mentally disturbed woman grieving over her late daughter and trying to recreate her in another girl, but also features horse riding and show-jumping
  • Wanda Whiter than White (1975-6) – the main story theme is constant trouble with an interfering, tale-telling girl, but also features horse riding and show-jumping
  • Champion In Hiding (1976) – the champion in question is a sheepdog, trained to win at dog trials
  • Rose Among the Thornes (1976) – the main story theme is family rivalry, but there are sections where Rose is involved in running races in her local village
  • Stage Fright! (1977) – includes some realistic elements of sailing
  • Land of No Tears (1977-78) – gymnastics and swimming as part of the futuristic competition to find the most perfect schoolgirl
  • The Changeling (1978) – main character loves horseriding and this is used as part of the abusive family/wishfulfilment story
  • Knight and Day (1978) – really a story about an abusive family but includes a family rivalry based around swimming and competitive diving
  • Paula’s Puppets (1978) – a story of magical objects and group strife, but includes elements of athletics (running)
  • Combing Her Golden Hair (1979) – a strange comb has the protagonist rebelling against her strict grandmother, whose rules include a ban on swimming
  • Freda’s Fortune (1981) – mostly wish-fulfilment gone wrong, with horseriding
  • Holiday Hideaway (1981) – protagonist has gymnastic skills
  • Worlds Apart (1981) – each dream-like parallel world featured a society built around an individual’s interests, and this included a sporty girl’s world

 

Other thoughts

This is probably one of the most pervasive themes you could possibly have in a girls’ comic; no doubt those who are expert in other comics titles will be able to mention many more examples of stories and of unusual sports featured in them. Reviewing the list above, I am surprised not so much by the number of stories as of the range of sports included. Of course the sports that girls played on a regular basis at school – hockey, swimming, athletics, netball, running – would feature in the girls’ comics. Even then, the weighting of specific sports doesn’t seem entirely even, mind you – in Jinty there was only one netball story compared to two or three hockey stories, and a few athletics stories. There is a noticeable absence of lacrosse stories despite the fact they are a staple of girls school prose fiction (I am sure they must be included in some other comics titles). I also don’t recall any rounders stories, which was a very typical summer sport for girls to play.

I am sure that other titles included some aspirational sports such as figure-skating or show-jumping as Jinty did, and the inclusion of some ordinary if less usual sports such as orienteering doesn’t seem unlikely either. However, the fact that skate-boarding, table-tennis, and judo were included as part of the range of stories shows, I think, that Jinty wanted to push the boat out and include elements that were not just a bit unusual, but also modern, fresh, and popular in the wider world: elements that were not marked as ‘élite’ and expensive.

Jinty 1 December 1979

Jinty 1 December 1979

This is the issue after the one that Mistyfan posted about recently with one of her favourite Jinty covers of all. This one is also a beautiful cover, to my mind, though not quite reaching the heights of the one with Tamsin and the mirror. It’s celebrating a new development for Jinty: the sports pages and sports section it is well-known for too. This issue has an article on swimmer Sharron Davies, who was then only about 16, in addition to two new sports-based stories.

“Combing Her Golden Hair” is coming to a climactic end, as Tamsin’s gran discharges herself from hospital: “It’s no good just telling the police – they could never understand the nature of the peril that awaits you there, Tamsin! I am the only one who can fight it – and I must, even to my last breath!” Perhaps the gran has good reasons for her harsh and stern ways, after all? And the last panel is a good cliffhanger: her mother is still alive after all, and trying to get her to come – under the sea to live as a mermaid too!

“Waves of Fear” is also coming towards an end. Spiteful Jean has wrecked the orienteering club that is one of Clare’s only places to be happy, and left an incriminating token behind in the form of Clare’s hankie. The only option left seems to be to run away. In the meantime, though, her friend Rachel is managing to weasel out of Jean the story behind Clare’s expulsion.

The first of the two new sports stories is “Toni on Trial”. Toni is a talented runner who has very recently been orphaned; she moves town to live with her mother’s parents, who she didn’t know at all because her mother ran away at 16. The first evening at her new home seems to go smoothly, until she notices and comments on a photo of her mother winning a running race – at which point her grandfather gets suddenly and unwontedly angry… not a good sign of what’s ahead!

Likewise in “White Water” tragedy is part of the story start-up. Bridie Mason and her father spent every spare moment on board their boat “White Water”, until the accident that killed her father and lamed Bridie. Her widowed mother moves them far inland, away from the sea that her daughter still loves but which she blames bitterly.

The last story in the issue is also a sports story, but as it started before the new section it is not branded as such. Bev, “The Black Sheep of the Bartons”, has been expelled from her school and is back home, corralled and trammeled. Of course that’s going to lead her into doing rebellious, unwise things: in this case, putting her timid young sister on a rough boy’s scrambler bike, to shake up her ‘dull little life’. Not very kind, and we get a hint that next week likewise Bev’s lack of empathy is going to cause more harm.

Stories in this issue:

  • Combing Her Golden Hair (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Richard Neillands)
  • Waves of Fear (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • My Heart Belongs To Buttons (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Alley Cat
  • Black Sheep of the Bartons (artist Guy Peeters)

Jinty 24 November 1979

Jinty cover 2.jpg

  • Almost Human – final episode (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Alley Cat
  • Village of Fame – final episode (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • My Heart Belongs to Buttons (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Combing her Golden Hair (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Miss Make-Believe – final episode (unknown artist – Merry)
  • Waves of Fear (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Black Sheep of the Bartons (artist Guy Peeters)

This is one of my favourite Jinty covers. It is so hard to take your eyes off it. Its composition is simple, but is the stuff of fairy tales. It is of course from Combing Her Golden Hair. Tamsin has reached Redruthan and is beginning to decipher the mystery surrounding her birth and the reasons for her gran’s strict ways that border on the bizarre and even abusive at times.  We are promised that next week Tamsin will discover the strangest secret of all. And judging by the way the story has been building up all along, we have a sneaky suspicion as to what – or rather, who – that will be.

In this issue we see the end of three stories: Almost Human, Village of Fame and Miss Make-Believe. Combing Her Golden Hair and Waves of Fear look like they are also approaching their conclusions because their climaxes are building up fast. That means we will see more new stories coming soon after the new lineup that starts next week. In Waves of Fear, Clare is finally pushed too far and runs away (it had to happen). And it’s still not enough for her enemies. Her parents still think they have an out-of-control daughter whom they just rant and rave at while arch-enemy Jean, who is responsible for Clare’s expulsion, is now trying to frame her for vandalism at the orienteering club. Meanwhile, Tamsin finds a mirror that matches her comb, so the mystery of the comb is about to unravel.

When several stories end at once, it is often a sign that the next issue is going to be big and exciting. And it is. Next issue (which I unfortunately do not have), Jinty starts her sports pages. And to kick her sports pages off, Jinty starts two sport-themed stories: White Water and Toni on Trial.

And what is a glumitt? It’s a cross between a glove and a mitt, and there are instructions on how to make one on the back cover. One of the things that Jinty teaches us how to make in the issues that lead up to Christmas. And it starts on the centre pages, where we are given tips for touching up our Christmas gifts.

Jinty 5 January 1980

Jinty cover 14.jpg

(cover artist: Trini Tinturé)

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Perfect Princess – first episode (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Did Taffy Know? Gypsy Rose story
  • Alley Cat
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

It’s the first Jinty issue for 1980, but Jinty isn’t making it much of a New Year’s issue. The only mention of New Year is on the back cover, where we get instructions for making The Resolution Tree: draw a large tree, write your resolutions underneath and hang it up.

We do get a new story, though, “The Perfect Princess”. You have to decide whether this is one of Jinty‘s lesser offerings or one of her oddball stories. Whatever your opinion, it certainly turns fairytales and every girl’s dream of being a princess inside out. Sally Smith dreams of being a princess but is taking it a bit far. Her room is filled with books and pictures on fairytales and princesses, and she won’t mix with common people or get close to her foster parents because she is reserving herself for a more refined family. However, fairy tales do warn of great trials to become a princess, and Sally will soon find that is just what she is facing. But instead of wicked stepmothers, witches, curses, monsters and other fairy tale perils, Sally finds herself up against Princess Victoria, who is such a royal horror that she has been disowned.

In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” we get what seems to be the only appearance of Gaye’s parents throughout the entire run of this regular. Gaye bursts in on them to tell them all about the ghost (Sir Roger), but their only response is to confine her to bed sick. As only Gaye can see Sir Roger, the doctor thinks she has an imaginary companion and tells her she may have to stay in bed for months – until Sir Roger intervenes. Afterwards, Sir Roger is dismayed to find Gaye welcoming him as a friend instead of being scared.

Jinty 29 December 1979

Jinty cover 12.jpg

  • 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)
  • Tale of the Panto Cat – last episode (unknown artist Merry)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Forget-me-not at Christmas – complete story (artist Guy Peeters)
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

It is Jinty‘s Christmas issue for 1979 and Jinty makes it a big celebration. Even the stories that do not feature Christmas still celebrate it with snow-covered logos and/or holly. There is a nice touch of humour on the cover with the cat playing with the tinsel garland. That is just the sort of thing a cat might play with.

The Christmas issue starts off with a quiz “Make it your wishbone Christmas”. In fact, the quiz is the first thing you see when you open the cover. The break from a picture story starting things off sure makes it clear how serious Jinty is about celebrating Christmas. Her 1979 Christmas story, “Tale of the Panto Cat” concludes with this issue, of course. Everything ends happily of course – except for our would-be-grinch Verna, who spends her Christmas in quarantine when her last trick to spoil the Christmas panto backfires.

Despite the happy ending and the efforts of one girl in “Panto Cat” to remember the Christmas spirit, even with Verna, there is not much Christmas message in the story. That is reserved for “Forget-me-not at Christmas”, a very poignant story of a Victorian waif who was invited to a rich girl’s party but was turned away because they forgot she was invited. She sat outside in the snow waiting to be remembered. But by the time they did, poor Forget-me-not had frozen to death! In the 20th century, Sandie Hurst encounters the ghost of Forget-me-not and invites her to their Christmas party. Will Forget-me-not be remembered this time?

Alley Cat tries to raise money for Christmas from carol singing, but thrown boots and smashed windows tell you how good he is at carol singing. But in the end he does get a happy Christmas because he unwittingly did the Muchloots a favour.

Jinty 15 December 1979

Jinty cover 13.jpg

(cover artist: Bob Harvey)

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Waves of Fear – last episode (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • My Heart Belongs to Buttons – last episode (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Bizzie Bet and the Easies – last episode (artist Richard Neillands)
  • Tale of the Panto Cat (unknown artist – Merry)
  • Black Sheep of the Bartons (artist Guy Peeters)

As the cover depicts, this is the issue where we see the debut of Jinty‘s most enduring regular, “Pam of Pond Hill”. She was the most enduring because she lasted through the merger with Tammy and became a Tammy regular. Pam was, of course, the Jinty version of Grange Hill. Her strip opens with her telling us how her first day at Pond Hill went. You get a pretty good idea of how it goes when the aniseed balls Pam’s gran gave her go over the landing and onto the heads of sixth formers below! Pam finds a kindred spirit in her form teacher, Miss Peeble. It’s Miss Peeble’s first day at ‘The Pond’ too, and she is off to a bad start as well. We know things will get better, but what do our newcomers go through in the meantime?

As well as starting a new story, this issue sees off three stories. “Waves of Fear” ends with Clare striving for redemption for her original failure by rescuing Rachel, who is facing another accident in the cave. And Rachel, who originally demanded to know why Clare ran off the first time, is the one who now tells her why – claustrophobia, not cowardice. Waves of Fear will be replaced by another Phil Gascoine story, “When Statues Walk…”, the following week. Jinty sure liked to keep Gascoine busy, didn’t she? “Spirit of the Lake” takes over from “My Heart Belongs to Buttons” in the next issue. The regular humour strip, “Bizzie Bet and the Easies”, will replaced by a more enduring one, “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, the following week. And a fourth strip, “Black Sheep of the Bartons” is now on its penultimate episode. This means we see another new story for the Christmas or New Year issue. Well, it is December after all. December is a time for farewelling the old and bringing in the new for next year.

You might call Jinty‘s 1979 Christmas strip, “Tale of the Panto Cat”, a grinch story. Bossy Verna wants to pull all the strings of her youth club’s Christmas panto and be star of the show as well. When she does not get her way because everyone is getting fed up with her, she sets out to ruin the panto.  We eagerly wait to see what role the Christmas season will play here.

Jinty 23 February 1980

Image

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Perfect Princess (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Oasis of Dreams – Gypsy Rose story (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

This is no lightweight cover with happy images of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”, “Pam of Pond Hill” or whatever. It is a cover with two tantalising panels of drama, thrills, terror and danger. We know that big things are happening in these two stories. The next cover will be even more dramatic, for it features Gothic images.

Inside we have a quiz that tests our fashion sense and how we would fare in a fashion shop. Jinty‘s sports pages cover hockey and ice skating. We also know that we are due for a new story soon because the final episode of “The Perfect Princess” is scheduled for next week. Princess Victoria thinks she has finally got rid of her latest rival for the crown and means to be crowned on roller skates. In the final episode we will just how she is going to be disappointed on both counts. And there is already a hint of it in the final panel.

“When Statues Walk” is approaching its climax with this issue, with Laura finding out she has jumped to the wrong conclusion about everything – with fateful and possibly deadly consequences for her. And the cover gives you a very strong hint of what those are. There are fateful consequences building up in “Pam of Pond Hill” as well, when Pam also draws to the wrong conclusions about Trina’s training for Marty after she sees the bruise on Marty’s back. In the next episode we will see just what those consequences will be.

In “Spirit of the Lake” and “Toni on Trial”, both our heroines save lives in this issue, but this does not resolve their problems. We are not sure if Cynthia likes Karen any better, despite Karen saving her life, and Toni is still branded by her mother’s disgrace. But she does draw the (correct) conclusion that her mother’s trouble must have been because she had an enemy, just as Toni does now. Unfortunately all the nastiness has worn Toni down and now she vows not to run again. So now we wait to see what changes her mind.

Jinty 1 March 1980

Image

Cover artist: Carlos Freixas

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend)
  • The Perfect Princess (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Alley Cat
  • The Haunted Circus – Gypsy Rose story (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie)
  • When Statues Walk… (artist Phil Gascoine)

I bring you the cover of Jinty 1 March 1980 because it is one of my favourite Jinty covers. Gothic horror, in the form of the bat, vampire and skeleton (from The Ghost House in the circus story), was something seldom seen on a Jinty cover. But it does appear here, which makes it all the more striking.

The Gypsy Rose story featured on the cover is, I suspect, a reprint of a Strange Story because of the paste-ups of Gypsy Rose at the opening and close of the story. A circus is plagued by a series of strange events – the work of a joker, or a the ghost of Marvello, who had sworn revenge on them if they ever returned to the place where he had been killed? In the end, the hitherto sceptical circus owner does not know what to think, but gives the order to move on anyway.

In “Pam of Pond Hill”, Marty Michaels finally receives treatment for hurting her back and not telling anyone about it because she had sustained the injury while using the school trampoline without permission. But she unwittingly causes further trouble by deflecting the blame onto her sister Trina, which causes her to run off.  A stern lesson about honesty in facing the consequences for your mistakes. This is the final episode of the current Pam story, and a new one will begin next week. We are warned that it will feature mutiny because of school dinners.

“The Perfect Princess”, a story often regarded as one of Jinty‘s worst, concludes in this issue. We are promised that two new stories will begin next week. They are “Tearaway Trisha” and “The Venetian Looking Glass”. Incidentally, the latter is drawn by Phil Gascoine, who is still drawing “When Statues Walk” for Jinty. So Gascoine is drawing two stories simultaneously in Jinty – again. However, “When Statues Walk” has climaxed, with the evil Hel escaping her prison by switching bodies with Laura Ashbourne. So Gascoine does not have much further to go with it.

Meanwhile, Toni’s trials intensify in “Toni on Trial”, the relationship between Bridie and her mother takes a downturn in “White Water”, and the mystery of the “Spirit of the Lake” deepens as Karen ponders on who her mysterious coach is.

And what’s the exciting news the cover was talking about? In addition to two new stories, the next issue will feature “Wildflower Wonderland”, the start of a pullout on wildflowers. What they are, where to find them, their folklore, pressing them, poutpourri – and more!

 

 

Terry Aspin

From Wrexham in Wales, Terry Aspin (1916-2006) is an excellent example of the problem of creator attribution in Jinty and other girls’ comics. He is known as an artist who worked over a number of decades for British comics titles and stories including Davy Crockett, but it took until this year for him to be also identified as the artist on some of Jinty‘s best stories. (His granddaughter posted some archive material on Facebook, including sketches and page roughs, from which the definite identification was made.)

Here is a complete story beautifully drawn by Terry Aspin, from the Gypsy Rose ‘spooky storyteller’ series; this episode from 30 April 1977. The layouts are dynamic and the evil cat is positively demonic!

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List of Jinty stories attributable to Terry Aspin:

In addition to these Jinty stories, he also drew for other girls’ comics, including stories such as “Wendy at War” in Debbie; “My Secret Family”, “Night and Day”, and” The Portrait of Pauline” in Mandy; and “Vote For Smith” in Tracy.

Positive identification of artists is not always straightforward, as styles will vary as part of natural change over time, or for specific stylistic reasons. Details of how features such as eyes, mouths, and hair are drawn are good indicators, though not of course infallibly accurate. In the case of the illustration below, from the Jinty Summer Special 1978, the face of some of the background characters are a closer match to some of the faces in “Almost Human”, for instance, than the main characters of the respective stories necessarily are at first glance.

Terry Aspin
Terry Aspin