Tag Archives: Uncle Pete

Shirley Bellwood

Shirley Bellwood, who died in January 2016 aged 84, is probably particularly familiar to most readers of this blog as the key Misty artist, creator of the beautiful cover and interior images of the mysterious dweller in the Cavern of Dreams. However, as this very informative piece on Down the Tubes explains, she had a long artistic career from well before Misty was published, starting in the 1950s.

In the pages of Jinty, she was most usually seen as the illustrator of text stories in Specials and Annuals. There were one or two comics stories drawn by her but these were reprinted from earlier titles.

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Douglas Perry

Douglas Perry is an artist whose style will be recognized by most readers of girls comics as he has had a very prolific history of drawing for IPC/Fleetway and for DC Thomsons across many decades. I think of him as a Jinty artist because he drew two particularly striking serials for this title, and a number of Gypsy Rose stories too. In fact however the bulk of his artistic output was clearly done for other titles, particularly IPC’s Tammy and DCT’s Bunty.

As my particular memories of Douglas Perry are from his spooky stories in Jinty, I want to illustrate this post with some pages from 1978’s “Shadow on the Fen“; they show his distinctive style (loose but effective) well, and give a chance to shiver at the creepy atmosphere he brings to life.

Shadow On The Fen pg 1

Shadow On The Fen pg 2

Shadow On The Fen pg 3

You can see from the above that Perry’s art has a lot of movement and energy in it, with some lovely touches in the composition, like Rebecca’s hair breaking the boundaries of the panel in the last page.

Douglas Perry stories in various girls comics (incomplete bibliography)

  • Jinty
    • Come Into My Parlour (1977-78) ‘Kom maar in mijn web’ in Dutch Tina 1981
    • Shadow On The Fen (1978)
    • Various Gypsy Rose stories including “The Thirteenth Hour”, reprinted in the 1983 Annual
    • Miss Clever Thinker (1986 Annual)
  • June / June & School Friend

    • The Haunted Playroom (1965)
    • The Dream (1965)
    • Crash Point (1965)
    • The Missing Manuscript (1966)
    • The Wishing Well (1966)
    • The Gay Dolphin (1966)
    • Milly the Mindreader (1967)
  • Misty
    • The Chase (complete story)
    • A Voice from the Past (1979 Annual)
    • String of Seven Stones (1980 Annual)
  • Sandie
    • The Return of Rena (1972)
    • Sandra Must Dance (1972) ‘De pas-de-deux van Sandra en Jessie’ in Dutch Tina in 1972
    • The House of Toys (1973)
    • The Plan That Rocked the School (1973 Annual)
  • Tammy
    • Various Uncle Pete / Storyteller stories (his art was often used for the ‘talking head’ intro or outro on these)
    • Palomo (1971) reprinted in Penny Annual 1980 and Dutch Tina book 1980
    • Bernice and the Blue Pool (1971)
    • The School on Neville’s Island (1971)
    • The Dragon of St George’s (1972)
    • The Camp on Candy Island (1972-73)
    • Cherry’s Charter (complete story) (1973)
    • Sarah the Scapegoat (complete story) (1973)
    • Granny’s Town (1973)
    • The Revenge of Edna Hack (1973)
    • Leader of the Pack (1974)
    • Swimmer Slave of Mrs Squall (1974)
    • Secret Ballet of the Steppes (1974)
    • Rona’s Rainstones (1974)
    • Crystal Who Came in from the Cold (1974)
    • Slaves of the Hot Stove (1975)
    • Carol in Camelot Street (1975)
    • Serfs of the Swamps (1975)
    • A Lead through Twilight (1976)
    • The Sungod’s Golden Curse (1976)
    • Curtains for Cathy (1976-77) ‘Applaus voor Kitty’ in 1978 in Dutch Tina
    • Dark Star Wish (1977)
    • The Dance Dream (1977) (writer Anne Digby – see the interview with her for a sample from this story)
    • Molly Mills (1977 – 82)
    • My Shining Sister (1980)
    • Black Teddy (complete story) (1982)
    • The Grand Finale (complete story) (1982)
    • Midsummer Tresses (complete story) (1983)
    • Listing supplied by Mistyfan in comments below – many thanks!
  • Bunty
    • “The Legend Of Lorraine” (1970) De geheimzinnige ballerina in the Dutch edition of Debbie 1984
    • The Little Shrimp (1971) ‘De kleine garnaal’ in the Dutch edition of Peggy 1984
    • “The Laughing Lady of Hamble Hall” (1972 Annual)
    •  Supergirl (1977-78) ‘Bionische Susie’ in Dutch edition of Debbie in 1985
    • Parker versus Parker (1981-82) ‘Parker tegen Parker’ in 1982-83 in Dutch Tina
    • The Fate of the Fairleys (1982-83) ‘Het geheim van Bella Vista’ in a Dutch edition of Debbie Parade Album from 1985 or 1986
    • “T for Trouble” (1985 Annual)
    • ‘Sally on Planet Serbos’ (1985)
    • ‘Trapped in time’ (1986)
    • “The Seven Sisters” (c1988)
    • “Little Miss Lonely” (c1988)
    • “The Trouble With Boys” (1989)
    • “I’ll Never Forgive You!” (1989)
    • “A New Life For Lily” (1994) ‘Lotje’s nieuwe leven’ in Dutch Tina 1994
    • “Lonely Lynn” (1994)
    • “Stop, Thief!” (1995)
    • “The Impostor!” (1995)
    • “The Seeker” (1996-97)
    • “Shivery Shirley” no date available
    • These items were taken from a discussion thread on the Comics UK Forum and added to by Marc in comments below
  • Mandy
    • “Go Girl Go” from the 1971 Mandy album
  • Dutch translations with original titles unknown
    • ‘Billy MacGuire, hoofd van de clan’ [‘Billy MacGuire, head of the clan’] (Dutch Tina book 1981), original unknown
    • Een hoofdrol vol gevaren! (1987, Dutch Tina)

See also this discussion thread about him on the Comics UK Forum, which includes some example art uploads. The Girls Comics of Yesterday site, which focuses on DC Thomson titles, also has a Douglas Perry tag. Here is a Catawiki tag list too.

I am sad and surprised to see how little information there is available about this fine artist on the internet. There is nothing on Bear Alley, or the UK Comics Wikia entry, nor even anything on Lambiek’s Comiclopedia. I suppose we must count ourselves lucky that Perry drew for Tammy during the years they were running credits.

As ever, further information (particularly in order to add to the Bibliography) would be extremely welcome.

Edited to add: Mistyfan has sent through scans of the Misty story that Perry drew: “The Chase”. It is a great spooky tale and I include it here to show more of his artwork.

Douglas Perry, The Chase - originally printed in Misty

Douglas Perry, The Chase - originally printed in Misty
click thru
Douglas Perry, The Chase - originally printed in Misty
click thru
Douglas Perry, The Chase - originally printed in Misty
click thru

Jinty Annual 1978

Cover Jinty Annual 1978

Cover by Audrey Fawley

In this annual:

  • House of Secrets (artist Ken Houghton)
  • For Love of Smudge (text story written by Linda O’Byrne, illustrated by Terry Aspin)
  • Luck of the Draw: A Dora Dogsbody Story (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Salt, Mustard, Vinegar, Pepper (quiz)
  • Alley Cat
  • Shelagh’s Shadow (artist John Armstrong)
  • Potty Proverbs (poem)
  • Maker of Dreams (text story, possibly illustrated by Tony Higham)
  • It’s a Puzzle!
  • Nature’s Wonderful Ways (feature)
  • Take It With A Pinch of Salt (feature)
  • “Purrfectly” Puzzling!
  • A Great Partnership (Fonteyn and Nureyev pin-up)
  • Beautiful Butterflies (feature)
  • Cook Up A Party! (feature)
  • Jiffy Jewellery! (feature)
  • The Gift of Christmas (poem)
  • Girl Pearl Divers of Japan (feature)
  • The Lost Valley (Uncle Pete story; artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Blue and the Babe (artist Ana Rodriguez)
  • Nature’s Wonderful Ways (feature)
  • Jinty Sets You Some Teasers (puzzle page)
  • Good Knight! (text story, illustrated by Terry Aspin)
  • Black Friday (artist Christine Ellingham unknown Concrete Surfer artist)
  • Spirit of the Snows
  • Be Snap Happy! (feature)
  • Where Is My Mother? (Uncle Pete story; artist Alberto Salinas)
  • What A Giggle! (gag cartoons)
  • Nature’s Wonderful Ways (feature)
  • Naomi’s Moment of Truth (text story, illustrated by Christine Ellingham unknown Concrete Surfer artist)
  • Attacked By Condors! (non-fiction feature)
  • Pretty Clued-Up? (quiz)
  • A Life For a Life (Uncle Pete story; artist John Armstrong)
  • Washday Blues (text story)

Now this is a proper Jinty annual! It has lots of recognizably Jinty artists (Jim Baikie, Trini Tinturé, Ana Rodriguez, Terry Aspin), plenty of good solid stories, and a nice long complete story that has intrigue, sports, and dramatic cruelty. Oh wait, that last bit makes it sound like Tammy too!

“House of Secrets” is a straightforward-enough ghost story with a happy ending; Ken Houghton’s art seems a little on the stiff side here, but overall the story works well. Text story “For Love of Smudge”, illustrated by Terry Aspin and written by Linda O’Byrne, is a read that gives more back; the plot of fed-up mother manipulated by a so-called friend, all of which impacts badly on the girl protagonist and her dog Smudge, raises it from being a straight-forward animal story.

For The Love of Smudge

The Dora Dogsbody story is here drawn by Jim Baikie; it’s nice to see a Jinty regular even when drawn by an unexpected artist (if also a Jinty regular himself). Baikie does a good job but I can’t help feeling that his Ma Siddons, in particular, ends up rather more hag-like than when drawn by the more slapstick Casanovas.

Luck of the Draw! pg 2

“Shelagh’s Shadow” is the long story, presumably reprinted from June. I guess that when that title ended, John Armstrong moved in directions that did not primarily include Jinty – he was featured in Tammy, of course, and I suppose that might have taken up a lot of his time until he was perhaps brought over to Misty by Pat Mills. This story has great swimming and diving sequences, and the strong depiction of facial expression that Armstrong is particularly good at, so it must have been right up his street. Ann Brent is the mysterious girl who shadows swimming champ Shelagh; Ann is under the thumb of her frightening guardian and swimming coach and multiple layers of deception need to be unravelled before the end.

Shelagh's Shadow pg 1

Mistyfan has posted about the 1982 annual which includes a good dose of Gypsy Rose stories; Gypsy Rose had just about started in Jinty by now but perhaps was not solidly enough established to feature in the annual? For whatever reason, all the strange storyteller spooky tales in this annual were ‘Uncle Pete’ reprints. The second to last of the stories reprinted has a signature showing it is by Alberto Salinas, a beautiful Spanish artist.

Uncle Pete - Where Is My Mother?

There are two outings for the artist I think is the “Concrete Surfer” unknown artist – the first in the complete short story “Black Friday” (thrilling adventures with wildlife and the wild outdoors). This is competent but looks like an early outing for this artist as a comics artist. The text story “Naomi’s Moment of Truth” has rather more polished artwork which works well; the story is one of broken friendship and lesson-learning, quite realistic actually.

I don’t have the 1982 Annual that Mistyfan acclaims as possibly the best of the Jinty annuals; nevertheless, this is a great one well worth looking out for.

Jinty Annual 1977

Cover Jinty Annual 1977

Stories in this annual:

  • The Blue Daffodil
  • Noelle’s Ark (text story)
  • Herbs of Life (Uncle Pete spooky story; artist Shirley Bellwood) – originally printed in June & School Friend, 4 July 1970 (source here)
  • Jill In the Dark (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Seal Summer
  • Spiky and Otis – gag strip
  • A Chip On Her Shoulder (Uncle Pete spooky story)
  • Dora Dogsbody (artist José Casanovas)
  • A Call for Help (text story)
  • Star Performance (text story, illustrated by Terry Aspin)
  • Heroes of the Wreck (prose non-fiction)
  • The Jinx From St Jonah’s (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Pooh Stick Game (text story, written by Lindy Gale)
  • The Nodding Mandarin (Uncle Pete spooky story)
  • Curse of the Cat Goddess!
  • The Bells of Karlok (Uncle Pete spooky story, illustrated by John Armstrong)
  • The Truth… and Mandy Martin
  • Nurse, please help me! (text story)
  • Do-It-Yourself Dot (artist Alf Saporito)
  • A Christmas Dream (text story, illustrated by Trini Tinturé)

This doesn’t strike me as the strongest annual I’ve ever read, though some of that feeling may be down to the lack of many of the usual strong Jinty artists. There are a good number of strange stories, which I always like, and some solid text stories, but nothing very outstanding in any of it.

The first story, about a mystical plant that will bring happiness to the finder, has a desperate girl who wants to find it so as to make her mother well, and a rival bitchy girl who only wants to enrich herself. Of course the good end happily and the bad unhappily – but I do wonder what illness the girl’s mother could have that ‘only an expensive operation could cure’ that she wouldn’t be able to get on the NHS? It sounds rather like plot taken from the heyday of girls school stories rather than a 1970s story.

Other readers may well be more interested than me to read “Jill In The Dark”, illustrated by Carlos Freixas who I know has many fans. I like his work in other stories, and it is very nicely done, but there is a preponderance of melodrama both in the plot (girl runner finds herself going blind at unpredictable points, has to struggle in the absence of friends and family) and in the art (lots of shots of the eponymous Jill staring in panic as she struck by sudden blindness).

Jill In The Dark
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There are at least a couple of good solid Jinty standbys in the shape of “Dora Dogsbody” and “The Jinx from St Jonah’s”. Dora sees household hijinks as Mrs and Mr Siddons dress up for a fancy dress ball as Dick Whittington and a cat respectively – including Mr Siddons being ordered by his missus to  get onto the floor and miaouw at the cheeky mouse who has frightened her! In the end Dora gets to go to the ball and Mrs and Mr stay at home, nursing nasty colds. And in Katy Jinks’s story, of course she is the one causing the upsets and shenanigans, if inadvertently as ever. There are lots of trips and spills, and much outrage is caused, only to end happily for all. They are both nicely-judged stories with a light touch and a feel-good factor.

As ever there are also various quizzes and articles about possible careers for the reader when she grows up, and things to make and do. I include a scan of one of the quizzes below because it is illustrated by an artist I am particularly fond of, who I would like to know more about. Does anyone know the name of this artist at all?

Quiz for Castaways
(click thru)