Tag Archives: Venetian Looking Glass

Jinty and Penny 5 July 1980

JInty cover 5 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Seulah the Seal (artist Veronica Weir) – final episode
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé) – first episode
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Smashing Bangers! – feature
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways # 16: High Jump – the Frosby Flop (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

This issue says farewell to the serial that came over with Penny, “Seulah the Seal”. This must have been a bit sad for former Penny readers, although the ending is happy.

We are also introduced to a new Trini Tinturé story, “A Spell of Trouble”, about the Blacks, who are a family of witches that find their magical lifestyle is under threat. Is it a witchfinder? Is it a witch-hunting mob? No, it’s a gormless non-magical cousin who is such a walking disaster area she would make “The Jinx from St Jonah’s” look competent.

Pam of Pond Hill starts a new story too. Hazel Bayley, who has no friends and isn’t popular, kindly gives Pam a macramé potholder when Pam has difficulty making one for Mum’s birthday. But then Pam sees the same potholders in a department store, and surely Hazel couldn’t have afforded the £5 for one! Pam can think of only one thing…but it couldn’t be, surely? Or could it? We are told there will be more surprises with Hazel the following week, but we doubt they will be pleasant ones.

In this week’s episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” we see the Arthurian legend like we’ve never seen it before. According to Sir Roger, the real-life Sir Lancelot was a fat, short, bald man with a filthy temper and thick spectacles! He inadvertently creates the famous Round Table when he gets into a fight with Sir Roger over porridge. Gaye doesn’t believe a word of it, but the story’s so funny I put it up on the Hugh Thornton-Jones page in the panel gallery.

Lucy Craven breaks “The Venetian Looking Glass” in three and thinks her trouble with the ghost of Lucy Craven is over. But no – it’s trebled! Lucy now has to do the ghost’s bidding by “the power of three!”

It’s part two of the kids vs. adults sports competition in “Tansy of Jubilee Street”. The adults are into serious training, but Tansy has to find surreptitious ways to get the kids off their butts and do it too.

Minnow is now joining a swimming club, but again she has to do it behind her mother’s back. And while in Mum’s room she finds more strange clues to the mystery: letters in a foreign language and a photo that shows Mum and Dad used to be swimming champions! So why’s Mum got such a thing against swimming now?

In “Blind Faith” Clare has to do some breaking and entering to rescue Cromwell from the knacker’s yard – but she’s been spotted doing so!

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Jinty and Penny 12 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Dark Tower – Gypsy Rose story (artist unidentified)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Behind the Screen – All Creatures Great and Small (feature) – first episode
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Winning Ways 17 – The Long Jump (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

Mario Capaldi’s action-oriented covers are always a sight to behold. This diver looks almost unrealistically excited, and certainly very enthusiastic to be jumping off that very high platform!

Pam and friends find out that one of the people in her class is probably a shop-lifter, giving people stolen items so as to buy friendship. What will happen next? We are promised disaster to follow Pam’s attempts to help.

The Gypsy Rose story is a reprint, with a very badly bodged image of Gypsy Rose drawn over that of the original story teller. The rest of the story is a slightly old-fashioned spooky story: a girl is kidnapped to get her to reveal the whereabouts of her scientist father, and stranded in a dark tower where no one will find her. A ghost and a locket are the means of her rescue.

Angela White threatens to turn things upside down in the household of Carrie Black, trainee witch. This light-hearted tale has a witchy family with a clumsy outsider foisted on them – Angela is a distant cousin and must be given a home. Unlike in some stories, neither the Blacks nor the Whites are cruel or malicious, but it will take a long time nevertheless for them to get along with each other.

In the letters page one reader writes in to ask for more science fiction stories, because she enjoyed “The Human Zoo” and “The Forbidden Garden” so much. More power to you, Jennifer Murray of Manchester!

This is the penultimate episode of “The Venetian Looking Glass”. Lucy Craven is totally under the power of the evil spirit – she thought she was defeating it by breaking the mirror, but the three pieces of the mirror turn out to have three times the power! Lucy runs down the corridor of the castle and takes her evil ancestor’s revenge by setting it alight to burn. Will her cousin Rosalind be able to stop her or to put out the flames?

“You’ve just tuned in to the first of our occasional series on your favourite TV programmes” – with lots about telly success All Creatures Great and Small. Much of it is interviews with Christopher Timothy, who played James Herriot, but there is a nice photo with Peter Davidson who played Tristam and who is now probably rather more famous as one of the actors who played Dr Who.

Minna is sneaking around behind her mother’s back, to find a signature that she can copy onto the form for joining the swimming club she is set on. She finds a mysterious photo that shows her parents dressed as swimming champions – and later she finds an olympic medal in her mother’s handbag! Minna has a mystery in her past, all right – and it comes out again in the swimming club when she has a sudden flashback of waves thundering and crashing – and the sea drowning her like it did her father!

Clare finds some shelter to keep her and Cromwell out of the night, and even sets up some jumps to start to train Cromwell again. But a raging bull might put paid to all of that…

Jinty and Penny 26 April 1980

Stories in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Seulah the Seal (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)
  • Tearaway Trisha (artist Andrew Wilson)
  • Rinty N Jinty
  • Lost in Time! – board game to pull out and play
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Blind Faith – first episode (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Stories of the Stars: Evonne Goolagong
  • White Water (artist Jim Baikie) – last episode

‘Start collecting our super colour 3 part game’, the cover announces. I remember thinking that the game (which involves moving between various eras such as Ancient Egypt and a time of dinosaurs) looked quite fun, but I would never have pulled the centre pages out to put a game together! I am not totally sure if the cover is done by the same artist who created the interior pages with the game – which look to me to have been done by Ken Houghton.

Everyone is teasing Pam about her friendship with Goofy Boyle, making like they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Pam denies everything but of course that is also quite hurtful to Goofy, especially when Pam intervenes to save him from being beaten up by bullies.

Seulah and his human friend Bonnie are still looking out for each other, and miss finding each other by a very close call. Instead Seulah finds a narrowboat with a feast fit for a king – or a hungry seal – in the form of a huge salmon all laid out! But when the owner returns, he is trapped…

Tearaway Trisha has Trisha and Fran reconciling their misunderstandings – Trisha goes up onto the hospital roof to talk Fran down from the edge, but in the end Fran is the one who rescues Trisha when she wobbles and nearly falls off the side. All seems like it is going well for Trisha at the end of the episode, but she is too ready to be tempted by her old, rambunctious friends.

Lucy Craven is under the spell of the Venetian Looking Glass: it has similarities to “Slave of the Mirror”, not least because they both include mirrors in the story title, but the fact that Lucy is enslaved by a set of shoes that her evil ancestor forces her to wear is a little spookier in some ways. Cousin Rosalind is in hospital because she fell from her horse, but that only happened because Lucy spooked her horse.  She vows never to hurt her cousin again but the ghost of her evil ancestor has other plans.

It’s the start of “Blind Faith”: one of the least plausible stories in girls comics, as it features a blind showjumping horse who is coached into winning events by his dedicated owner. In this first episode Cromwell is taken over the water jump by Clare, the daughter of his owner: she wants to prove she can help the horse overcome his nerves. Sadly there is an accident and Cromwell hits his head – which turns him blind. “You little fool!” says the unsympathetic father. “A few minutes ago we had a horse with a slight problem. Now we don’t have a horse” – as he leads Cromwell off to the knackers.

I don’t know much about tennis player Evonne Goolagong but her name has always stuck in my head, not though I could tell you much of what is contained in this short piece about her without re-reading it. (She won Wimbledon in 1971, I see.)

Canoeing story “White Water” comes to an end in this issue – Bridie Mason and her frenemy Jocelyn get themselves into trouble because of a challenge they talked themselves into. They are in serious danger in the water and only great paddling gets them back to safety. The experience leads to them making things up with each other and coming to terms with their own foolish actions.

Slave of the Mirror (1974-5)

Sample Images

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Slave of the Mirror
Slave of the Mirror 1b
Slave of the Mirror
Slave of the Mirror 1c
Slave of the Mirror

Published: 9 November 1974 – 12 April 1975 (20 episodes)

Artist: Carlos Freixas

Translations/ reprints: De spiegel met de slangen [The Snakes Mirror] (in Tina 1976); translated into Greek in Manina.

Plot

In Cornwall, Mia Blake’s sister Janet has bought a run-down old 18th century house built by one Captain Scully and transformed part of it into a boarding house, “Scully House Private Hotel” (other parts are still shut up). There is a portrait of Scully on the wall, and he does not look very nice. Oh dear, could Mia and Janet be asking for trouble there?

Mia is expected to help out, but she is discontented and disgruntled at doing so. She feels Janet treats her like a dogsbody and does not even pay her, though she has the grace to understand that Janet would not mean it. She does not appreciate that the guesthouse is understaffed and Janet can’t afford more help until business takes off. Too bad Mia has those feelings, because they could have made her susceptible to what follows.

When Janet sends Mia up to the attic on an errand, she makes a discovery that proves fateful – an old mirror. The face that appears in it is not Mia’s reflection but the face of a young, beautiful woman. The woman’s identity and origins are as yet unknown, but she soon makes it clear she has powers to hypnotise Mia into playing dirty tricks that are aimed at driving off guests and giving the hotel a bad name. And the mirror also forces Mia to do things that are far worse than that, such as attempting to drown a dog in a well, drown a couple by scuttling their boat, stealing money from a guest, and ruining the Major’s reputation by forging a letter from him saying he cheated in a boat race. There are times when Mia does break free of the mirror’s control. For example, she stops herself killing the dog in time. The same goes for stealing the money, but Mia gets caught anyway, and so it’s another angry guest and another black mark on Scully Hotel. Mia scuttles the boat, but rescues the couple later.

Or perhaps it is because the mirror may have relented sometimes? There is a surprise when Mia realises what she did to the Major and confronts the mirror over it. The face in the mirror starts crying and helps her find a way to clear the Major. Could it be that the spirit is not as evil as it seemed? Whatever brought on the crying, though, it does not last. Soon the mirror is back to its usual tricks.

As only Mia can see the face in the mirror, she cannot convince Janet of what’s going on. Janet thinks her sister is turning delinquent or going crazy or something. Trying to dispose of the mirror or destroying it does not work either – the mirror always comes back. Janet’s losing guests and money because of all the trouble, and she is coming to the end of her tether with Mia. In the end, Mia is put in hospital because of her odd behaviour. Strangely, while Mia is in hospital two men spot her and they say she has what it takes to become a model. Afterwards they have her enter a beauty contest.

Mia’s on the verge of winning the contest when Janet comes up in a huff and yanks her out: “how dare you flaunt yourself in public like this!” Is Janet a prude or something? As Mia says, what’s the harm in a beauty contest? Janet won’t hear of Mia becoming a model either, saying she’s needed at the hotel. This time, Mia has more justification for feeling resentment towards Janet and slogging at the hotel for nothing in return – and that’s bound to increase the mirror’s hold over her.

Sure enough, Mia’s rage has her stealing money from another guest to enrol at modelling school because Janet won’t allow her the money for it. Fortunately she gets a free enrolment as a consolation prize from the contest, which means she can quietly return the money.

The mirror seems to be feeding and amplifying Mia’s own feelings of resentment. She perceives everybody being against her and Janet still treating her like a servant. Mia feels the mirror is sympathising with her there. Now Mia calls upon the mirror to help her with her own revenge against all the people she resents. She grows more violent and starts lashing out. When this happens in her modelling class, Mia is told that if it happens again she will be expelled.

Mia goes home still under the influence, which puts her in a black rage. This culminates in her slashing the portrait of Scully and screaming how much she hates him “you slave driver!” Hmm, could there be a clue there?

Meanwhile, Janet has hired a Spanish student named Inez to help with the guesthouse and take some of the pressure off Mia. Perhaps she thinks Mia has snapped under too much pressure and that’s why she’s acting out of character.

As it turns out, Inez is just the person to help Mia. Inez notices Mia’s odd behaviour when she stares into the mirror and begins to suspect the truth. Inez checks out the mirror with an antique dealer and they discover a note hidden inside it. It reveals that the mirror belonged to Isabella, an ancestress of Inez. In 1770 Isabella worked as a servant for Captain Scully. Sure enough, Scully was a horrible man. He treated Isabella very badly and when she fell ill, she was left to die of fever and neglect in her attic room. Before Isabella died, she wrote the note describing her treatment, how full of hate she is for the house and everyone who lives there, and made an oath to return from beyond the grave to have her revenge.

Now Mia knows the truth, she sympathises with Isabella and tries to tell Janet what’s been going on. But of course Janet doesn’t believe it. She sends Mia to her room. Instead, Mia goes to the attic where Isabella died, and the mirror and note are on her lap. Mia falls asleep where she starts reliving how Isabella suffered at the hands of Scully and was left to die from his neglect. She is full of rage and pity for Isabella. It is small wonder that when Mia wakes up, Isabella’s power is so strong that she has Mia set fire to the attic!

Inez finds Mia in her hypnotic state, which Mia snaps out of. Janet does not believe Mia’s story about being hypnotised and throws her out of the house. While Janet and Inez tackle the fire, Inez draws Janet’s attention to the mirror. Previously only Mia could see Isabella’s face in the mirror – but now both Inez and Janet can see it! And Isabella is crying. It seems Isabella has now repented to the point where she is showing herself to clear Mia’s name.

Meanwhile, Mia is guided towards Isabella’s grave. It just says “Isabella 1752–1770”. Inez follows Mia to the grave and suggests they pray for Isabella. Their prayers include pleas for Isabella to leave Mia alone and find peace. A ray of sun breaks through pouring rain and shines on Isabella’s grave. They take it as a sign that Isabella is happy now she has people who care for her at last.

Mia and Inez return to the house, where Janet says she now understands and asks Mia’s forgiveness. The face of Isabella in the mirror gives a loving smile, and then disappears from the mirror forever.

After the haunting stops, life becomes so good for everyone. Mia’s modelling career is now in full swing. She still works at the hotel, but now finds it enjoyable and works very happily with Inez and Janet. Isabella’s grave gets regular fresh flowers. The mirror is still around, but Mia is so happy that the only face she sees in it now is her own. The hotel is still called Scully House though – shouldn’t they change the name in light of what happened?

Thoughts

This serial has drawn comments that the acts Mia commits under the mirror’s influence are veiled excuses for delinquent behaviour. Still, the same could be said for any protagonist who falls under the power of an evil (or angry) force and is forced to do nasty things. One such victim, in Suzy’s “The Curse of Carmina” is actually sent away to a home for problem children because of the terrible things the evil object (in this case a puppet) is forcing her to do. Janet does not go this far, fortunately; the nearest is putting Mia in hospital.

There are strong similarities between this story and another malignant mirror story that appeared in Jinty several years later, “The Venetian Looking Glass”. It could well be the same writer. The protagonist, Lucy Craven finds a mirror that is haunted by an angry, vengeful spirit also named Lucy Craven, and Lucy Craven Snr hypnotises her into unleashing that revenge. Both stories climax with the protagonist being hypnotised into nearly burning the place down.

However, there are differences between how the two mirrors carry out their mayhem. The key one is that the Lucy Craven spirit can talk through her mirror but Isabella can’t speak through hers at all. As the Lucy Craven mirror can speak, it rapidly becomes established what the spirit wants and why. Lucy keeps trying to plead with her that she is hurting innocent people who have nothing to do with the ancient wrong. By contrast, Isabella can’t talk to Mia at all, so her identity and motives remain a mystery until near the end of the story. Furthermore, Mia can’t reason with Isabella that the people she is hurting have nothing to do with what Captain Scully did. All she can do is try to plead with the spirit not to force her to do things against her will. But most of the time they fall on deaf ears until near the end. Perhaps part of it was Janet bringing out the portrait of Captain Scully and calling the hotel Scully House. In Isabella’s eyes, this must have looked like a tribute to the very man who treated her so badly.

When the motives of the two respective spirits are established, one emerges as a far more sympathetic character than the other. Lucy Craven Snr brought the trouble on herself by being – to put it very bluntly – a bad-tempered bitch. By contrast, Isabella arouses sympathy because she was treated so badly by Captain Scully and her desire for revenge was understandable. Anyone decent would feel sorry for Isabella there. It is this sympathy that finally has Isabella resting in peace. Once she sees there are now people who care for her, something finally gets through to her.

Once Isabella’s motives are revealed it is also easier to understand the odd fluctuations of the spirit looking evil most times and then looking like it is having second thoughts now and then. The same thing has been seen over and over in “revenge” serials. In these serials there are moments when things go too far and innocents get hurt. These moments have the protagonist stop and think and maybe feel some remorse. Sometimes this is what turns her around. Other times the pause doesn’t last because the thirst for revenge resurfaces. Often the desire for revenge clouds their judgement and they do thoughtless, reckless and even dangerous things in the name of revenge. They do not stop think about the damage they are doing or the rights and wrongs of it all. Eventually, though, they learn their lesson.

Mia undergoes a whole new appreciation of life after the ordeal ends. In the beginning she’s completely negative in her outlook, discontented at working at the hotel and feels she’s being used as a servant. These negative attitudes could be why the mirror opened up to her in the first place and why she succumbed to its power. No doubt it is one reason why the mirror’s influence gets so powerful. It amplifies Mia’s bad feelings to the point of insanity; it has similar feelings, so it would empathise with Mia. At the end Mia has a positive attitude and really enjoys working in the hotel with Inez to help out. Being a successful model almost seems redundant. Even without the modelling job we feel Mia would be much happier at the hotel after the haunting ceases. After all, now she’s seen a real dogsbody at the hotel who was treated like a real slave, she would appreciate how lucky she is. She also comes away looking far smarter and more beautiful now that she is a full-fledged model.

Jinty & Penny 10 May 1980

jinty-penny-10-may-1980-cover

Stories in this issue

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Snoopa (artist Joe Collins)
  • Tearaway Trisha (artist Andrew Wilson)
  • Rinty ‘n Jinty
  • Seulah the Seal (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Lost in Time!  – final part (Game)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Val Robinson – sports feature
  • Winning Ways 12 – Keeping Goal (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

It’s part three of a pull-out game, “Lost in Time!” Players have to make their way around the ages, including the future where the TV prints out the 5000th issue of Jinty & Penny. Sadly, Jinty never got to that issue number (and shouldn’t Jinty have dropped Penny years ago?).

The banjo is a real bone of contention in “Pam of Pond Hill”. It caused a feud between Goofy’s mother and grandfather that has not healed, despite the passage of years. Now it threatens to erupt again as Goofy discovers his own talent for the banjo – and then his lost grandfather.

“Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” takes a hand in helping a plump teacher stick to her sponsored slim when she doesn’t stick to it herself. He says it’s all in a good cause – but we do notice that the gluttonous ghost seems to be taking opportunities to grab the teacher’s food for himself…

Trisha’s first show to raise money for Fran’s operation is a great success. Finally, something’s gone right for Trisha. Oh dear, perhaps we spoke too soon – Fran’s throwing it all in Trisha’s face because she thinks the operation won’t work. And next week’s blurb says it’s going to get worse, because Fran is running away!

Things look up for Seulah when he finds a friend in the form of a kindly tramp. But then things look down again when the seal is cornered by a bunch of sealers out to club him for his fur.

In “The Venetian Looking Glass”, Lucy saves the stables from burning down – but then realises the ghost of Lucy Craven made her set fire to them in the first place. It’s all part of the ghost’s revenge, and next week’s blurb says we are going to find out what her revenge is about.

Dad’s got a ticket for a pop concert, but Simon and Tansy have to decide who gets it. Yikes, this can only mean one thing with a brother like Simon – dirty tricks to get the ticket!

Minnow’s taken a bad fright after a strange panic attack in the pool. The teacher has to put extra coaching into restoring her confidence, which succeeds. And in “Blind Faith”, Clare is making headway in training her blind horse to show jump while keeping him hidden from the authorities. But her mind gets full of doubts as to whether she’s doing the right thing.

Jinty & Penny 19 July 1980

Jinty cover 19 July 1980

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass – final episode (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • A Spell of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • A Light for the Loyal – Gypsy Rose story (artist Bill Mainwaring)
  • Behind the Screen – Top of the Pops (feature)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Winning Ways 18 – Javelin (writer Benita Brown)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

This issue sees the conclusion of the Venetian Looking Glass – and one of the most gruesome panels to appear in Jinty when Lucy opens her namesake’s coffin to put in the things to lay her ghost, and is revolted by the sight of her skeleton.

Pam has realised one of her classmates is shoplifting and doesn’t know what to do. And to make matters worse, Pam was given one of the shoplifted items, but trying to return it quietly has gotten her into trouble with the shop management, who think she stole the item!

Tansy is in the doghouse after she loses her neighbour’s treasured memories. Even the teachers at school are rubbing her nose in it. Fortunately the treasures are recovered and it turns out they weren’t all that lost. But in “Blind Faith”, Clare has an even more heartbreaking loss – her dog Caesar, who has accidentally been shot dead.

In “Minnow”, Minna’s swimming teacher decides it’s time to ask Minna’s mother what light she can shed on Minna’s strange panics in the pool – but she doesn’t know Minna is swimming behind her mother’s back, so Minna’s secret is in danger!

The Gypsy Rose story recycles another Strange Story, about how will o’ the wisp saves a fugitive from Norman invaders. But the panels of Gypsy Rose that replace the Storyteller must rank as one of the worst instances of Jinty artwork ever.

In “A Spell of Trouble” Carrie gets even more infuriated with her gormless cousin Angela when Angela tries to impose her taste in television upon her – a cartoon called Marmaduke Mouse (oh, really, Angela, at your age!) instead of the pop programme that is Carrie’s favourite.

Sir Roger is not impressed with Americans – and even less so when a Texan wants to buy Stoney Hall and ship it to Texas! We have to wait until next week to find out what Sir Roger and Gaye do to prevent this. And haunting the Texans won’t work because they love having “a real English spook!”.

Jinty and Penny 14 June 1980

Cover 19800614

Stories in this issue:

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tearaway Trisha (artist Andrew Wilson)
  • Snoopa
  • Seulah the Seal (artist Veronica Weir)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Virginia Wade and Winning Ways 13: The Crouch Start (writer Benita Brown)
  • Minnow (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Blind Faith (artist Phil Townsend)

I have just received this issue from an ebay purchase, so am making the time for a quick post. Shockingly, the seller had packaged it up in an A4 envelope when the comic is noticeably wider than that – and s/he actually rolled / folded the edge in order to get it into the packaging! Blimey, not sure what the world is coming to, though at least it was a very reasonable price.

Pam and her class are doing a school show, but Pam is busier trying to bring together her boyfriend Goofy’s fractured family… and they are both trying to manage to do sewing and woodwork respectively, and wishing they could swop over those classes!

“Tearaway Trisha” is a less well-known Jinty story, by an artist who had a very long run in girls’ comics but only this story in this title. Trisha is trying to raise money for an operation to help the girl she injured with her careless riding, but Fran has worked herself up into a right state and isn’t having any of it. They make it up in the end but everything is weighing on Trisha’s mind and her ‘Fran appeal’ show with spectacular cycling stunts doesn’t go well and raises little money as a result. We are promised a resolution in next week’s episode though.

Seulah is saved from attack by murderous yobs through the intervention of a tramp, and Seulah’s friend Bonnie is greeted with the excellent news that the coastline and seal island have been declared a sanctuary – but Seulah still has miles to go before he is back home and safe.

The Venetian Looking Glass is not my favourite of the ‘evil object’ stories printed in Jinty. We get some nice glimpses of the past in this episode, and of course Gascoine’s artwork is lovely, but it does all feel a bit ‘done before’.

The text sports pages tell us about Virginia Wade at Wimbledon, and about the Crouch Start in Sprinting.

“Minnow” is an odd story that works quite well. Minna isn’t allowed to swim by her mother; in this episode she is told that this is because her father drowned at sea when she was a baby. Nevertheless, as is always the way with these things, she starts to learn anyway, but finds that odd things happen – not magical like in “Combing Her Golden Hair“, but psychologically disturbing instead. Quite effectively done.

The last story is the rather ridiculous, but again beautifully-drawn, “Blind Faith” – the blind show jumping horse whose owner doesn’t want to give up on him. I reproduce this episode for you to see. It’s not obviously ridiculous apart from in the premise – but that’s quite enough.

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Jinty 5 April 1980

Jinty cover 5 April 1980

  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer Benita Brown?)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Bridge of Heart’s Desire – Gypsy Rose story (artist Trini Tinturé?)
  • Wildflower Wonderland (feature) – last part
  • The Venetian Looking Glass – (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Alley Cat
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sports Pages – Lorna Vincent; Winning Ways 11 (writer Benita Brown)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • White Water – (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Easter Bonnet Crossword
  • Tearaway Trisha – (artist Andrew Wilson)

Cover for

This is the issue before Penny merged with Jinty. The announcement (above) says that next week we say hello to Seulah the Seal, Tansy of Jubilee Street and Snoopa. So what ends in this issue that gives way to them?

Nothing much, really. Pam takes a break in this issue. But then her previous story finished last issue and they clearly wanted her to start with a whole new story for the merger – a wise decision. It is the last part of Wildflower Wonderland. And it sounds like it is the end of “Toni on Trial” soon, because Toni has at last found someone who could help clear her mother, and the blurb for next week tells us there will be another clue. Just as well, because the town is really rubbing Toni’s nose into her mother’s disgrace this time, with a cruel headline: “Brave Girl Saves Cup Her Mother Stole!” Poor Toni is in tears!

But all the other stories are still going strong and clearly have a way to go. “White Water” has been going as long as Toni, but there is no hint of it ending yet. Maybe there will be in the next episode or two. Trisha finally has an idea to raise the money for Fran’s operation, but Fran is not impressed with all the publicity and turning on Trisha big time. And Lucy is still haunted by the evil mirror and shoes that make her do things and go places she does not want.

The Gypsy Rose story, “Bridge of Heart’s Desire”, fills in the Pam slot this week. It is reprinted from June and will later be reprinted in Tammy. The story prompted a letter from one reader who said she turned this story into a play when her drama class was assigned a task of putting on their own play and nobody had any idea what to do. She went through her old Jintys and decided this story was just right for it. The teacher thought the end result was “very good”.

Jinty 29 March 1980

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  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Wildflower Wonderland (feature)
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer Benita Brown?)
  • Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass – (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Alley Cat
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sports Pages – Suzanne Dando; Winning Ways 10 (writer Benita Brown)
  • White Water – (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Tearaway Trisha – (artist Andrew Wilson)
  • Sandwich Crunch – feature

In Pam of Pond Hill, the school dinner dilemma has gotten worse, not better, with the departure of Mrs Harvey. Mrs Bounty refuses to return, and the temps are producing dinners that are completely inedible.

Talk about life (or death?) imitating art – Karen discovers that when she was alive, her phantom coach starred in a movie where she played a ghost who haunted a lake and taught a child to skate. Now she’s doing it for real as the “Spirit of the Lake”.

The ghost that haunts the “Venetian Looking Glass” forces Lucy to rip up her cousin Rosalind’s embroidery. And she doesn’t even remember what happened afterward.

Resident ghost Sir Roger does not think much of Gaye’s disco gear (and it does look kind of ridiculous). He thinks the Elizabethan dress in a portrait is more becoming for her. Gaye is surprised to find that Sir Roger is right – the dress does suit her once she tries it on. What’s more, it comes in dead useful when a thief tries to steal the portrait!

The grandparents won’t allow Toni to go to the celebration party for winning the trophy, because it was at such a party that the cup was found in her mother’s bag and she was branded a thief. Toni goes anyway, but it looks like the grandparents had the right idea after all – Julie is now accusing Toni of stealing the same trophy!

Bridie finds out too late that Jocelyn had tricked her; she feigned trouble to have Bridie come out and rescue her, but things looked the other way around to the campers. And things get even worse when Bridie ends up as Jocelyn’s servant and at her beck and call all the time.

Trisha goes to a cycling show, and is picking up tips from the performers themselves. But she gets more than she bargained for when the female performer nips off just before a performance to get some food (naughty, naughty!) and the other performers ask her to fill in.

Jinty 22 March 1980

JInty 22 March 1980

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Pressing Flowers – feature
  • Spirit of the Lake (artist Phil Townsend, writer Benita Brown?)
  • Meet the Glibbs – quiz
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • The Venetian Looking Glass (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • Toni on Trial (artist Terry Aspin)
  • Sports pages – Gillian Gilks; Winning Ways 9; writer Benita Brown
  • White Water – (artist Jim Baikie)
  • Alley Cat
  • Tearaway Trisha – (artist Andrew Wilson)
  • A Page for the Contrary Mary! (feature)

“Spirit of the Lake” is a story with a theme and artwork that naturally lends itself to beautiful covers, and this one is no exception. It is no wonder that this story featured on so many Jinty covers, including the covers that feature panels from the first and last episodes. The haunting gets even more mysterious when Cynthia spitefully smashes the record with the theme the ghost uses on it – but then Karen hears it out of nowhere! Could it be that she still has a ghostly coach although the lake they were using has now melted?

The other ghost in the issue, Sir Roger, is put out that there is a fancy dress banquet at Stoney Hall and he is not included. Of course there’s hijinks when he gatecrashes ghost-style.

The issue has a quiz that tests your assertiveness skills and dealing with horrible people who like to cause misery. In the quiz you have to deal with the Glibbs, who are a whole family of such people.

In the last issue, Pam was worried that they would be in trouble with Mr Gold the headmaster after their demonstration against Mrs Harvey’s health menu went too far and turned into brawling – and it’s hit the headlines too! But Pam gets a real surprise when it’s Mr Gold who ends up in trouble – with the county council for not following regulations when he appointed Mrs Harvey as dinner lady or agreed to her menu. But Pam and Tracy could be in trouble anyway, because they got trapped in Mr Gold’s office while the row was going on and are hiding in the cupboard. They need to find a way to escape before they’re caught!

Lucy finds out more about her namesake who haunts “The Venetian Looking Glass” and why. But the haunting gets worse when Lucy puts on the ghost’s shoes and becomes completely possessed with the ghost’s quest for vengeance!

Toni wins the very same cup that her mother was accused of stealing. But it’s a bittersweet victory because of the past, and Toni’s enemies just won’t stop going on at her about it. On the other hand, Toni hears something that could be another clue to the mystery.

Tearaway Trisha is humiliated when a policeman says she needs cycling lessons and her mother agrees. But there’s a more important worry when she hears that a huge sum of money is needed for plastic surgery for the injured Fran and is resolved to raise it – but how? Perhaps there is a clue in the poster of a cycling act in the last panel…

In “White Water”, things get worse for Bridie on the camping trip when she is branded a sneak and sent to Coventry. The coach advises her to sort things out with her enemy Jocelyn, and there could be a chance when Bridie sees her heading into danger.