Tag Archives: Worlds Apart

Jinty & Penny 20 June 1981

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  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Food for Fagin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • What the Eye Doesn’t See – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Russalka – Gypsy Rose (artist unknown)
  • Just the Job
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Working Horses
  • Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

Pam tracks down runaway Steve during a school trip to London and that storyline is all wrapped up happily. It isn’t long before another one spins again, and it’s centred on a Pond Hill pupil named Mack who has a real ear for music. Mack’s also a non-white character, which is quite refreshing.

Mum has told Olivia her dog Fagin’s only getting one tin of food a day and it’s up to her to stump up the rest to fill Fagin’s bottomless tum. Olivia is doing her best, but is beginning to find Fagin is causing difficulties there.

In the text story, Sally is finding it difficult to accept wearing glasses. Then she finds the boy she fancies needs glasses too. So it’s a date thanks to glasses!

It’s another recycled Strange Story for Gypsy Rose. Russalka is a spirit who haunts the Danube River and lures men to their doom. Katerina discovers Russalka is trying to do this with her brother Georgi. What can she do?

In “Angela’s Angels” Sharon is getting into all sorts of scrapes helping a patient. First it’s getting her off a window ledge without falling and then helping to keep her boutique going – which causes a brush with the law. Meanwhile, the Angels’ bandaging class ends up looking like a casualty clearing station.

Sir Roger discovers they’re out of bread and needs to catch up to Gaye before the shops shut. Of course there are a lot of hjinks across the way, and it’s still not the end when they find the baker shut. They end up with floating bread as anything carried inside Sir Roger’s apparel becomes a ghost of its former self, while the baker finds floating coins coming out of his till. Meanwhile, there are hijinks in Jubilee Street over Japanese culture.

In “Worlds Apart”, the Russians cheat their way into winning the war against Britain and the British team is executed on exercise bicycles. Yes, even the death penalty in Ann’s dream world is governed by sport. But the joke’s on the Russians when Ann’s death by exercise bicycle causes the sports world to gradually disappear under their very eyes. The next dream world the girls arrive in starts with a medieval castle and they can’t move a muscle. Nor can anyone else around them. Looks like they’ve been that way for a long, long time because there are cobwebs all over the place, and all over them too.

In “Dracula’s Daughter” it’s Mr Graves’ first day as headmaster of Castlegate. It’s a nightmare for everyone, even the teachers. Is that a headmaster or Hitler addressing the school? The girls are calling it “Dracula”.

Alley Cat is back this week. He’s got a toothache but is scared of the dentist, so he tries some DIY dentistry. The results give the dentist a real laugh.

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Jinty & Penny 16 May 1981

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Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

Stories in this issue

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Diving Belle (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • The Silent Admirer– text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Ancient Remedy – Gypsy Rose story (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Just the Job
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Fancy Free! – (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Winning Ways 52 (writer Benita Brown)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Alley Cat (artist Rob Lee)

In “Pam of Pond Hill” Goofy doesn’t realise nasty Jill Cook is taking advantage of him. He’s been completely taken in by her sob story that her father’s a bully (yeah, riiiiight). And now poor Mrs Dankins’ flat has been invaded by Jill and her mates for a wild party, all because of Goofy’s gullibility.

Another party gets gatecrashed in “Diving Belle” so Belle can use the diving board there. It’s one of Betty’s desperate measures to get Belle trained up for this all-important dive she keeps foreseeing.

This week’s Gypsy Rose story is completely new. For once there’s no recycled Strange Story. Joanne’s got warts on her right hand and she finds a very unusual helper – the ghost of the Wise Woman of Barling Castle. Cromwell’s goons executed the wise woman for witchcraft, but that clearly hasn’t stopped her from curing people.

A witch also appears in this week’s episode of “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost”. Sir Roger tries a dating service for ghosts, but is not impressed when it pairs him up with a witch. The dating service must have slipped up at the witch’s end as well because she wants Sir Roger for a servant, not a date.

The protagonist in this week’s text story has more luck with dating than Sir Roger. Jenny is a shy girl who finds a poem that seems to be from a secret admirer. It turns out the poem was not for her, but it cures her of her shyness and pairs her up with a real date.

In “Worlds Apart”, the girls reach their limit with the fatties’ world when Ann dies because she’s too fat for running and the fatties’ idea of first aid is to shove assorted foods down Ann’s throat to see if they revive her. The girls start throwing food right back at the people who keep shoving it in front of them. Things take a surprise twist when Sarah seems to drown but is then rescued by…Ann?

An Oliver Twist film gives Tansy the strangest of nightmares. She finds her whole home and Jubilee Street in Victorian settings. Her brother Simon is all filthy from cleaning chimneys. Victorian manners must have impacted on the Victorian Mr Court because he actually serves Tansy for once. Tansy finds herself a maidservant to snobby Angela, but isn’t taking any of Angela’s arrogance. The dream provides plenty of fodder for the homework Tansy’s teacher sets later: an essay on imagining what it is like to live in Victorian times. The full episode has been uploaded on the Peter Wilkes page at https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/galleries/panel-gallery/peter-wilkes/

In “Fancy Free!” there is a shock over the money Ben gave to Fancy – it came from the bank robbery Fancy’s father was imprisoned for. While Mum faces awkward questions at the police station over the money, Fancy goes to Ben for a good explanation.

In “Angela’s Angels”, Lesley doesn’t want her fellow Angels to know her father’s rich. Unfortunately, pulling the wool over their eyes is causing misunderstandings. Meanwhile Helen brings a kitten into the hospital, which is against regulations. Worse, it is about to trip a blind patient.

Jinty & Penny 27 June 1981

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  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Food for Fagin (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Friends in Need – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Broomstick Gymnast – Gypsy Rose (artist Veronica Weir)
  • Horses Around the World
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Beautiful Jars – Feature

This is one of the few issues where Phil Gascoine’s art does not appear. Neither does Phil Townsend’s. They’re both between stories for the moment, but of course it won’t be long before they’re back.

Pam’s having one of her crazes, and this time it’s really ambitious. She wants a piano! But there are some things Pam has not considered – like there being no room for a piano at home. Eventually she settles for trying out the tuba instead. Will it work out?

This week’s text story is a period story, which is set in Victorian times. Two waifs are trying to get to the country, away from the workhouse. Along the way they meet some very unlikely help – from the very top!

Olivia’s doing her best to raise the money for the dog food to keep ahead of Fagin’s bottomless belly. Unfortunately Fagin and his gargantuan appetite keep messing up every opportunity Olivia finds to fill that tum of his.

It’s another recycled Strange Story this week. A modern gymnast finds herself time travelling back to Puritan times to save a girl who’s been accused of witchcraft, just because she tried out some gymnastics.

Sir Roger’s had enough of bossyboots Gaye and brews a potion to make her his slave. Gaye discovers the trick and decides to play along so as to get her own back.

Pity they couldn’t have a potion like that for Mr Graves, who is continuing with ruthless, overbearing strong arm measures to turn Castlegate into an old-style grammar school as quickly as possible. He’s even barging into classes to force his ideas on teaching pupils upon the teachers.

Tansy wants to participate in a parade for preserving the quality of the environment. She ends up leading the parade with a majorette’s baton, but is crimson with embarrassment to be leading a marching band that is campaigning for noise abatement!

In “Worlds Apart” the girls are now in dream world number three, which is Samantha’s world. Samantha is Sleeping Beauty and her world is a fairy tale world that has to indulge her vanity and lust for power. And if it’s happily ever after for Samantha, the other girls will be stuck in her dream world for life.

In “Angela’s Angels” Sharon’s helping Susannah with her boutique. It ends up doing well, but there are a few mishaps – including making Sharon and Susannah late for duty. Can they get out of this spot?

Jinty and Penny 6 September 1980

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Stories in this issue:

(Cover artist: Mario Capaldi)

  • Pam of Pond Hill (artist Bob Harvey, writer Jay Over)
  • Girl the World Forgot (artist and Veronica Weir) – first episode
  • Tears of a Clown (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • The Swim For Life: A Jinty and Penny Special Story (artist John Armstrong)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Ken Houghton)
  • Unscheduled Stop – Gypsy Rose story (artist John Armstrong)
  • Mork ‘n’ Mindy: Behind The Screen (Feature)
  • A Spell Of Trouble (artist Trini Tinturé)
  • Child of the Rain (artist Phil Townsend) – first episode

Many thanks to Derek Marsden for the copy of this issue, which he kindly sent on to me.

Pam is on a roll – her ‘witch ball’ brings her luck or so she thinks, and indeed it seems to be the case. By returning it to its rightful owner, her school benefits from help to go on a school trip to France (which leads us on to a whole other set of stories).

“Girl The World Forgot” starts this issue. Initially it looks like an adventure story with a castaway plot, but later on it turns spooky. It is beautifully drawn by Veronica Weir, and through a comment on this blog we found out that it was also written by her too – one of only a very few cases where we know the artist and writer were the same person.

Kathy Clowne is bullied by Sandra Simkins, as so often in her time at school. This time Sandra paints Kathy’s face in greasepaint to make her up in clownface. Not realizing that this has happened, Kathy snaps when a teacher comments ‘What have you done to your face?’ and of course a punishment now looms – even though really it is all Sandra’s fault.

“The Swim For Life” is referred to as a ‘special story’ – it’s a complete two-page story that is presumably reprinted from an earlier title, but unusually it doesn’t fit into the mold of a Strange Story which was normally changed into a Gypsy Rose one. This one is a straightforward adventure story with a brave dog saving the brother and sister who went out in a speedboat and got into difficulties. There are no supernatural elements though, unlike in the Gypsy Rose story “The Unscheduled Stop” – which is likewise by John Armstrong. In this latter story, Jenny Shaw’s parents are arguing non-stop, until an unscheduled train stop shows her the reason in their earlier history for their bitterness, and a way to fix their future.

The letters page this week includes a letter from Sophie Jackson, a science fiction fan, who loved “Land of No Tears” and asked for more SF like that story and “The Human Zoo”. She also specifically said how much she liked the artist who drew both stories and also others such as “Black Sheep of the Bartons” and “Pandora’s Box”, and wanted more by that artist. Perhaps this was part of the reason why the Jinty editors commissioned “Worlds Apart”, also drawn by Guy Peeters?

(I also take this opportunity to comment on the fact that the form that you were supposed to send in with your letters, saying which your favourite stories were, has an issue number printed on it which is otherwise not shown elsewhere. This issue is number 320.)

Finally, it’s also the first episode of spooky-mysterious tennis story, “Child of the Rain”. Drawn by Phil Townsend, this story is flavoured with elements of the South American rainforest, which lends it particular interest in my eyes as I was living in South America at precisely this time. Despite this attraction, I have to admit it’s not the strongest story ever. Jemma West is a keen tennis player and hates the rain because it stops her playing – that is, until an accident in the rain forest, after which she starts to love the rain and to find it gives her extra strength and energy. It shares some similarities with “Spirit of the Lake” (mystery / supernatural elements, and sporting details) which we think is likely to have been written by Benita Brown – I wonder therefore if this story also might have been penned by the same writer.

Jinty & Penny 23 May 1981

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Pam of Pond Hill and her friends have been suspended from school because of that nasty Jill Cook, who is having them carrying the can for a crime she did. Their parents are outraged and want their children’s names cleared or they will take them away from Pond Hill.

This is the day for Diving Belle’s all-important dive. Betty has now had the final vision of where she is meant to do it, and she must do it urgently. But the police are closing in because of all the liberties Belle and Betty have taken, so will they get the chance to do the dive?

This week’s text story is about a do-it-yourself Dad who is about as good at DIY as Homer Simpson. Unlike Homer Simpson, he gives it up after the hijinks in the story.

Gypsy Rose recycles another Strange Story. Jenny mistakenly uses her dad’s raffle ticket for the old message-in-a-bottle routine. The bottle goes all the way around to Australia where Jenny, who has now emigrated there, uses it to fend off a shark!

Sir Roger is a film star this week. Unfortunately they forgot that being a ghost, he wouldn’t show up on film. Tansy is in need of pest control this week. No, it’s not her brother Simon and Peter the Joker – it’s a mouse that’s taken up residence in the house.

It’s the penultimate episode of “Fancy Free!”. Ben once told Fancy running away was a mug’s game, but now he’s doing it himself because he’s terrified the police will find him, and he’s an escaped convict. Unfortunately he has a serious accident while doing so.

In “Worlds Apart” the girls are surprised to find themselves clear of the fatties world after Sarah seems to drown and is rescued by Ann, who was supposed to be dead. They think things are back to normal. However, they realise this is not the case when they look out the window and find there is not a single vehicle in sight. Everyone is getting around by running and they’re all wearing tracksuits.

In “Angela’s Angels” an emergency catches Sharon at an awkward moment. She was sunbathing on the roof when the emergency chopper arrived, so she was wearing a swimsuit instead of uniform. Now disciplinary action is imminent!

 

Jinty and Penny 25 April 1981

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  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Diving Belle (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • A Lot to Sing About – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Missing Link – Gypsy Rose story (artist Juan Garcia Quiros)
  • Just the Job – Feature
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Worlds Apart – first episode (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Fancy Free! – (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Easter Parade – Feature
  • Horses in History – feature
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

This is Jinty’s Easter issue for 1981. Tansy and Gaye both have stories where they enter Easter parades. And Jinty has a feature on how to make things for Easter.

The letter column prints one letter that yields interesting information on Pam’s Poll. The reader and her sister want Jinty to reprint “Stefa’s Heart of Stone”. The editor replied that Stefa was one of their most popular stories and in Pam’s Poll lots of readers voted for it to be repeated. Yet the editor still asks if other readers would like to see it reprinted and please write in if they do. Now why does the editor need to ask this? Surely there has been demand enough already.

In this issue is the first episode of the serial that was Jinty’s jewel in the crown for 1981: “Worlds Apart”. Greed, sports mania, vanity, delinquency, intellectualism and fearfulness are exemplified in six girls who get knocked out by gas from a tanker that crashes into their school. When they wake up they are in hospital, but there is something odd about it – everyone in sight is grotesquely fat, and by their standards the girls are emaciated. The hospital treatment they are about to get is designed to forcibly turn them into fatties!

This week’s text story is a bit improbable. Violet is a dreadful singer (but tell her that!). When she starts singing in the street, people give old stuff just to get rid of her. It’s put to good use for a jumble sale – but come on, would people really give old stuff to get rid of horrible singing? Throw it, yes – but give it?

Pam reveals her two big dislikes about Pond Hill: school sago pud and Jill Cook. Now she dislikes Jill more than ever as Jill has become a bad influence for her boyfriend Goofy Boyle.

In “Fancy Free!”, Fancy’s in a huff when Ben tries to press his own rules on her. It culminates in a row at home, where Mum says she had the same trouble with Fancy’s mysteriously absent father.

Angela’s Angels are having a hard time learning the ins and outs of nursing. And Sister Angela looks a nervous wreck herself after a day of instructing them. Student Nurse Helen is put on night duty – but falls asleep on the job and now she’s in trouble!

This week’s Gypsy Rose story is another recycled Strange Story. Stacy Fletcher’s hobby in making jewellery leads to a strange time travel story where she drops a piece of jewellery in the past after unwittingly foiling a crime. This gives rise to a legend that a ghost left it.

In “Diving Belle” Betty’s coming up with all sorts of inventive ways to get Belle diving again. This week it it’s breaking into school to use the pool. When the caretaker finds them, it’s an improvised diving board on the cliffs. And Betty says time is pressing as there is only a day or two left. Day or two left before what?

 

Jinty and Penny 30 May 1981

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  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey)
  • Diving Belle (artist Phil Gascoine)
  • She Who Laughs Last – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • The Unlucky Rabbit’s Foot – Gypsy Rose story (artist Carlos Freixas)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
  • Jinty Fights Junk! (readers’ submissions for anti-litter posters)
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Fancy Free! – last episode (artist Phil Townsend)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)

Jinty’s feature this week is anti-litter posters submitted by readers. This was a suggestion from one reader and Jinty said they would print the best one. However, they had trouble deciding which was the best one, so they printed several winners.

The text story this week is about a quest to get a pop star’s autograph, but the protective barriers are proving a bit unsurmountable. One fan finds a way around it – the pop star’s younger brother.

Pam of Pond Hill and her friends have been suspended for vandalism that the horrible Jill Cook is responsible for. Jill won’t own up, so Mrs Dankins is the only one who can clear them – but she hasn’t got the guts and wants to forget the whole thing. How selfish can you get?

Diving Belle is on her penultimate episode. She and Betty are running the gauntlet with the police to get to the place where she must do the all-important dive Betty foretold – which turns out to be the abandoned oil rig where Belle’s father was lost! Good grief, Belle has to dive from the height of an oil rig? It sounds like suicide!

Fancy Free concludes this week. It’s a very emotional ending, when Ben, the only one who ever cared for Fancy, dies in her arms. The difficult Fancy will definitely emerge more sober after this.

In “Worlds Apart” there are some amusing moments with politics in the sports world. The girls learn that in the sports world, wars are played as sports events. Hitler fought World War II as the coach for the German footy team (below). And Margaret Thatcher addresses the nation while wearing a tracksuit and working out on gym equipment. Thatcher informs the nation that the Soviet Union has declared war on Britain, which will be played as a swimming match. Ann is thrilled because she will be in the team – but the girls are horrified as the losing war teams are executed.

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“Worlds Apart”: How Hitler fought WW2 in Ann’s dream world of sport.

This week’s Gypsy Rose story is another recycled Strange Story. The people on Squire Robson’s estate are horrified when he marries the unpleasant Carrie Piggott. It’s as if she has him under a spell. In view of the strange things that start happening on the estate that seem to be connected with a strange hare, it could well be the case…

Sir Roger’s armour gets magnetised after a contretemps with a magnetic crane and he becomes ‘attractive’ in a way he doesn’t want. From Sir Roger’s point of view the cure is just as bad: he has to take a bath to de-magnetise his armour, which makes it – horror of horrors – clean!

Tansy’s trying to help old folks with redecorating this week, but things don’t work out as she expected. Worse, Dad now lumbers her with redecorating her room because he thinks she can do it herself!

In Angela’s Angels, Sharon is facing disciplinary action because she got caught up in an emergency while she was wearing a swimsuit. And Lesley finds it awkward to help one patient because he is the governor of the prison and her own father.

Story theme: Redemption narratives

I recently wrote summary posts about two stories that I called ‘redemption narratives’: “The Girl Who Never Was” and “She Shall Have Music“. That’s a kind of story theme that we can all recognize as being fairly common in girls comics generally: in Jinty there are a number of other examples.  But how does this sort of story work?

Take those two stories as an initial guide: the protagonist is a difficult or disagreeable, probably dislikeable, girl who has some personal failing or issue that drives the story. It’s because of that failing that the story progresses; it may not have been due to something that was her fault that the story started off in the first place, but it is because of her moral or social problem that it continues and develops the way it does. Tina Williams lands in the alternate universe where magic works because of her conceited and annoying ways; Lisa Carstairs’s father doesn’t lose his money because of her, but if she wasn’t so obsessed with continuing her piano playing exactly as before, then she wouldn’t find herself in the same difficulties. It’s not just what happens to the protagonist (or how she is challenged in the story) but how she reacts to it. She has to be ‘the architect of her own misfortunes’, as Mistyfan puts it in her post about another redemption story, “Black Sheep of the Bartons“.

Does the story have to feature some sort of disagreeableness, some sort of outright nastiness or callousness on the part of the protagonist? No: I’d say that you could certainly include ‘guilt’ stories such as “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” and “I’ll Make Up For Mary”. The protagonist here  suffers huge pangs of guilt and despair because of the loss of a loved one – a best friend or a sister in the case of these two stories, but in other cases it can be a parent – a very natural feeling, but the failing here is that she lets those emotions overwhelm her and distort her common sense. The guilty feelings of the protagonist drive the story forward, but this guilt is portrayed throughout as excessive, as an indulgence that the main character should resist. It’s the lengths that their grief drives them to that causes their difficulties in their separate stories.

Also, it’s not just about having an objectionable main character who is nicer by the end of the story. “Curtain of Silence” and “Land of No Tears” are not what I would call redemption narratives, despite having protagonists who start off pretty disagreeable and end up much improved. (Likewise “Battle of the Wills” is not, nor I think “Pandora’s Box”, but sports story “Black Sheep of the Bartons” is one I would class as such: Bev Barton isn’t horrible so much as thoughtless and reckless, but her carelessness nearly brings tragedy to her family.) Why don’t “Curtain of Silence” and “Land of No Tears” count? Because when the girl main characters are swept into their initial circumstances – enslaved by a dictatorial coach, forced into third-class citizenship in a future world – their thoughts are not primarily about how they can continue to maintain their status quo ante but about how they can defeat their antagonist. Yvonne and Cassy aren’t just trying to get back to where they were at the beginning: their story is about a positive rebellion, not a futile rejection of the truth that the outside world is telling them. They end up much nicer than they started out being, but that’s not the whole reason for having the story in the first place – it’s because they have faced extraordinary circumstances which would change anyone by making them realise that some things are bigger than individual concerns.

Does the character who ends up being redeemed have to be the protagonist, or could they be the antagonist or villain? Overall I would say it has to be the protagonist, as the main character that you are supposed to sympathise with and want things to turn out well for, but maybe one counter-example is “Wanda Whiter Than White“. Wanda is not the main character of the story and she makes Susie Foster’s life a misery with her sanctimonious ways. At the end, it is revealed, as Mistyfan explains in her story post, that ‘Wanda’s own past is not as white as she would have us believe. In fact, she is on probation after being caught stealing.’ Rather than this reveal being painted as purely a victory for the main character, it ends up with Wanda being ‘truly redeemed when she tells a white lie to help Susie in return for Susie saving her life’. The reader wasn’t rooting for Wanda’s redemption all along, but it is a satisfying ending nevertheless.

What choices could the writer make that would move the story out of the category of being a redemption narrative? Let’s take Lisa Carstairs’ story as an example. As with the OuBaPo exercises, thinking about how a story could work differently will give us a view on how the stories actually do work.

  • Imagine Lisa’s parents still losing everything at the beginning of the story, and Lisa still losing her piano. The story could then have taken a different turn: rather than being about Lisa’s misguided piano obsession and selfishness, it could have been another kind of story entirely, for instance a mystery story where Lisa finds out that her father’s business partner was a crook who needs to be brought to justice. Perhaps Lisa’s piano playing could help her to find the clues she needs, and her obsession with it could be turned to a good cause in that way, so that she needs no redemption.
  • Or let’s say the story stays as being about Lisa’s obsession with playing piano but it’s portrayed as something not to be frowned on, rather as something acceptable or allowable. How would a story work where she can continue to be focused on playing piano to the exclusion of everything else, including her family? Perhaps her family would have to be a nasty, uncaring one, to make her disinterest acceptable.
  • Or perhaps the story could proceed more or less as it does, but with an unhappy ending where Lisa gets her comeuppance. This would make her into a more of an anti-heroine than normal but would not be unheard of.

Here are the examples I would identify as fitting most neatly into the category of ‘redemption narrative’ (core examples) and as being closely related to this category without necessarily definitely being classed as such (edge cases).

Core examples

  • “Dance Into Darkness” – Della just wants to live her life down at the disco with no regard for other people, but when her wish is granted she eventually discovers there is indeed more to life than her own self-interest.
  • There are a number of stories that are driven by a bereavement: the main character makes poor decisions as a result of her strong emotions of grief and anger because she is afraid of being hurt again. “The Ghost Dancer” is one of these, as is “Nothing to Sing About”, but of course “Stefa’s Heart of Stone” and “I’ll Make Up For Mary” are the strongest examples.
  • “The Girl Who Never Was” – discussed above
  • “She Shall Have Music” – discussed above
  • I said above that I thought that it needs to be the protagonist who is redeemed, not one of the other characters. In “Go On, Hate Me!” the antagonist is driven by grief into bullying the protagonist but in the end all is cleared and the antagonist is redeemed, so I would be tempted to class this alongside “Wanda Whiter Than White” as a clear example of this kind.
  • Jackie’s Two Lives” is more about the perils of wish-fulfilment, but Jackie’s snobbishness and the fact she is ashamed of her own family is definitely a character flaw that drives the story and she is cured of it at the end.
  • “Left-Out Linda” develops the redemption pretty well by recognizing that you can’t usually turn around your life by yourself: you have to have some help.
  • “Paula’s Puppets”: Paula has to learn to forgive her enemies rather than attacking them via the magical help she has been given.
  • “Tearaway Trisha”: Trisha’s recklessness has caused a serious accident; she tries to make amends but has to change her own character in order to do so.
  • “Valley of Shining Mist” has a clearly didactic message about the improving aspect of high culture: by playing the violin, Debbie will transcend the impact of her abusive family, who are low-class in their lack of culture and their morality.
  • In “Who’s That In My Mirror?” the protagonist’s selfish nature is made very literally visible and becomes more and more so until finally she is driven to renouncing it.
  • Worlds Apart” is the ultimate morality tale – one by one, six girls are shown the worst outcomes possible for each of their specific character flaws, and they have a chance to repent. The psychological development is minimal but the impact of the story was very dramatic.

Edge cases

  • “Fancy Free “- I know the main character is so independent that this may well be characterised as a fault, but I don’t really quite remember enough about the story to say whether it is the main thing that drives the whole plot.
  • The Four Footed Friends” – arguably another case where someone other than the protagonist ends up being redeemed, though it all feels a little sudden. “Hettie High-and-Mighty” likewise features a fairly sudden change of heart on the part of an antagonist who has mostly been about making  the protagonist’s life a misery until that point. I don’t think “The Kat And Mouse Game” quite counts, either: Kat may perhaps have realised the error of her ways at the end of the story, but will her change of heart actually stick?
  • I haven’t really made my mind up about “Gwen’s Stolen Glory” – it feels like it is mostly a story about deception, though clearly once Gwen owns up to the big lie this is a kind of redemption of her former deception.
  • In “Kerry In The Clouds”, Kerry is a day-dreamer imposed upon by a woman motivated by her own unfriendly concerns. Kerry’s day-dreaming nature is cured by the end of the story, but I don’t feel the main driver of the narrative was to improve her character.
  • The main character in “Mark of the Witch!” is hot-tempered and angry at all around her, and she comes to seek a more peaceful set of emotions by the end of the story. However, so much of her story is about the persecution and abuse that her neighbours visit on her that I don’t see her story being primarily about her renouncing her hot-headed ways.
  • I’m not sure about “Pandora’s Box” and whether it counts or not. Pandora’s witchy aunt does chide her at the beginning about being too cock-sure about her talents and says that she will need to use magic sooner or later, and this is all true: but I’m not sure what sort of morality story that adds up to – not a conventional one at any rate! The main nod in this story to more conventional morality is the fact that Pandora goes from disinterest in the pet she is stuck with (her black cat familiar, Scruffy) to loving him dearly and giving up her heart’s desire in order to save his life.

One last question struck me when thinking about this. What sort of things might the protagonist have done that means she needs to go through this process of redemption in the first place? Clearly it must be something negative: the story has a moral imperative of some sort, warning readers against some kinds of behaviour. But at the same time, some things would be beyond the pale of course, and would mean that any character doing that would be irredeemable. (There might therefore be some useful comparisons made with story villains: what does their villainy consist of?) If a character killed or seriously hurt someone on purpose then that would be beyond the pale: there are a number of villains who have gone this far, sometimes with a laugh on their cruel lips, but it would be hard to imagine that a girl protagonist could do this and still recover the moral high ground at the end of the story.

In the stories above it looks like the sort of wrong-doing that needs castigating but is still redeemable is often about emotional warmth and consideration for others – it’s not about ambition (by itself) or cleverness (by itself) for instance. An arrogant protagonist can still be the heroine, but if she is cold, selfish, or inconsiderate then that’s a good signal that this is a character marked down for improvement – by whatever means necessary. Preferably it will be a Shakespearean denouement, whereby her own moral failing brings about such a huge disaster that she has no option but to change her ways! And being too afraid to risk emotional commitment comes in for a bit of a kicking too, via the guilt / grief stories. The obvious next question: is this moral imperative specific to British girls comics? Do UK boys comics have redemption narratives too? Or those in other countries? My pal Lee Brimmicombe-Wood reckons that Japan’s flourishing manga industry has many stories about mavericks who insist on going their own ways – but in that industry’s story constraints, the mavericks are always right and never forced to realise that actually, there was a reason why everyone was telling them they were going about things the wrong way…

Guy Peeters

Sample Images

Worlds Apart 23aWorlds Apart 23bWorlds Apart 23cWorlds Apart 23d

Guy Peeters is a very popular, long-standing artist in girls’ comics. Regrettably, he has no entry at all at Lambiek Comiclopedia and no other information on him is currently available, except for a listing of his works on Catawiki. It is only due to the Tammy credits that his name is known, but it is possible that it was a pseudonym.

Peeters was a very prolific artist at DCT, with his artwork appearing in Nikki, Mandy, Judy and M&J among others. His best-known work at DCT is arguably Penny’s Place, which started in M&J and then moved to Bunty with a merger. An incomplete list of Peeters stories at DCT can be found here.

At IPC, Peeters made his strongest presence in Jinty, particularly in regard to her SF stories. SF was one of his strengths, and his style really brought several of Jinty’s SF classics to life, including “Land of No Tears” and “Worlds Apart”. Peeters also brought off sport well, but only did one sports story for Jinty, “Black Sheep of the Bartons”. It is rather surprising that he also drew a ballet story, “Slave of the Swan”, and also a complete story, “Forget-Me-Not at Christmas”, which contained period elements, as his style is less suited to ballet and period stories than other artists.

In Tammy, Peeters’ artwork appeared more intermittently. He drew nothing for Misty, despite his aptitude for SF. But he did draw one of Tammy’s best-remembered SF classics, “E.T. Estate”. This was during Tammy’s credit run, which gives a name to this hugely popular artist.

Guy Peeters Jinty stories

  • Carnival of Flowers – Gypsy Rose story (1977)
  • Land of No Tears (1977-78)
  • Slave of the Swan (1978)
  • The Human Zoo (1978-79)
  • “I’ll Make Up for Mary” (1979)
  • Pandora’s Box (1979)
  • Black Sheep of the Bartons (1979)
  • Forget-Me-Not at Christmas – complete story (1979)
  • Worlds Apart (1981)

 

Credited Guy Peeters story in Tammy (click thru)

Jinty & Penny 18 July 1981

Jinty 18 July 1981 1

Cover artist: Mario Capaldi

  • Pam of Pond Hill (writer Jay Over, artist Bob Harvey) – final episode
  • Food for Fagin (artist Trini Tinturé) – final episode
  • Mistaken Identity – text story (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Call from the Heart – Gypsy Rose story (artist Hugo D’Adderio)
  • Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost – artist Hugh Thornton-Jones
  • Tansy of Jubilee Street (artist Peter Wilkes)
  • Angela’s Angels (artist Leo Davy)
  • Winning Ways 33: Table Tennis – Drop Shot (writer Benita Brown)
  • Worlds Apart (artist Guy Peeters)
  • Alley Cat
  • Dracula’s Daughter (artist Mario Capaldi)
  • Feature – The Royal Wedding Party pieces

 

This issue carries the final episode of Pam of Pond Hill. But the editor has left an invitation for readers to ask for more Pond Hill stories if they wish. So is it really her last episode or is she just going on hiatus?

Meanwhile, “Dracula’s Daughter” will be taking over the Pam spot the week after next (after the Royal Wedding issue). And things have gotten worse in Castlegate after Mr Graves’ overzealous drive to turn it into a strict, old-fashioned grammar school drives a teacher out – because the replacement is a bully teacher! She picks on the entire form, except for Mr Graves’ daughter, whom she treats as teacher’s pet. Lydia is not happy at this, and realises the bullying she is getting from the other girls because of her father’s campaign will be getting even worse because of it.

“Food for Fagin” ends in this issue too. In this episode Fagin’s gargantuan appetite puts him in danger of being put down – twice. But a twist of fate ends up with Olivia turning Fagin’s appetite to his advantage in a television commercial. So now Fagin is paying for his own food and more.

In the text story, “Mistaken Identity”, a conceited girl brags once too often when she thinks two women have praised her good looks. But she ends up with a very red face and a well-deserved humbling when she finds out that the women were talking about their dog!

Nemesis also strikes in the Gypsy Rose story, “A Call from the Heart”, which appears in full in the next entry. An arrogant Victorian lady causes the death of a Victorian street cry girl who sells lavender. But the girl curses the lady with her dying breath, and the lady had bought lavender from the girl only a few minutes before, so what combination will follow?

The third dream world ends in “Worlds Apart”. It’s a very narcissistic comeuppance for the vain Samantha, who acts as heartlessly as the Victorian lady does to the lavender girl. But nemesis strikes through another curse that causes Samantha’s face to appear as a pig’s head in every mirror she sees. Samantha screams hysterically as she realises she can never see her beautiful face again, and she cannot live without admiring herself in a mirror. Then her screaming shatters all the mirrors – and herself!

In “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” it’s hijinks when Gaye and Sir Roger go boating. Tansy of Jubilee Street and her brother Simon start fighting again, this time over who is the better tennis player. But with the way they carry on, they are in serious need of an umpire.

And in “Angela’s Angels”, one of the angels, Helen, has a crippled wing from a burnt arm that has turned septic. But she is scared of getting it treated because Sister Angela could suspend her from her duties if she finds out she is not capable of performing them. So it’s double-bluff time to get treatment while fulfilling duties, but will it work?