Bunty – A Girl Like You

Bunty / Life With Bunty / Bunty – A Girl Like You

While a few girl comics had generalised names like School Friend or Spellbound, the most common thing for the titles was  to be named after girls, i.e. Bunty, Judy, Tracy, Emma etc. Bunty isn’t the most popular girls name, you are far more likely to meet a Judy or even a Misty than a Bunty, so I think the name is more likely to bring up memories of the comic than a person. Bunty was represented  by a girl of the same name in the comic. For the majority of the Bunty publication she was the first thing you saw on the covers, but even after revamps, she still  survived  by moving inside the issue.

The first issue of Bunty had two girls featured on the cover a blonde and a curly black haired girl. The emphasis was more on the fact that this was a brand new comic with free gift rather than any cover character.The second issue again emphasised the free gift more than the Bunty character but it was now clear that the blonde girl was the comic’s namesake.

By Issue 3 the cover was dedicated to a Bunty comic strip. It was usually laid out with three small panels and one big panel for the pay off. There was no word balloons instead the story was told in short rhymes.  Sometimes competitions or advertised free gifts would take over the front cover but otherwise this format stayed for over 1500 issues, after which the cover had pictures depicting stories inside the comic instead.

Bunty started off as young girl with long blonde hair in plaits, later her image was updated, she seemed to look older and has a new shorter haircut. The other regular characters were her two parents, who would often be exasperated with her. Sometimes friends would pop up but mostly just as when it was convenient to the plot.

When the covers started to portray stories from inside the book. Bunty was moved to the back cover, although sometimes if an advertisement or Design a Fashion was on the back cover the strip was inside. The strip was named Life With Bunty. Her hair was short and curly and now it was a longer strip more of a story and more dialogue with word balloons, no more ryhming captions. It was still wrote as a humour strip.

This only lasted a 100 or so issues, then Bunty got revamped again. With issue 1658, the comic was now being printed  on glossy paper and inside a lot more fully coloured strips appeared. The Bunty strip was renamed again; as Bunty-A Girl Like You. I believe a regular artist for this was Andy Tew. Again Bunty got a new hairstyle to depict the change, this is even commented on on the first strip.

Her parents were still there and still recognisable as their earlier counterparts. Two more regulars were added; friends Lisa and Jo and they became a permanent trio. Jo was a black curly haired girl (I wonder if she was a nod to that black curly haired girl that appeared on the first issue!) and Lisa a red head. Often these strips concentrated on Bunty’s crush of the week, or fashion, a lot more teen aimed than earlier strips. Bunty as a humour strip of a teenage girl also seemed to replace the younger Toots model.

Its good to see the comics namesake survived throughout the years and the character of Bunty was a memorable one.

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5 Responses to Bunty – A Girl Like You

  1. Muffin says:

    Bunty shows how girls – or perhaps, the perception of girls has changed in UK comics. But one thing always stayed the same – Bunty was a humour strip, with Bunty ending up in some scrape or other, whether she was in rhyme or speech balloons.

    Are you going to do something similar for Mandy? It would be interesting to see how she has changed since 1967. Probably not as much as Bunty – her hair always stayed the same. Her humour was different. There would be an activity, a word, or play on a word on that appeared on the front cover. On the back it was used as a running gag that got Mandy into all sorts of scrapes, that either ended happily or otherwise. For example, a visit to the observatory would lead to a running gag centred on ‘stars’ – no stars for falling asleep in class, seeing stars when she banged her head – but ending happily in seeing her favourite stars at a pop concert. Another running gags I remember included ‘ups and downs’, ‘guessing’, ‘knots’, ‘losing time’ and ‘notes’.

  2. Norman says:

    Do we know who drew the first interpretation of Bunty – and is that him/her on the cover you show here?

  3. Muffin says:

    I for one have no idea who drew the first Bunty. Girls comics didn’t have credits – except for when Tammy ran some 1982-1984. Other comics, such as 2000AD and Battle, always had credits, so we know some artists’ names there. Other names are known from comic book researchers and experts, interviews, artists’s signatures, or general networks. But a lot of artists and writers are still unknown. There’s still a lot of research being done in that area, mind you!

  4. April says:

    This is an interesting article to show how the Bunty character has changed over the years.

    I remember my mum buying me Bunty when I was 11(in earlt 1999) and one of the most memorable strips was ‘Bunty – A Girl Like You.’ The storylines I remember the most are the ones where Bunty is getting ready for when her dad’s new boss comes to visit, but by the time she’s finished, the boss had already left; and Bunty having a cold, leading her friends to say that it’ll be gone by summer but that’s when Bunty’s hayfever starts!

  5. Muffin says:

    I found on anothercomics forum that the artist for ‘Bunty – A Girl Like You’ could be named Andy Tew. This isn’t definite, though. The entry said ‘Andy Tew, I think’.

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