Friend in Need (Pages: 70-75)
Gail gets a pup when she is 6 years old and calls her Meg. Gail is very attached to her and Meg even saves her life. When her father’s new job forces them to move to a small town house, Gail is devastated that Meg will have to be left behind. Also matters aren’t helped by her being so shy and she finds the girls at her school loud and overwhelming. One day after school she falls into river, a dogs barking attracts the attention of the girls from school. After they rescue her, Gail tells them about Meg, she also realises that they are a friendly group. Mrs Lane calls the next day saying Meg died when she bolted in front of car at the exact same time Meg called for help. Her parents get Gail a small puppy and she begins to settle in her new home even though she’ll never forget Meg.
Roll Over Mozart! (Pages: 76-80)
- Artist: Georgio Letteri
Jenni gets piano lessons from a ghost; the younger more attractive cousin of Mozart, Karl! She enjoys these lessons more than her teacher, Miss Simpson’s lessons. Under Karl’s instructions she improves so much that she gets to do a recital at the school concert. While everyone claps for her after her piece, she sees Karl is waving, it is time for him to go. Jenni is missing Karl but then she meets an apparent descendent of Mozart, who goes by the nick name Mozart. So all wells that ends well. It is again very nicely drawn, and I find Miss Simpson exasperation quite funny.
Boy of My Dreams (Pages: 81-86)
- Artist: Claude Berridge
Shona’s dream interpretation of her boyfriend Steve, doesn’t always match with reality. Steve seems sweet but he doesn’t quite live up to her expectations. Such as instead of being early for their date waiting for her with a rose, Steve turns up late.
The reason he was late though, is because he heard a band she likes being interviewed on the radio and he stopped to record it for her. This good deed is upturned when he comments not very tactfully that the actress in the movie is very attractive and he bets Shona wishes she could look as good! Despite a few more incidents such as his sister car breaking down on the way home, Steve really likes Shona and wants to go out with her again and Shona finally realises how nice Steve is and that he is better than the dream version. I like the moral, that reality can be better than dreams and not to let expectations diminish someone’s real qualities. I also like the art and the style of the story. Throughout Shona’s dreams are bright coloured while reality is grey or mono coloured. Only in the last frame is reality in colour.
The Magic Garden (Pages: 90-96)
- Artist: Matías Alonso
Kara lives in a flat but she has turned her balcony into a little garden. After a trip to Hardwick Hall she gets a clipping of an unusual flower. She builds an arch for it to grow around and it turns into a portal that enables her to travel back to Hardwick Hall, the year 1694. There she befriends a girl, Miriam. Miriam is weak from an unnamed illness and can only come out on nice days. They spend most of the Summer together. As autumn comes, Miriam wants Kara to stay on what may be her last day allowed out but there is something Kara wants to do, she promises to come to back the next day. But Miriam isn’t allowed out the next day and then the flowers die. Kara is quite upset thinking she’ll never see her friend again, but then she finds a seed of the plant, so she can grow a new plant for the next summer. Then she will be able to tell Miriam what she found out in the library. That she will be cured of her illness when she is 16. Again effective use of colouring shown as Miriam becomes more weak and ill, overall lovely art throughout the story.
Blind Date (Pages: 99-103)
John and Shirley have been going out together for few months, but feel they are in a rut, so they decide to split, while still staying friends. Their other friends set them each up on blind date. They each feel jealous about hearing about the other’s prospective dates, although they keep these thoughts to themselves. They are surprised when it turns out they are actually each other’s blind dates. It turns out their friends have schemed to set them up again. They each storm off, but both end up in the cafe they always go to. They admit to each other they don’t want to date anyone else.
Bargain Basement (Pages: 105-111)
- Artist: Oliver Passingham
This is one of my favourite Skeleton Corner tales, I remember being creeped out by it when I was younger. Carrie works part time at a department store, Dinnegans. She is excited about the Christmas party, but it turns out to be quite boring with an old fashioned band. She is about to leave when she hears music coming from the basement. She finds a party much more to her liking and a good looking guy asks her to dance. For some reason she isn’t put off by his enigmatic way of talking, even when she is the one that gives him his name Mark.
Mark is disappointed when Carrie leaves, but says they can meet at next years party. Carrie mentions to another employee, that she joined the other Christmas party, but she tells her there was no other party. Carrie investigates the basement and gets nervous when it is filled with dusty mannequins, in her hurry to leave, she trips dropping her pen. She is jumpy the rest of the day, and is shocked to find Mark a mannequin set up for a new office display. She thinks maybe she imagined it all, when she spots her pen beside Mark and a note “See you at the party next year”. Bones finishes the story by telling us readers that Carrie has decided to leave her job, so there’s a vacancy if anyone is interested, they have great Christmas parties.!
I Hate Cousin Kate! (Pages: 119-124)
- Artist: Norman Lee
Lucy is excited when she gets asked out by Rob, but then her cousin Kate comes for a visit. Kate is rude and spoilt and keeps interrupting any time Lucy is with Rob. Lucy finds out Kate has an interest in football and Rob hearing that her father also coached teams, invites her to coach his 5 a side team. He ends up with Kate (despite her insulting him several times earlier in the story!) and even though she goes back to her family, she has ruined Lucy’s chances with Rob (Although frankly I think she’s better off without him!)
Pepper the Pony (Page: 125)
Pepper and Lucinda head to show jumping classes. Pepper struggles at first, but by the end he sails over a jump…. although the next panel shows that it is a very low jump. This strip leads to the suggestion of the reader giving it a try, with the next page being Pepper’s Show Jumping Game.