- The Simpsons in the Sky – Mandy: #1051 (7 March 1987) – #1059 (2 May 1987)
- Artist: Andrew Wilson
The Simpsons are having a hard time. First their father walks out on them, then their mother loses her job. Tina the eldest daughter struggles to keep the family together after their Mother also abandons them. Tina along with her sister Beth and brothers Martin and Kevin move to a shelter on the roof top of their tower-block. The roof top had originally been planned to be turned into a garden, but this plan has been abandoned and the whole block is quite run down. Tina’s plan is to keep the family together, while trying to get their mother back. She fears the family will be split if they go into foster care. She manages to get some part-time jobs, but for different reasons she ends up losing them.
She also believes she sees her mother at times, but she never manages to catch up to her. Her younger sister Beth helps out as much as she can, but her brothers believe their mum is just away because she is sick. They get by as well as they can in their roof top home but time is running out for them. Families in the tower block begin to get relocated and the plan is to knock down the building as soon as everyone moves out. Tina knows they’ll have to leave soon, but what she doesn’t know is that the demolition is brought forward a day. Luckily a news helicopter spots the kids and rescues them before the building is demolished. They appear on the TV and in national papers. Their appearances on TV gets through to an amnesic Mrs. Simpson who has been hospital after getting hit by a car. The story also reaches Mr. Simpson, who comes back looking for a second chance. He has also saved enough money for a deposit on a house so the family can have a new start
The Simpsons have some hardships, although it is not all tragedy all the time. Sometimes good things happen as well. Beth has a pleasant birthday, despite missing her mother, as the boys surprise her with a garden of her own and Tina gets her a cake.When a visit to a museum nearly ends in disappointment, their luck changes when they get reward for returning a lost wallet and Tina lands a job in a cafe.
Of course while there are some good things happening to our protagonist, to keep the reader invested the story still has to make sure she has more obstacles to get through to get to her happy ending! So while this job goes well for a while, another worker gets a grudge against Tina when she won’t cover a shift for her (this is because Tina wants to follow up on a hunch where her mother may be). This ends with Tina getting fired. This is also near the time she finds out about the demolition. Although everything works out in the end with the whole family back together. I do think it’s a bit too convenient to have both parents come back. Especially with the mother having amnesia, and everyone forgiving the father pretty easily.
The siblings have a nice relationship, the boys aren’t aware of the full situation, but it’s nice to see the sister’s so protective of them. In turn they fix up a garden for Beth’s birthday and try to help out at times. They still act like real kids of course, so when they are being helpful making their own dinner they end up making more of a mess and a midnight feast nearly ends with Tina ringing the doctor. Beth while helpful and sharing some of the burden with Tina also shows her frustration with the situation at times. Tina as the eldest, takes on the responsibility of the family with little complaint, she is very protective of her family, but seems quite distrustful of adults. She runs from her mother’s friend in case she finds out where the Simpsons are living. She does debate afterwards, whether she should have trusted her to help them, but she still likes to be cautious.
Wilson’s distinctive art is as good ever. The story’s strong point is the family dynamic, and there is a nice climatic ending with the family on the roof just before the building is about to be destroyed.