The Two Faces of Tanya [1985]


When Tanya Tyson, a nasty hooligan, stole a compact belonging to an old lady, it had strange consequences. Her reflection in the mirror was softer and more gentle and she found herself wanting to do good.


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  •   The Two Faces of Tanya – Suzy: #152 (3 August 1985) – #156 (31 August 1985)

9 thoughts on “The Two Faces of Tanya [1985]

  1. I remember this one, but I couldn’t remember the title except that it was alliterative with the letter “t”. Thank you for this.

    It turns out the mirror reflects the good in people – if they have any – which Tanya did. Wonder if nasty Nancy Norden from “Be Nice to Nancy” would see a good side of herself if she looked into the mirror? Or the Honourable SJ?

    Oh, there should be a “the” after “in”.

    1. It is an interesting reversal of the stories that usually have an object having an evil influence. Can’t think of many stories that had objects having a positive effect, one that does springs to mind i s a Mandy psl, Ring of Confidence.

      1. Usually when there were magic objects having a positive influence on the protagonist it was to make her more confident. This story is unusual in having the positive influence reform the protagonist.

        Some stories had even an evil object starting with a positive influence on the protagonist by making her more confident. But as their true nature asserts, the protagonist’s confidence turns into arrogance, and that’s only the start. Two Tammy stories, “Sit It Out, Sheri” and “The Portrait of Doreen Grey” are examples.

  2. The Softie Simpson story (Mandy PSL 45) is an example of another variant, where the positive influence is deliberately limited so as to stop the heroine becoming arrogant. Bella Simpson has four magic bangles, and the first three make her excel at school, win friends and outwit bullies. But when she tries on the fourth, it does nothing at all, and she is no different from any other girl. However by this time she has overcome the shyness which held her back, and concludes that more magic help would only have made her big-headed.

  3. I remember it ends with Tanya returning the compact and wanting to show everyone she wasn’t getting soft while she had the strange impulse to do good. She does this by going to school in punk gear. But it goes too far – she gets expelled and faces special school, which scares her into realising what she has done. In her desperation for help she gets the compact back – this time legitimately – and the old lady tells her the powers it is said to have. Tanya draws on its powers to give her guidance in putting things right, which works so well she is reinstated at school. She then gives the compact to her delinquent school friend (named Trisha I think) in the hope she will change too. Trisha is surprised to see her reflection looking so nice in the compact.

  4. As this is not a story that I know, I’ll read it when I get back from taking Lois to school via St Michael’s Hospital. I’ll have to skip over the instalment in 153 because I haven’t got that one, but I do have the rest.

  5. I like how it didn’t end with the protagonist just changing overnight because of the compact and realising immediately that she should be good. She thinks the influence is bad because it made her act soft in front of everyone. It takes the consequences of her folly later to make her realise it was positive.

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