2: Beating the Bullies
Here we have bullied girls getting their revenge on the bullies through witchcraft, or someone doing it for them. And let’s admit it: how many of us bullied people just wouldn’t love to use something like that to get revenge on the bullies?
A Picture of Horror
Artist: John Armstrong
Bullies attack Zoe on the way home because she is always let off punishment at school. Upon seeing the state Zoe is in, grandmother hands Zoe her mother’s book of witchcraft. Zoe realises her mother was a witch and she is to follow her. Zoe uses a spell from the book to get revenge on the bullies when they try it again. They become trapped in a panel in her beloved horror comic (no, not Misty).
As will be seen, using witchcraft to give bullies, animal abusers and other persecutors their comeuppance was a frequent one in the Misty short stories. One suspects Misty was doing some self-parody in this one, in the use of a horror comic as the instrument of revenge.
Artist: Maria Barrera
Joan does not want to share her home with her adopted sister, Ellie Shane. So she tries to get rid of Ellie by scaring her with ghost stories, which give Ellie terrible nightmares. Ellie’s grandmother, who has second sight, tells Ellie she knows what is going on, but it’s all lies and she will deal with Joan. Next time Joan tries to scare Ellie, she is picked up by “a creature from a nightmare” – a giant mare. The mare carries Joan away, never to be seen again – except when Ellie and her grandmother watch her being forced into an endless “nightmare” ride on the night-mare in the sky.
Again the witch is the nemesis in the story, wreaking punishment on bullying, so we have more sympathy with her than the antagonist. And it is punished in a most punning way. Joan gives her sister nightmares, so she is plunged into the nightmare of a “night-mare”. It’s a bit unusual though, having a spiteful girl trying to get rid of her foster sister by trying to scare her off. Usually that sort of troublemaker plays nasty tricks to discredit her foster sister/cousin, and there are plenty of such stories in girls comics, particularly in the DCT titles.
Was It Just…a Game?
Artist: Carlos Guirado
Bullies call Nina Brown a witch, just because she has a collection of dolls her father brings her from abroad and green eyes, and is a withdrawn sort of girl. Nina decides that maybe she should be a witch to hit back at them. A school trip to the beach turns to disaster when all three bullies sustain injuries and have to be taken to hospital. Meanwhile Nina, who did not go on the trip, emerges from her room. On the table are three dolls with damage corresponding to the areas where the bullies got injured.
The reasons why the girls call Nina a witch are the lamest of excuses. Just because she has a collection of dolls? Many people do. Or because she has green eyes? Does having green eyes mean you’re a witch? The girls are probably just being mean and nasty and using these ridiculous reasons for calling Nina a witch just to bully her.
This story sure is a warning to bullies and ignorant superstitious types who brand people witches: your mistreatment of them might drive them to become what you say they are in order to exact their revenge on you!
Edited to add: “Happy Birthday, Spooky Sue!” used a similar theme. Sue’s mother helps her get revenge on bullies with magic birthday candles that snuff the bullies out when she blows out the candles. But as the mother is not explicitly referred to as a witch, the story has been omitted from discussion here.