Tag Archives: Alison Christie

Alison Christie – DCT Writer

Alison Christie (now Alison Fitt) got her start in comics as a junior sub editor on Bunty at the age of 16. She went on to write for DCT comics Mandy, Tracy and others including nursery titles, Pepper Street, Bimbo and Twinkle and she also worked on Hi! Magazine as well as IPC titles, Tammy and Jinty. She already did an interview on the Jinty resources site which you can find here, but she also kindly gave me more details about her time at DCT as well as the stories she wrote for it.  A list of stories she wrote can be found on the next page.

Quick Link: Story list 

Memories of working in DC Thomsons:

All the comics were dreamed up and written on the second floor of that big red building in Meadowside, Dundee. There was a long corridor with offices on both sides, marked Dandy Room, or  Beezer  Room, etc- or the one I was placed in, The Bunty Room. DCT was male orientated. All men worked on these comics, including the girls’ ones! So I was one of the first females to  be given a job on Bunty.

My first task was opening the bundles of mail from readers. Many contained photos of school badges, as Bunty had a weekly feature of them on the back page. I also got to sub scripts that came in from free-lance writers. Imagine!( I thought in later years when I was sending scripts down to IPC that there might be some junior journalist subbing mine.)  I was also sent on errands- often to the Art department, with artwork needing attention. I hated going there. The artists sat in long rows facing the door, and ogled any female that ventured in. For a young girl like me, it was highly embarrassing.  Finally, having come up the best idea for a new serial, I was given the chance to write my first picture story, Queen of the Gypsies.

(Bunty: Queen of the Gypsies)

They were good times, though. The Bunty room looked out on the Howff, Dundee’s ancient grave yard. On hot summer days, us girls would scoff our sandwiches there while sunbathing amongst the grave-stones. On Fridays we received our pay-contained in secretive brown packets brought round on a tray and dished out by Jimmy from the general office below. No being paid through the bank in those days.

I was eventually moved from Bunty onto a new nursery comic called Bimbo, which ran for a while then was replaced by Little Star and Twinkle. Little Star soon folded, but Twinkle kept going.  By that time, we had moved to the eighth floor of the new courier building. I wrote Nurse Nancy storylines, and Baby Crocket, plus other features.

I left DCThomsons in 1968 and went free-lance. Still wrote for Twinkle, then started writing picture stories for DCs girls comics – Mandy, later Tracy, a few for Debbie and Nikki. At the same time I began writing picture story serials for IPC down in London. It was a great way to make a living from home, as I had three young children. It was the hey-day of British girls comics, so there were plenty of them to contribute to. But over the years, many of them folded and there weren’t so many left to write for. Though in the early nineties, DC   Thomson brought out Pepper Street a bright comic for little ones – followed by HI! a really good magazine for slightly older girls, with photo stories and fashion, etc. Neither ran for very long, but I wrote for both of them while they lasted.

Favourite age group to write for and favourite stories:

I much preferred writing for the girls comics as opposed to the nursery ones. I could get into the characters and think out what they would do or think and develop the storyline about them. Usually weepy emotional stories, though not all.

I liked all my stories  but  Room in your heart for two  and The Cloud on Sunshine cottage in Tracy and Patsy will take my place  and Emma’s Umbrella in Mandy, I particularly liked.

(Mandy – “Patsy Will Take My Place!”)

 

Fair Shares

Plot

The Watson family have always been hard up, but become rich when Mum wins big on the pools. The daughter Kathy, believing in “fair shares”, is determined to share her good fortune with her friends. Unfortunately her generosity always seems to backfire and make her unpopular.

Fair Shares

Notes

  • Writer: Alison Christie (Fitt)

Appeared

  • Fair Shares  –  Mandy:  #1117 (11 June 1988) – #1127 (20 August 1988)

 

Emma’s Umbrella

Plot

In 1900, Ivan’s Umbrella Shop is renowned for his beautiful personalised umbrellas, with the owner’s name inscribed on the handle. The last umbrella Ivan makes is inscribed with the name “Emma”, after the daughter he and his wife never had. The umbrella passes through a succession of owners over time, and each time it does so, it changes their lives.

Umbrella

Notes:

  • Writer: Alison Christie (Fitt)
  • Artist: Norman Lee

Appeared

  • Emma’s Umbrella –  Mandy: #983 (16 November 1985) – #990 (4 January 1986)

 

The Tribe at Number Ten

Plot

Carol Rogers’ mother looked after the invalid Mr Rogers and Gran for many years until they passed over. Now Carol is encouraging her mother to build a social life. But then widower Mr Thomson and his five children move into the street. Carol is worried at the way Mum is getting involved in looking after them when she is just building her social life and does not want her mother to get ideas about marrying Mr Thomson.

Tribe

Notes

  • Writer: Alison Christie (Fitt)
  • Artist: Guy Peeters

Appeared

  • The Tribe at Number Ten –  Mandy:  #955 (4 May 1985) – #968 (3 August 1985)

 

Beth’s Beautiful Face

Plot

In Victorian times, Beth Bailey has lived all her life at Mercy House Orphanage. Then she is adopted by the Howards and now lives a life of luxury and is very happy. When she finds a photograph of a girl named Louisa who looks just like her, she reasons the Howards must have adopted her because she resembles their late daughter Louisa. Terrified she will be sent back to the orphanage if she loses her looks, she starts going to great lengths to keep her face maintained.

Beth

Notes

  • Writer: Alison Christie (Fitt)
  • Artist: Claude Berridge

Appeared

  • Beth’s Beautiful Face –  Mandy: #933 (1 December 1984) – #941 (26 January 1985)

 

The Boy Zone

Plot

Complete stories about boyfriends and romance. Some had happy endings, some had not. Stories included a girl who makes up a boyfriend so she doesn’t feel left out of conversations, this backfires on her when a boy does ask her out, but on hearing she has a “boyfriend” doesn’t want to have anything to do with a two-timer.

Boy Zone.jpg

Notes:

  • Writer: Alison Christie (Fitt)
  • Artists: Maria Dembilio (main artist), Guy Peeters, Peter Wilkes
  • The name switched from just “Boy Zone” to “The Boy Zone”
  • Early stories were sometimes reprints of Nikki short stories

Appeared

  • Boy Zone – M&J: #70 (12 September 1992) – #73 (3 October 1992)
  • The Boy Zone – M&J:  #92 (13 February 1993) – #99 (3 April 1993)
  • The Boy Zone  – M&J: #129 (30 October 1993) – #141 (22 January 1994)
  • The Boy Zone  – M&J: #161 (11 June 1994)
  • The Boy Zone  – M&J: #172 (27 August 1994)
  • The Boy Zone  – M&J: #189 (24 December 1994) – #197 (18 February 1995)
  • The Boy Zone  – M&J:  #208 (6 May 1995)
  • The Boy Zone  – M&J: #211 (27 May 1995) – #214 (17 June 1995)
  • The Boy Zone  – M&J: #281 (28 September 1996) [art: David Matysiak]

The Buckinghams’ Palace

Plot

The Buckinghams move from a poky flat into their “Palace”, a show-house that Mum won in a competition. But daughter Maggie soon regrets the acquisition because Mum becomes so house-proud over her new palace that she is causing all sorts of problems.

Buckingham.jpg

Notes

  • Writer: Alison Christie (Fitt)
  • Artist: Ron Lumsden

Appeared

  • The Buckinghams’ Palace – Tracy: #162 (6 November 1982) – #174 (29 January 1983)