Tag Archives: evil influence

Mona Maid of Magic [1965]


Mona Masters, a promising magician, becomes apprentice to Merlina, aka the Black Witch. Merlina kidnaps three magicians to steal their secrets. Mona rescues them but burns her hands doing so. Merlina soon dies, but before she does she curses Mona’s hands, saying they will never heal. The hands refuse to heal and Mona is convinced Merlina’s curse is making her unable to perform magic again. However, the three grateful magicians are determined to help Mona overcome the problem and make her a famous magician.


  • Art: Emilio Frejo
  • A sequel, Mona The Maharaja’s Magician, ran in Bunty #429 (April 2 1966) – #438 (June 11 1966)


  • Mona Maid of Magic – Bunty: #365 (January 9 1965) – #375 (20 March 1965)

Marcia – Mystery Skater [1973]


Amy Woodley becomes convinced a brilliant skater named Katina is in fact her sister Marcia. But Katina does not even recognise Amy as her sister. And who is that mysterious woman in black who is always veiled and trying to stop Amy from finding out the truth, even to the point of framing her for theft? It becomes apparent that the woman in black has some sort of evil influence over Marcia, and Katina’s skating, while brilliant, has an oddly mechanical look.



  • Marcia – Mystery Skater Debbie: #17 (9 June 1973) – #35 (13 October 1973)

Portrait of Paula


Paula Danesbury was surprised to find a portrait of her double in her new school, Croft House. Unknown to Paula the portrait had an evil influence over her and gave her the power to control others with this power Paula had made another pupil Betty Marsden very unpopular.


  • Photo story


  • Portrait of Paula – Suzy: #106 (15 September 1984) – #115 (17 November 1984)

Danger for Rozelle [1978]


Rozelle, a gipsy orphan, is sold by her parents to the Baroness Kessler, who uses hypnotism to turn Rozelle into a show-jumping success with the Baroness’s horse Midnight. The Baroness cares far more about her horse than she does about Rozelle. A reporter, Jill Wilson, finds out about the hypnotism and is trying to help Rozelle. Then another gipsy, Zara, steals Midnight after a quarrel with the Baroness. Matters come to a head when the Baroness confronts Zara and a fire breaks out.


  • Artist: Hernan Antonio Torre Repiso


  • Danger for Rozelle  – Debbie: #285 (20 July 1978) – #296 (14 October 1978)


The Mysterious Medallion


Julie Jones had found on unusual medallion which had a mysterious and evil power. Whoever took possession of the medallion became extremely cruel and powerful and able to control people’s minds. Julie believed that it was really an ingenious computer sent down from another planet to pave the way for an invasion. The medallion had transmitted a formula for a powder which evaporated water. Unfortunately, Julie had been caught in the medallion’s force beams and was now, unwittingly, about to take part in the evil plot she had fought so desperately against.



  • The Mysterious Medallion – Bunty: #481 (1 April  1967) – #492 (17 June 1967)

The Painting [1989]

  • The Painting –  Bunty:  #1663 (25 November 1989) –  #1672 (27 January 1990)
  • Art: Norman Lee


Life had been tough for the Blakes since Mr Blake lost his job, money was tight and there were lots of arguments. They get a new start though, when Mr Blake inherits a cottage from his aunt. Emma and her younger brother Bobby, settle quite quickly and Emma is sure they will all be happy in their new home. Mr Blake even gets an interview for the local supermarket. While clearing out some things, Emma has a rummage around the attic and comes across a parchment with a warning, surrounded by twigs and leaves. Not knowing its meaning she looks under the sheet behind it and finds a portrait of a lady who bears an uncanny resemblance to herself. A strange voice tells her to take the painting from the attic, and she suggests to her Dad, to do just that. While her Mum is unsure about hanging it as there is something about the eyes she doesn’t like, Emma snaps at her. She soon apologies, not knowing what made her act out. Later the painting  tells her to burn the rowan that was in the attic. She does, but the wind catches the bonfire and nearly sets the thatched roof on fire, luckily Bobby alerts their parents in time to stop it.

When Mrs Blake decides to sell the painting, Emma is haunted by dreams where the girl from the painting tells her “we are one” and to stop her being sent away. Emma tries to turn her parents against each other, as Mr Blake does think they should keep the painting, but Mrs Blake wins out.  But when Emma causes trouble with her Dad’s interview clothes and mum gets blamed, he  decides he’s not going to trouble of contacting dealer about the painting. The painting also causes trouble when Bobby gets a puppy, but it is the dog that is blamed for the trouble and Bobby has to take him back to  where he got him from. Meanwhile at home, Mrs Blake still senses something is wrong with the painting and that nothing has gone right since they found it. Taking it down and covering it up breaks its hold on Emma, though she can’t remember what she did while under it’s influence. Returning the pup to their neighbour, Miss Bonner, she has some interesting revelations, when she hears about the pup barking at the painting. She says the girl in the painting was also named Emma and she will come and talk to their parents about the painting. Later at home, even though being covered weakens it, the painting still has enough hold over Emma to uncover it, so it can command her to to stop Miss Bonner from interfering. She sets a fire at Miss Bonner’s house, making her look absent minded, so Miss Bonner’s nephew uses it as an excuse to send her to a nursing home. Miss Bonner knows the other Emma would be proud but warns Emma to take care.

When Mr Blake runs into an art dealer, Mr Carter, he comes to look at the painting. He confirms what  Miss Bonner said, that the portrait is of a girl named Emma. Present Emma, meanwhile sets the dealer up so it looks like he was going to steal an antique vase. While Mr and Mrs Blake are glad they didn’t sell the painting to a “con-man”, Bobby is suspicious. He does some investigating and manages to get a recording of Emma talking to the painting, but it is destroyed. Still not defeated, Bobby tries to show his parents whats happening in person, but Emma’s too quick for him. Bobby’s next stop is to go to Mr Carter to enquire about a book he mentioned. We get the history of portrait Emma – Emma Lukin was proven to be a detestable witch of terrible power in 1689.  Before she was burned at the stake, an artist painted her portrait and she declared, that one day when she meets her likeness she shall be alive again. Bobby gets photocopies of the story but the Portrait’s powers are getting stronger and  she makes Emma appear in front of Bobby, causing him to swerve on the road into a car. Luckily he is not seriously hurt but Emma makes sure he can’t remember anything.

Emma Lukin is growing more powerful, when Emma Blake  expresses concern for Bobby, she tells her witches don’t cry and gets her to turn cold. Mr Carter hearing about the accident tries to deliver the book to the Blakes but Emma sets it on fire and Mr Blake thinks Carter was trying to fire bomb them! Bobby’s memories aren’t completely gone and after having a dream he goes to Miss Bonner for help. She gives him some rowan to protect him, while his parents go to visit Miss Bonner. Meanwhile Lukin is ready to take over Emma completely and merge with her. Bobby interrupts them and Lukin almost kills him, but Emma saves him. Her tears for her brother destroys the magic of the painting and it dissolves. When the Blakes return, her father is disbelieving at first, then seeing the evidence he cant deny it. They clear Carter’s name, Miss Bonner moves back to her cottage and everyone can have a fresh start again.


Stories involving an object with powers over the protagonist, is a big part of girl’s comics. These objects take many forms, such as toys, statues or often it is a piece jewellery such as in The Power Over Paula or In Paula’s Place but evil influence from a painting is also popular. The paintings usually bear a resemblance to the  protagonist (often because they are an ancestor) and the person may have been accused of witchcraft, Penny and the Portrait is another example of this type of story. This story is interesting in that not only does the Painting have control over Emma, she also wants to physically merge with her taking her over completely. There is some very creepy imagery in the last episode, as Witch Emma reaches out from the painting to join with other Emma. Although for the most part we might think the protagonist will win out like they usually do, any doubts we might have is spoiled a bit by the cover of the issue which tells us how the Painting will be destroyed! Still it is a lovely cover and I did like when the comics depicted stories from inside.

It is good to see the sibling bond between Bobby and Emma, while Emma becomes more lost in the painting’s influence, Bobby is the more proactive, investigator. I like that as the painting gets stronger, Emma also gets more supernatural powers. It is also well done that they save each other in the end, Bobby interrupts the spell and Emma saves him from falling. Love and Emma’s tears undoing the witch’s spell is fitting with the narrative, as it seems in this story to be a successful witch you must close off all your feelings. It’s good to see that more people are suspicious of the painting too, helping Emma, even if its unwittingly at times. Mrs Blake always feels an unease with the painting, and covering it up does make it’s powers wane, Mr Carter goes out of his way to try and warn the Blakes about the Painting (getting arrested in the process!) and Miss Bonner also tries to warn them and gives the rowan to Bobby to protect him. Mr Blake is the biggest disbeliever, which makes it harder for the others to get rid of the panting. An odd thing was that it is heavily implied that Miss Bonner’s nephew wants to move her into a home so he can get the cottage, but in the end, when she is proven to be sane, he has no problem with her moving back in. Perhaps they just wanted happy ending for Miss Bonner and didn’t have time to develop that subplot as it wasn’t important to the main  story.

Not essential for the story but I did note that at this time in Bunty, it seems some stories didn’t have a consistent story logo, so the font style for the title kept changing. It seems like an odd choice, but it may have been Bunty was experimenting with look and style at this time, as it was just after they changed to glossy paper and had more full colour strips. This is one of the stories that got to make use of have of having full colour and the art by Norman Lee is quite vibrant, like I mentioned the painting is very creepy at times and I liked the flashback to the witch’s story. The pacing of the story is also good, as we see Emma lose control more, Bobby’s desperate investigation and potential allies being defeated by the witch.




The Chosen One (1985)


Published: Bunty Picture Library #263

Reprinted: Bunty Picture Story Library #394

Note: Not to be confused with “The Chosen One”, Bunty Picture Library #97, 1971

Artists: Norman Lee (cover); José Ariza (story)


At school, Claudia Green is a talented singer who enters the school’s Martha Blair Music Scholarship. There is a bust of Martha Blair at school. Claudia feels its eyes are watching everyone and it sends chills along her spine. When alive, Martha Blair chose the winner herself, and the winner would be known as “The Chosen One”. The school music teacher thinks it sounds romantic. But when you think about it, it could also sound creepy…

Claudia wins the scholarship, and the prize includes free music lessons and a mini-bust of Martha Blair. But something odd happens when Claudia is near the main bust afterwards. She can’t seem to move and the bust seems to say, “Remember, Claudia, that you are the Chosen One! You must prove yourself to be worthy of this award! You must not abuse your talents!”

Claudia is not sure if it is her imagination or what. Whatever it is, though, it has reckoned without Claudia’s mother.


Mrs Green has changed for the worse since her husband died. Money worries have made her selfish and she always seems to be in a surly mood and not thinking about Claudia. She does not appreciate the small kindnesses Claudia tries to do for her in attempts to make her feel better. And as for when Mum hears Claudia won the scholarship, all she says is: “Free music lessons? Is that all they gave you for a prize? Free music lessons aren’t going to put food on our table, are they?” Sounds like a prime candidate for reckless greed if the opportunity arises.

Sure enough, Mrs Green starts abusing Claudia’s singing as a means to make money. At first this is by entering a talent contest, and then it is contract with a Mike Slade to turn Claudia into a pop star. Claudia does not want to be a pop star, but Mum has no regard for her wishes or feelings whatsoever and puts emotional blackmail on her: “How can you be so selfish, Claudia? All these years I’ve struggled to give you a decent chance in life and this is how you repay me!”

Claudia dislikes Mr Slade from the first. She thinks he is a horrible man, and soon realises he is a greedy man who is only interested in her for as long as she will make him money. Claudia does not like the vulgar way he addresses her and her mother either. Mrs Green does not seem to mind, though. Mr Slade is fanning the flames of her greed as he moulds Claudia into a famous pop star. The more Claudia learns about being a pop star the less she likes it, but all her mother cares about is the money it will make.

It seems Claudia is not the only one who is unhappy about it. From the moment the unwanted pop star career began that mini-bust of Martha Blair starts to warn Claudia, “You are the Chosen One! You must not abuse your talent!”

Not surprising, other weird things start happening. The mini-bust is put on the piano while a teacher is coaching Claudia in being a pop star. Then Claudia feels an odd shiver and the piano lid goes crashing down on the teacher’s fingers for no apparent reason. Unfortunately for Claudia the teacher has told Mr Slade that she has what it takes to be a pop star. Now there is no stopping Mr Slade or Mum in pushing her into being one.

They both show Claudia how ruthless they are when they force her to miss a solo she was set to do for her school concert in order to go for an audition for “Rising Stars”. Mr Slade threatens to wash his hands of Claudia while Mum says a school concert is nothing compared to the chance Claudia will get at the audition. Claudia obeys, but the school finds out about the let-down and Claudia is disgraced there. She is upset, but Mum would not even care.


Meanwhile, another weird thing happens at the audition. Mum would insist on taking that mini-bust of Martha Blair everywhere and has brought it along. Claudia gets an odd shiver and an entrant who looks a cert to win finds his guitar strings snapping for no apparent reason. So Claudia wins the audition by default, but feels she was somehow responsible for what happened to that entrant.

Back home, when Claudia puts on a record the voice of Martha Blair blares out of the speakers: “You have been warned, Claudia! Stop this foolishness before it is too late!”

At Claudia’s first recording at “Rising Stars” she knows that if she is successful she will be stuck in an unwanted career. But her recording comes to an abrupt end when the lights all explode at once and start a fire. Claudia felt oddly cold again just before it happened. “Rising Stars” will be out of business for weeks, but Mr Slade says he will find another way to bring them money. Claudia realises that he really means get his cut of the money.

The same pattern recurs at an open-air pop concert, and this time a canopy falls down. Worse, the stories of those other accidents catch up and Claudia is turned into the press sensation “Claudia the Jinx”! Mum and Mr Slade are not pleased at Claudia’s new reputation as a jinx but are too greedy to give up on her. Realising Claudia will not get another job because of her jinx reputation, Mr Slade forces her adopt a disguise and a new persona, “Sunny Beamish”, and has her sing for TV commercials. But at a shooting on a boat, Claudia hears Martha Blair’s voice out of nowhere, and of course disaster strikes the boat. Claudia the Jinx is then uncovered and the press make even more sensation out of it.

That night the mini-bust gets worse. It seems to get bigger and bigger, it gives off a strange glow, and it tells Claudia that she has had enough warning. She must now develop her talent in the way expected of the Chosen One – “or perish!” After this, Claudia definitely does not want to go to a pop show Mr Slade has booked for her in Germany (to escape her jinx reputation), but despite her efforts to avoid the flight she ends up on the plane. The plane gets damaged by a storm and has to return to the airport. Compared to Claudia’s premonitions of what was going to happen, it seems she got off lightly there. She is relieved they did not make it to Germany too.


Nonetheless, Mr Slade isn’t giving up. Now he has Claudia work in a backing group (under another name and disguise). This time the weird pattern strikes the star of the show, who is taken mysteriously ill. Claudia does marvellously as a stand-in. Mr Slade now thinks Claudia has lived down her jinx reputation and it is safe for her to work openly again.

But afterward the mini-bust gets angry again and tells Claudia that disaster will keep striking her for as long as she abuses her talent. This is too much for Claudia, who runs blindly out into the street and is hit by a car.

When Claudia regains consciousness two days later she finds her mother is a changed person and she apologises for her selfish conduct. Mr Slade disappeared after realising Claudia was no longer in a condition to be a money-spinner for him, and Mum is not sorry to see the back of him. So Claudia is now free of her unwanted pop career, but faces a long, difficult road to recovery.

Eventually, Claudia wins a scholarship at the Marston Grange School of Music. Mum gets a housekeeping job there, with a flat to go with the job, so everything is fine for them both now. Claudia goes back to her old school to make peace with the big bust of Martha Blair, though she is no longer sure if the haunting was real or in her imagination. The statue is not telling.


In honour of the upcoming Halloween season, we continue discussion of spooky serials with this entry. And the haunted bust certainly is frightening. It leads off with the face of Martha Blair herself. Even before the haunting starts, the face of that formidable-looking lady would make anyone feel intimidated and even frightened. One can imagine the sort of person Martha Blair was in life. It is understandable that someone’s imagination might run riot if that face made too strong an impression on them, but are we really convinced it was imagination…? It is stretching imagination a bit far to imagine a bust growing larger and giving off a glow, or making threats in an angry voice. To say nothing of a supernatural voice coming out of speakers or out of nowhere on the wind. That is hallucination, not imagination, and there is no evidence of Claudia hallucinating. It is a bit hard to dismiss those weird things as some sort of subconscious reaction to the forced pop music career either. Claudia had her first odd encounter with the bust before Mum had even got started on it.

If it were indeed a real haunting, Martha Blair’s anger would be far more justifiable if Claudia really was abusing her talent for selfish or unsuitable ends. But Claudia is not abusing her talent – her talent is being abused, in the name of profit, and one of those abusers is her own mother. So it is quite unfair for Martha Blair to be haunting, jinxing and threatening Claudia in this way on top of poor Claudia being emotionally blackmailed into a career she does not want, just to satisfy her mother’s greed. If anything, Martha Blair should be haunting that selfish mother.

We get our first glimpse of how selfish the mother has become when Claudia comes home late from school. Mum grouses at Claudia for being kept waiting for her supper, which she expects Claudia to do. Why can’t the mother do the supper herself? She is quite capable. Is she going through some sort of depression over her husband’s death and stress over money? Or is she lumbering Claudia with all the housework or something? When Claudia wins the scholarship, Mum snaps at how it won’t bring in any money instead of being delighted and congratulating Claudia. She moans about money all the time, but we don’t see her raising any by working until the end of the story.


Mum’s selfishness and fixation with money worries makes her easy prey for a money-grubber like Mike Slade. There is no evidence that Mr Slade is downright crooked as some music managers are in girls’ serials, but greed is written all over him. He does not care about the person he makes a star out of, only the money he will make out of that person. Claudia can see it and what sort of man Mr Slade is, However, Mum is too blinded by her own greed to see it as well and does not realise that Mr Slade is playing on her greed in order to feed his own.

As Mum’s greed grows, she becomes increasingly callous to Claudia. She does not care about what Claudia wants or her feelings, and does not listen to Claudia’s pleadings about them. Whenever Claudia tries to reason with Mum, she uses emotional blackmail, gives Claudia a look she can’t say no to, or just slaps Claudia down to get what she wants out of her. She does not think about Claudia feels over being called “The Jinx Girl” in the press. She just keeps pushing Claudia on into making more money as a pop star and damn her jinx reputation.

The press who brand Claudia a jinx have no regard for her feelings either – or what they will do to her reputation and career. All they care about is making a sensational story out of her. They bulldoze all over her protests that they can’t take her photograph: “Too late, love!”. More greedy people abusing a hapless girl for profit.

Only shock treatment can bring Mum to her senses, and she gets it when Claudia has the accident. Then Mr Slade walks out after he realises Claudia could make no more money for him, which must have opened Mum’s eyes about him.

The artwork from José Ariza makes a superb job of expressing how growing greed is changing Mum for the worse. Her face is getting harder when she speaks to Claudia and there are truly callous expressions on her face in several panels, which are really disturbing.

The protagonist in this story has a hard time on more than one front. First are the greedy mother and manager who exploit Claudia’s talent and ride roughshod over her wishes and feelings. Second is being terrorised by an angry spirit who is persecuting her for a rather unfair reason. The spirit’s wrath causes disaster to strike at every turn, which turns our unfortunate heroine into a tabloid sensation as a jinx on top of everything else! Third is having a terrible road accident that leaves her unable to walk for a long time. By the time Claudia is going for her own audition, she is still using walking aids. One can only hope that by this time the “Claudia the Jinx” moniker has been forgotten, particularly as the cause of it all should be at peace now.

Little Dolly Demon (1981)


Published: Judy Picture Story Library #220

Artist: Stanley Houghton


Alison Kirby and Denise Vale are best friends. Right now they are in a bit of trouble with their teacher over an essay on why they like where they live, which in their case is Halbury Tower apartment block. Although Alison is having trouble putting it to paper for the essay, she does like to live at Halbury Tower. It’s not grotty as some apartment blocks are, there’s no vandalism, the lifts always work (makes a change!), the caretaker Mr Teal is nice and cheerful, and the tenants are always friendly to each other.

But all that is about to change with the arrival of Little Dolly Demon!

LDD’s arrival certainly lacks for nothing that night. There’s a violent storm, and Alison is surprised to see a ball of light in the sky. There’s a clap of thunder, and Alison thinks she heard something crash on the roof. That something is LDD, landing on the roof in a flash of light, and it can move on its own.

Next morning Alison and Denise are on the roof and find LDD. They are surprised to find the doll bone dry despite all the rain and take it in, thinking it must be lost. As they do so, the cat ring on Alison’s finger (a present her dad picked up in Malta) starts to burn hot and Alison can’t take it off. They leave LDD in Denise’s room, and once LDD is alone it gets to work with Denise’s satchel and the exercise book Alison left in it. Then, Alison is surprised to see Denise acting as though she is hypnotised (by LDD of course), but the pain from the ring forces her back. Under LDD’s influence, Denise throws Alison’s exercise book down the rubbish chute. Later, Denise finds her exercise book has gone too. As a result, they get into trouble with teacher and have their first-ever row. Later the caretaker finds Alison’s now-ruined exercise book in the garbage and then Denise finds her room has been mysteriously vandalised and her own exercise book ripped to shreds. Of course it’s LDD’s handiwork, but Mum blames Denise.


Later, Denise gives LDD to Mr Teal, and then his cupboard suddenly falls into chaos without explanation. Later, a ball is thrown through his window – from the inside – but Mr Teal becomes uncharacteristically bad tempered and he wrongly blames some boys who were playing a ball game. He doesn’t listen to the girls when they try to defend the boys either. Then he finds his own flat is flooded.

Alison and Denise have noticed that the trouble seemed to start when the doll arrived. Alison’s ring tingles again and it seems to be drawing her attention. Following its lead, she discovers the doll walking on its own and there are lightning bolts of some sort coming from its eyes. LDD runs after Alison and soon has her trapped. When she tries to use the lift, the doll uses its powers to sabotage it – which also traps Mr Teal in the lift! He is rescued, but the lift is now out of order for the first time ever.

Everyone blames Alison for putting it out of action. Their committee is lodging complaints against her and for the inconvenience the out-of-order lift is causing. The formerly friendly apartment block is now becoming increasingly acrimonious and everyone is at each other’s throats.

At school things are not much better. Teacher is getting fed up with the girls not producing the essays she set (because of LDD’s interference) and is constantly punishing them.


The doll has disappeared, but soon the girls see it on the roof again. It throws a ball down, which smashes a car windscreen below. Mr Teal blames the girls as they were the nearest to the car, and the tenants join in as they all think the worst of her now, despite pleas from the boys that the ball came from the roof. The girls head for the roof after LDD, which has been committing more vandalism on the roof. Unfortunately it gets away. Mr Teal and the tenants blame the girls for the vandalism, and they even call the police over the matter. This leads to a tenants’ meeting, which is very stormy. The policeman has to urge everyone to keep calm and there is no real evidence against anyone, and he personally believes the girls’ claims of innocence. The rancour at Halbury Tower is now so bad the policeman comments that he is so glad he does not live there.

Meanwhile, a little girl at the apartment block picks up LDD. The girls see her with it and try to take it away. LDD strikes with more powers, which eventually ends up with the tenants irrationally blaming Denise and Alison for a washing machine going haywire (LDD again) and accusing them of bullying kiddies. Now they are even more hostile towards the girls.

Alison has now realised her ring is acting as some kind of LDD detector and protector, and the girls use it to go in search of LDD. Sensing Alison’s approach, LDD starts a fire and uses its powers to make sure the fire spreads quickly. Denise and Alison help people evacuate, but they themselves get trapped on the roof. In the distance they can see LDD dancing and cackling, and using its powers to turn the flames into an inferno and directing them wherever it pleases. In the smoke, they see LDD’s face and realise it does not intend them to escape.


But then LDD gets squashed flat under the wheels of a reversing fire engine and is destroyed. Without LDD, the flames die down and the fire is soon under control. The girls are rescued, and are hailed as heroines for their work in evacuating others. Later they find an imprint in the street where LDD was crushed and realise what happened.

Two months later repairs are finished at Halbury Tower, and the tenants are back to their old friendly selves. The acrimony and nastiness disappeared with the destruction of LDD, and the girls are resigned to never unravelling the mystery of LDD. Alison still has to write her essay on why she likes living in an apartment block (two months on and she still hasn’t written it?!). The girls reiterate how they like living in an apartment block.


It is October and Halloween time, so it is fitting to focus on some of the spooky, scary stories from girls’ comics this month. I think you will agree they don’t come much more scary than Little Dolly Demon. The cover itself says it all in just how terrifying LDD is. That expression of LDD on the cover breaks the fourth wall, for it seems to be staring right at the reader, which makes it even more unnerving. For those who think LDD was inspired by Chucky, the answer is no. LDD precedes Chucky by seven years, which means LDD is original and ahead of its time.

It is not just the powers of LDD – walking on its own, laughing, shooting rays out of its eyes, and possessing the ability to manipulate things, people, and even fire – that make it so frightening. It is also LDD’s very appearance, particularly its hairstyle and the expressions on its face when its malignance manifests. And it is all brilliantly rendered by the Stanley Houghton artwork. Houghton’s style is a perfect match to terror and spookiness and has been seen elsewhere in spooky stories, such as Mandy’s “Teddy”.

Adding to the terror is the total mystery on the origins of LDD or why it acts in the way it does. LDD could have been possessed by an evil spirit. Perhaps LDD was the product of black magic. LDD could even have been some sort of demon in the form of a doll. Or perhaps there was some other reason. But there is no way of knowing. LDD does not actually speak either, which means the doll itself never offers any explanation. It just pops out of nowhere in a violent thunderstorm – probably created by more of its powers – and gets to work. It probably makes a regular habit of travelling from place to place, spreading mayhem and discord wherever it goes. Except that in this case LDD met its match in the girls who were armed with a protective ring. Like LDD, the reasons how or why the ring acted in the way it did are left a mystery, which further adds to the paranormal effect of the story. Hollywood could easily make a movie with LDD.


There is also an insidious element to LDD that adds to its creepiness. The girls note that its very size, which is small, enables it to escape and hide very easily. And being a doll, LDD can just sit and pose as an ordinary doll, where an unsuspecting child could pick it up and lavish love on its, not realising the danger. And this is precisely what happens with the little girl who picks up LDD.

Further adding to the creepiness and mystery of LDD is that it has no known name, unlike most evil dolls/puppets in girls’ serials. It is not given one either, except at one point where the girls nickname it “Kookie” before they realise the threat. But the nickname does not stick. It is just “the doll”.

The story takes the opportunity to comment on the merits of living in an apartment block – provided it is a nice apartment block where the tenants are friendly, the lifts work, and everything goes smoothly. There are other apartment blocks that aren’t. In some girls’ comics stories there are even apartment blocks that possess terrifying secrets/powers of their own, such as “The Sentinels” from Misty. This particular apartment block degenerates into one of the grotty apartment blocks once LDD arrives. Sometimes things do go wrong just when everything seems perfect, even without an evil doll to cause it all. The girls emerge even more appreciative of living in an apartment block once the baleful influence of LDD is lifted from it.



The Revenge of Roxanne


Roxanne Derby moves to a village where she falls under the power of a vengeful ghost, who is also named Roxanne. The Roxanne ghost forces Roxanne to commit acts of terror against the villagers through a ring she puts on Roxanne’s finger, and Roxanne cannot remove it. As a result, the villagers start thinking Roxanne is a witch and it culminates in Roxanne being chased by a witch-hunting mob.


  • Artists: Ron Tiner plus unknown filler artist (drew “Sister of Hate”)


  • The Revenge of Roxanne – Suzy:  #192 (10 May 1986) – #199 (28 June 1986)


Vicki in the Village of Cats (1980)


When Vicki Bright goes to spend her summer holiday with her gran in Maythorpe, she finds the village seems to be in the power of cats, led by one called Black Jack. They walk all over everyone, take anything they want, and even have powers to influence people. As Vicki investigates, she finds it has something to do with Black Jack’s owner, Miss Feliss, and there are hints of a connection to a pharaoh’s curse as well.



  • Artist: Ana Rodriguez
  • Reprinted and translated to Dutch as “Vicki in Kattendorp”  – Debbie #24 (1981)


  • Vicki in the Village of Cats – Tracy: #47 (23 August 1980) – #54 (11 October 1980)