Tag Archives: fantasy

The Strange Tale of Sara’s Snap Encounter

  • The Strange Tale of Sara’s Snap Encounter – Suzy: #179 (8 February 1986) – #181 (22 February 1986)
  • Artist: David Matysiak

Plot

Sara Greaves usually gets her own way, so when staying at her Gran’s cottage, she doesn’t listen to her, when her gran tells her to stay out of the loft as it’s dusty and full of rubbish. As soon as her gran is preoccupied, Sara goes up to the attic to explore, she finds a stuffed parrot, doll house and a dusty box containing strange old snap cards. Suddenly she finds herself whisked away to the sinister land of the snap cards. She is greeted by the parrot from the attic, who introduces herself as Emily. She tells her she is a spoilt girl and forces her into playing a strange game of snap. The characters from the cards are now real people and Sara must find the matching pair if she is ever to return to her own world. Sara of course thinks this is ridiculous and wonders if it is some elaborate joke on her. She goes to a house to ask for help but is surprised when the person that answers is indeed one of the characters from the card. She then runs into the ‘beggar boy’ another snap character who tricks her into helping him steal, by getting her to distract a man. When the man attracts attention of constable, Sara doesn’t like her chances of her innocence in the crime being believed. So she makes a run for it.

She comes by a snake charmer, when she overhears him talking about “what a pair we make” she thinks she has found the pair she needs, but he was just talking to his snake and Sara startles them allowing snake to slip away. She still need to hide from the constables and ends up in a play when the actors assumes she is the actress they were looking for. The dress her up and put her on stage despite her protests. Of course she doesn’t know the lines, so the actors are not happy when their dramatic play turns into a comedy! Then a fire breaks out, the snake reappears when a fireman mistakes him for a hose and Sara manages to slip away from the madness. She sees Emily and chases after her,  when she tries to follow her into a castle she is stopped by a guard. Private Goodbody takes his job seriously, and won’t listen to why she wants to get into the castle, he even raises his rifle to her. Luckily he is stopped by Corporal McGlenn, who is nicer and keeps offering Sara sweets. He tells her he saw a bird fly down by the river. So she goes to try and find her there.

Sara is thoroughly fed up with the place and how no one listens to what she says. Another character, Sailor Sam, turns up and tells her maybe the characters are a bit like her doing their own thing and not taking notice of what people say. Sara admits that she has been awful at times but if she could get back home she could begin to change. Sam agrees to help her find Emily and the row down the river in his boat.  Suddenly the weather changes and everything starts freezing over. Sara notices a skater is about to skate into a part of the water that hasn’t frozen over yet. She manages to stop him just in time. Then his twin brother arrives, thanking Sara for saving his life. She has found the matching pair and Emily appears happy that she also thought of someone else’s welfare before her own. She is returned home a changed girl. Her gran find her in the attic and tells her that the cards belonged to her mother’s sister Emily, a sickly child who died when she was young. Sara apologises to her gran for disobeying her, telling her she won’t do it again.

Thoughts

Matysiak drew a number of short 3 episode stories for Suzy, usually with a fantasy or even creepy element, which certainly is suited to his style of art. It is an interesting world, it has a Wonderland vibe with strange, weird characters and little logic. Sara being the only one that is trying to be reasonable. While it is fun, there is a lot going on for such a short story, other Matysiak short stories like The Wrong Day or Brides of the Forest are more effective as their concepts are kept simpler. Here I feel it really could have used more episodes. Firstly to explore more this strange fantasy world. Secondly to show Sara’s selfishness and lesson learned, we are just told about how she is used to getting her own way but we don’t get to see it a lot. Thirdly it could have delved and hinted more on Emily’s past, earlier on, the revelation that Emily was her Gran’s aunt comes suddenly. I feel it was unnecessary, particularly as it hasn’t time to be developed, they could have left things simpler and left it one of those mysterious unexplained things, that someone wanted to teach Sara a lesson.

30 Days of Destiny

Plot

Angela Dobson, is sent to stay with her with Great-Aunt Geraldine in Madoc Castle near the Cornish coast. Angela seems to have a connection with her ancestor Lady Angelina, a wild young lady who became a highway robber. Somehow Angela has timeslips back to the past that helps her uncover the mystery of Lady Angelina.

Notes

Appeared

  • 30 Days of Destiny – circa #730 (5 Jan 1974) – (?)

The Secret of the Red Balloons

Plot

Children are mysteriously going missing. Jo Baker and her friend Jean Simpson discover that a man at a fair is selling red balloons that children can inflate to such sizes that they are literally flying away on them. Jo is shocked to see that one of the latest children to fly away is her sister Lucy.

Notes

Appeared

  • The Secret of the Red Balloons –  Bunty: 1969. No publication dates currently available.

Last Girl in Hamelin

Plot

In the wake of the Pied Piper, Carla is the last girl left in Hamelin because she had been in jail on a false charge when the Pied Piper took the children away in revenge for the mayor refusing to pay him for eradicating the rats. The parents get jealous at Carla being spared while they lost their own children and Carla finds herself persecuted.

Notes

  • Artist: Andy Tew

Appeared

  • Last Girl in Hamelin –  Bunty: #892 (15 February 1975) – (?)

The Bird of Happiness

Plot

Susan Manners feels miserable with her lot. Her family can’t afford much so she often feels left out, Mum is sick, Dad is worn out because he is forced to work too hard, and she feels lumbered with the kids and has no friends. She wishes for some happiness, and then the Bird of Happiness appears. It comes from the Land of Ssenippah, the land where dreams come true and everyone there has a Bird of Happiness. Susan travels with the Bird of Happiness into Ssenippah to find happiness. She has a lot of amazing adventures but finds true happiness eluding her.

Bird

Notes

Appeared

  • The Bird of Happiness –  Mandy: #1139 (12 November 1988) – #1147 (7 January 1989)

 

Dana from the Deep

Plot

Eleven-year-old Dana West had been adopted after she was discovered as a tiny baby abandoned on the seashore. One day, while at the beach, a voice from a sea shell told Dana that she was really one of the Sea-people and must return to the sea before her twelfth birthday. If she disobeyed the summons, she would have to pay a terrible penalty.

dana-from-the-deep

Notes

  • Art: Eduardo Feito

Appeared

  • Dana from the Deep –  Judy:  #1445 (19 Sep. 1987) – #1457 (12 Dec. 1987)

The Land of Nowhere

Plot

When Nancy Wilson waters her sunflowers with a special growing powder, they just grow and grow. Nancy climbs the sunflowers to look for her cat Prudence and finds herself in The Land of Nowhere, a magic wonderland. In the Land of Nowhere, Nancy gains magical powers, but gets herself into trouble each time she uses them.

Notes

  • Artist: A E Allen

Appeared

  • The Land of Nowhere – Bunty: #1344 (15 October 1983) – #1358 (21 January 1984)

Finola and the Feinn

Plot:

Finola is a Third-Century Pictish princess befriended by a band of Celtic  warriors known as the Feinn. When Queen Grainne is turned into a white hind by Luath, the Yellow Magician, and disappears into a thicket made of the sacred rowan trees, Finola is the first to follow. finola and feinn

Notes:

Appeared:

  • Finola and the Feinn – Judy:  404 (07 October 1967) – (?)

Prisoners of the Rainbow

Plot:

By a strange quirk of fate, Raine Franklin and her little sister Wendy, had stumbled through the Spectrum Door which had led them to an invisible universe on the other side of the rainbow.  But the door had vanished and there seemed no way back home again. To make matters worse, time was travelling backwards at incredible speed.

prisoners of rainbow

Notes:

Appeared:

  • Prisoners Of The Rainbow –  Bunty:   #1206 (21 February 1981) – ?