Tag Archives: Julian Vivas

Four in the Saddle [1997]

  • Four in the Saddle – M&J: #313 (10 May 1997) – #314 (17 May 1997)
  • Four in the Saddle – Mandy Annual 1998
  • Artist: Julian Vivas


Cassie and Cindy Bridges live in Parkerville, a small town in Arizona, along with their friend Lori. They all like to ride their horses and also have an understanding with Mystery, leader of a wild herd of horses. Cassie and Cindy’s father is the town sheriff, so would like his daughters to set a good example and stay out of trouble. When new neighbours move into ranch nearby, Cassie is quite taken by the son, Jed. Cindy is of the opinion they don’t need boys in the group, Lori, the more quieter and sensible member of the group, think they should get to know him better first. The next day when the girls are out riding, Jed comes across them as he is riding to get help for a calf stuck down a ravine. Lori always prepared has a rope on hand and together they free the calf. When they question Jed about how he found the calf he says a wild black horse led him there. Knowing this must be Mystery, Cindy and Lori agree that the horse is usually right about people and that it would be okay for Jed to come riding with them.

In the Annual story, the girls are riding with Jed, they are watching out for Mystery and the other wild horses and they see something is wrong. They go closer to investigate. One of the horses collapses and Cassie convinces Mystery to let her have a closer look. Cindy and Jed go to fetch the vet, Mr Ewart, when he arrives he diagnoses the mare with equine flu, not usually fatal but dangerous for wild horses. He take the mare back to town for treatment. Cassie and the others keep an eye on the other wild horses and notice more sick. When they ask if Mr Ewart could vaccinate them, he says it would be impossible to inoculate all of them, even if he could catch them. The best action would be to isolate them but there is nowhere suitable, so likely the flu will spread and it will be survival of the fittest.

The group is horrified to hear this and try to come up with a plan to help Mystery and the other horses. Jed suggests a place in the foothills, known as The Lost Valley, the others say its too far for the horses in their condition. But they agree it might work if they leave the worst affected who can be treated by the vet. It is not an easy journey for the gang as they round up the wild horses, one mare dies along the way and they have a run in with a mountain lion (luckily it’s a young one that doesn’t attack), but eventually they make it. The group set up camp to keep an eye on the horses, a foul dies, but Cassie has idea to pair up that mare, with the motherless foal. Over a week later the herd are doing better, Mystery rears up as if thanking them. Everyone is happy that the herd was saved.


This story only lasted 2 episodes and although it promised “more next week” it did not appear in  the next issue, which was actually the last issue of M&J, nor did it continue in Bunty after the merger. It seems the finish of M&J led to its sudden discontinuation. It’s  an interesting case as it seemed to be set-up as replacement for the long running Pine Tree Grove another soap story involving horses, so potentially could have continued for quite a while. It had an a more unusual setting in Arizona, the art by Julian Vivas was good and similar to other M&J soaps it had some potentially interesting characters. The appearance of the story in the annual shows they had some story-lines set up. As annuals are made in advance,  it’s hard to tell if this story was just made for the annual or potentially it was unused episodes for M&J that they decided to fit in the annual. I can see the story in the annual fitting fine split into the weekly issues. Either way as I had not got the  annual until recently, I only thought there were just the 2 episodes, so it was nice to see some sort of conclusion for the story.

Bunty Annual 1981

Picture Stories

  • Georgie and Griff (Pages: 6-11) [Artist: Matias Alonso]
  • Catch the Cat! (Pages: 12-16) [Artist: Hugh Thornton-Jones]
  • Who Wants to Kill Kerry? (Pages: 18-32) [Artist: Robert MacGillivray]
  • Princess Pain-in-the-Neck (Pages: 33-38) [Artist: Charles Paine]
  • Haggis (Page 39)
  • Mojo, the Milky Way Dog (Pages: 40-45) [Artist: Robert MacGillivray]
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 49-54) [Artist: James Walker]
  • Shrinking Violet (Page 55)
  • Supergirl (Pages: 56-61) [Artist: Douglas Perry]
  • Maid Marian (Pages: 65-69) [Artist: Selby Donnison]
  • Tilly the Trier (Page 70)
  • Her Gran’s the Greatest (Pages: 74-79) [Artist: A E Allen]
  • Girl Friday (Pages: 81-85) [Artist: Charles Paine]
  • Square Peg (Pages: 87-91) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • Tilly the Trier (Pages: 92-93)
  • Daughter of the Dawn (Pages: 97-102)
  • No Collar for Scrap (Pages: 103-112)
  • Toots (Page 113) [Artist: Bill Ritchie]
  • The Laird of Hee-Haw! (Pages: 114-119) [Artist: Robert MacGillivray]
  • Wendy’s Wonder Horse (Pages: 120-125) [Artist: Julian Vivas]

Text Stories

  • “Don’t Let Daisy Die!” (Pages: 62-64)
  • The Skinflint of Cherry Acre (Pages: 71-73)
  • The Will-o’-the-Wisp Will (Pages: 94-96)


  • Bunty’s Cut-Out and Colour Wardrobe (Page 17)
  • Calendar (Pages: 46-47)
  • Pets’ Gallery (Page 48)
  • How does your Garden Grow? (Page 80)
  • Toots in Space (Page 86)

Judy 1990

Picture Stories

  • The Christmas Spirit (Pages: 4-9) [Art: Andrew Wilson]
  • Home Cooking (Pages: 11-15) [Art: John Armstrong]
  • Judy & Co. (Pages: 16) [Art: Norman Lee]
  • “I’ll Tell Him…Later!” (Pages: 17-21) [Art: Claude Berridge]
  • Girls Who Wear Glasses… (Pages: 24-27) [Art: Bert Hill]
  • Pepper the Pony (Pages: 28)
  • Bobby Dazzler (Pages: 29-32) [Art: Giorgio Letteri]
  • Lost on the Moor (Pages: 40-43)
  • Junior Nanny (Pages: 45-47) [Art: Oliver Passingham]
  • Judy & Co. (Pages: 48) [Art: Norman Lee]
  • Saturday Date (Pages: 49-52) [Art: Ana Rodriguez]
  • Wee Slavey (Pages: 54-58) [Art: “B Jackson”]
  • Cinderella Jones (Pages: 60-64) [Art: Oliver Passingham]
  • A Package for Paula (Pages: 65-67) [Art: Martin Puigagut?]
  • The Ghost of Armley Fell (Pages: 71-75) [Art: “B Jackson”]
  • Laura’s Lesson (Pages: 76-79) [Art: Eduardo Feito]
  • Jimmy’s Journey (Pages: 81-85)
  • Penny’s Pony (Pages: 88-93) [Art: Oliver Passingham]
  • Judy & Co. (Pages: 96) [Art: Norman Lee]
  • The Treasure (Pages: 97-104) [Art: Jim Eldridge]
  • Pepper the Pony (Pages: 105)
  • The Gift Horse (Pages: 106-109) [Art: Julian Vivas]
  • A Bone for Barker (Pages: 113-117) [Art: Claude Berridge]
  • ABC of Love (Pages: 118-121) [Art: Sean Phillips?]
  • Judy & Co. (Pages: 123) [Art: Norman Lee]

Text Stories

  • Rivals for Robbie (Pages: 68-70)
  • Christmas Bells (Pages: 110-111)

Photo Stories

  • Night of the Cat  (Pages: 33-37)


  • The Personal Touch (Pages: 10)
  • Pony Language (Pages: 22-23)
  • Horses and Riders (Pages: 38-39)
  • Dog (Pages: 44)
  • It’s a Dog’s Life (Pages: 53)
  • Swans ‘n’ Things (Pages: 59)
  • Christmas Crackers (Pages: 80)
  • A Monster in Wool (Pages: 86-87)
  • Gymkhana (Pages: 94-95)
  • It’s Magic! (Pages: 112)
  • Wild Flower Trail (Pages: 122)
  • Pumpkin Pie (Pages: 124-125)
  • Click! (Pages: 126-127)

(Click on thumbnails for bigger pictures)

Scared to Jump!


When Gina Peterson lost her nerve after she fell off her horse, Starlight, her friend Katie Birch took her place. Katie also rode her own mount, Mr Billy . . . and both horses qualified for the Cup-Winner’s Cup at Barchester. Gina hoped to ride in the Final but again her nerve failed and Katie rode both horses.



  • Art: Julian Vivas


  • Scared to Jump! –  Judy: #1624 (23 February 1991) – #1634 (04 May 1991)

The Scarecrow Kids


Without asking her parents Kelly Barker had taken a pony to save it from slaughter. Knowing that her parents would forbid her to have a pony of her own, she hid it in a disused railway sidings, but then, her parents had discovered her secret. They came to an agreement to give her a month and if she didn’t come to them for money and if the pony wasn’t neglected she could keep him.



  • Artist: Julian Vivas


  • The Scarecrow Kids – Judy: circa #1469 (05 March 1988) – (?)

The Quiet One

  • The Quiet One –  M&J:  #224 (26 Aug. 1995) – #330 (07 Oct. 1995)
  • Artist:  Julian Vivas


Danni Johnson, enjoys bullying and having people scared of her. One thing she doesn’t like is that the teachers’ know she is a troublemaker, so she misses out on trips because she can’t be trusted. When her family move to a new town, she decides to try out a new tactic. She pretends to be sweet and nice, then starts choosing people to bully in secret. Danni is good at sizing up who to target,  and soon she has 3 girls, Sharon, Marion and Lorna, under her control.

the quiet one_03

There is another bully at the school, Carla, but she is considered small time by Dani. Her other new “friends” have had enough of Carla bullying first years and report her. One of the girls brings a tape recorder to school as well so they can catch Carla out if she tries any more bulling. They are surprised to hear Dani is the one threatening Carla, she has decided that she will be her new victim. It is then that the 3 girls admit that they are terrified of Danni. The girls all go to report the bullying to the head. Danni finds things worse than her old school now. The teachers know she is trouble and she has lost power over all the girls

the quiet one_04


So continuing on with the theme of bullies, this is a more unusual approach, to have the narrator the bully herself. Danni is devious and shows no regret for the things she did. the quiet one_05Even at the end she isn’t upset that she is left on her own but that she hasn’t power over people. There doesn’t seem to be any particular reason behind her bullying. What little we see of her home life it seems fine, her mother seems pleasant, though we never see her father. Her motive just seems to be down to her own preference of liking to frighten people and being in control.

It is  interesting in seeing her thought process of how she picks out her victims. She picks girl’s she perceives as weak, and  reinforces the idea that if the tell anyone things will be worse for them . Also by keeping it secret this singles the girls out so they don’t know that anyone else is having a similar experience, and have no support. Of course to Danni’s mind keeping it secret also has the advantage of not being under suspicion from teachers or others.

the quiet one_02

The ending is quite effective, instead of having her expelled and just move onto a new school, she is left there alone and powerless. The girls that were bullied also wish they’d said something sooner, which reinforces the message of telling someone if you are being bullied.

M&J Complete Stories


M&J had a variety of short complete stories. Early in the run it was common to see a 1 page text story, whereas later complete picture stories became more popular. Some stories include:

The Journey
A text story, where people keep having strange reactions to the narrator who is on his way to meet M&J editor. In the end it turns out the narrator turns out to be Bones from Skeleton Corner.

Odd Girl Out
Julie Peters looks set for a dull summer holiday – until a boy moves in. (Art: Maria Dembilio)

Odd girl

The Rescuer
Complete story about Debbie Smith and her new dog, Dash.


Teacher’s Pet?
New girl Joanne Webster is branded teacher’s pet because the girls have wrongly assumed a new teacher is her father. (Art: Norman Lee)

Teachers pet

List of Stories

  • Two Valentines (text story) – M&J: #40 (15 February 1992)
  • Ebony (text story) – M&J: #46 (28 March 1992)
  • Coral (text story) – M&J: #55 (30 May 1992)
  • Miranda (text story) – M&J: #61 (11 July 1992)
  • Wrong Number (text story) – M&J: #62 (18 July 1992)
  • Stacy Summers Live! (text story) – M&J: #65 (8 August 1992)
  • Houseproud (text story) – M&J: #67 (22 August 1992)
  • The Journey (text story) – M&J: #69 (5 September 1992)
  • Message in a Bottle (text story) – M&J: #71 (19 September 1992)
  • The Ghost (text story) – M&J: #77 (31 October 1992)
  • “I Want to be a Vet” (text story) – M&J: #95 (6 March 1993)
  • The Dating Game – M&J: #199 (4 March 1995), Art: Norman Lee
  • Back Home – M&J: #224 (26 August 1995), Art: Julian Vivas
  • Dream On – M&J: #247 (3 February 1996)
  • Thanks, Valentine – M&J: #248 (10 February 1996)
  • Stupid Cupid – M&J: #249 (17 February 1996)
  • The Rescuer– M&J: #238 (2 December 1995)
  • Odd Girl Out – M&J: #242 (30 December 1995), Art: Maria Dembilio
  • Teacher’s Pet? – M&J: #250 (24 February 1996), Art: Norman Lee
  • The Good Turn – M&J: #261 (11 May 1996)
  • Lots of Luck – M&J: #265 (8 June 1996), Art: Maria Dembilio
  • Thanks! – M&J: #271 (20 July 1996)
  • Time for Tim – M&J: #272 (27 July 1996)
  • Under the Spell – M&J: #285 (26 October 1996)
  • Stir it Up! – M&J: # 293 (21 December 1996), Art: Andy Tew
  • Chill Out! – M&J: #296 (11 January 1997), Art: Maria Dembilio
  • Special Delivery – M&J: #301 (15 February 1997), Art: Andy Tew
  • Copy Kate – M&J: #304 (8 March 1997), Art: Maria Dembilio
  • The Final Hurdle – M&J: # 306 (22 March 1997), Art: Ian Kennedy
  • April Fool! – M&J: #307 (29 March 1997), Art: Maria Dembilio
  • Teacher’s Pet – M&J: #314 (17 May 1997), Art: Maria Dembilio
    • [reworked from Skeleton Corner story “the cat”]

New Pupil


There was a new pupil in Pamela Burton’s class – Her Mum! Mrs Burton had decided to restart her education. Although proud of her mother, Pamela was finding Mum’s presence at school could cause problems.



  • Art: Julian Vivas


  • New Pupil – M&J: #170 (13 August 1994) – #177 (1 October 1994)