Tag Archives: Len Potts

Bunty Annual 1970

Picture Stories

  • Willa the Wisp (Pages: 6-9) [Artist: Douglas Perry]
  • Bianca’s Golden Gift (Pages: 12-15) [Artist: E C Julien]
  • The Sparrows of Love Street (Pages: 20-24) [Artist: Charles Paine]
  • Friend “Funny Face”! (Pages: 25-29) [Artist: Charles Morgan]
  • My Dad – A Poem by Toots (Pages: 30-31) [Artist: Bill Ritchie]
  • Square Peg (Pages: 34-38) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • The Legend of the Lake (Pages: 42-47)
  • Wings for Wilma (Pages: 49-52)
  • Tina the Tester (Pages: 53-54) [Artist: Diane Gabbott]
  • Wendy Round the World (Pages: 55-57) [Artist: E C Julien]
  • Marcia with the Magic Voice (Pages: 62-64) [Artist: Charles Morgan]
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 65-69) [Artist: James Walker]
  • The Hungry Head (Pages: 70-74) [Artist: Len Potts]
  • The Autograph Hunters (Pages: 78-80)
  • She Couldn’t Stop Dancing! (Pages: 82-90) [Artist: Mike White?]
  • The Problem Girls (Pages: 92-96) [Artist: Peter Kay]
  • Monty of the Mountain Rescue (Pages: 97-100) [Artist: Rodney Sutton]
  • Clare’s Kiosk (Pages: 101-102)
  • The Story of Spinning Jenny (Pages: 103-105) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • The Golden Needle Girls (Pages: 106-107)
  • Hairdresser on Wheels (Pages: 116-120)
  • Pippa – the Artful Painter (Pages: 121-125) [Artist: Hugh Thornton-Jones]

Text Stories

  • The Urchin with the Skates (Pages: 17-19)
  • The Lonely One (Pages: 40-41)
  • Mandy and the Magpie Man (Pages: 59-61)
  • My Crazy Cousin (Pages: 75-77)
  • No Stick-in-the-Mud! (Pages: 110-112)
  • His Heart’s in the Highlands (Pages: 114-115)

Features

  • Horses through the Ages (Pages: 10-11)
  • Dog Posters:
    • Alsatian (Page 16)
    • Afghan Hound (Page 33)
    • Dalmatian (Page 81)
  • Home, Sweet Home – The Story Behind the Song (Page 32)
  • How We Got the Granny Smith (Page 39)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (Page 48)
  • The Story of the Statue of Liberty (Page 58)
  • Get in the Swing! (Page 91)
  • Who’s First Home? (Pages: 108-109)
  • Beautiful Bridesmaid (Page 113)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information and cover picture

Mandy Annual 1972

Picture Stories

  • Valda (Pages: 6-15) [Art: Dudley Wynne]
  • Mandy (Pages: 16, 41) [Art: Peter Kay]
  • Meg of Magpie Manor [4 parts] (Pages: 24-20, 49-53, 77-80, 97-101) [Art: Len Potts]
  • The Twopenny Times (Pages: 25-28) [Art: Tony Thewenetti]
  • A Home for Heather (Pages: 33-40) [Art: Robert Hamilton]
  • Jill’s Gentle Giant (Pages: 42-44) [Art: Claude Berridge]
  • Snapshot Susie (Pages: 45-48)
  • Away Went Wendy (Pages: 56-64) [Art: Douglas Perry]
  • My Chum – Mum! (Pages: 68-72) [Art: Leslie Branton]
  • Elsie’s Elephant (Pages: 81-85)
  • Friend of the Lonely (Pages: 86-89)
  • The Kazoo Kids (Pages: 90-96 [Art: Guy Peeters]
  • Betty the Babysitter (Page: 102)
  • Milly’s Magic Box (Pages: 107-112) [Art: Leslie Otway]
  • The Wishing Well (Pages: 113-118) [Art: Richard Neillands]
  • Wendy the Winner (Pages: 119-125) [Art: Andy Tew]

Text Stories

  • The Princess and the Wild One (Pages: 17-19)
  • Welcome House (Pages: 29-32) [Art: George Martin]
  • The Secret of the Shoes (Pages: 54-55)
  • O, Christmas Tree (Pages: 65-67)
  • The Mini-Movers (Pages: 73-76)
  • Mum on Wheels (Pages: 103-106)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information and cover picture

Mandy Annual 1978

Picture Stories

  • “It’s a Dare!” (Pages: 6-11)
  • Rita the Record Breaker (Pages: 12-15) [Art: Tom Hurst]
  • Tuesday’s Child (Pages:17-23, 43-47, 81-87, 105-111) [Art: Len Potts]
  • Penny of P.A.W.S. (Pages:27-32)
  • Jo and Jeannie (Pages: 33-37) [Art: Richard Niellands]
  • The Secret of Clumsy Kate (Pages: 49-56)
  • The Slave Girls (Pages: 58-63)
  • The Girl Who Never Was (Pages: 65-73) [Art: Andrew Wilson]
  • Charmette (Pages: 75-80)
  • Tina of Task Force (Pages: 92-97) [Art: George Martin]
  • Brenda’s Book of Knowledge (Pages: 98-101) [Art: Claude Berridge]
  • Crystal Ball (Pages: 104)
  • That Bad Dog – Rex! (Pages: 113-118) [Art: Wilf Street]
  • Brampton’s Big Noise (Pages: 120-125) [Art: Guy Peeters]

Text Stories & Rhymes

  • Grim Warning – The Perils of Slimming (Pages: 16)
  • The Thing with Long Fingers (Pages: 24-25)
  • Grim Warning –  A Toothy Topic (Pages: 26)
  • My Own Brother! (Pages: 38-41)
  • Grim Warning: Nail Tale (Pages: 42)
  • Grim Warning –  Untidiness! (Pages: 57)
  • Grim Warning –  Hair Care! (Pages: 74)
  • Grim Warning –  Scruffy Story (Pages: 88)
  • A Change of Heart (Pages: 89-91)
  • Present Problems (Pages: 102-103)
  • Grim Warning –  Over-Eating (Pages: 119)

Features

  • It’s Magic! (Pages: 2-3, 126-127) [Art: Peter Kay]
  • Puzzle Page (Pages: 48)
  • A Do-It-Yourself Christmas (Pages: 64)
  • How to Make Woolly Folk (Pages: 112)

 

(Click on thumbnails for bigger pictures)

The Secret Life of Hateful Hattie [1974]

  • The Secret Life of Hateful Hattie – Mandy:  #378 (13 April 1974) – #395 (10 Aug. 1974)
  • Reprinted – Mandy: #681(2 February 1980)  – #699 (7 June 1980) [First 2 episodes, title is Hateful Hattie!]
  • Reprinted as Hateful Hattie! – Mandy:  #1060 (09 May 1987) – #1077 (05 Sep. 1987)
  • Other Appearances:
    • The Secret Life of Hateful Hattie – Mandy Annual 1976
  • Art: Len Potts

Plot

In 1905, the girls of Birch House Orphanage are treated cruelly, except for Hattie Taylor, who gets privileges by toadying up to the staff. This particularly maddens Tilly Tucker, an outspoken girl, who leads the chant of “Hateful Hattie” at the dinner table. When they are  overheard by Matron’s second in command, Miss Winters, Tilly takes the full blame and also hits Hattie as she knows she is to be punished anyway and wants to make it worthwhile. Tilly is beaten and locked in the cellar with no food, but a hooded figure leaves her some food and ointment for her bruises. Telling the other girls about this, she nicknames her helper as the “Angel Ghost”. Nobody would suspect that their secret helper is actually Hattie. The only reason Hattie is the staff’s pet is so she can help the other girls, while the staff think she is on their side. Unfortunately because the girls don’t know this, they give “Hateful Hattie” a hard time both by name calling and physical attacks. Hattie won’t tell on them as she doesn’t want to get them in trouble, but of course they think its because she is scared of them.

Life can be difficult for Hattie, she dislikes having to pretend to be nice to the staff and endure the girls’ hateful looks, so she is glad when she is sent on an errand. She goes to the Willoughbys home, who want to arrange to visit Birch House in the hopes of finding an under-nursery maid. Away from Birch House, Hattie can be her genuine pleasant self and after meeting her, the cook recommends Hattie for the job. Having seen the house, Hattie is excited by the prospect as everyone seems happy and well looked after. But being selfless she feels she is needed at Birch House more and turns the job down. She looks for a good candidate herself, knowing the Willoughbys want a cheery girl, she considers Polly at first. She would fit in at Willoughbys but Hattie also realises she has strong spirit and has the ability to last at Birch House. Meanwhile, Florence is more sensitive so Hattie concludes she needs job more and sets out to make sure she gets it. She manage to get money from the matron, and uses it to buy Florence a brooch, then Florence looks naturally happy when Mrs Willoughby comes and succeeds in getting the job.

Hattie continues to help the girls in her role as “Angel Ghost” and also manipulating things in their favour as “Hateful Hattie”. She gets a sick girl Lizzie sent to cellar by claiming she beat her even though it was Tilly. The cellar isn’t much warmer than their dormitory and by providing her with blankets and food, it gives her time to rest and recover from her cough. She helps a girl Mary to get glasses by appealing to the Matron’s greed, telling her Mary could sew good embroidery that they could sell on. She gets Grace new boots that fit, by selling her own. Things don’t always work out, when she tries to manipulate the Matron to not send Alice to the “nightmare house” for spilling coal, she gets a slap herself. She later discovers Matron  she has toothache and is restless, which explained her particular moodiness but it means Hattie is unable to slip in and get the keys from her room. There is nothing she can do to help Alice the night she is locked in the cramped, dark, dog kennel and Alice comes back nearly catatonic. None of the Angel Ghost’s gift seem to help bring her out of this state, until she gets the idea to get her a mouse as a pet she can hide. More problems arise, when a new young girl, Victoria, arrives, Hattie not being able to stand her tears, comforts her but this means Victoria thinks she is friend, Hattie knows this will make her an enemy of others so she needs to turn Victoria against her. This proves difficult as Victoria is loyal to Hattie. The Angel Ghost pays Victoria a visit, saying it was her that made Hattie kind to her, then later Hattie herself  tells Victoria she is stupid and a liar for making up stories about the Angel Ghost, this has the desired effect of ending Victoria’s friendship.

While Birch House is a miserable place, there is something the girls can look forward to as every summer they go hop picking in Kent. Of course Matron and Miss Winters still try to take the joy out of the trip. Firstly, Matron decides Lucy, a new girl is too small and weak to come, luckily Hattie persuades her that she could earn money by gaining the sympathies of other pickers. When they arrive in Kent, Farmer Frost, is as bad as the Birch staff. He gives them huts away from everyone else, therefore any beating won’t be heard. They are also to be locked in at night, the window is stiff and rusted and Hattie is put in charge to make sure no-one tries to open it. By purposely burning herself on stove, she gets some oil and figures Tilly will be smart enough to sneak it from her and use it on the window, so they are able to sneak out and have fun. She also makes sure they get to the summer fair, which works out better than she expected with the arrival of Lady Gilchrist (who is friends with a patron of the orphanage), who treats them to rides at the fair.

Meanwhile, Lucy has gotten the attention of another picker, Mrs Brown, who wants to give her a home. Matron refuses as she wants to keep making money off her. Hattie’s facade drops as can’t hide her hate for Matron’s greed and denying Lucy a loving home. She luckily manages to pass it off as pins and needles, as she knows, if she is to help Lucy, she must keep her temper. It’s a difficult case and she gets a scolding when she tries to push things too quickly. Slipping a note to  Lady Gilchrist’s granddaughter, Caroline inviting her to the dance on the last day of hop picking, she hopes she would be able to help. Matron is not pleased to hear she is coming to dance as she will have to let girls go too, otherwise it might raise questions. By good fortune, Lady Gilchrist comes with Caroline and after hearing the Browns story, she talks to Matron about letting them adopt Lucy, a request she can hardly refuse if she wants to stay on the right side of the gentry.

Returning to Birch House, Matron continues to show how heartless she is, in a particular cruel punishment, after slipping on some polish, that Amy, had left out while scrubbing the floor, she burns the last mementos Amy has of her family. Nothing the Angel Ghost does can get her back to her cheery herself, she even tries to rouse her spirits, as Hateful Hattie by making her angry, but that fails too. She has one other idea, as Angel Ghost she asks Alice, to give Amy her mouse to cheer her up. This idea works as planned, Amy doesn’t want to take Alice’s mouse but says she will borrow him until she feels better. By pretending to be cheerful for Amy, she will get into the habit and also start to treat Alice as a little sister, bringing comfort to them both.

A problem arises when Hateful Hattie gets some competition with the arrival of Creeping Clara. But while Hattie’s behaviour is just an act, Clara really is sly and enjoys telling tales, getting the others  punished. She also tries to get Hattie in trouble as she wants to usurp her place as staff pet. As luck would have it a visit by a patron, Lady Tarrington, provides a solution. She is a tough employer and is looking for a scullery maid, Hattie tricks Clara into fawning over her, so she is taken on for the job. Hattie gets a small reprise from Birch House, when her and Maggie are taken on as extra help for two weeks at the Fitzpatrick house. While she still has to be Hateful Hattie around Maggie, with the help of a lost kitten, she helps Maggie get a permanent job there. When she returns she helps out two sisters Ruby and Ellen, by getting Ruby to be a good influence on Ellen, so she has to control her temper.

With such poor living conditions, it’s no surprise when a number of girls develop colds. Vicky gets it the worse and she struggles to get out of bed in the morning, Hattie knows she won’t be able to slip out for medicine until that night. As punishment for dropping her bowl at breakfast, Vicky is made clear the drive of snow and sent to the cellar at night. Hattie manages to get her hot drink while she’s outside and later gets her medicine but her sickness is getting worse. When Matron and Miss Winters go to check on her, in her fever Vicky talks of the Angel Ghost. Not knowing that the Matron is ready to catch the Angel Ghost, Hattie arrives that evening to check on Vicky. The Matron and Miss Winters are shocked to find the Angel Ghost is Hattie, and not Tilly like they suspected. This makes them even more mad, for she has made fools of them. They give her a severe beating and plan to return to beat her, until her spirit is broken, then they will farm her out to hard task mistress. When Miss Winters comes back to give Hattie her second beating of the night, Hattie is ready and  she slips out with Vicky. Getting to police station, she tells her story before collapsing. They are taken to hospital and a week later a policeman along with the girls comes to visit.  Matron and Miss Winters have been arrested and Birch House has new staff. Hattie can now return to a happy house with the friendships of the girls, no longer will she need to be “Hateful Hattie”.

Thoughts

Thanks to Derek for clarification on the title, the 1987 reprint was just called Hateful Hattie!. Oddly enough the 1980 reprint was also called Hateful Hattie! but only for the first two episodes, perhaps it was used to make the reveal of Hattie’s true intentions more surprising.

There are plenty of stories set around Victorian times, where the heroine would don a  disguise to help poor children,  such as The Seeker, Lady Sarah’s Secret, The Hooded Angel and Shadow of the Backstreets, but they were often in a position of privilege unlike Hattie who is in the same position as those she helps. There has also been protagonists that have acted like they are on the side of the antagonists in order to be in a better position to defeat them, which earns them animosity of those they are secretly helping, such as Callous Cassie and Detestable Della. But again Hattie has it worst, because not only does she get verbal abuse, the girls also physically abuse her, something that she has to hide from the staff as she doesn’t want them to get into trouble. Of course the girls aren’t to know that she is actually an ally, and when we meet “Creeping Clara” we see someone who is actually deserving of such treatment.

A good contrast to Hattie’s methods is Tilly. She is the leader and open protector of the girls but her upfront manner doesn’t help as it only riles the staff more. While her heart is in the right place, usually speaking out just earns herself a beating as well as the other girl.  Hattie tries to counteract this at times, like knowing when Tilly offers to do Lizzie’s work, they would get caught, Hattie plays her hateful self saying she will tell on them unless the both do their share. Hattie does also use Tilly to her advantage, knowing she is smart, she sets thing up so that Tilly can help others. For example, when she gets the oil for the window and when she pretends she doesn’t want food, she knows Tilly will share it out. When it is revealed Hattie is Angel Ghost, Tilly is the first to say they’ll be friends now and as two warmhearted girls, I suspect they become close friends.

While none of the staff at Birch House are very pleasant, it is Matron and Miss Winters that are the worst. As antagonists, they are vile with no redeeming qualities. The Matron is greedy, wanting to make sure she can get as much from the orphans as she can, she has no concern for their well being, she doesn’t care if Vicky dies and has shown even with her “favourite” Hattie, she can hit her too, just because she is in a bad mood. Miss Winters follows suit and has no objection to dishing out punishments. The punishments such as beatings, locking girls in cellar without food is bad enough, but they go even further than that. The small cramped dog kennel,  nicknamed the “nightmare house” is even worse than the cellar, and traumatizing for the girls as evidenced by how Alice is, when she returns from a night in it. Anyone who shows any bit of cheerfulness is quickly beaten down and they show how heartless and maliciousness they can be, by burning Amy’s last photos of her family. Above all they do not like to be outsmarted or made fun of and if Hattie had not escaped, she would have suffered a terrible fate. After their discovery of Hatty, the plan is to send her to a hard taskmaster, but I’m unsure if Hattie would have made it that far, as Miss Winters returned to give her a second  beating of the night, who knows if she would have survived that. It is a relief that Hattie does escape and Matron and Miss Winters get what they deserve.

 

Little Phantom of the Opera

Plot

In Victorian times, Evie lives secretly in the old Opera House and keeps herself well hidden because she fears the workhouse if discovered. She discreetly helps out at the theatre and comes to the aid of performers with problems. This starts rumours of a friendly ghost in the Opera House.

Phantom

Notes

  • Art: Len Potts

Appeared

  • Little Phantom of the Opera–  #272 (1 April 1972) – #288 (22 July 1972) [no episode in 283]
  • Reprinted – Mandy:  #715 (27 September 1980) – #730 (10 January 1981)
  • Reprinted – Mandy: #1199 (6 January 1990) – #1212 (7 April 1990)

 

A Ticket for Timmy

Plot

Carol Burns and her family are going to emigrate to Canada in a few months. Carol is trying to raise the £100 to pay the fare for Timmy, her beloved sheepdog.

Timmy

Notes

  • Writer: Maureen Hartley
  • Artist: Len Potts

Appeared

  • A Ticket for Timmy  – Mandy: #114 (22  March 1969) – #128 (28  June 1969)
  • Reprinted – Mandy: #520 (01 January 1977) – #533 (2 April 1977)
  • Reprinted – Mandy: #1026 (2 October 1986) –  #1040 (20 December 1986)

Mandy 1971

mandy annual 1971This is the first Mandy annual.  Although the weekly Mandy issues started in 1967, it took a few years for the release of an annual. It has a colourful dust jacket with Mandy and her dog Patch on the front (a theme that would last up to the 1993 annual).  The very clear distinctive picture on the white background and the use of simple primary colours; the yellow on her jacket, headband and the “Mandy” title makes it an eye catching cover. The Mandy comic was a very story focused book and most of it’s annuals, particularly the early ones had very little features. This book has no features at all, just picture and text stories. So there is a lot of reading in the annual, it also has the common theme of having an extended story split up over the annual in this case  a 4 part text story (No Time to Dream) and a three part picture story (King Cat). As well as the longer stories there are classic characters, Valda, Mandy and Wonder Girl! Throughout the book there is some high quality artwork. (For just a list of contents click here)

Picture Stories

Valda     (Pages: 6-10)

Art: Rab Hamilton

A strong start to the annual with a story about popular character, Valda. Usually Valda stories focused on one of two themes, either proving herself the best at a sport or revealing secrets about a lost place.  This is a story that focuses on a sport.

Valda arrives at a tennis tournament, where the trophies are to be presented by the undefeated tennis star Jeanne Cartier nee Duval. Jeanne is surprised when she sees Valda, she says her mother must be the Valda that she faced thirty years ago just as the war broke out. Their match was never completed as the appearance of an enemy  aircraft put an end to the game. Jeanne introduces Valda to her daughter Michelle and declares she is going to carry on the family tradition and be an undefeated champion.  Both Valda and Michelle do well in the tournament, Valda observes that Jeanne pushes her daughter too hard. Valda and Michelle meet in the final round. Valda knows she can defeat her but in the end she lets her win because she knows losing will break her confidence altogether.

Again the mother mentions family tradition of being undefeated. Valda decides she must put a stop to this as Michelle won’t be able to keep this up.  Valda confronts Jeanne and shares with her the fire of life to put her at her peak again, so they can continue the game they started years ago. Valda defeats her and Jeanne learns her lesson and realises she shouldn’t put so much pressure on her daughter.

valda M71

I usually prefer Valda helping out in lost cities than stories focused on sports, but I do like this one. The art is quite pretty and even though it’s not by usual artist  Dudley Wynne, it does a good job capturing Valda. It has a ice storyline with Valda choosing to help Michelle rather then winning. It also shows a nice lesson for mother and the matches themselves are well drawn.

Captain of St. Crispin’s       (Pages: 11-13)

An unusual regular story of Mandy; Aggie Morton is the captain of St Crispin’s school, this is unusual because she is an oil millionaire, hillbilly granny from America! She is keen for the school to keep up all its old customs and is helped out by her young English relative Gwen.  Aggie wants to ring the old school bell which is rung by the school captain on special occasions. Aggie decides to send letters to queens and presidents to visit the school but on inspection the bell is unsafe.  Aggie saves a workman, who comes to look at the bell, with a lasso and gets the honour of ringing the new bell.

captain of st crispins M71

While the stereotype hillbilly played up for laughs in the story, it gets points for not being ageist. Of course we have Gwen as the young girl point of view, but it’s old Aggie who sets things in motion and saves the day.

A Miracle for Marie          (Pages: 14-16)

Art: Pamela Chapeau?

Marie lives with her grandmother in a small attic room in Marseilles. She is very sick but is happy to see a little bird visit her. Her grandmother buys her birdseed even though they really can’t afford it, but she knows Marie hasn’t long left and wants to help her last days  happy. When Marie leaves out the seed some of it falls in the gutter and a plant sprouts from it. Some time late the grandmother collapses down town and is brought home by a doctor. The doctor recognises the rare plant by Marie’s window as one from his home county that will be able to cure Marie.

miracle for marie M71

It’s a short story and is quite nice read. Of course filled with coincidences, and is something that is seen again and again with the sudden miracle cure, but when the annual first came out the story was more fresher.

There Was a Young Girl Who Lived in a Shoe     (Pages: 21-24)

In Victorian times, Bessie Shepherd lives with five orphans in a house that is shaped like a shoe. Money is tight so when a storm hits up Bessie’s quick to round up their livestock. The next day the house has taken some damage with broken windowsand no money to repair them. This is stressful for Bessie so she gets cross when she discovers a chicken is missing, as she had Jack count them. Jack apologises that he was tired when he counted them. Bessie has an outburst at Jack. He runs away and finds the missing chicken but breaks his leg. Bessie is very sorry for her outburst but can’t get through to Jack. To make it up to him she makes her last nice dress into a kite for him. Jack is sorry he let his pride in the way. While out flying the kite the squire’s son offers money to get kites made for him and his cousins, which will be enough to fix the windows.

girl who lived in shoe M71

King Cat     (Pages: 25-28, 57-60 & 97-100)

Art: Claude Berridge

This is a 3 part story told throughout the annual. Judy Pace and her kitten Sam are to stay with her Gran during the holidays. She is surprised when her Gran’s cat Ginger attacks Sam and scratches her. Her Gran tells her to stay away from cats. Later Judy takes a walk down town she notices other people being followed and threatened by cats. She comes to an old unused house but is scared off by several cats. It keeps getting stranger as Judy goes to shops to see cats have wrecked the place and stolen food. The owner doesn’t want to go to police and Judy notices she seems scared that a cat on the windowsill is listening. When she gets home Sam is missing. She figures he must be at the old house. She goes there and sneaks pass the cats only to be bizarrely confronted by a man in a cat suit, calling himself King Cat. It turns out he is a scientist/crook who has built a machine to control all the cats and now he wants to test his machine on Judy. But she manages to smash it and all the cats turn on King Cat, so Judy can go call the police.

king cat M71

The mystery of what’s happening in the town is good and the cats do seem intimidating and threatening, which is shown well by the art. The conclusion is a bit odd, it’s not really clear why King Cat is dressed up in a cat suit, though presumably he has some mental problems. It is also unclear why the people in the village never called the police to check out the old house or at least animal control!

Mandy      (Pages: 33 / 87 / 113)

Art: Peter Kay

The title character appears in 3 amusing strips, each with its common theme. The first strip Mandy is fed up of getting wet while waiting at the telephone box, but when they get a phone installed she still stands out around wet as she has to get out of the bath. Then a dog chases her not appreciating she is out collecting money to help animals. Finally visiting a museum Mandy looks at old torture methods and glad she doesn’t live there but it seems her new shoes are just as much as a torture!

mandy M71

Something Borrowed, Something Blue     (Pages: 34-40)

Art: Tony Thewenetti

Sally Durrant lives with her mother and her ambition is to become a dress designer. Sally takes some evening art classes but has to work in a shop as she can’t afford to go to college full time. There is an art school ball coming up and she buys cheap material for a dress. It was cheap because it has a stain on it so she takes it to dry cleaners  but a mix up ends up with a different dress and no time to change it before the  ball. Her mother convinces her to try on the dress it fits so she wears it. Her teacher introduces her to a man Mr Lennox he compliments her dress but she down plays it as she does not want to draw attention to herself. The next day a newspaper article shows Lady Daphne Staite in her dress. Sally is horrified that the dress she wore was an expensive House of Cleve design. She returns the dress, and Lady Daphne offers to get her an interview at the House of Cleve as she was impressed with the dress. Another shock for Sally is when she recognises owner as Mr Lennox but he promises to keep her secret that she wore the dress. and laughs that she’d called it “this old thing” at the dance.  She gets a job offer and is delighted. She brings flowers to the dry cleaners to thank them for the mix up.

something borrowed M71

I like the colours and inking in this story, it also has some funny moments. Again it’s nothing new but it has a nice pace and does its job well.

Jill- Junior Reporter    (Pages: 41-43)

Art: Robert MacGillivray

Jill Cooper is a reporter for the Daily Echo and often finds interesting stories by following up adverts in the personal column. In this story the ad is for an expedition to see Sahara cave paintings by truck. When they arrive at the caves Jill is wary of their new guide Hussan who has replaced the other guide due to sickness. She is right to be suspicious of him as he sneaks away while in the caves to steal their stuff. Jill spots him in time and leaves a trail of paper for the others to follow. She manages to stop him which is good the only down side is she is left having to piece her story back together as those were the papers she made her trail with!

jill junior reporter M71

This is a fun little adventure story. Jill is a fun resourceful character and it has a good ending, being amusing and not just ending with everything sorted.

Wendy the Winner     (Pages: 44-48)

Art: Andy Tew

Wendy Blake’s hobby is entering competitions and winning though it can cause some problems. Her father isn’t happy when she is collecting alphabet soup labels for a competition. Not only is there too much soup in the house but there is other trouble like a display gets knocked over, a can accidentally gets thrown a window and she knocks her dad over running to the post. In the meantime prizes from previous competitions arrive, a barbecue, picnic rugs, windbreak and a vacuum ice bucker. her father suffering from a cold isn’t too happy for what will they do with that in winter.  Her father perks up when she wins the soup competition and finds out the prize is central heating and double glazing for the whole house. But the catch again is the workmen have to rip up floorboards and the work will take a few days. Lucky all the summer prizes come in handy after all, as they cosy around the barbecue with blankets and soup.wendy the winner M71
Baby Went Too!     (Pages: 53-56)

Barbara Bunting had special permission to bring her baby brother to school while their mother was in hospital. Baby was making a nuisance of himself trying to help out while the girls decorated the classroom for Christmas. He causes so much problems Miss Powell says Barbara will have to keep him out of the classroom. She is disappointed she can’t help with the decorations. Then after baby’s bubble bath she gets the idea to dress him up as Santa with a sleigh. The class win as best decorated.

baby went too M71

This was a regular story in Mandy and one I never really understood. Why would having a young girl bringing a baby to school be a good solution, seems unfair on everyone involved.  Also poor Baby Bunting didn’t appear to be deserving of a name, only being referred to as Baby.  But I suppose the point was to create some drama or some laughs and not to be grounded in reality.

Friend or Foe?     (Pages: 65-71)

Art: Len Potts

Jim Dalton is a huntsman and his best Lakeland terrier died leaving  a 4 week old puppy Turk. He gave his daughter Jean the job of raising him. She isn’t to encourage him to be a pet as he has to be tough to hunt foxes. He also has to stay in the barn not the house. Later Jean finds an orphan fox cub and she saves him and names him Amber. She hides him in the barn loft away from Turk but the two orphaned animals find each other and comfort each other. Amber helps Turk kill a big rat that attacks them. Amber is clever enough to hide from strange voices and not to be seen with Turk. When the barn catches on fire, Amber and Turk raise the alarm and the Daltons are able to save the house. Jim says the barn or Turk won’t be saved but Jean smashes a window so they may be able to escape. Both Amber and Turk jump through the window surprising Jim. One of the hunting dogs goes for Amber but Turk holds him back and Amber escapes. Jean is worried her father will put down Turk because he’ll be a useless hunting dog now he doesn’t know foxes are the enemy. But because he saved their lives Jim lets Turk off and gives him to Jean as a pet.

friend or foe M71

This is a well told story and while Jim Dalton could have come across as cruel and hard, even Jean sees him more as practical and understands why Turk can’t be raised as a pet.

Junkyard Jenny     (Pages: 74-76)

Jenny Todd runs her father’s junkyard business while he is in hospital. On one of her pickups she gets an old bike and is fixing it up when she sees a family watching her, in particular the eldest girl. The next day Jenny catches the girl with the bike in the junkyard. Sheila says she was only riding it not stealing it. Jenny isn’t convinced though she feels sorry the girl, when she sees what little money her family have. Sheila arrives to help around the yard to make up for things. Jenny is cynical thinking she is doing it to soften her up and get the bike cheap. She decides to test her by saying she can have the bike for five Bob or a cot, knowing her baby brother sleeps in a drawer. She takes the cot and Jenny gives her the bike as a present, she’s delighted.

junkyard jenny M71

I like that Jenny is cynical of Sheila at first. She is not going to be fooled by anyone or get taken advantage of. Sheila does turn out to be a good person but has to learn from mistakes.

Wonder Girl!    (Pages: 81-86)

Art: “B Jackson”

Jay Smith was brought up by a scientist Dr Harriet Pugh on a scheme of diet and training designed to make her exceptional both physical and mentally. Jay quickly made a name for herself in athletics. The story starts with Jay practicing yoga, after which Jay and Dr Pugh are on their way to an event. Outside the stadium when they notice an advert for Vigrus the vitamin food and a girl who resemble Jay. The stewards won’t allow Jay to race because of the ad, until they are sure of her amateur status. Jay stills wants to test herself against the other runners so Jay starts at the finish line and is at the starting line before the rest of the girls.

wonder girl M71

Then Dr Pugh and Jay set out to confront the advertisers.  Mr Wilcox the crafty advertiser insist on Jay trying the food first before disregaring it. Although she says reading the ingredients you’d get more vitamins from an orange, when she does go to try some a photographer takes a picture of her with the spoon in her hand. Mr Wilcox then tries to blackmail them saying that they’ll have a hard time proving innocence with that photo, so they can either not interfere with his lookalike ad or come  aboard and get paid. Jay agrees his won and tells him to get a picture of her actually eating the food. When she takes a bite She collapses and her breathing and pulse slow down. Jay winks at Dr Pugh and she picks up on it, saying Jay is used to a very strict diet and does Mr Wilcox still want to claim she eats his food. He destroys the photos and signs a statement saying she is no way associated with Vitrus so they can’t sue him. Once it is signed Jay jumps to her feet, leaving Mr Wilcox dumbfounded.

I really like the art in this story, just really nice use of colours and good expressions on the people. Jay Smith has some similarities to Valda, she has above average human abilities and likes to test herself against others in sports, of course her origins are rooted in science rather then the mystical. I like her novel idea of how to compare herself to the other runners when she isn’t allowed race. She also shows her intelligence by finding such solutions and also when she easily outsmarts Mr Wilcox.

Mum on Wheels!     (Pages: 88-92)

June Burton is a trained nurse and housekeeper, who travels in a well equipped van to look after children whose parents are absent due to illness or injury. She is meant to be looking after three children and is surprised by their two chimp pets. She doesn’t get off to a good start with the chimps. and they hold a grudge despite her efforts to make friends. When they throw her clothes out the window for a second time, June figures their problem is she is in the parents bedroom and they thinks she’s a permanent replacement. She moves things into the guest bedroom and that seems to solve the problem.

mum on wheels M71

That Imp Angela!     (Pages: 93-96)

Art: Richard Neillands

Little Angela Lister won the title of Little Miss Loveliness and was in demand for public appearances. Only her sister Karen knew how mischievous she really was. She is to open the Roselea swimming pool, where Mrs Ponsoby expresses her  unhappiness about the pool which is opened just behind her house.  Nobody else is pleased either as Mrs Ponsoby has restricted the pool to a 1 hour opening per day. During her speech Angela lets a bar of soap on the ground, so Mrs Ponosby slips into the pool and Angela also throws bubble balls into the pool (although Karen is the only one who knows who is responsible). After this Mrs Ponosby is determined have the pool closed.

that imp angela M71

While Mrs Ponosby goes to dry off, Angela sees her house on fire. Karen suggests they form a water chain and save the house. It turns out Angela locked Pinsoby in the room she was drying off in, she saw everything and is so grateful she lets the pool be open all the time.

No Good at Games!      (Pages: 104-108)

Art: Andy Tew

Violet Timson is no good at games which is unfortunate as she attends Athleet Hall where games are taken very seriously and merits given for good performances each week. (Of course with a name like Athleet Hall what else would they be obsessed with!). The only thing Violet has learned is how to hit the hockey ball into a rabbit hole, so practice has to be stopped. Later at a match she passes out scared of the opposing Welsh team. She come across a teacher putting in the office. Been actually good at it (after her rabbit hole trick) she helps out. She then finds out she’s a famous hockey star and through a misunderstanding, she  thinks Violet has been selflessly  missing out on her hockey. She awards her merits for the week and presents her with a hockey stick! This is a funny story, my favourite part is Violet being intimidated by the chanting Welsh team, who turn out to be very nice and friendly.

no good at games M71
Go, Girl-Go!    (Pages: 114-119)

Art: Douglas Perry

14 year old, Vanessa Coombes is keen bout go-karting but her 18 year old brother Terry has strong views on women drivers especially with his kart. He stops every attempt she tries. She decides to take his go-kart one night and ends up crashing. Terry’s mad at first but is happier when he realises there was a part missing on the kart and if he had driven it in a race he could have been seriously injured. A few days later Vanessa sees a poster for a gala with £20 cash prize. Knowing he borrowed money from their father to fix the go-kart she tells Terry about it. But on the way to the race, a dog jumps out in front of the car and Terry crashes. He’s taken to hospital with a cracked rib. Vanessa decides she will win the money for him. Things are a bit more difficult than she thought she runs off the track and is left a lap behind. She doesn’t want that to be the humiliating end to her first race, so she decides she needs to catch up to the other drivers. She doesn’t win the race but does win the money, as the prize was for the fastest lap not who crossed the finish line first.

go girl go M71

The art by Douglas Perry is great of course. I really like who the race ends, instead of winning the first time she drives a go-kart, she struggles at the start and it is her determination to at least make a respectable finish that ends with her getting the fastest lap.

Bunch and Judy     (Pages: 120-125)

Judy and her horse Bunch are often asked to do comic routines at local horse shows. At one show they have a run in with snobbish Gloria, but impress a film producer Mr Perry who wants them in his film. When they arrive for filming they aren’t too happy to see Gloria there too. Turns out they want Judy and Bunch to do the entertaining part of how riding shouldn’t be done before Gloria shows the correct way. Gloria takes great pleasure in putting them down and Bunch knocks Gloria’s hat off after she hits him. She backs her own horse into a cigar while looking for the hat, which causes the horse to bolt. It is Bunch and Judy that ride after her and clear hedges and walls beautifully and stops Gloria before she goes onto traffic. This is all caught on film and the director is so impressed he uses this as the example of good riding.

bunch and Judy M71

Mandy Annual 1974

Picture Stories

  • Valda (Pages: 6-11) [Art: Dudley Wynne]
  • The Farmer Wants a Wife (Pages: 12-16)
  • Sisters in Sorrow [2 parts] (Pages: 17-22, 59-64) [Art: Len Potts]
  • Have-A-Go Flo (Pages: 23)
  • The Slave Girls (Pages: 24-28)
  • My Sister Jinx (Pages: 34-41) [Art: Guy Peeters]
  • Aunt Kate’s Household Companion (Pages: 43-48) [Art: Hugh Thornton-Jones]
  • Gertie the Greatest (Pages: 52)
  • Stella Starr –  Policewoman from Space (Pages: 53-58) [Art: John Richardson]
  • The Boot Laceys (Pages: 69-72) [Art: “B Jackson”]
  • Caroline and her Camera (Pages: 73-76)
  • Mighty Minnie (Pages: 82-89)
  • Mandy (Pages: 90) [Art: Peter Kay]
  • Queen of Koko Island (Pages: 91-95) [Art: Tony Higham]
  • A Mystery for Melody Jones (Pages: 100-108) [Art: Claude Berridge]
  • Netta’s Newshound (Pages: 114-119)
  • Melinda – You’re a Marvel! (Pages: 120-125) [Art: Tom Hurst]

Text Stories

  • The Tide of Fortune [3 parts] (Pages: 29-32, 65-68, 97-99)
  • Nikki the Story of an Otter [3 parts] (Pages: 49-51, 77-80, 109-112)

Features

  • The ABC of Jobs for Girls [7 parts] (Pages: 2-3, 33, 42, 81, 96, 113, 126-127)

The Secret Song of Kate Darby

Plot

In 1911, just before Kate Darby’s grandmother dies, she tells her she has a long lost brother. Kate sets out to find him,  earning her living along the way, by singing and playing her treasured accordion in theatre queues.

kate darby

Notes

  • Art: Len Potts

Appeared

  • The Secret Song of Kate Darby  –  Mandy:  #347 (15 September 1973) –  #360 (08 December 1973)
  • Reprinted – Mandy: #701 (21 June 1980) – #714 (20 September 1980)

 

 

Mandy Annual 1976

 

mandy-1976

Picture Stories

  • Mandy (Pages: 2-3/ 126-127) [Art: Peter Kay]
  • The Amazing Valda (Pages: 6-16) [Art: Dudley Wynne]
  • That’s My Boy! (Pages: 17-21) [Art: Guy Peeters]
  • Double Trouble (Pages: 24-27) [Art: Richard Neillands]
  • Karen of the Crusader (Pages: 29-32) [Art: Tom Hurst]
  • Rent-a-Face from Rosie (Pages: 33-36) [Art: Geoff Jones]
  • The Guardian Tree (Pages: 38-44) [Art: Hugh Thornton-Jones]
  • Fay Fearless (Pages: 51-60) [Art: Claude Berridge]
  • Call Me Cupid! (Pages: 61-66) [Art: Geoffrey Whittam]
  • Babyface Bobbie (Pages: 67-71)
  • The Secret Life of Hateful Hattie (Pages: 72-78) [Art: Len Potts]
  • The Girl with the Smile (Pages: 87-92) [Art: “B Jackson”]
  • Tennis Chimp (Pages: 97-104)
  • Little Auntie Annie (Pages: 106-110) [Art: George Parlett]
  • A Friend for Freda (Pages: 115-120)
  • Pat’s Cats (Pages: 121)
  • The Slave Girls (Pages: 122-125)

Text Stories

  • What’s Cooking? (Pages: 22-23)
  • The Lonely Lapwing (Pages: 45-48)
  • Misfortune Manor (Pages: 81-86)
  • Lanky Liz (Pages: 94-96)
  • One Jump Forward (Pages: 111-112)

Features

  • Contents (Pages: 4-5)
  • The Mandy Method to Make Your Own Rubber Stamp (Pages: 28)
  • The Mandy Method to Make an Almost-Human Puppet (Page: 37)
  • Mandy Calendar for 1976 (Pages: 49-50, 79-80, 113-114)
  • The Mandy Method to Make a Jumping Bean (Page: 93)
  • The Mandy Method to Make a Magic Slate (Page: 105)