Tag Archives: Mario Capaldi

Bunty Annual 1988

Picture Stories

  • Molly the Matron (Pages: 6-13) [Artist: Andy Tew]
  • Maisie Mercury (Pages: 17-24) [Artist: Terry Aspin]
  • Lizzie’s Lorry (Pages: 25-32) [Artist: Douglas Perry]
  • Robina Hood (Pages: 36-43) [Artist: Rodney Sutton]
  • Polly Pimpernel (Pages: 49-58) [Artist: Manuel Cuyas]
  • A Merry Old-Fashioned Christmas from Toots (Pages: 63-64) [Artist: Bill Ritchie]
  • Bella of Bonnybanks School (Pages: 65-72) [Artist: Matias Alonso]
  • The Swim Kids (Pages: 73-80) [Artist: Terry Aspin]
  • Haggis (Page 81)
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 82-89) [Artist: Selby Donnison]
  • Bike Rider (Pages: 91-96) [Artist: Robert MacGillivray]
  • The Wings of Fear (Pages: 97-104) [Artist: Mario Capaldi]
  • Nonie’s Knight (Pages: 105-106)
  • Ernie’s Girl (Pages: 107-112) [Artist: Russ Nicholson]
  • The Forbidden Doll (Pages: 113-120) [Artist: David Matysiak]

Features

  • Cheers for Chives (Pages: 14-16)
  • A Walk in Death Valley (Page 33)
  • Play Bunty’s Donkey Dash (Pages: 34-35)
  • Cats (Pages: 44-48)
  • It’s Paula! (Page 59)
  • Be a “Bunty” Supergirl (Pages: 60-61)
  • Fan-tastic (Page 62)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out and Colour Wardrobe (Page 90)
  • The Magical World of Butterflies (Pages: 121-125)

Bunty Annual 1975

Picture Stories

  • Clown for a Day (Pages: 6-11) [Artist: Mario Capaldi]
  • Mighty Mo (Pages: 14-16)
  • Glenda the Gimmick Girl (Pages: 17-21) [Artist: Charles Paine]
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 24-32) [Artist: James Walker]
  • The Mystery of the Dutch Doll (Pages: 37-42) [Artist: Andy Tew]
  • My Sister Mitzi (Pages: 44-48) [Artist: George Martin]
  • Wendy’s Wishing Well (Pages: 50-54) [Artist: John Woods]
  • Miss Merlin (Pages: 55-57)
  • Gilly of the Flower Garden (Pages: 60-64) [Artist: Don Walker]
  • No Pals for Pamela (Pages: 66-73)
  • Anne’s Pop-Mad Gran (Pages: 76-80)
  • Happy Harriet the Holiday Girl (Pages: 82-85) [Artist: E C Julien]
  • Lydia and the Little People (Pages: 87-88) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • A Swimming Teacher – for Ducks! (Pages: 92-96) [Artist: Dudley Wynne]
  • Baby-Face Beth the Tiny Terror (Pages: 97-101) [Artist: Tony Higham]
  • Mighty Mo (Pages: 104-107)
  • Paws for Laugh! (Page 110)
  • Sally on-the-Spot (Pages: 111-112) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • Carrie’s Magic Cook Book (Pages: 114-118) [Artist: Peter Kay]
  • Punch and Jenny (Pages: 119-125) [Artist: Matias Alonso]

Text Stories

  • A Saddle for Sal! (Page 81)
  • Granny’s Girl (Pages: 108-109) [Artist: Doris Kinnear?]

Features

  • The History of Flowers – The Guernsey Lily (Pages: 12-13)
  • Strike a Chord! (Pages: 22-23)
  • Dog Calendar (Pages: 33-36)
  • Diamonds of Destiny:
    • The Koh-i-Noor Diamond (Page 43)
    • The De Sancy Diamond (Page 65)
    • The Hope Diamond (Page113)
  • Hockey through the Ages (Page 49)
  • Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall… (Pages: 58-59)
  • Shoot to Fame in the Pop Star Game (Pages: 74-75)
  • Bunty’s “Cut Out and Colour” Wardrobe (Page 86)
  • Tasty Bunty Titbits (Page 89)
  • The Stars – and Their Stars! (Pages: 90-91)
  • Tennis – Through the Ages (Pages: 102-103)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information and cover picture

 

Bunty Annual 1974

Picture Stories

  • Penny of the Pets’ Hotel (Pages: 6-10) [Artist: Charles Morgan]
  • Lydia and the Little People (Pages: 14-16) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • Jenny Proctor – Doll Doctor (Pages: 17-20)
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 26-32) [Artist: James Walker]
  • The Secret of Granny’s Chair (Pages: 33-36) [Artist: Peter Kay]
  • Sally-on-the-Spot (Pages: 38-41) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • Miss Merlin (Pages: 44-46)
  • Colorado Kate (Pages: 50-53) [Artist: Mario Capaldi]
  • Mighty Mo (Pages: 54-55)
  • Belle of the Bird Sanctuary (Pages: 56-58)
  • Tina the Tester (Pages: 62-63) [Artist: Diane Gabbott]
  • Gelda’s Golden Egg (Pages: 65-69) [Artist: Mike White]
  • No-One Cares for Cora (Pages: 73-77)
  • Gail the Gipsies’ Champion (Pages: 82-85) [Artist: Patrick Williams]
  • Mary the Mayor (Pages: 90-93)
  • Teeny Genie (Pages: 94-96)
  • Barbara’s Baby Elephant (Pages: 97-99) [Artist: Antonio Borrell]
  • The Boomerang Belle (Pages: 100-101)
  • Meryl’s Market Garden (Pages: 103-105) [Artist: James Walker]
  • Her Pals – the Animals (Pages: 106-107) [Artist: Hugh Thornton-Jones]
  • Monty of the Mountain Rescue (Pages: 111-112)
  • Bella the Bookworm (Page 113)
  • Glenda the Gimmick Girl (Pages: 114-118) [Artist: Charles Paine]
  • Humpy Dumpy’s Highland Games (Pages: 122-125) [Artist: George Parlett]

Text Stories

  • Tiffany Tornado the Tenth (Pages: 21-23)
  • Jack and the Box (Pages: 59-61)
  • A Hat for a Heroine! (Pages: 87-89)
  • Snap-Happy Meg (Pages: 108-110)

Features

  • Cookery Nook:
    • Gingerbread (Page 11)
    • Buns (Page 47)
    • Cakes (Page 72)
    • Bakewell Tart (Page 119)
  • Anya Linden (Pages: 12-13)
  • It’s Just Your Luck! (Pages: 24-25)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (Page 37)
  • Nadia Nerina (Pages: 42-43)
  • Bunty’s Own Kennel Club:
    • The Poodle (Pages: 48-49)
    • The Welsh Corgi (Pages: 80-81)
  • Watchers of the Night (Page 64)
  • Belinda Wright (Pages: 70-71)
  • The Great Cross-Country Race! (Pages: 78-79)
  • And So Say All Of Us! (Page 86)
  • Ten Little Wonders (Page 102)
  • Georgina Parkinson (Pages: 120-121)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information and cover picture

Bunty Annual 1973

Picture Stories

  • The Little Shrimp (Pages: 6-10) [Artist: Douglas Perry]
  • Bella the Bookworm (Page 11)
  • Superstitious Cindy (Page 17)
  • “It’s a Dog’s Life” Says Inky (Pages: 18-22) [Artist: Jose Casanovas]
  • Dopey Dora, School Governor (Pages: 28-32) [Artist: Charles Morgan]
  • Lydia and the Little People (Pages: 33-37) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • The Garden of Edie (Pages: 40-45) [Artist: Peter Kay]
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 50-54) [Artist: James Walker]
  • Margo’s Magic Carpet (Pages: 58-59)
  • Penny of the Pets Hotel (Pages: 60-64) [Artist: Charles Morgan]
  • Miss Merlin (Pages: 65-67)
  • Jenny Proctor – Doll Doctor (Pages: 70-73) [Artist: Mike White]
  • Gelda – The Girl from the Glacier (Pages: 76-80) [Artist: Hugh Thornton-Jones]
  • The Terrors of Tumbledown Academy (Pages: 81-86)
  • Mighty Mo (Pages: 87-90)
  • Blabberbeak (Pages: 91-95) [Artist: Mario Capaldi]
  • Princess of the Packet-Tops (Pages: 99-103) [Artist: Hugh Thornton-Jones]
  • The Call of the Sea (Pages: 104-107)
  • Sally on-the-Spot (Pages: 108-112) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • Paula and the Catnappers (Pages: 113-117) [Artist: Andy Tew]
  • “You’re a Disgrace, Your Grace!” (Pages: 122-125) [Artist: John Woods]

Text Stories

  • Little Girl Blue (Pages: 23-25)
  • Gilly of the Flower Garden (Pages: 55-57)
  • Carol of Cherry Acre (Pages: 96-98)

Features

  • The History of Flowers:
    • Regal Lily (Pages: 12-13)
    • Daffodil (Pages: 46-47)
    • Anemone (Pages: 74-75)
    • Chrysanthemum (Pages: 120-121)
  • Calendar 1973 (Pages: 14-16)
  • Playtime in the Park (Pages: 26-27)
  • Petrouchka (Pages: 38-39)
  • Bunty’s Cut-Out Wardrobe (Page 48)
  • Bunty’s Do-It-Yourself Wardrobe (Page 49)
  • Coppelia (Pages: 68-69)
  • The Sugar Plum Fairy (Pages: 118-119)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information and cover picture

Bunty Annual 1971

Picture Stories

  • Rosie and the Orphan Thrushes (Pages: 6-9) [Artist: Hugh Thornton-Jones]
  • Square Peg (Pages: 12-16) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • The Priceless Penny (Pages: 18-20) [Artist: John Woods]
  • Tina the Tester (Pages: 24-25) [Artist: Diane Gabbott]
  • Toots in Dreamland/Toots As She Really Is (Pages: 26-27) [Artist: Bill Ritchie]
  • The Four Marys (Pages: 28-32) [Artist: James Walker]
  • Katie’s Country Garden (Pages: 34-41) [Artist: Douglas Perry]
  • The Wild Girl of Westerley (Pages: 44-48) [Artist: E C Julien]
  • Susie Sleepyhead (Pages: 53-56)
  • The Golden Needle Girls (Pages: 57-58)
  • Monty of the Mountain Rescue (Pages: 63-64)
  • Colorado Kate (Pages: 66-69) [Artist: Mario Capaldi]
  • Clare’s Kiosk (Pages: 70-71)
  • Wendy Round the World (Pages: 73-75) [Artist: E C Julien]
  • Sally Sew-Sew (Pages: 79-80)
  • The Tulip of Hope (Pages: 81-85) [Artist: Peter Kay]
  • Lizzie the First (Pages: 86-88) [Artist: Manuel Cuyas]
  • Betty, the Bird Girl (Pages: 92-96) [Artist: Mike White]
  • Sally on-the-Spot (Pages: 97-99) [Artist: George Parlett]
  • The Autograph Hunters (Pages: 103-105)
  • Treetop Tessa (Pages: 106-107)
  • Maid of the Mountains (Pages: 109-111) [Artist: Douglas Perry]
  • Four Forbidden Fruits (Pages: 113-115)
  • Tumbling Toni (Pages: 118-121) [Artist: Charles Paine]
  • Hetty’s Happy Hippo (Pages: 122-125)

Text Stories

  • Little Miss Misery (Pages: 21-23)
  • The Double Life of Marion Brown (Pages: 49-52)
  • No Tears for Annya (Pages: 76-78)
  • The Clown with Four Legs (Pages: 100-102)

Features

  • Butterflies of Britain (Pages: 10-11)
  • Round Britain Race (Page 17)
  • Bedroom Brighteners (Page 33)
  • Famous Pets (Pages: 42-43)
  • Wonderful Women (Pages: 59-62)
  • Christmas Morning (Page 65)
  • Try Your Luck (Page 72)
  • They Gave It a Name (Pages: 89-91)
  • Thinking… (Page 108)
  • La Marseillaise – The Story Behind the Song (Page 112)
  • Tale of the Cat (Pages: 116-117)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information and cover picture

 

Misty Short Stories X: Mythical Creatures and Legends

In the tenth instalment of themed discussions on Misty short stories, we look at how Misty portrayed mythical creatures and legends. Vampires and werewolves are excluded because Misty did so many of them it would make the entry too long. Maybe at some point they will have their own Misty Short Stories entries.

There are a couple of cases where the creatures in these stories fall into a grey area. Strictly speaking, they are not mythical, but they share enough parallels with mythical creatures to be included here.

1: Creatures of the Deep

As these stories show, Misty drew on a lot of mythical sea creatures, particularly ones with hypnotic/bewitching powers. Sea monsters in Misty were far less common, but there were exceptions.

Mermaid

Misty: #88

Rafael Busom

Sheila meets a mermaid, but finds out the mermaid wants to capture her soul so she can venture on land; otherwise, she will be turned into a fish. The mermaid tries to bewitch Sheila with her music and lure her out to sea so they can swap places. Sheila tries to run, but no matter what she tries, she still hears the mermaid’s music. The spell gets broken when the mermaid gets caught in a fisherman’s net and becomes a fish. Although relieved to be free of the spell, Sheila does have a pang of pity for the mermaid because she was so beautiful.

 Thoughts

We can just see the connotations of this story if Sheila had been male. Indeed, so often it is men who get bewitched by mermaids/sirens, so it is a twist to have a female fall under the spell.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter

Misty: #81

Artist: Blas Gallego

Reprint: Best of Misty Monthly #8

Criminals hide their loot in a deserted lighthouse, and shoot the lighthouse keeper Andy dead. They hear a girl’s voice calling for her father and go in search of her, but both end up dead. Andy’s daughter has had her revenge on them, but it is not until the final panel that we learn she is a mermaid.

Thoughts

One does have to wonder how the lighthouse keeper can have a mermaid for a daughter. Guess the lighthouse is so isolated the lighthouse keeper doesn’t get much company other than mermaids. It is a nice twist, having the daughter turn out to be a mermaid, and her using her mermaid powers to wreak justified deaths on the two killers.

Seal of Secrecy

Misty: #20

Artist: John Armstrong

Margaret’s father won’t let her swim in the sea or even learn to swim, saying the currents are too treacherous and her mother and uncle drowned in a boating accident. One day a girl named Dawn swims into the cove and befriends Margaret. When Dad hears about Dawn he says she must be a Silkie i.e. a seal that takes on human form to lure people to their death, but Margaret does not believe it. Dawn returns and Margaret enters the sea with her. She discovers she can swim and dares Dawn to race her to the nearest headland. But unknown to Margaret, her mother was the Silkie and she lured the uncle to his death (no boating accident). The real reason Dad kept Margaret away from water was her Silkie blood, but it won in the end. Meanwhile, Dawn’s family are waiting for her…

Thoughts

This story is very reminiscent of the Jinty story “Combing Her Golden Hair”, but it has more sinister overtones. At first Dad comes across as stupid, overprotective and superstitious. But after the reveal, we see Dad has a more serious and noble reason the grandmother in the Jinty serial than for trying to fight a (losing) battle against Margaret’s Silkie heritage: it will turn her into a killer if she discovers it. He is also traumatised at losing his brother at the hands of his Silkie wife. But like the grandmother, in the end he could not win against the mythical heritage. One can only hope that as Margaret is only part Silkie and is still part human, she will not start luring people to their deaths.

Seal Song

Misty: #10

Artist: Juan Solé?

Reprint: Best of Misty #3

Meg Peters’ stepfather, Jack Tanner, abuses her and her mother. Then Meg encounters a seal on the beach. She recognises it as one she saved as a pup. It sings along to her recorder and its song comforts her. Tanner discovers the singing seal and tries to capture it so he can make money out of its singing. But the singing hypnotises Tanner and draws him out into the sea. A sudden tidal wave sweeps him away, never to be seen again. Meg and her mother are happy again, but Meg is at her happiest when she is with her singing seal.

Thoughts

It’s not clear if this singing seal is a mythical creature (a good Silkie, maybe?), but it comes close enough to merit inclusion here. The seal certainly is reminiscent of a siren or mermaid in the way it hypnotises Tanner with its singing and lures him to his doom.

The Sea’s Graveyard

Misty: #33

Artist: Jose Canovas

Jane Holden and her father out on their boat “The Sea Lady” and get caught in a severe storm. Jane thinks she sees a figure outside. The Sea Lady founders, and Jane regains consciousness in the hold of a strange old-fashioned ship. She finds scrolls that list the names of the ships and crews that have foundered over the ages – including themselves. Then she discovers the ship is at the bottom of the sea. Jane now realises she and her father are in Davy Jones’ locker. Davy Jones appears, and Jane recognises him as the figure she saw earlier. She throws a lantern at Davy Jones, destroying the scroll that bears the name of the Sea Lady and herself and her father as casualties. This frees them from Davy Jones’ locker, and a rescue ship is surprised to pick them up six days after they foundered. Jane has no memory of her encounter with Davy Jones. A sailor comments that it’s not often someone escapes from Davy Jones’ locker.

Thoughts

Indeed, it is not often you escape from Davy Jones’ locker. But it looks simple to do – just destroy the scroll with the name of your ship and name on it. Davy Jones himself sure is a frightening figure and one of the scariest in Misty’s stories. He appears as a hooded figure and there is a terrible smell of decay about him. When his face is finally shown, he seems to have some sort of reptilian skin. His locker is brilliantly conceived and the artwork really brings it to life. It is the hold of a ship that appears to be some sort of ships’ museum, and the reveal that it is at the bottom of the sea is a stunner.

Safe Until Morning

Misty: #26

Artist: Josep Gual

Reprint: Best of Misty Monthly #6

Rita is bored stiff with her camping holiday with her parents. She falls into the lake, but a monster lifts her out. It scares off bikers who try to mug her and keeps watch over her until morning. Next day a search party finds Rita. The parents decide to go home, saying they’ve spent two months looking for the Loch Ness Monster without success and reckon it must be a legend.

Thoughts

It’s a nice take, having the Loch Ness Monster as the protector and rescuer of a girl in trouble. We are left hoping Nessie will stay safe like Rita, as the closing text box says. Come to think of it, when Nessie appears in a girls’ serial, he (she?) tends to be portrayed as sympathetic instead of a dangerous monster that needs to be hunted down and destroyed. Bunty’s “Humpy Dumpy” is one example.

The Sea Demon

Misty: #42
Artist: Unknown

A ship picks up a survivor, Wendy Coles. She tells them her family yacht was attacked by Gorr, a sea demon who disguised himself as a human, Mr Pocock, whom they picked up on their travels. She tells them not to pick up any more survivors in case one of them is Gorr. They ignore this and continue to search for survivors. But unknown to them, Wendy is the sea demon.

Thoughts

Though the sea demon is not strictly a mythical creature, it is close enough to be included here. Certainly it shares several characteristics with the other mythical beasts here, particularly ones that assume human form to trap people, or simply lure them to their doom. In fact, Gorr deserves to have a serial. His power to assume any human form and his lust for destruction and evil would make him a brilliant and frightening antagonist that would be extremely tough to destroy, which would make for a thrilling, exciting serial.

Misty Short Stories IX: Evil Objects

Girls’ comics have always abounded with stories about evil objects: artefacts, tools, jewellery, toys, dolls, clothes, books, mirrors, paintings etc. In many cases the object forces the girl to act nasty and do horrible things. Alternatively, the object forces her to act out of character, sometimes in a backhand humorous manner. In other cases the object causes mayhem, misery and chaos, which the protagonist often gets the blame for.

In our ninth instalment of Misty Short Stories, we turn to the theme of evil objects, and how Misty used the subject for her short stories.

1: Locked up for a Reason

The protagonists find an object that was locked away, hidden or disabled. They discover too late that it was locked away for a reason, often ignoring or forgetting warnings to leave it well alone. The evil is unleashed, usually causing mayhem, destruction or trying to trap the protagonist. Does the evil get destroyed or contained again, or is there no stopping it this time? In the examples below it’s usually the former, but not always.

Pot Luck

Misty: #57

Artist: John Richardson

Gloria is a regular visitor to Old Hazel, a woman shunned and called a witch by many. When Hazel dies, Gloria finds a beautiful cauldron in her chest and keeps it as a memento. Hazel appears in a dream and says the cauldron is evil and cursed; she could not destroy the curse, only hide the pot away. Gloria forgets the dream but is soon reminded of it when she cooks jam in the pot. She soon discovers that anything put in the pot turns into a vicious killing monster. Fortunately Gloria manages to destroy the jam monster. Gloria puts the pot in the loft, confident nothing will get in it. But she overlooked a gap in the roof above the cauldron. A snowflake enters the cauldron and next morning an ice monster is coming down from the loft.

The Secret of Lan-Shi

Misty: #6

Artist: John Richardson

Petra Harris buys her brother Paul a broken mechanical lion from a junk shop for his birthday. The store owner says Lan-Shi broke the mechanism to stop the lion from prowling. Paul also finds a note inside saying: “Beware the lion’s roar. His teeth are sharp.” Despite this, Paul gets it roaring and prowling again. But Petra finds the lion’s roars extremely loud and terrifying, and there are reports on the news about something attacking and killing animals. Then the lion goes for Petra herself – but something stops it dead in its tracks. They find a spider slipped inside the lion and its webbing gummed up the works. Petra says she will have the lion destroyed.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

Misty: #61

Artist: Ken Houghton

Sally and her family move into a new house. There is a locked room with a mirror inside and Sally has a bad feeling about it. It grows worse when her dog Toby dies while locked in that room, and it looks like he died in a terrible fight. Then Sally’s reflection in the mirror comes alive, grabs her, and tries to switch places with her, saying Toby’s reflection tried the same with him and Toby fought until he died. Sally manages to smash the mirror and escape, but does not think she will ever be able to look into a mirror again without wondering if that reflection is waiting.

Mask of Fear

Misty: #39

Artist: Jose Canovas

Sue is looking for a suitable mask to win first prize again at a Halloween costume party. When she and her mother have to go and look after their sick (but rude) Uncle Henry, she steals a key to his locked room. Sue is unnerved to find it filled with all sorts of creepy occult paraphernalia, but is thrilled to find a super-creepy mask, which is just what she is looking for. She dismisses the note attached to the mask, which says it was found in Tibet on a dying man and only Uncle Henry knows its “terrible secret”. The mask wins Sue first prize hands down. But when Sue tries to remove it, she finds she can’t; each time she tries, there is another, and another, and another. Recalling Uncle Henry’s note, she calls his house for help, only to learn he has died.

The Choice of Silence

Misty: #62

Artist: John Richardson

Amy has always been sad at being deaf. She visits an exhibition on ancient Egypt. The mummy of an evil sorcerer, Tut Ank Nohman, offers to give Amy the power of hearing in exchange for freeing him. Amy resists as she was warned he was evil, but eventually the temptation of being able to hear is too strong. Amy frees the mummy. But then she chooses public safety over being able to hear and throws a lantern at the mummy, destroying him. Amy goes back to being deaf, but now feels a sense of pride instead of sadness because of the sacrifice she made.

The Devil’s Pipe

Misty: #76

Artist: Isidre Mones

Debbie Sinden, while on holiday in Cornwall, learns the legend of wrecker Heggy Trevallen, who made a pact with the Devil for a pipe that had the power to conjure up storms. The Devil claimed the souls of Heggy and his fellow wreckers. Then Debbie finds an old pipe with metal detector and despite warnings it is the Devil’s pipe, she blows it. In the night she blows the pipe while in a hypnotic state, and it calls up the spirits of the wreckers. Cousin Liz, who has followed, grabs the pipe and throws it into the sea, stopping the menace.

The Devil’s Dummy

Misty: #69

Artist: Blas Gallego

Deirdre and Pam go to a ventriloquist’s (Golgo) show. Golgo is also a hypnotist, and Deidre is not amused afterwards to hear the hilarious things Golgo had her do while she was in a hypnotic state. Months later Golgo announces his retirement and buries the dummy, Montague. Deidre goes to dig up Montague in revenge and thinking there are valuables too; Pam has misgivings but tags along. Once unearthed, Montague shouts “Thief!” at them and grips Deidre’s hand, drawing blood. They escape but Pam goes back, where she meets Golgo. He tells her Montague is possessed by a vampire’s soul, which is why he buried him. When Pam finds Deidre, Deidre is in a strange hypnotic state and says she loves Montague and please bring him to her…

Hands of Nefri

Misty: #82

Artist: Ramon Escolano

Jodi’s dying grandfather tells her to return the gold-covered mummified hands of Nefri to her tomb in Egypt, saying there is a curse on them. But Jodi gets greedy and keeps them for herself, along with everything else she inherited from her grandfather. Jodi has terrible dreams of her uncle and aunt fading away, and when she wakes up, the gold casing has shattered and the mummified hands inside have vanished. Then she discovers where they are – in the place of her own hands. Outside, she can hear the mummy of Nefri coming for her hands…

2: The Collecting Machines

Machines/objects that collect people as you collect coins are really freaky, which naturally made them terrifying in horror stories. The most terrifying example Misty produced in this category has to be the typewriter in “Prize Possession”. This is not only because it throws a lot of scares into the protagonist before she disappears. It’s because the full extent of what the typewriter actually does is not actually shown and we do not see what happens to its victims, as we do with the other stories here.

The theme was probably at its best when the machine/object had a purpose in collecting people. In “Take the Money!” it was to trap the greedy. In “The Collector”, it’s because the post box has grown bored and miserable from long-standing disuse and neglect. Hmm, could we feel a pang of sympathy for the post box there? On the other hand, the postbox does look kind of like a Dalek in the story panel below.

The Collector

Misty: #68
Artist: Mario Capaldi

Reprint: Misty annual 1984

A crumbling, disused postbox has turned to collecting people, trapping them inside it, because it has grown bored and evil from neglect and doesn’t get letters anymore. It gets excited when it hears a new post office development is starting nearby and thinks happy days are here again. But instead the redevelopment demolishes the postbox. This releases its victims, who can’t really explain or remember what happened.

Take the Money!

Misty: #90

Artist: Jose Canovas

Two strangers offer Anna and her friend Mary a strange deal: press a button on a black box to kill an old Chinese lady who is in great pain, and they will receive a million pounds. Mary is repulsed and rejects the offer, but greed induces Anna to accept it, and she presses the button. That night, Anna finds her room filled with banknotes, but then she becomes trapped in the box, along with everyone else who pressed the button, including the Chinese lady. Everyone says they fell for the same line as Anna: press the button and receive a huge sum of money in exchange for putting someone out of pain and misery (actually, the sucker who pressed the button before them). When the next sucker presses the button they die and end up in the box before they can enjoy the money. Now some sucker in Japan has fallen for the same line and pressed the button to kill Anna.

Smile

Misty: #100

Artist: John Richardson

Gail buys a second-hand instant camera and uses it to take pictures at a party. But terror strikes when they discover that whatever – or whoever – the camera photographs will vanish. Fortunately Gail took note of how many shots the camera had left, so when she approaches it with a hammer to smash it, it desperately tries to “photograph” her, but she knows it is out of film. Once she destroys the camera, everything and everyone who had disappeared is restored.

Prize Possession

Misty: #19

Artist: Ken Houghton

In 1947, Annie West is given a typewriter for winning a school competition, but she discovers there is something sinister about it. It makes her type terrifying horror stories and creepy notes about the typewriter’s previous owners, whose names are engraved on the nameplate on side of the typewriter. Their figures appear in a mirror, trying to warn Annie of something. There is a scream, and when Annie’s parents come, they find she has vanished, leaving an unfinished typed message for help: “Father…help me…I am trapped in the”. Annie is never seen again. Her name is mysteriously added to the nameplate. In 1978, another girl acquires the typewriter and is surprised to find herself typing a creepy message about Annie West.

Closing Thoughts

Objects exerting evil influences over people and making them act bad/out of character are completely absent from this category (except for a hint in “The Devil’s Pipe”). This is a very curious omission on Misty’s part, considering how the theme appeared so frequently in girls’ comics. In fact, this is what girls comics used evil objects most frequently for. But only once did Misty use the theme of an evil object exerting an evil influence, and that was in her serial “Journey into Fear…”

Both Gypsy Rose (Jinty) and The Storyteller (June/Tammy) had their share of stories about evil objects exerting an evil influence over the protagonist. So why didn’t Misty do the same with her short stories? The evil objects in these stories are used to inflict mayhem and destruction, inflict comeuppances, or make people disappear. Was it some preference on Misty’s part or was it a side effect of her huge emphasis on comeuppance stories?

Misty Short Stories VIII: Ghosts

In our eighth volume on Misty short stories we turn to the subject of ghosts, which, predictably, is huge. Owing to the expanse of the subject, there will be no individual thoughts for each story. However, the stories will be grouped into subthemes in accordance with the role the ghost served in the story, and there will be “closing thoughts” at the end.

1: Revenge from Beyond the Grave

It is no surprise that a lot of ghosts in Misty’s complete stories were there to inflict comeuppances. In many cases the motivation was revenge for causing the death of the person who is now a ghost, by murder, neglect or other means. The ghost’s revenge usually takes the forms of:

  • Punishment fitting the crime, sometimes in a “give them what they want” manner (“The Disembodied”)
  • Ruin them (“Dance of Death”)
  • Ensure they don’t enjoy their ill-gotten gains (“Black Agnes”)

Dance of Death

Misty: #27

Artist: John Richardson

A cruel innkeeper, Joseph Higgins, forces fiddler Peter Price and his daughter Nancy to play and dance for their supper, ignoring their protests that they are too cold and hungry to put on a good performance. Their performance is predictably awful, and the cruel spectators torture Nancy too. Higgins kicks them out into the cold, where they freeze to death, and smashes Price’s fiddle. But their ghosts start haunting the inn, fiddling and dancing, which drives off customers. Higgins tries to sell the inn, but nobody will buy it with those ghosts in “permanent residence”, and he is ruined.

A Room of Her Own

Misty: #69

Artist: Joseph Gual

Lorna Barnes is taken in by the Hennings after her grandmother dies, but their daughter Joan does not want to share her room with Lorna. So Joan tries to get rid of Lorna by playing “haunted house” to scare her away (a trick also used in the Misty short story, “Nightmare!”). It goes too far when Lorna runs away in terror and drowns in a swamp. But Joan soon finds she still doesn’t have the room to herself – she is now sharing it with Lorna’s ghost.

Malice in Wonderland

Misty: #75

Artist: Bob Harvey

Reprint: Best of Misty #8

The ghost of a girl haunts a fairground, Wonderland. She has driven off customers and the once-booming fairground is now deserted. The owner, Richard Hobson, confronts the ghost for ruining him. She says she is making him pay for the negligence of the roller coaster that caused her death, which he bribed his way out of in court. Hobson tries to run her over with the same roller coaster, but forgets she is a ghost, and only sends himself plunging to his death. He in turn becomes the resident ghost of Wonderland, which reopens under more savoury management, and can only watch as its new profits go into the new owner’s pocket.

The Disembodied

Misty: #68

Artist: John Richardson

On a class trip Olivia rips a page out of a book of spells that was once owned by an baron who practised black magic She uses the spell to summon the spirits of three of her teachers to give her all the answers to a school test. But she gets greedy and demands more and more information from them, which keeps them up past dawn, despite their protests. When Olivia learns the three teachers have died, she discovers too late she overlooked something: if the spirits do not return to their bodies before dawn they will become disembodied and cling to the person responsible for their deaths until the day their true deaths should have occurred. The disembodied spirits take revenge by giving Olivia more and more answers until she gets information overload – literally – and her head is ready to burst.

Black Agnes

Misty: #59

Artist: Josep Gual

In 1665–6 London, Agnes Barton takes up a position as a servant in the wealthy Patterson household. She poisons the family, taking steps to ensure everyone puts it down to plague, so she can steal their moneybox. But she soon finds the Pattersons’ ghosts are following her around. At Pudding Lane the haunting drives her to breaking point and she throws the stolen money back at the ghosts: “Take your gold! Begone I say!”, but knocks over a candle while doing so. This starts the Great Fire of London, and she perishes in the blaze.

Lead Kindly Light

Misty: #57

Artist: Maria Barrera

Ruth’s stepfather Jabez Penallen is a shipwrecker and he whips her into being his accomplice. Ruth sees no way to escape. Running away is hopeless because Jabez will only find her again. Reporting him is no use because he has everyone believe he is a devout, respectful churchgoer. An old friend, Sybilla, arrives and helps Ruth escape on a ship, but Jabez wrecks it while not knowing she was on board. Ruth returns as a ghost, but Jabez does not realise she is one. She uses his own false light and takes advantage of his blind rage towards her to lure him to his doom over the cliff. She then extinguishes the wrecker’s lantern forever.

Hardluck Hannah

Plot

Hannah Wilkins lived with her brother Joseph and her greedy selfish sister in law Nancy. Hannah had a job in a sewing factory and though Nancy didn’t work she made Hannah do all the household chores too. Hannah joined a club for working girls run by Miss James, but Nancy finds out and spoils that for her too

Notes

  • Art: Mario Capaldi

Appeared

  • Hardluck Hannah – Suzy: #26 (5 March 1983) – #39 (4 June 1983)

Broken Hearts

Plot

A series of short stories, each had an individual title. It would start each story asking the question “Ever suffered from a broken heart? It can happen in a lot of ways.” Some of the stories included: a girl’s jealousy of her sister causes an accident, a girl gets the part in a play stolen from her, a girl’s dog dies after she has to move away and a girl is tricked into thinking a boy she likes wants to go on a date with her.

Notes

  • When the series started in Suzy, it was a photo story, after the merger with Bunty it became a picture story.
  • It did appear in a Bunty annual as a photo story.
  • Art: Mario Capaldi

Appeared

  • Broken Hearts (photo story) – Suzy: #246 (23 May 1987) – #249 (13 June 1987)
  • Broken Hearts – Bunty & Suzy: #1536 (20 June 1987) – #1542 (1 August 1987)
  • Broken Hearts – Bunty: #1627 (18 March 1989) – #1633 (29 April 1989)

Other Appearances:

  • Second Fiddle Sarah  (photo story)  – Bunty Annual 1991