Tag Archives: Robert MacGillivray

Lona the Wonder Girl

  • Lona the Wonder Girl–  Bunty: #926 (11 October 1975) – #951 (03 April 1976)
  • Reprinted as Wonder Girl – Lucky Charm: #18 (1982)
  • Artist: Robert MacGillivray

Plot

Lona Neal was abandoned as a baby and adopted by a group of scientists. They think she will be perfect test subject as even as a baby her endurance and intelligence is evident. The scientists keep her secluded and raise her to be the perfect human specimen.  There experiments can be harsh, such as when she can draw with her right hand, they make a pen that won’t work unless she uses her left hand and when she cries that she is hungry, they don’t respond in order for her  her to learn independence by finding her own food from the fruit trees outside. Only one of the scientist, Dr Hilda, appears to see her more than an experiment, praising her and showing concern at some of the harsher lessons. When Lona’s guardians feel they have taught her all they can, they send her off to an exclusive boarding school to see how she does in the outside world and prove their experiment a success.

Charlton College is a competitive school for the best and brightest. While Lona is smart in many ways, her guardians did not teach her about people and ways of the world.  Therefore the other girls actually think she’s a bit thick, strange and often interpret her special abilities wrongly. Like when she takes part in a swimming competition, she decides to swim under water as it is the clearer path. But the games mistress jumps in to rescue her,  as she thinks Lona must be drowning because no-one could hold their breath that long and the girls all think she lied about being able to swim. Another teacher also thinks she must have cheat on test, because she couldn’t finish it so quickly. The girls in her class wonder how she doesn’t understand slang like “bighead” and “to stick up for yourself”. When Lona gets in bully Mildred’s bad books, the girls are irked that Lona lets Mildred push her around. When things go wrong Lona remembers the lessons her guardians taught her.She always prefers to try peaceful method and thinks if confrontation is needed it should be done privately.

Lona would like a chance to play on the tennis team for an upcoming tournament but is denied because again she is not understood when she says she’s never played against a human (as she had learned to play against a robot, Bertie). She does get her chance though when several of the players come down with the flu. At first she finds people can be harder to play against than a robot, as they are more “deceptive”. When she learns her opponents moves she does end up winning. Finally her classmates are impressed and want her to accept the challenge of bighead school champion Celia. Lona does eventually accept, but thinks when Celia sets time for a match she means 12 midnight rather than 12 noon. She thinks it is not right to brag and therefore midnight is good time as they will be able to play in private. She goes to wake Celia up as she thinks she has forgotten. Celia wakes everyone else up, not interested in a private match. But then Celia gets nervous and doesn’t want to take the chance of losing, so she asks friends to distract Lona. Tricks like shining light in her eyes, don’t work and its clear that Lona will win, until the principal interrupts. While the whole school were behind Lona to win, seeing her not stand up for herself against Celia and call her out on the tricks she pulled, makes them exasperated with Lona again.

Lona has heightened hearing, so when the girls say things about her, they don’t realise she will be hurt by the comments. Feeling very dejected, Lona decides to runaway back home, but is surprised her guardians have abandoned the house. Deciding there are some things she must solve alone, like her guardians taught her, she goes back to the school. Tired from all her walking, she actually sleeps in and is grumpy in the morning. The girls think maybe she is normal after all, but she quickly reverts to her old ways. Mildred is still especially annoyed with Lona, even after she saves the class from lightning. Mildred does notice Lona is desperate for a friend and uses this to play tricks on her, making her do a ton of prep. Lona does start making progress with making friends, firstly a girl with allergies, Fiona, takes Lona’s advise about getting rid of chemicals. This turns out to be a good thing, because it turns out she was having a bad reaction to a nasal spray. She also makes friends with Mary, who encourages her to have more fun. Even the teachers are coming around and she gets a place on the gymnastics team.

Mildred isn’t happy that she is made reserve on the gymnastics team, but also doesn’t take well to Lona offering her place. Mary says Lona needs to be more human and stop always trying to be perfect; she should tell a lie, have fun!Lona begins to doubt herself and her guardians and loses some of her poise She tries to loosen up going to concert with Mary, and it seems Mary was right as more girls are being friendlier to her now. But because of Lona’s heightened senses, the noise and smoke is too much and she runs off. Mildred notices and makes a note of this weakness. She use this to her advantage at the gymnastics display, getting her father to blow smoke at Lona. Lona is also disconcerted as she thinks one of the professors is there but she is mistaken and the the loudspeaker announcing her makes her sensitive. All these things cause Lona to lose her concentration and fall. Then her coach tells her to push everything from her mind, she relies on her lessons and she makes a great recovery.

During the break between events, Mary invites Lona out with her family, Lona is upset when Mary asks her to share the secret of her strength as she thinks now Mary only wants her friendship because of that. Before the next event some girls mock her preparation and again Lona loses her concentration. She has to take some time to dismiss her emotions to recover. Mildred is mad and jealous because despite her mistakes, Lona gets a loud applause.  Her jealously goes so far that she pushes a flower pot on Lona. Lona refuses doctor but soon finds her vision blurring. Still she manages the next event through feel only. The selectors for the British team in the audience are impressed with her talent and recovery, so put her on short list. Mildred is disappointment though her father reassures her she’s the greatest to him. Hearing this Lona feels lonely wishing she had parents that cared for her. Then she spots Dr Hilda but she runs away before Lona gets a chance to talk to her. Mary is blunt, telling her that her guardians have caused nothing but heartache. Marys family propose adopting her, but Lona’s head injury acts up and she is diagnosed with a concussion. At this stage she is tired of being strong and is getting more ill, only the arrival of Dr Hilda encourages her to fight again. Dr Hilda says the other scientists blame her for the failure of the experiment as she was too sentimental with Lona. Lona is determined to prove them wrong, and now with renewed strength, begins to excel at everything, including becoming a swimming and gymnastic champion. While playing violin solo at parents day, Lona is delighted her guardians have come. Her guardians are to take her home but no more experiments, she can come back to the school as a normal girl.

Thoughts

With the Wonder Woman film release, I thought it would be good to look at a British Wonder Girl. [Note: There have been several Wonder Girls in  of the American DC comics the first appearance of the DC Wonder Girl was actually the adventures of a teenage Wonder Woman, another writer thought Wonder Girl was separate person and added her onto the Teen Titans team, so she had to have a new backstory developed, that Wonder Girl became Donna Troy]. I assume DCT  were able to get away with stories called Wonder Girl (and Supergirl) because the characters themselves were different from their American namesakes. Lona does show some similarities to Wonder Woman (film version), she has compassion, wanting to make peace, and shows some naivety of outside world, they are even both unfamiliar with ice cream! But she has more in common with another British Wonder Girl Jay Smith from Mandy. Both Lona and Jay are raised by scientists to be a peak of their abilities. They have heightened senses, endurance, excel at sports and academia. Jay has a good relationship with her guardian Harriet Dene and is happy to put her abilities to the test against others. Though her abilities set her apart she doesn’t feel lonely. Lona on the other hand longs for friendship and though she should be top of everything, her actions are often misinterpreted.

Throughout the story there are flashbacks, which show how she interacted with her guardians, lessons she learned and they also show, even when younger, she was in search for friendship and connections. Dr Hilda is certainly shown to be the most emotionally attached of the guardians, Lona as a younger child even asks her to pretend to be her mummy. Lona is a very sympathetic character, you can certainly see her loneliness (well demonstrated by the expressive art of Robert MacGillivray) and also the conflict of trying to do her best all the time like her guardians taught her. The problem with this, is it isolates her from the other students, they don’t understand her strange ways. The scientists don’t put much stock in teaching Lona social skills or humour, this ends up being her downfall. While they think emotions make her soft and she won’t be able to excel, it is not possible for Lona to completely push aside her emotions and this is her downfall. When finally she knows that Dr Hilda cares, that is what pushes her to do her best, proving the other scientists wrong.

The ending seemed a bit quick, the scientists decide no more experiments as Lona has proven successful across the board, but we never see any reactions from them. Some plot points seem to be dropped too, like Mary’s want to find out the “secret” to Lona’s strength, while Lona suspects her friendship isn’t so genuine, next Mary’s parents are offering to adopt her! These plots are never developed. Also Fiona is never mentioned again, possibly she was still in hospital? As I only have the Lucky Charm version, it is possible that there have been parts edited out of the original which may have developed these plots more. A more satisfying supporting character is Mildred, we see her annoyance then jealousy of Lona build up to the point where she causes injury to Lona. While she never apologizes,  she does look guilty after injuring Lona. While she may want Lona’s skill, she doesn’t appreciate she has something Lona longs for – a loving parent.  The ending is satisfying with Lona now happy, she has a caring family that are proud of her and she has the chance to return to school as a normal girl with friends.

Fay Fearless

Plot:

Fay Fearless works as an agent for SOS, the code name for a secret Government organisation run by Arthur King, the millionaire owner of Paragon Stores.

Faye

Notes:

  • Artist: Robert MacGillivray

Appeared:

  • Fay Fearless  –  Mandy:  #369  (9 February 1974) – (?)
  • Fay Fearless  –  Mandy:  #384  (25 May 1974) – #389 (29 June 1974)
  • Fay Fearless  –  Mandy:  #396  (17 August 1974) – #402 (28 September 1974)
  • Fay Fearless  –  Mandy:  circa #417 (11 January 1975) – (?)
  • Fay Fearless  –  Mandy:  #500  (14 August 1976)
  • Fay Fearless  –  Mandy:  #570  (17 December 1977) – #573 (07 January 1978)
  • Fay Fearless  –  Mandy:  #587  (15 April 1978)

Other Appearances:

  •  Fay Fearless – Mandy Annual 1976

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

Trixie’s Treasure Chest

Plot

The old trunk in Trixie Robbins’ house is full of magic objects. When Trixie pulls an object out, she has a magical experience. Some of the objects backfire while others prove useful in sorting out bullies and such.

Trixie

Notes

  • At first drawn by an unknown artist,  later drawn by Robert MacGillivray

Appeared

  • Trixie’s Treasure Chest –  Debbie: circa #117 (10 May 1975) – (?)
  • Trixie’s Treasure Chest  (sequel) – Debbie: circa #174 (12 June 1976) – #194 (30 October 1976)

Other Appearances:

  • Trixie’s Treasure Chest –  Debbie Annual 1984
  • Trixie’s Treasure Chest –  Debbie Picture Story Library #121
  • Trixie’s Treasure Chest –  Debbie Picture Story Library #127
  • Trixie’s Treasure Chest –  Debbie Picture Story Library #133

Servant to the Sacred Dogs / Maid of the Lion Dogs

Plot:

In ancient China, Linyi is maid of the Chinese Emperor’s Dogs, known as the Lion Dogs. She faces big trouble if anything happens to them – and each week, something does (illness, being naughty, going missing etc) – and she has to use quick wits to solve the problem as fast as possible.

Lion Dogs

Notes:

  • Artist: Robert MacGillivray

Appeared:

  • Servant to the Sacred Dogs – Bunty: #484 (22 April 1967) – #495 (8 July 1967)
  • Reprinted as Maid of the Lion Dogs –  Debbie: #72 (29 June 1974) – #85 (28 Sep 1974) No episodes in #’s 81 and 84.