Tag Archives: Rodney Sutton

I Don’t Want to Be a Model! [1984]

Plot

Roslyn Grant is taken in by Gerda Grayson, a (so-called) friend of her mother’s while her mother is away. Grayson abuses Rosyln into becoming a model and holds her prisoner by removing her glasses so Roslyn can’t see properly, and takes her out of school. When Roslyn tries to run away, she is caught, and the label of runaway gives Grayson even more blackmail power over Roslyn. Eventually Roslyn learns that Grayson’s cruelty is due to a long-standing jealousy she has held against her mother ever since their school days, and Grayson has a long record of bullying.

Notes

  • Artist: Rodney Sutton

Appeared

  • I Don’t Want to Be a Model! – Tracy: #235 (31 March 1984) – #243 (26 May 1984)

 

 

Gemma’s Jewels [1983]

Published: Mandy Picture Story Library #65

Artist: Rodney Sutton

Writer: Unknown

Plot

Gemma Gable helps out at the Yellowbridge Youth Club. She is dismayed when vicar puts her in charge of four rough-looking girls from a rundown area that has been demolished: Crystal, Ruby, Pearl and Opal. Oh, please don’t judge them by their appearances, says the vicar. Underneath that rough exterior they’ve got hearts of gold and are positive jewels.

In other words, the Jewels are diamonds in the rough.

Well, life sure isn’t dull with the Jewels around. Straight off the bat they demand the club put on disco music so they can have some action. At least everyone seems to be enjoying the dancing.

Afterwards the Jewels ask Gemma that they are broke and need money. They earn Gemma’s respect when they say they don’t want to bother their parents, who are financially taxed already. At their old home it was easy for them to get market jobs, but there is little call for that in Yellowbridge. Moreover, Yellowbridge shopkeepers don’t employ under-fifteens, not even for Saturday jobs. This means job hunting will be harder for them in their new locality.

Dad suggests fixing Crystal up with a job at Aunt Daphne’s guesthouse. However, Crystal proves too loud and rambunctious and keeps imposing her own ideas on how the guesthouse should be run. Although Crystal’s style is popular with the guests, Aunt Daphne lets Crystal go before she’s even finished the washing up.

Next, Gemma notices Ruby has a flair for design and fixes her up with a job as publicity assistant with Councillor Coombes for his road safety campaign. Ruby’s creativity lends tremendous weight to the campaign and Coombes is impressed. Unfortunately Ruby is also a walking disaster area, so she ends up creating a real mess that Councillor Coombes’ house-proud wife is furious to see. Ruby and Gemma end up quietly slipping out while a row erupts over it, though Coombes is still impressed with Ruby’s creativity.

Gemma’s old headmistress, Miss Cromarty, enquires about somebody to help her with a move. Gemma decides to try out Opal for the job, because she is the quiet one (that’s a bit of a surprise!) in the Jewels gang. Miss Cromarty sets Opal to sorting out her books in alphabetical order, and if she works out, take her on as research assistant for writing her memoirs. However, Opal is such a bookworm that she gets lost in reading the books instead of sorting them – and Miss Cromarty is just the same. Gemma realises that nothing will ever get done between them because they both get sidetracked with reading.

Now it’s Pearl’s turn. Gemma tries her out on a landscaping job, figuring that Pearl will be compatible with the employer, Jamie, as neither is too fussy about their clothes. Unfortunately it turns out Pearl is not compatible with the plants – they give her horrible allergies of all descriptions.

All for Jewels have proved totally unsuitable for the jobs they tried and Gemma does not know of any other jobs. After a discussion the same jobs are given another go, but with different Jewels. Opal will try the guesthouse job, Crystal the publicity assistant job, Pearl the Miss Cromarty memoir job, and Ruby the landscaping job.

The results:

Aunt Daphne is very impressed with Opal and her impressive manners with the guests. This is because Opal is drawing inspiration from a book she is reading about a Victorian maid.

Crystal adopts the costume and persona of “Roadie the Robot” to teach road safety in her own words while being as loud as she likes.

Thanks to Pearl, Miss Cromarty is making strides in writing her memoirs, which will be called “I Learned More than I Taught”.

Ruby is not only marvellous at the landscaping job but is also applying her creativity to developing her own talent for landscaping.

Gemma tells her father that now she has learned about not judging by appearances. When the vicar first brought the Jewels to her, she expected nothing but trouble (which she got, but not in the way she thought!). But Gemma’s so relieved the Jewels have been sorted out successfully and she can concentrate on the youth club barbeque. All four Jewels help out and give Gemma the best sausage to say “thanks”.

The vicar is very impressed with how successful Gemma was with the Jewels. In fact, he is so impressed that he brings her another set of rough-looking kids from the same area for her to help in the same way. Say hello to Mike, Gabriel (Gabe for short) and Luke (Lucifer) – the “Fallen Angels”!

Thoughts

Straight off the bat we are told how this story will go. It’s going to be an exploration of the morals in not being quick to judge. But just how this will pan out with these wild-looking girls remains to be seen during the course of the story.

As we get to know the Jewels, we can see the morals are going in a romp that’s full of hijinks, embarrassment, surprises and laughs. Crystal is loud and boisterous. She sweeps some fresh air into the stuffy guesthouse, but it’s too much for the stuffy aunt. Far from being rough, Ruby is a creative, helpful girl. The trouble is, she’s so clumsy and accident-prone, and everywhere she goes she causes disaster. In the case of Opal, we have to wonder why she looks so rough when she turns out to be a quiet girl who would spend hours with her nose in a book given half the chance. Maybe it’s the rundown locality the Jewels lived in before. Pearl just likes being scruffy and isn’t too bothered with her clothes.

The hijinks of the Jewels are brought off brilliantly with the artwork. It’s a sharp but fluid style that lends itself well to zaniness, humour and drama all at the same time.

The introduction of the Fallen Angels right at the end is a twist that has the reader laughing and ensures the story does not end on a trite “happily ever after” note. There’s just no peace for the wicked, is there, Gemma? One can only hope the vicar knows what he’s doing with the Fallen Angels too. As well as looking rough, they don’t look too friendly when they meet Gemma.

 

Little Grasshopper

Plot:

Liz Watson’s father is bone idle, so he never helps at home or takes a job. As a result, she gets lumbered with all the work around the house and taking jobs to raise money. Liz discovers she is a natural athlete and starts training, but having to train on top of all the work she has to do because of her lazy father is taking its toll. Even when Mr Watson is finally compelled to take a job, Liz still has to help him.

Grasshopper

Notes:

Artist: Rodney Sutton

Appeared:

  • Little Grasshopper – Judy:  #1060 (03 May 1980) – #1074  (09 August 1980)

 

Meg and the Magic Robot

Plot

In 1925, Syd and Maud Weston force their niece Meg to fake being a Magic Robot. Meg goes along with the fraud because she thinks her uncle is sending money to pay for her brother Tommy’s treatment at a clinic in Switzerland. But the truth is that Uncle Syd is pocketing the money and Tommy is in the care of an old woman in the vicinity.

Meg.jpg

Notes

Artist: Rodney Sutton

Appeared

  • Meg and the Magic Robot – Tracy: (?) –  #151 (21 August 1982)

Moira and the Moonflowers

Plot

Moira Penrose’s father conducts a botany experiment that goes badly wrong. He creates the Moonflowers, which cause anyone to go near them bad-tempered. He is currently in hospital, so it is up to Moira to destroy the Moonflowers. The trouble is, the Moonflowers can exercise an evil power over Moira and force her to do what they want.

Moira.jpg

Notes

Artist: Rodney Sutton

Appeared

  • Moira and the Moonflowers – Tracy: circa #117 (26 December 1981) – (?)

The Hobbies of Holly

Plot

Holly Johnson is a girl who likes to keep busy. She is always taking up some new hobby – to the dismay of her friends, Audrey Poole and Jean Jackson.

hobbies of holly

Notes:

  • Artist: Rodney Sutton
  • The Hobbies of Holly would often appear as special complete stories, usually a filler before a new serial started.

Appeared:

  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy:  203 (30 November 1963) – 227 (16 May 1964)
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy:  circa 339 (09 July 1966) – 372 (25 February 1967)
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy:  circa 393 (22 July 1967) – ?
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy: 579 (13 February 1971)  – 609?
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy: (?)  – 730 (05 January 1974)
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy: circa 885 (25 December 1976) – 892 (12 February 1977)
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy: 930 (05 November 1977)
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy: 941 (21 January 1978) – 945 (18 February 1978)
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy: 985 (25 November 1978)  – 986 (02 December 1978)
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy: 996 (10 February 1979) – 997 (17 February 1979)

Other Appearances:

  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy Annual 1965
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy Annual 1967
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy Annual 1969
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy Annual 1970
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy Annual 1971
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy Annual 1973
  • The Hobbies of Holly – Judy Annual 1979
  • Holly’s Holiday –  Judy Picture Story Library: #28