Tag Archives: wordplay

Mandy

  • Mandy –  Mandy:  #01 (21 Jan 1967) – #1269 (11 May 1991)
  • Art: Peter Kay (early years), Claude Berridge (1990s)

Plot

The comic’s namesake ‘Mandy’ stayed on the cover of the comic for its whole run with just a few changes along the way.  The first issues were more concerned with advertising free gifts and that it was a new paper. After this it settled into the pattern of a full-shot of Mandy on a mostly white background. Mandy is instantly recognisable with her bobbed dark hair, her clothes changed but are always colourful and kept up with 70s fashions. Accompanying her, is her red and white dog, Patch. The main picture set up the theme for the story.   Each issue had a theme usually involving a play on words.  As well as the large picture there was one small panel in the corner, often this would be a contrast to the calmer/ happier main picture.  For example one cover has Mandy admiring a dalmatian, the smaller panel then has her running away from the bad tempered dog. Also on the cover a pun usually encouraged you to continue reading on the back cover like when Mandy gets sunburned and the line is “Have you “red” it all girls? Then turn to the back cover -”

Mandy_01   Mandy_02

These covers were very eye-catching, the colourful Mandy stands out from the white background. Also I think the cover is so effective by keeping it quite simple the expressions of Mandy and Patch with just a few props sets up the theme without over crowding  the page. Even the corner box isn’t intrusive but a nice hint of what’s to come. The back page consists of 6 panels often with the panels in pairs, continuing the theme. Sometimes the last panel would have things work out for Mandy but not always.

A breakdown of one story; it starts with Mandy skating on the ice on the cover, the smaller panel has her in trouble getting stuck when the ice melts. The bottom of the cover tells us to skate round to the back cover for more fun with Mandy.  The first panel on the back page has Mandy leaving the house to go babysitting, the next panel has Mandy covered in snow because the snow on the roof melted. The third panel Mandy is having trouble with her sitting charge who won’t stop crying. The next panel reveals she is crying because her snowman melted. On her way home in the next panel Mandy complains she has had nothing but trouble with melting things all day. Things work out for in the last panel as her Mum has backed her favourite biscuits Melting Moments.

Mandy_03By the middle of 1978 there was a slight change to the format. Mandy’s still on the cover but now there is no other panels, dialogue and the  picture is usually a more close up shot. The front cover slogan encourages potential readers to buy the comic, like when Mandy in on a boat the slogan is “All Aboard for the best picture stories “or when she is playing catch with Patch the slogan is  “There’s No Catch – if you like picture stories you’ll like Mandy”.  Sometimes the story continued inside the cover rather than the back cover but the format stayed the same. The last few years of Mandy the character had a bit of a makeover. A new artist takes over and now Mandy has longer hair in a pony tail but the format stays the same. After Mandy ends and joins with Judy their new strip M&J- Friends and Neighbours drops the play on words and is more ordinary life mishaps for the friends.

Mandy_04     Mandy_06

Thoughts

I’ve already talked about the Bunty and Judy characters previously and while they are enjoyable,  I think Mandy has the more interesting strip. The play on words is a fun angle instead of the usual straightforward mishaps characters have. A lot of other character strips like Judy & Co., Life with Bunty, Debbie weren’t very different from each other, so Mandy made a nice change. The art is also really good. My favourites are the early covers, like I said above these were very eye catching. The artist really captures a lot of expressions throughout the strip and there are more detailed backgrounds on the back page but he  still keeps things quite simplistic. I enjoy the different outfits Mandy wears, which are nice look back at the time period.

The character must have been a good selling point as she consistently stayed on the cover while other comic covers changed over the years. Although later issues would advertise some inside stories as well, these only took up a small portion of the page while Mandy still kept her place as the main focus of the cover. When Mandy comic merged with Judy comic the two characters became friends in a new strip M&J – neighbours and friends.

List of Appearances

  • Mandy –  Mandy:  #01 (21 Jan 1967) – #1269 (11 May 1991)
  • M&J – neighbours and friends– M&J: 01 (18 May 1991) – #46 (28 Mar. 1992)
  • The Diaries of M&J – M&J: #47 (04 Apr. 1992) – (?)

Other Appearances:

  • Mandy (x3) – Mandy Annual 1971
  • Mandy – Mandy Annual 1974
  • Mandy (x2) – Mandy Annual 1976
  • Mandy (a story without words) (x2) – Mandy Annual 1982
  • Mandy (a story without words) (x2) – Mandy Annual 1983
  • Mandy – Mandy Annual 1986
  • Mandy and Patch – Mandy Annual 1992
  • M&J – Mandy Annual 1993
  • M&J – Judy Annual 1993
  • M&J (x2) – Mandy Annual 1994
  • M&J – Mandy Annual 1995