- The Mini Morgans – Bunty: #1634 (06 May 1989) – #1645 (22 July 1989)
- Artist: George Martin
The Mini Morgans are Little People, that perform as a circus act in 1885, along with their friend Martha Little. Unfortunately the circus has to close and while the owner thinks he can get Martha another job, for the Morgans he says the only option is to join a freak show. The Morgans are not happy with being considered freaks and Martha decides she will help find them jobs. The Morgans consist of Ada and Bert the older parental couple, Danny their son, Holly and Jake a younger couple and Frank and Freddy.
Along the way to find new jobs they have to deal with people’s prejudices as well as DeVere the owner of the Freak show trying to capture them. Danny is the first to get job when he comes across a young catatonic girl Emily and manages to entertain her. The grandparents are so grateful that the offer him a place to live and to train him up as a tailor to work with the grandfather. Soon after that, a scheme by DeVere to capture the Morgans leads Ada getting hurt. They get her to a doctor, who tries to scam them saying she will need an operation. Luckily Martha also does some research on Dr. Dakin, and finds out he’s a scam artist, Ada will be fine she just had a concussion
Later Madame DeVere convinces Frank and Freddy to give her a chance only for her to steal their horse and burn their caravan. Holly is the romantic of the group while her boyfriend Jake is more gruff and is not one to show his feelings. They get a job looking after chickens but on their first night a wild dog attacks the chickens, while trying to scare it off Jake is hurt. Unfortunately he doesn’t make it. Holly is devastated and doesn’t want to stay at the farm, but soon after Martha gets gets Holly a job with a family of acrobats. Frank finds a girlfriend, Sally and gets married. Freddy rescues a girl in a fire, and in doing so catches the attention of a rodeo manager who gives him a job. So that only leaves Burt and Ada. Martha does some temporary acrobatics with family. When the parents decide it’s time to retire the son Davy suggests him and Martha could start their own trapeze act. Burt and Ada, see Martha has a chance of love and job and decide to leave before she turns it down. Martha goes after them, she catches up with them just when Burt is nearly killed when he rescues a dog from a flood. Burt and Ada get jobs as gardener and housekeeper with the dogs owner, and Martha feels she can move on now.
There is a lot going on in this story. There is obvious drama but also some comic relief, with the way characters interact with each other, particularly with Frank and Freddy and Holly and Jake. There is also a good sense of family and closeness between the characters.
Holly and Jake are fun with her gushing romance and Jake being more of the gruff type but there is still the sense that he cares about her . His death is really unexpected and touching. We don’t actually see him die, but a doctor says it does not look good for him. It is well done with him declaring his love for Holly, then the next scene cuts to the next day Holly crying wanting to leave and a wordless panel with the Morgans comforting each other.
While that is well done, it is strange that the next issue Jake never gets mentioned, presumably a bit of time has passed but still even in the caption box it basically says there is now only 5 Morgans left but doesn’t mention what happens. Though I suppose it seems that once a Morgan has moved on no matter what the circumstances they aren’t spoken of again. Ada and Bert have a tearful goodbye with their son Danny only for him never to come up in conversation again.
DeVere drops off pretty suddenly as well. just before Holly gets her job, DeVere locks Martha up in order to convince the Morgans that she has abandoned them. She leaves them with her card in hopes they will join her. Martha escapes of course and then the move on, and DeVere is never heard from again. Perhaps she thinks with only 4 of them its not worth her trouble any more as the whole point was to get the entire group, but its never explained what happened to her.
It is a nice story, the Morgans do have to deal with prejudice and being mocked. When things get tough, some of them even feel that maybe being in a freak show is their only option. Clearly Martha is a good friend and very close to them, but its also a bit sad that they sometimes feel a burden to her and that without her help they wouldn’t get much of a chance. I did like that when Martha is upset that Bert and Ada have left and she has to go find them, Davy points out that they are adults and would maybe like to look out for themselves. (Also its one of the few stories featuring little people that doesn’t involve magic, or some hidden society!)
The artwork is good, especially at portraying some of the more emotional scenes. There is plenty of action, drama as well as some humour to keep the story entertaining. The characters are very likeable and their is a nice sense of family and comradeship between them.