Tag Archives: jealousy

Skate-Cat Kate [1978]

  • Skate-Cat Kate –  Emma: #10 (29 April 1978) – #23 (29 July 1978)
  • Art: Leslie Branton

Plot

Kate Dobie is excited about the new skate-park that is opening and wants to join the new Ketworth skate-boarding team, her brother Simon isn’t too happy about this. He is the jealous type that always wants to be centre of attention. He is also grumpy as he had an accident on his skateboard and hurt his leg. He tells Kate they won’t allow girls on the team. Kate eagerly goes to the opening of the new skate-park opens, but when Brett Kenn, the new team trainer, prompts any “boys” with the skills to tryout for the team, Kate is nervous that Simon is right. She decides to audition under Simon’s name and figures once she gets in the team she can reveal her true self. She makes the team but the next part doesn’t go to plan as Simon shows up asking if can audition once his plaster is off, and Kate scurries off before she can be questioned. She believes her chances are now ruined as no one will believe she was going to tell the truth.

She does eventually get to ask Brett for another chance, he gives it to her, but Simon isn’t happy. She suspects that Simon messes with her equipment ruining her 2nd chance audition and then Simon ends up getting her place on the team. She watches the team practicing in the hopes of learning something. Even at home Kate doesn’t find things easy  as her parents keep praising Simon and buying him new equipment and tell her she should be supportive of him.  For the first competition, the whole family go to support Simon and it is only then that Kate finds out she was made reserve on team but Simon didn’t pass the message onto her. As one of the team doesn’t show up, Brett asks her to step in, as she is ill-prepared she has to do the whole competition in a dress. Simon always wanting to be the best attempts to jump over the rest of the team, but his leg gets caught on Kate’s dress at the end. While she argues that he was already coming in low, he still blames her.

While Kate is doing some early practice, a truck crashes near the skatepark, Kate skateboards for help. When reporter hears of this and wants to interview her, Simon pushes in to get some of the spotlight saying she is part of Kenworth team. So Kate is back on team officially. The team continue to prepare for a big competition, and Simon continues to make things difficult for Kate and tries to be the most prominent team member.  While practicing Simon tries a stunt without safety gear and when Kate breaks his fall, she injures her hand.  Before competition she has to have a final check on her wrist, Simon says there is no point waiting for her, but  luckily Brett decides to swing by hospital anyway and Kate makes it to competition. At the competition Kate is worried about Simon trying to cheat, especially as despite how boastful as he is, he is actually a good skateboarder. She puts a stop to some of his plans and the team do end up winning partly because of a skateboarding trick Simon pulls off.

Simon is still not the best team player, and always wants to be star of the show, so while Kate is concerned when Mr Keen gets bad news about his fiancee being missing, Simon sees it as opportunity to take over the team and do his plan for the semi-finals. At the semi final Simon manages to hurt his hand. He has to ask Kate for help doing a handstand trick pretending to be him and they succeed in making to finals. While watching the televised report after, Simon’s jealousy flares up again, when the TV reporter calls Kate more stylish than Simon. Simon then decides its best to replace Kate and a younger small boy, Johnny, with two stronger boys. Though soon even Simon has to admit the replacements aren’t as good but he has hard time telling them that. Luckily Mr Keen turns up with his fiancee just in time for the finals and reinstated the team as it should be. At the finals Kate tells Simon he can beat the other team’s best time and win the individual prize. Finally Simon realises Kate is still cheering for him after all he did to her and that she is a good sister. The team win and conveniently Simon and Kate jointly win the individual prize all expense paid trip to California.

Thoughts

With the release of IPC’s Concrete Surfer thought it was an opportunity to look at a DCT skateboarding story. They are very different takes and having recently read Concrete Surfer, it is clearly the superior of the two and a better crafted story, but Skate-Cat Kate still has some merits. Interesting while Concrete Surfer did come out first  there was only a couple of months between the 2 stories and they ran consecutively for a while (so it doesn’t seem like it was an influence,  Emma previously had articles about skateboarding as well).  While skateboarding wasn’t the most common sport to see in these comics, it does seem like 1978 was a popular year for skateboarding as Mandy also had a humour strip Skateboard Sally, that year. Clearly to comics were trying to keep in tune with trends at the time.

Concrete Surfer  among other things does well at addressing class divide, Skate-Cat Kate addresses a different issue – sexism (although it’s not the main focus). Simon is antagonistic towards his sister, jealous and conceited, so overall not great person, but it is actually the actions of people around him, particularly Brett,that highlights the sexism issues. Simon winds Kate up by telling her girls won’t be allowed on the team, but it is Brett’s statement about boys should try out for the team, that makes Kate believe it’s true. In the end Brett doesn’t mind girls on the team but he does make assumptions that it’s a boys sport first. His treatment of Kate and Simon, is to see them equally responsible for their fighting. Even when it’s clear that Simon is starting arguments, or not passing information to Kate, they are both seen as in the wrong. When Kate gets in the newspaper at Simon’s pushing, Brett reprimands her as using it as opportunity  to sneak back on the team, but when Simon says it was his idea to get good publicity he praises him for being shrewd. Brett seems unaware of his biases, but at least as times go in he begins to value Kate more and not just take Simon’s word on things, such as actually going to collect Kate from hospital so she can attend event.

Maybe more favoritism than sexism (though still a bit of that mixed in) the Dobies do take Simon’s side of things a lot, buying him new skateboarding gear, encouraging Kate to congratulate and cheer her brother on and never do much to encourage her own skateboarding. With all this against her, no wonder Kate fears standing up to her brother too much in case he becomes even more spiteful to her. Yet despite all of what Simon has done she does clearly care for him, even injuring herself saving him. Simon really doesn’t get repercussions for his actions, he finally comes around to Kate and says she is a good sister but doesn’t actually apologise for what he has done and they both end up getting the prize. (Very odd that the prize could be afforded to be split  as surely logistics of paying for a trip to California for one wouldn’t match up to price of sending two people!). It is also odd that a lot of time is spent showcasing Simon’s skills,  like how he’s the only team member that can beat the rival’s team speed times. Both Kate, and another team member Paul who is far nicer and encouraging of Kate, actually seem to put in the work, whereas Simon tries flashy things that only sometimes work. Some of the lesson seems to be Simon overcompensating and maybe should have faith in his own skills, but a far more satisfying ending would have been Kate winning the individual prize for her precision skillful skateboarding, and Simon apologizing, realizing she deserves it more!

Caught in the Net [1997]

  • Caught in the Net – M&J: #311 (26 April 1997) – #315 (24 May 1997)
  • Artist: John Armstrong

Plot

Fiona Lewis was delighted when her uncle Peter gives her a computer for her birthday. When setting up the computer, it asks Fiona to be it’s friend and Fiona agrees, but then things keep going wrong and the computer keeps causing trouble with her other friends. First while playing a game with her friend Shelley, it says Fiona wins although Shelley did better, then the message on screen says “Fiona is clever, Shelley is stupid”. Shelley thinks Fiona programmed the computer to say it, even when she denies it. Shelley still acts off-hand with Fiona, and later the computer asks if she is still her friend, Fiona is glad computers can’t sulk like people do.

When Fiona’s friend Kathy falls ill and has to spend time in the hospital, she rallies everyone in the class to send a card for her birthday. She checks the computer for Kathy’s birthday where she noted it and it says the 9th, but later she discovers Kathy was disappointed not to receive a card from her as her birthday was actually the 8th. As she is let out of hospital before the 9th she never receives the card. Fiona checks the computer and now it says the 8th, and she thinks she misread it. When her young cousin Kevin comes to visit, he is self conscious about his new glasses, Fiona lets him play on computer but it still asks for her, the next day when he is showing some drawings one comes up with “Kevin four eyes” upsetting him greatly.

At school Kathy and Shelley are still not talking to Fiona but when one of her classmates Megan moves close by, Fiona starts to hang out with her. While she is busy with Megan, the computer asks Fiona if they are still friends. Then the computer reveals Megan’s crush on a boy, Mark, in front of group of people, upsetting her, so Fiona loses yet another friend. At least she still has computer but  she is beginning to wonder why everytime something has gone wrong the computer is involved. She rationalizes  that she can’t blame the computer, it’s just an object, so it must be herself making the mistakes. Another opportunity for a new friend arises, when her and classmate, Diane need to take extra french lessons. She tries to help with a new French Learning CD she got and it keeps saying Diane is wrong, then Fiona tries to get wrong answer and it says she is right. Diane calls her a cheater and liar. This is too many coincidences for Fiona  and she now thinks the computer is making her lose her friends on purpose.

Fiona decides to get rid of the computer and she gives it to the boys next door, but it won’t work for them and her mother isn’t happy she gave away her present. She tries to tell the computer she’s not its friend, but it won’t listen. Then she sees a shop that buys and exchanges second hand computers, she manages to exchange it for a similar model so her family won’t notice the difference. She is relieved when she asks her new computer to be her friend it doesn’t recognise the instruction. At school a new girl, Lindy, joins and Fiona and her become friends,  safe in knowledge her computer won’t get in the way again. Later she sees her old computer at shop, she tests it out  to make sure she is really  free of it and is relieved to find the computer has forgotten about her and it has new friend the computer next it.

Thoughts

Computers didn’t show up often as a main plot-point in stories, when they did turn up they tended to be cause of conflict rather than a help! This isn’t the only time an M&J story revolved around computer, there was also Gameplay and it’s sequel and while Fiona’s computer isn’t as evil as Irma it does still cause a lot of problems for her!  It’s interesting we aren’t shown any reconciliation with her old friends. It seems the damage the computer has done is lasting, but at least Fiona finds a new friend and is happy to move on from the computer. This is a late John Armstrong work, he did a number of stories for M&J and as always his work is excellent, particularity for character expressions and it has some atmospheric panels.

As  #315 is the last issue in M&J, there is a double episode to conclude the story, I wonder if there were any more episodes planned originally, it does seem a little sudden that Fiona wants to get rid of computer but still works fine. I was more of a fan of M&J than Bunty and it was pity it swallowed up by the latter, as even in the last few issues there were some fun stories like this.

The Jezebel Curse

Plot

Sarah Clarke was intensely jealous of her talented siblings Steve and Charlotte. So when Sarah accidentally conjured up the evil Jezebel Jordain who was drowned as a witch in the 17th century, she saw an ideal opportunity to use Jezebels’ powers to bring down Steve and Charlotte.

Notes

  • Photo story

Appeared

  • The Jezebel Curse – Suzy: #58 (15 October 1983) – #63 (19 November 1983)

Star of the Silver Pool (1983)

Plot

Invalid Alison West’s mother, a top diving coach, has disappeared in a plane crash so Alison has been sent to live with her cruel uncle and aunt and their selfish daughter, Brenda. Alison discovers a mysterious silver pool deep in a forest. There, with the aid of a mysterious voice, she starts learning to dive, and also begins to secretly use Brenda’s personal gym for the same purpose.

Despite her aunt’s decision to lock her in the cellar to prevent her from getting to the diving championships in the nearby town, Alison manages to escape with the help of a mysterious monk. A neighbour drives her to the venue, where she becomes county champion. Outside the building the monk appears again and leads her to a waiting car belonging to Mr Bundock, the family solicitor. When Alison asks where they are going he says he is to take her to the appointed place, which is an airport. The plane takes her to the very place in the Tibetan Himalayas where her mother’s plane had crashed over a year earlier. There she sees her silver pool and the face of her mother. She feels guilty about letting her mother down but her mother disagrees. When Alison turns round she sees her flesh-and-blood mother who has been cared for by the monks since the crash. A monk tells Alison that her mother had only been able to recover because her daughter had been strong too. The monk tells them that the work of the pool is over, and it is now time for them to return to their own world, time to begin their lives again.

Notes

Appeared

  • Star of the Silver Pool – Suzy: #35 (7 May 1983) – #50 (20 August 1983)

 

Willa Will Dance

  • Willa Will Dance –  Debbie: #72 (29 June 1974) – #85 (28 September 1974)
  • Artist: Don Walker

Plot

When the Taylors decide to adopt a child, their daughter Sue convinces them to choose Willa Wilkins. This is not because she likes Willa, it is because she sees Willa as clumsy and untalented and therefore no match for her parents admiration.  Sue is the ballet star of the family and is not pleased that Willa wants to become a dancer too. Sue makes nasty comments to Willa when they are by themselves, but her aim isn’t to  get rid of  Willa, as she believes she can always be the best daughter, when Willa’s her only competition.

willa will dance

Sue pretends to be nice to Willa around other people, while still putting her down, such as asking others not to laugh at Willa because “My sister can’t help being big and ungainly”. While Willa has clumsy tendencies, these words reinforces Willa’s insecurities, making her self conscious and more clumsy. When people aren’t watching Willa dance, she relaxes more and lets the music take over. The ballet teacher sees her and thinks there is hope for she has good rhythm, she just is a late starter and with extra lessons she could become a dancer. Sue isn’t happy to hear this. When Willa wins an essay competition writing about her dream to become a ballerina, she is delighted that it is enough money to cover the extra lessons. She is surprised when Sue seems encouraging, getting her to read the essay in class. The girls have an image of Willa being clumsy, so they snicker at the idea of her being a dancer, which is exactly what Sue suspected would happen. Still it doesn’t stop Willa going for extra lessons. The ballet teacher mentions Mrs Taylor was a ballerina, and Sue uses this as another opportunity to discourage Willa with cruel comments. It does lead Willa to doubt herself, as Sue is slim and pretty like her mother, she wonders where she comes from and if there is any hope for her.

willa will dance 3

Willa tracks down an old woman, Mrs Larkston who knew her mother. She is disappointed when Mrs Larkston shows her a photo of her plump mother. Sue is pleased though and brings the photo home as a reminder for Willa, that she will never be slim and pretty. Looking at the photo, Willa thinks her mother has a kind smile and would understand who she feels. She accidentally drops the photo breaking the frame. She finds old faded diary pages and a newspaper clipping of a dancer named Lady Tara. She learns from the diary that her mother admired the mysterious Lady Tara and it encourages her to follow her dreams. Sue is there to bring her down whenever she can such as making sure a zipper in costume breaks, baking her a large chocolate cake when Willa’s dieting and pretending Willa needs to be rescued by her when swimming.

Willa is getting tired of being the fat ugly sister. She feels that there is a connection between her and Lady Tara and goes to a reporter to try and track her down. She finds Lady Tara but her dreams of her being a relative are dashed as Lady Tara informs her that her mother was her maid. Lady Tara now owns a dance school and gives Willa a chance to dance for her as she feels she owes it to her mother. Seeing Willa leap around to music Sue doesn’t think she has anything to worry about, but still starts dancing beside her to show Lady Tara that she is so much better than Willa. But Lady Tara doesn’t see it that way, she sees Willa dancing for the joy of it and Sue as mechanical and posed. She offers Willa a place at her school. Willa is delighted and while she will be away during term time, she will be home for holidays. Sue tells Willa she is not happy to see people fussing over her and while she is away at school, she is going to talk her parents out of finalizing the adoption.

willa will dance 4

Willa is happy at the school as Lady Tara has some unusual ideas of dancing. She doesn’t believe in diets or rules and exercise – just free movement. Meanwhile Sue is not happy when parents consider taking in an intelligent  foster girl, while Willa’s at school. She tries to convince Willa to come back and tells her dancing needs discipline, she won’t become a dancer at a school like that. During a show, Sue brings friends along and they laugh at the display, and even Willa has to admit they look ridiculous. After this Sue convinces her to come home.

willa will dance 2

Willa is happy to be back with family again, even believing Sue wants to be a sister to her. But Sue makes her vow if she wants to be part of the family, she must remain the ugly untalented sister and to never dance again. To keep her family Willa makes the promise, and all is well for a while, as Sue comes out on top of all things she does.  She  is picked as May Queen at the school and is not happy when Willa gets picked as her attendant and is given dance. She tells Willa that she will have to drop out but Willa refuses she stands up to Sue finally.  She thinks Sue’s threats are meaningless as she won’t ask her parents to stop adoption as that would only show the cruel selfish girl she is.  Sue upset runs onto street and is hit by traffic, leaving her potentially paralysed. The doctor’s say that she will recover but  she has lost all her confidence. Willa decides to be cruel and make Sue mad enough to walk. She takes Sue’s ballet shoes telling her she won’t need them now and dances in front of her, Sue corrects her. She thanks Willa for getting her to walk without her crutches and is ashamed of the things she’s said before.

It’s  not an easy recovery for Sue she still has no confidence in her dancing and she begs Willa to come with her. Willa helps going back to class with her practicing with her every day, she  even loses some weight. Then when the class have a ballet production,neither girl is up to that standard of the lead but they could get a smaller part. The teacher is tempted to give Willa part of Good Fairy over Sue, but Willa convinces her to give it to Sue as she knows otherwise Sue will never fully recover her confidence and quit dancing for good. This is just what she needs to get over er nerves, and Willa decides she doesn’t want to compete against Sue. A suggestion from her father encourages her to try a different style of dancing – ballroom dancing. She finds she is happy whatever dancing she is doing and after some work  wining a junior competition. She does worries that  the old jealousy will flare up with Sue, but Sue has changed for the better and Willa has found happiness.

willa will dance 5

Thoughts

A jealous family member not happy with an addition to the household, a story that is told many times. Like Mistyfan’s recent post on “I’ll Get Rid of Rona!”  there are different ways of telling the story to keep it fresher. In this case it’s interesting that Sue doesn’t want to get rid of Willa, as she believes she can control the situation. She is nasty and cruel to Willa but only when she believes she is being outshone, she doesn’t have a problem with Willa as long as she stays plain, clumsy and doesn’t “steal” peoples attention.  She is also upfront about this from the start. While there are times she makes sure things go bad for Willa, such as forcing the zipper on her costume, mostly it is a psychological attack on Willa. She keeps putting her down, says cruel and nasty things to her and sometimes tries to make out she says these things so Willa won’t get her hopes crushed like she’s doing her a favour. This knocking of Willa’s confidence makes her more clumsy and self conscious and therefore easier (with a bit of manipulation)  for others to see Willa as a joke too.

willa will dance 7

When Willa finds the old newspaper clipping of a dancer with her mother’s photo, she has hopes that the Lady Tara of the newspaper is a relative to her, she thinks she most have dancing in her blood somewhere. But Lady Tara is not a relative and her mother was not some slim beauty. This also makes a nice change from other stories, there is no genetic reason for Willa’s talent (that we know of). Also while she has raw talent, without practice and discipline it won’t make her a top dancer. While at the end she improves at ballet and maybe one day could have been at Sue’s level given the chance, she is still not ready to take the lead in the ballet production. Surprising as well is she gives up on her ballet dream so not to compete with Sue. While she does find she just wants to dance no matter what and shows talent at ballroom dancing, it is quite the change from all the work she put into ballet. I don’t know if Sue was so deserving of Willa’s kindness, though at least by the end she has put aside her jealousy and hadn’t forced Willa to give up ballet, it was Willa’s choice.

willa will dance 6

Sue’s recovery takes some time, even when she is out of hospital she lashes out at Willa, although instantly regrets it. When she starts dancing again, finally working together with Willa they begin to build a real sisterly relationship. Willa loves dancing but she shows time and again that having a family is more important to her.  She chooses the chance of family over dancing and even when she has the chance to dance on stage she chooses her sister Sue’s happiness over her own. We don’t learn much about Willa’s mother,  but what we do learn is that she was very loyal and in a nice scene where we Willa looks at her mother’s photo she thinks that she would have been a good listener. While it doesn’t seem Willa gained her dancing talent from her mother, it does seem she gained those other good qualities from her.

 

 

Davina Dives In

Plot

Orphan Davina Ray’s talent for  diving was noticed by ex-champion Mary Lord, who invited Davina to stay with her for the summer  holidays so that she could coach her for the County Championships. But Mary Lord’s daughter, Elaine, also entering the Championship, resented Davina being there. Now Mary was coaching the girls at the local baths.

davina-dives-in

Notes

  • Art: Oliver Passingham

Appeared

  • Davina Dives In   Judy:  circa #1229 (30 July 1983) – (?)

Break-Up! [1989]

Plot

Beverley Brunton was not only top of her class and good at sports, but she was also very popular with her classmates. Only one girl didn’t like Bev -Hazel Thomson. When Hazel overhears that Bev’s parents are splitting up, she takes joy in telling Bev and she implies that neither of her parents want her.

break up

Notes

  • Art: Bert Hill

Appeared

  • Break-Up! –  Judy: #1529 (29 April 1989) – #1537 (24 June 1989)
  • Reprinted – M&J: #263 (25 May 1996) – #271 (20 July 1996)

“They’re My Mum and Dad!”

Plot

Sisters Kim and Tina Kirby’s lives changed when their  mum and dad became Houseparents at Fourways Children’s Home. Only Tina knew that Kim hated it at Fourways, and would try any mean trick to persuade her mum and dad to give up their new job.

theyre-my-mum-and-dad

Notes

  • Art: Ron Lumsden

Appeared

  • “They’re My Mum and Dad!” – Tracy: #106 (10 October 1981) – #117 (26 December 1981)
  • Reprinted – Judy: #1517 (4 February 1989) – #1528 (22 April 1989)