Tag Archives: Jesus Redondo

The House of the Silver Sword / Suzette of the Silver Sword [1963-1968]

  • The House of the Silver Sword–  Diana: #01 (23 February 1963) – #07 (06 April 1963)
  • Suzette of the Silver Sword – Diana: #86 (10 October 1964) – #93 (28 Nov. 1964)
  • Suzette of the Silver Sword – Diana: #178 (16 July 1966) – #186 (10 September 1966)
  • Suzette of the Silver Sword – Diana: #212 (11 March 1967) – #219 (29 April 1967)
  • Suzette of the Silver Sword – Diana: #264 (09 March 1968) – #275 (25 May 1968)
  • Art: Don Walker (series 1-2), Jesus Redondo (series 3-5)

Plot

One of the first stories to appear in the Diana comic, although only 7 episodes long, it returned for a further 4 series. The story follows a promising young fencer, Suzette Jamieson. In the first series The House of the Silver Sword, 14 year old Suzette is determined to become a great fencer like her famous ancestors. Her teacher advises her she shows promise but needs more that 1 lesson a week if she wants to win the Championships.  Suzette knows this won’t be possible as her parents struggle to afford what they do provide, but then a letter from her Aunt Claire arrives. She has invited Suzette to stay with her,  as her mother has described her as bossy and bad-tempered, Suzette isn’t sure about the offer, but her parents tell her it is a good opportunity. Her Uncle Henry, a famous fencer will be able to give her daily lessons during her stay. Meanwhile at Beaugarth house, Aunt Claire and Uncle Henry are discussing Suzette’s arrival. Aunt Claire wants to make sure their home and the famous silver sword that has been passed down through the generations is left to a true Jamieson. Her other niece, Glenda, has been a disappointing swords-woman in that regard. Glenda overhearing this, starts scheming against Suzette as she wants the fortune for herself.

While Glenda acts nice to Suzette, two serious accidents happen after her arrival, the canopy on her bed falls down and sharp piece of metal is left in her glove. Luckily she escapes both incidents unscathed. Her Uncle Henry is much kinder and softer than Aunt Claire but also no fool, right away he suspects Glenda of having a hand in the accidents and tells Suzette, but she can’t believe someone would be so spiteful. Glenda continues her campaign against Suzette, she slashes a painting of ancestor and sets Suzette up to take the fall. Henry clears her name by proving she couldn’t have reached so high. Then on the day of the qualifiers she sends a fake telegram saying Suzette’s father is ill and she needs to return home immediately, luckily a train mix-up means Suzette finds out her father is fine and gets to compete in the heats for qualifying for championship. As a last desperate attempt Glenda throws Suzette’s fencing gear in a duck pond. Glenda is exposed, although Suzette has to go to competition in the soiled gear. This leads to mockery by the other competitors, and she has a run in with her biggest competition, Moira Parr. Despite these obstacles, Suzette goes on to win championship and weeks later Suzette now the owner of the silver sword also has her portrait added to the Jamieson collection at Beaugarth House.

When Suzette returns in the sequels the stories are now known as Suzette of the Silver Sword. In the 2nd series Suzette’s father’s business is failing, and she has no choice but to sell her silver sword for some money. As she is about to sell it she sees a young girl, Wendy Carstairs, being terrorised by some toughs. Suzette scares them off and is offered a job by Mr Carstairs as companion to his daughter, he also buys the silver sword but says she can use it any time and he would also like her to teach Wendy to fence. Since moving to the house, there has been a campaign to get the Carstairs out. Wendy who has already lost her mother, is a very timid and scared girl, Suzette helps protect her and also build up her confidence. Suzette helps fight off the gang attacking the house several times, and also does some investigating. Finally they pretend to leave the house for good and see that the gang had hidden stolen jewellery in the house which is why they wanted the Carstairs out. While waiting for the police Suzette and Wendy  keep the gang occupied. Mr Carstairs in gratitude says Suzette can keep the silver sword and the money from the reward for her father.

In the third series, Suzette is in Austria, to compete in a Fencing Contest. After a minor bus accident she gets separated from group and comes across a girl being attacked. She saves the girl, Annalise and is invited back to castle where she lives with her guardians, the Wagners. Suzette is told Annalise is due an inheritance but only if she can prove she is a good swords-woman like her ancestors by taking a test on her 16th birthday. Annalise while technically good, has been put off by the attacks and then the appearance of the Black Swordsman, a fencer dressed all in black who Annalise thinks is the ghost of a man who killed an ancestor 100 years ago. While Suzette certainly doesn’t believe in ghosts, it does seem he has knowledge of the castle with an ability to disappear quickly (it turns out there are secret passageways in the castle). In discussion with the Wagners, it seems the likely culprit is Annalise’s cousin, Rudolf, who will inherit everything if she fails her test. Suzette spars with the black swordsman several times and also with the return of the men who attacked Annalise the first day she met her. Suzette comes up with the idea to pretend Herr Wagner was badly injured in one of these skirmishes, this finally gives Annalise the motivation to fight back. Together they take down the Black Swordsman and his hired men, and reveal that it was Rudolf behind the mask. Annalise does well on her test and has proven herself honourable and brave, deserving of her inheritance.

In the 4th series Suzette is hired to teach  a group of actors to fence for the parts in the play “The Three Musketeers”. The lead female is Sara Lawrence but someone uses her fear of spiders against her shocking her and harming her voice. Suzette first suspects her understudy Joan may have a hand in it as she has the most to gain, but Joan is quickly cleared. The next likely suspects is one of the men playing the musketeers, especially after an accident at fencing practice where the swords button is removed. The “Spider Man” continues to strike at Sara, and also Suzette to stop her interference. She is lured into a trap where she is bitten by black widow spider, but luckily is found and brought to the hospital in time. After another encounter with the Spider Man, Suzette narrows her suspects down to two, Tony who plays D’artagnan or John who plays Porthos. After nearly drowning at the hands of the Spider Man, Suzette helps set up a trap luring him out with Sara’s return to stage. She catches John in the act of trying to attack Sara, but with Suzette’s swift actions, John is bitten by his own spider. John had attacked Sara to get revenge on her father who had paralysed his sister in a car accident. Then they reveal Sara is still safe and it was her understudy pretending to be her. For the actual show Sara is able to return and have a successful performance, sharing applause with Suzette for all her help.

In the 5th series Suzette is forced to be bodyguard to Julie Diamond by her crook father when he kidnaps her parents. Things are dangerous as rival gang run by  Costello wants to get Julie as revenge on Diamond, but Julie does not know any of this so is quite annoyed to have Suzette around all the time. Julie meanwhile wants to star in an ice show, which makes Suzette’s job more difficult but she convinces her to audition in disguise under a pseudonym. Julie proves she can get the part without her father’s name. Julie makes the mistake of trusting her friend Rod, he plans to betray her for money, but Diamond gets to him first. He tells Julie he paid him off, but actually has him locked up in part of the house. Suzette has some sympathy for Rod after seen he has been beat up, but he tries to use her sympathy to escape. He is foiled but now Suzette is more on her guard. When Julie’s disguise is accidentally exposed at a rehearsal, Suzette has to join the show to protect her. It all comes to a head when Costello’s men come to ice rink and attack, a fight breaks out between the two gangs while Suzette tries to protect Julie. The Costello gang are defeated but one confesses it was revenge for Diamond taking jewels that Costello had robbed. Diamond goes to jail and the Jamieson’s are released. Suzette attends the ice-show and ca friendship has grown between her and Julie, se knows she wasn’t aware of her father’s criminal activity and will continue to be there to help her of her own free will now as a friend.

Thoughts

When reading the first series, it seemed like a standard story of a jealous relative trying to make protagonist look bad while acting nicely to their face. It is not a story that I thought would spawn many sequels and yet Suzette continued to have adventures, although very little in common with the first series. She is of course and an accomplished fencer, which comes in handy, but her inheritance, Beaugarth House, aunt and uncle aren’t even referenced again after the 2nd series.  Instead she ends up finding herself  with mysteries to solve and young girls to protect. There are some common threads across some of the series such as Suzette happening upon girls being attacked is an occurrence in 3 of the stories, (although in the last series it is a set up by Mr Diamond to test her) and her teaching 2 of the girls fencing, but all the stories stand on their own. It’s funny in the first series Suzette seems a little naive, not believing her cousin could be so nasty, whereas in later series no-one if above suspicion for her, perhaps her experience made her less trusting.

While the first couple of stories were fine, personally I think the stories got stronger later, the fifth story is my favourite. While she is still a fencer, they don’t feel the need to make that a big point in the 5th story, Julie has no interest in learning fencing unlike Wendy and Annalise in the earlier stories. In the 4th series it makes a change to have Suzette unknowingly teach the antagonist about fencing, and Sara who she protects is a singer. In the fifth series they go a step further, the only time fencing is used is for defense, Julie has no interest in fencing but proves herself an excellent skater. It is nice that the friendship grows between her and Suzette, as she starts of a bit antagonistic towards her. This story also has the most stakes, as Suzette’s parents are kidnapped so their well-being is dependent on her doing a good job body-guarding Julie.

Diana had high quality paper and really gives the artists to show their range, Don Walker in the first 2 series really can show his range with more shading.  The first series goes into more particulars about fencing, I am not that familiar with the sport but the stances do look convincing to me, so I believe Don has done good job depicting the sport. I do like his work, but Jesus Redondo is really the best on this series, though that may be in part due to him given more interesting things to work with in the later series. It is interesting to see this earlier style of Jesus, while recognisable as his, it is a lot more subdued than his later work.

 

Diana Annual 1976

Picture Stories

  • Sam and Something Called a Stately Home!  (Pages: 6-11) [Art: Norman Lee]
  • The Love Locket (Pages: 15-22 ) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • Love in Bloom – story without words (Page: 23)
  • Sad September (Pages: 26-32) [Art: Jordi Franch]
  • Jo and Co (Pages: 37-42) [Art: Brian Delaney]
  • Olé! We’re Away or a touch of Marjorcan Magic (Pages: 46)
  • The Manovitch Experiment (Pages: 49-57 ) [Art: Enrique Badia Romera]
  • The Handsome Lad from Old Baghdad (Pages: 67-72)  [Art: George Martin]
  • The Long Lonely Night (Pages: 76-80)
  • The Friday Rocking-Horse (Pages: 82-85)
  • Polly Private Eye (Pages: 87-94)  [Art: Jesus Redondo Roman]
  • Skeletons in the Cupboard (Man in Black story) (Pages: 104-110) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • France is Where Her Heart Lies (Pages: 115-121)

 

Text Stories

  • Twas the Night Before Christmas (Pages: 24-25) [Writer: Valerie Edwards]
  • The Case of the Harassed Heiress (Pages: 34-35,43,66, 111)
  • Dear Sir (Pages:44-45)
  • Bea’s Year (Pages: 48,95)
  • I Love you, Bobby Denton (Pages: 61-62)
  • Just Justin & Me (Page:75)
  • Keep Your feet in the Sawdust & a Smile on Your Face (Pages: 122-124) [Writer: Celia Harcourt]

Features

  • Inside Cover Picture (Pages: 2-3, 126-127) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • Herb Beauty  (Pages:12-13)
  • Special Day Specialities  (Page: 14)
  • Looking for Luck (Page: 36)
  • Like a Movie (poem) (Page 43) [by Lee Delaney]
  • Sorry, Wrong Show (Pages; 47)
  • Know-How a helpful quiz for you (Pages: 58-59)
  • It’s in the Bag (Page: 60)
  • Sit Tight Sit Bright (Page: 63)
  • TV or not TV game (Pages: 64-65)
  • Pony Express(ions) (Pages: 62, 66, 101, 114)
  • A Touch of Class (Pages: 74-75)
  • A Cracker of a Cross-word (Pages: 81)
  • Ve Vill Ask the Questions (Page: 86)
  • Especially for You (Pages: 96-97, 100)
  • You and Your Yuletide (Page: 99)
  • Marlyn’s (Chain)Mailbag (Page: 102-103)
  • Whats Yours? (Pages: 112-113)
  • To Top it All! (Page: 114)

Pop photos/pictures/pin ups

  • David Essex (Page: 33)
  • Alvin Stardust (Page: 73)
  • Gary Glitter (Page: 98)
  • Bay City Rollers (Page: 125)

 

*Thanks to Helen Fay for information

Diana Annual 1975

Picture Stories

  • The Old Wishing Well (Pages: 6-11) [Art: Tony Hudson]
  • The Man in Black (Pages: 20-27) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • The Tell-Tale Ring (Pages: 37-42) [Art: Martin Puigagut?]
  • Disco Date (Page 43)
  • The Fabulous Four (Pages: 66-74) [Art: Enrique Badia Romero]
  • A Lesson for Linda (Pages: 82-87)
  • Day of Danger (Pages: 98-105) [Art: Miguel Quesada]
  • A Lightsome Tale (Page 109)
  • My Big Brother Marmaduke (Pages: 113-118) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • It Happened in Rome (Pages: 121-125) [Art: Pamela Chapeau]

Text Stories

  • Charlie and the Birds (Pages: 14-16)
  • Two Girls with but a Single Thought- Dave! (Pages: 33-35) [Art: Mari L’Anson]
  • Bea’s Year (Pages: 44-45)
  • Boy with a Guitar (Page 48)
  • Who Said Wordsworth was Dead? Marlyn & Bea! (Page 61)
  • Tree-Top Cinderella (Pages: 106-108) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • Double Talk – Double Date (Page 112)

Features

  • Star Pet Parade (Pages: 12-13)
  • Star Chat (Page 16)
  • Pop Poster (Pages: 17, 49, 65, 75, 119)
  • Kate’s Dress-Making Game (Pages: 18-19)
  • Slade Fax (Pages: 28-29)
  • Quick Flick Quiz (Pages: 30-31)
    They’ll Call You Mellow Yellow (Page 32)
  • 50 Personal Secrets from Donny Osmond (Page 36)
  • King Crossword (Pages: 46-47)
  • We’re Having a Party (Pages: 50-51) [Art: David Matysiak?]
  • Pop Panto (Pages: 52-53)
  • Make it a Merry Christmas (Pages: 54-55) [Art: Mari L’Anson]
  • Hot Rod! (Pages: 56-57)
  • Ace of Hearts (Pages: 58-59)
  • Musicals that Just Missed (Page 60)
  • Are You an All-The- Year-Rounder? (Pages: 62-63)
  • The Whole Band Went Crazy (Page 64)
  • Jump Off (Pages: 76-77)
  • Fancy That (Pages: 78-79) [Art: Mari L’Anson]
  • Beauty in the Stars (Pages: 80-81)
  • Zoom! It’s Elton (Pages: 88-89)
  • Then and Now (Page 90)
  • The Magic Tree (poem) (Page 91)
  • Marlyn’s Malebag (Pages: 92-93)
  • Your Cliff Richard Scrapbook (Pages: 94-95)
  • Hi Gary (Pages: 96-97)
  • What’s Cooking All Round the World (Pages: 110-111)
  • Goody Goody School Days (Page 120)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information

Diana Annual 1974

Picture Stories

  • My Big Brother Marmaduke (Pages: 6-13) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • Up-To-Date Kate (Pages: 14-15, 55, 64-65, 124-125)
  • Bunty’s Prince Charming (Pages: 33-38) [Art: George Martin]
  • Linda-Go-Lucky (Pages: 44-48) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • Mary Brown’s Schooldays (Pages: 49-54) [Art: Don Walker]
  • The Flight of the Fabulous Four (Pages: 56-63) [Art: Jordi Badia Romero?]
  • Sue’s Super-Looking Sister (Pages: 68-74) [Art: Miguel Quesada]
  • The Secret Behind the Wall (Pages: 75-80) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • Wendy and the Boy Next Door (Pages: 87-92)
  • Christmas at Katie’s (Pages: 116-121) [Art: Roy Newby]

Text Stories

  • Trouble for the Terrible Trio (Pages: 39-41)
  • Margie’s Magic Moment (Pages: 94-96)

Features

  • Viva Victoriana! (Page 16)
  • Pop Posters (Pages: 17, 32, 97, 112)
  • Pop the Question (Pages: 18-19)
  • Action Stations! (Pages: 20-21)
  • Half an Hour with Elvis Presley (Page 22)
  • Greetings from the Groups (Page 23)
  • Stars ‘n’ Guitars (Pages: 24-25)
  • The Discoteers! (Pages: 26-29)
  • Fashion Chat with Marie Osmond (Pages: 30-31)
  • Fame is the Name of the Game (Pages: 42-43)
  • It’s a Hit – Or Is It? (Pages: 66-67)
  • Pair the Partners (Page 81)
  • Crazy Cowboys (Pages: 82-83)
  • 7 Swinging Indians (Page 84)
  • Pop Crossword (Page 85)
  • Sounds like a Diana Girl! (Page 86)
  • A Girl’s Best Friend… (Page 93)
  • Cliff’s Palace in the Sun! (Pages: 98-99)
  • The Osmonds (Pages: 100-105)
  • Taking the Mike (Pages: 106-107)
  • Pop to the Top! (Pages: 108-109)
  • Meet the Groups – Blood, Sweat and Tears (Pages: 110-111)
  • Tricky Sticky-Backs (Page 113)
  • Go to the Sales with Kate (Pages: 114-115)
  • Di’s Disco (Pages: 122-123) [Art: Mari L’Anson]

 

* Thanks to Goof for the information

Diana Annual 1973

Picture Stories

  • Mary Brown’s Schooldays (Pages: 6-11) [Art: Don Walker]
  • Up-To-Date Kate (Pages: 12-13, 106-107, 124)
  • Queen of the Planet of Flowers (Pages: 16-23) [Art: Enrique Badia Romero]
  • Lorna in the Court of King Arthur (Pages: 25-31)
  • Maureen and the Boy Next Door (Pages: 33-37)
  • My Big Brother Marmaduke (Pages: 40-44) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • Jane – Model Miss (Pages: 49-55) [Art: Pamela Chapeau]
  • The Bully in Blue (Pages: 56-57)
  • The Unlucky Horseshoe (Pages: 58-63) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • Rosie Red Riding Hood (Pages: 66-67, 125)
  • Letty Leads the Way! (Pages: 68-73)
  • Rusty’s First Rosettes (Pages: 76-80) [Art: Eduardo Feito]
  • Day of the Dancing Dolls (Pages: 81-86)
  • A Penny for the Cornets (Pages: 90-95) [Art: Robert Hamilton]
  • A Girl Called Sarah (Pages: 97-103) [Art: Matias Alonso]
  • Dear Little Elf (Pages: 108-113)
  • Shona’s Faithful Friend (Pages: 115-118)
  • Willa the Witch (Pages: 119-123) [Art: George Martin]

Text Stories

  • Sing a Song of Puppets (Pages: 46-47) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • A Spot of Bother! (Pages: 88-89) [Art: George Martin]

Features

  • How do you Doodle? (Pages: 14-15)
  • The Favourites – Posters (Pages: 24, 32, 114)
  • Way Out Weddings (Pages: 38-39)
  • All in the Family (Page 45)
  • Madame Gaga Looks at a Diana Girl’s Hand! (Page 48)
  • Kate’s Autograph Hunt (Pages: 64-65)
  • Horse Poem (Pages: 74-75)
  • Cute Customer (Page 87)
  • Picture Crossword (Page 96)
  • Ho-Ho Holidays (Pages: 104-105)

 

* Thanks to Goof for the information

 

Diana Annual 1972

Picture Stories

  • My Big Brother Marmaduke (Pages: 6-11) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • Sara and the Singing Planet (Pages: 14-19) [Art: Enrique Badia Romero]
  • Up-to-Date Kate (Pages: 20-21, 102-103)
  • Jane – Model Miss (Pages: 23-27)
  • The Ghost in the Big Top (Pages: 28-32) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • California – Here We Come! (Pages: 33-37) [Art: Tony Hudson]
  • Hi There, I’m Belle of the Ball! (Pages: 40-41)
  • A Girl Called Sarah (Pages: 42-45) [Art: George Martin]
  • Mary Brown’s Schooldays (Pages: 49-55, 120-125) [Art: Don Walker]
  • The Pony Who Liked Fun (Pages: 58-63) [Art: Jose Ariza?]
  • Rosie’s Hit Parade (Page 68)
  • Miranda’s Mexican Ballet (Pages: 70-75)
  • Lucy and the Dog Next Door (Pages: 77-80)
  • The Boy Next Door (Pages: 81-86) [Art: Rodney Sutton]
  • Patti’s Pony Express (Pages: 92-96)
  • Slave of the Romans (Pages: 97-101)
  • The Pride of St Petersburg (Pages: 104-107)
  • A Thin Time for Tessa (Pages: 109-113)
  • Willa the Witch (Pages: 114-117) [Art: George Martin]
  • Rosie Red Riding Hood (Pages: 118-119)

Text Stories

  • Escape to the New Forest (Pages: 46-47)
  • Sammy Goes to Sea (Pages: 66-67)
  • When Vinegar Lil Turned Purple (Pages: 88-89) [Art: George Martin]

Features

  • Kate’s Year (Pages: 2-3, 126-127)
  • Sketch-a-Star (Pages: 12-13)
  • Get Packing! (Page 22)
  • Dishes for All Seasons (Pages: 38-39)
  • Training a Young Pony (Page 48)
  • A Lead on Dogs (Pages: 56-57)
  • Kate Goes Shopping (Pages: 64-65)
  • Belle of the Beach (Page 69)
  • All Present and Correct (Page 76)
  • Words and Music (Page 87)
  • Perfect Partners (Pages: 90-91)
  • Anna Pavlova (Page 108)

 

* Thanks to Goof for the information

Diana Annual 1971

Picture Stories

  • Kate’s Ancestors (Pages: 2-3, 126-127)
  • The Swish Family Robinson (Pages: 6-12) [Art: Jose Ortiz]
  • The Long Exciting Life of Countess Tolstoy (Pages: 13-16)
  • Margaret, Countess of Airlie (Page 17)
  • Lady Mabella de Tichborne (Page 18)
  • Lorna in the Wild West (Pages: 27-30)
  • The Sacred Geese of Juno (Pages: 31-32)
  • Mister Magic’s Last Trick (Pages: 33-36) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • Little Yoo (Pages: 39-44) [Art: Jose Gonzalez]
  • Up-To-Date Kate (Pages: 49, 80)
  • Mouse in the House (Pages: 50, 73)
  • Rosie Red Riding Hood (Pages: 51, 74)
  • My Big Brother Marmaduke (Pages: 52-55) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • Mary Brown’s Schooldays (Pages: 56-63) [Art: Don Walker]
  • The Ballad of Betsy May (Page 72)
  • The Terrors from the Tiny Planet (Pages: 75-78) [Art: George Martin]
  • School for Pen Friends (Pages: 81-84) [Art: Geoffrey Whittam]
  • The Secret of the White Rose (Pages: 85-88)
  • Sue of the Silver Arrow (Pages: 93-96) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • Secret of the Mountain Dog (Pages: 97-102) [Art: Robert Hamilton]
  • Ingrid and the Robot (Pages: 107-110) [Art: Augustin Navarro]
  • Patsy O’Hara (Pages: 113-115)
  • Jane – Model Miss (Pages: 116-119) [Art: Pamela Chapeau]
  • Starr of Wonderland (Pages: 120-125) [Art: Luis Bermejo]

Text Stories

  • Aunt Gretchen’s Secret Recipe (Pages: 37-38)
  • Two Can Play (Pages: 45-46)
  • The Day the Monet Fell Off the Mantelpiece (Pages: 66-67)
  • The Affair of the Artful Dodgers (Pages: 70-71) [Art: George Martin]
  • Agatha’s Fourteenth Birthday (Pages: 89-90)
  • What’s the Time in Trinidad? (Pages: 91-92)
  • A Bird Called Peg-Leg (Pages: 111-112)

Features

  • Dances of America (Page 19)
  • Dances of Wales (Page 20)
  • Tales of the Trees (Pages: 21-24)
  • Sweet Mixtures (Page 25)
  • Tea-Time Treats (Page 26)
  • Mini-Models (Page 47)
  • Animal Wisecrackers (Page 48)
  • Kate’s Continental Tour Game (Pages: 64-65)
  • Pantomime Time (Pages: 68-69)
  • It’s a Funny Fact (Page 79)
  • Film File on Jean Simmons (Page 103)
  • The Best of Chums (Pages: 104-105)
  • My Goldfish (Page 106)

 

* Thanks to Goof for information and picture

Diana Annual 1970

Picture Stories

  • Mary Brown’s Schooldays (Pages: 6-11, 121-125) [Art: Don Walker]
  • Our Gang (Pages: 12-13, 55-56, 104-105) [Art: Luis Bermejo]
  • Up-To-Date Kate (Pages: 14, 70, 103)
  • Jane – Model Miss (Pages: 15-20) [Art: Pamela Chapeau]
  • Starr of Wonderland (Pages: 25-30) [Art: Jose Ortiz]
  • Rosie Red Riding Hood (Pages: 31, 71)
  • Night of the Witches (Pages: 33-36) [Art: David Matysiak]
  • My Big Sister Billie (Pages: 44-47) [Art: George Martin]
  • Mum’s on the Council (Pages: 57-59)
  • Afraid to Tell the Truth (Pages: 60-64)
  • School for Penfriends (Pages: 65-69) [Art: Geoffrey Whittam]
  • My Big Brother Marmaduke (Pages: 73-76) [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • MacTaggart of the Mounted Police (Pages: 81-85)
  • Clumsy Claudia (Pages: 88-91)
  • The Broken Ballerina (Pages: 92-95)
  • Nellie Bashem and the Unwelcome Guests (Pages: 97-102) [Art: Geoffrey Whittam]
  • Ingrid at Push-Button Academy (Pages: 106-110)
  • Lorna on Stage (Pages: 117-120)

Text Stories

  • The Other Catriona (Pages: 37-38)
  • New to the Prairies (Pages: 49-51, 54)
  • Snow in Summer (Pages: 86-87)

Features

  • Up-To-Date Kate Spring and Summer (Pages: 2-3)
  • Tales of the Trees (Pages: 21-24)
  • Gipsy Sam (Page 32)
  • The Pony Alphabet (Page 39)
  • Escape from the Red Giant (Pages: 40-41)
  • Wonder Horses (Pages: 42-43)
  • Pony Postbox (Page 48)
  • TV Tricks (Pages: 52-53)
  • Thoughts on a Penny (Page 72)
  • Cooking Round the Clock (Page 77)
  • Boutique, or Kate’s Game (Pages: 78-79)
  • Monkey Muses (Page 80)
  • Lucy Had a Little Boy (Page 96)
  • Festivals are Fun (Pages: 111-116)
  • Up-To-Date Kate Autumn and Winter (Pages: 126-127)

 

* Thanks to Goof for the information

Debbie Complete Picture/Photo Stories

Plot

Debbie had a lot of complete short stories, some of them had a theme such as the flower series and the famous names. Most didn’t have a theme, but historical settings were popular. Later there was also complete photo stories too. Some picture stories include:

Determined to Dance
Madame Greta Petrov spends an evening where one of her former pupils, Dianne Terry, is performing with the Stellar Ballet Company. In flashback, Madame Greta tells Dianne’s story. As a pupil she was a determined dancer but there was a mystery about her, particularly about her family. Madame Greta investigates and finds that Dianne is having lessons in secret because her father will not allow her to pursue ballet as her ballet star mother had died in a theatre fire. Madame Greta persuades the father to change his mind. Ironically, Dianne is now performing at the theatre where she used to work to pay for her secret lessons. (This story and an earlier story The Wild One – featuring a Madame Romanov, seem to be a prototype for the Madame Marlova series)

Dance

 

Some photo stories include:

Dim Days for Dawn
Dawn Wilson keeps causing problems for herself by not wearing the glasses she ought to be wearing. Then a strange incident occurs, where Dawn accidentally stops a thief, whom she mistook for a pop star because she was not wearing her glasses. She becomes a heroine, but can’t admit the truth because she would look foolish. And she missed out on all the autographs of the pop stars because she could not see them properly. She learns her lesson and starts wearing her glasses. To her surprise, the glasses bring her together with the boy she fancies.

Dawn

The Missing Pages
When Catherine clears out her grandmother’s attic, she finds missing pages in a diary from when her grandmother was in service. When she asks her grandmother about it, the grandmother gets extremely upset. The ghost of a maidservant, also named Catherine, appears in the attic and tells Catherine that the missing pages refer to when her grandmother was wrongfully dismissed for stealing a brooch. She herself is the true thief, and she hid the brooch in the spine of the diary. She had not intended the grandmother to be blamed and meant to confess, but then she died. She asks Catherine to return the brooch to the big house so she can find peace. She chose to appear to Catherine because they share the same name.

Missing

 

List of Stories

  • The Wild One – Debbie: #97
  • Winken, Blinken and Nod – Debbie: #108
  • Snap-Happy Sandie – Debbie: #108
  • Wendy’s Surprise Saturday – Debbie: #134  [Art: Jesus Redondo]
  • Night Rider – Debbie: #135
  • The Crimson Cloak – Debbie: #136
  • No Place to Hide – Debbie: #137
  • Determined to Dance –  Debbie:  #139
  • The Forbidden Island – Debbie:  #152
  • The Sad and Silent Pool – Debbie: #185
  • The Escape Clinic – Debbie #246
  • The Spider’s Cave – Debbie: #254 [Art: Andy Tew]
  • When Frenchmen Came to Stay – Debbie: #256
  • Rose the Gentle Maid – Debbie: #268
  • The Seamstress and the Song – Debbie: #269
  • Voyage of a Lifetime – Debbie: #270
  • The Unhappy Dancers – Debbie: #274
  • Gateway to Happiness – Debbie: #278
  • The Little Apple Tree – Debbie: #286
  • The Dancers of Osiris – Debbie: #288
  • He Loves Me… – Debbie: #332
  • No More Jumping for Jenny (photo) – Debbie: #354
  • Forgetful Flora – Debbie: #365
  • A Tale of Old London Bridge – Debbie: #368 [Art: George Martin]
  • The Young Hero – Debbie: #370 [Art: George Martin]
  • Jason Must Go! (photo) – Debbie: #375
  • The Missing Pages (photo)-  Debbie: #376
  • The Copycat (photo) – Debbie: #377
  • No Trust for Cathy (photo) – Debbie: #385
  • The Runaway! (photo) – Debbie: #386
  • Connie’s Camera Clue (photo) – Debbie: #394
  • The Glamour Girls (photo) – Debbie: #395
  • Margie on the Mat (photo) – Debbie: #396
  • My Dream Holiday (photo) – Debbie: #397
  • “Ballets Just for Cissies” (photo) – Debbie: #398
  • Margie Saves the Day (photo) – Debbie: #399
  • A Bit of a Dunce… (photo) – Debbie: #411
  • Strange Things in the Night (photo) – Debbie: #414
  • Shes My Mum! (photo) – Debbie: #415
  • The Black Eleven (photo) – Debbie: #416
  • The Portrait That Smiled (photo) – Debbie: #417
  • Shelley’s Swing (photo) – Debbie: #418
  • The Witch’s Stone (photo) – Debbie: #419
  • The Whistling Kettle (photo) – Debbie: #422
  • “Teddy Bear Trouble” (photo) – Debbie: #428
  • Something Old, Something New… (photo) – Debbie: #429
  • Forget Me-Not… – Debbie: #430
  • When Lightning Strikes! – Debbie: #431
  • Dim Days for Dawn (photo)-  Debbie: #435
  • A String of Beads (photo) –  Debbie: #436
  • Buried Treasure (photo) – Debbie: #441
  • Second Fiddle (photo) –  Debbie: #461
  • The New Girl (photo) –  Debbie: #462
  • Nobody’s Perfect (photo) –  Debbie: #463
  • The Perfect Rose (photo) – Debbie: #468
  • That Special Hat! – Debbie: #475
  • Donna’s Rag Doll (photo) – Debbie: #500

Dangerous Days for the Tiny Taylors

  • Dangerous Days for the Tiny Taylors – Spellbound #22 (19 Feb. 1977) – #34 (14 May 1977)
  • Artist: Jesus Redondo

Plot

The Taylors consisting of parents, daughters; Jane and Jennie and dog, Mickey are on holidays on the deserted (fictitious) Scottish island named Mulholm. They only just get out of their boat when they are sprayed by water and find themselves shrunk except for Mickey. The family seem to take it in their stride, reasoning they just need to get to the cottage to phone for help. Only Jennie complains and she has already been established as a complainer. The Taylors come to their first problem when they arrive at the cottage and realise that they are way too small to get in. Luckily they are adventurous and resourceful and Jane suggests they try the window. Her father climbs up to the window sill and breaks the glass with a pebble. The rest of the family climb up and they try to phone for help but their voices aren’t loud enough to be heard by the operator.

tiny taylors 1

Jane trips and falls off the table, luckily she is uninjured, but unknown to the family the beady eyes of a mouse is watching. The family join Jane on the floor and are attacked by the mouse. Mr Taylor scares it away, but now the situation is beginning to hit the family and they get weary. They figure that the island was once used for secret experiments and they must find out what cause the shrinking in order to cure it. After some adventures in getting food, they go and explore the island. Micky is still out there normal sized and Jane tries to use him as a horse. They find a a fenced off area. The family get through and find spilled canisters in the water, around these are small birds which prove the contamination is coming from there. They make it to a lab where they are attacked but are saved by a now tiny Mickey. In the lab they look at notes that don’t make sense. Mickey drinks from a puddle and grows back to normal size. The family don’t know which puddle he drank from as two bottles have spilled and dead mouse nearby indicates one is poison. Not being able to risk it  they decide they need to get back to mainland and find scientists for help.

tiny taylors 2

They encounter more problems such as Jeannie getting trapped in a box and Mr Taylor then gets the idea to cut a hole with razor blade to free her. Continuing to be practical they manage to get to the boat and together they are able to steer and direct it. The boat crashes on some rocks but luckily they are unharmed and manage to make it onto the shore. When seagulls attack they are saved by Mickey their protector. They come across some campers but they run away from the tiny “space people”. They figure they can at least shelter in the tent for the night but disaster as gas falls over and Taylors find themselves fleeing from grass fire. Jane falls into a hole and they take the choice to bury down with her, rather than leave her. After a crew comes to clear up the fire, Mickey gets taken in by someone.

They have no more luck in  getting help at the village as a paper boy also thinks they are space invaders. An old lady, Mrs Green, helps them but she thinks they are fairy folk and is expecting them to grant her a wish.  Jeannie spots an old purse that has fallen down the back of a cupboard and gets it for her, in order to play along. They ask her to hide them in a basket and take them to the police station but she brings them to a fairy ring instead.

tiny taylors 3

Eventually the family manage to get to London and hide out in a toy shop and they have a more comfortable night since their adventures begun, by using doll house to sleep and even getting a change of clothes. The woman that owns the shop faints the next morning at the sight of the dolls coming to life, her daughter chases them away. All this running makes them hungry so the Taylors make their way to a supermarket for food. Jane  gets knocked into an empty carton and nearly gets thrown away. The rest of the family manage to  get to the intercom to stop Jane being tossed into rubbish. They finally get the help they needed as the manager gets them to a  specialist, who is able to return them to normal size in a short time. While they recover in hospital they are even reunited with Micky.

tiny taylors 4

Thoughts

Shrinking was a popular plot device, from girls in stories like Pinkie, Tiny Tammy, Four Tasks for Tiny Tessa, Microgirl, and also popular subsection of this was specifically shrinking mothers, The Incredible Adventures of Mini-Mum, Mary’s Mini Mum, and simply called Mini-Mum! It was rare to get whole family shrunk together (it did happen in Microgirl, but it was more focused on the girl going on adventure to save her family, rather than the whole family working together).  Of course this is not just common in comics but in other media it was popular to have tiny people using their wits to get around the normal sized world – like The Borrowers (I know no shrinking involved here, but similar situations arise), Honey I Shrunk the Kids and even most recently Antman. But it is still a fun dynamic to play with. It is interesting to have the whole family working together, and it is fun to see them being inventive with how to cope with their size, which is also well captured by Redondo. It must be enjoyable to play around with size and some interesting angles.

One problem I found was Mr Taylor is very dominant, I would like to have seen the females taking the initiative more. The adventure takes precedence so characters don’t get a whole lot of development. The girls are pretty interchangeable,(also not helped in that they look so alike), at first Jeannie is more likely to complain, Jane more quick with ideas but both girls are likely to find themselves in trouble. Mrs Taylor is protective of her family but really gets very little panel time. It is also a bit strange how well the Taylors take in their new situation, no breakdowns or flipping out.

tiny taylors 5

Other people have a bigger reaction, although it is funny to think how terrified some people get of tiny people. The ending leaves some questions, we never find out why there were people making shrinking chemicals on  the island and who they were and if the island was cleaned up after this incident. Curing the Taylors doesn’t take a lot of effort, it only takes a week to get them back to normal size. It doesn’t say how the specialist did this, if he looked at the notes from the island or contacted the experimenters. It also doesn’t say what he is a specialist of, it seems unlikely that it would be a top specialist for this very specific incident! I suppose the point of the story is not to worry about the why, but enjoy the fun adventure and the journey.

Tiny Taylors 6