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Favourite characters/stories in girl's comics 
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Having spent some part of the holiday season reading through my June collection, it got me thinking about what my particular favourite characters and stories were in girl's comics. There are absolutely countless great serials and characters, but I focussed on my particular fondly remembered favourites:

Lucky's Living Doll
The Happy Days
Bessie Bunter
Valda
Jeannie and her Uncle Meanie
Patty's World
Angel

I cite these stories because not only are they memorable to me, but because I actually liked the characters in them. I haven't included The Four Marys, for example, because though I admire their longevity and can happily read the stories, I never actually warmed to their characters!! Has anybody else got any suggestions?


Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:00 pm
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Though not appearing in a girl's comic I always had a soft spot for David Law's Beryl the Peril since, beneath the naughtiness, I got the feeling that she was really quite fond of her dad (whereas Dennis the Menace gave an impression of true psychopathy as far as other human beings were concerned).

From your list I definitely agree about Valda and Sue Day (see below for an example of one of her more obscure appearances), and would probably add Alona the Wild One (though my liking for the latter is undoubtedly influenced by Leslie Ottway's beautiful artwork). Angel was certainly a good character...but perhaps a little bit too good to be likable.

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Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:24 pm
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My mate Steve had two copies of a Sue Day annual, he offered it to me but I hummed and harred too much and he gave it to a charity shop. Now regret my prevarication. I do have a nice big collection of Princess and Princess Tina to make up for it. Jane Bond was good.


Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:58 pm
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Hi Phil, the "Princess Extra Special" book looks interesting! I was lucky enough to find one on ebay, but I've just lost it in auction :cry: :headbash: !! Have you got any suggestions as to where else I could find a copy, and if there were any more published similar to this?


Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:38 pm
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Ebay's probably still the best place to find it. It's quite an unusual publication as the story inside is a novel with accompanying b&w illustrations while the format makes it look like a small softback Annual. Offhand I'm not aware of any companion titles. Of course Sue Day was also a regular star of the Princess Picture Library during the 1960s, though I think the majority of these may have just reprinted episodes from her weekly strip.

- Phil Rushton


Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:21 pm
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I only got Bunty weekly, and then only between 1987 (from the merger with Suzy) to 1898 (just after the merger with Nikki) so I've come to know the others through old annuals and story libraries.

I particularly liked stories set in historical times:

The Seven Sisters (Bunty, c1988) - a Victorian orphan reaches her 13th birthday and is given a necklace that was hitherto left with the orphanage matron for safekeeping. It is a necklace of seven sapphires, and is called "The Seven Sisters"; she is also told that she is one of seven siblings, and she must sell each stone and use the proceeds to track down each one. Each week we get a different story as she reunites her sisters. Then the family discovers that the final and eldest sister, Pat, lived on a farm where she was in love with a boy who also lived there, but she died tragically in an accident. The six sisters go to the farm anyway, so they can talk to the boy about what Pat had been like, but when they get there it turns out that Pat was the name of the boy and so their seventh sibling was a brother rather than a sister - and he is old enough to take care of them all. Awwwww :D

Bella (Tammy) - I couldn't get enough of John Armstrong's fabulous studies of gymnastics, and Bella was cockney and tough and even - gasp - lived in a squat at one point (that's kinda gritty to a 12 year old).

Jill Crusoe (School Friend, 1950s) - how did this blonde girl end up on Paradise Isle? How come she didn't sunburn? And why was M'Lani the only "native" girl on the island? I don't think these questions were ever answered, but I like how M'Lani was the equal of Jill rather than mooning up at her for being a white girl (cf Enid Blyton stories of this era etc).

Charlie Chatterbox (Bunty c1988) - haunted ventroloquist's dummy blackmails young female owner into helping him track down his long lost love, a china doll. Creepy as sh*t.

Catch the Cat (Bunty annuals in the 1970s and early 1980s) - a schoolgirl Resistance fighter in occupied Paris during WW2! I've no idea how those "suction cups at knee and wrist" worked when climbing up rough stonework, but she was a strong character (even if - sniff! - everyone thought she was a collaborator).

Down With St Desmonds! (Bunty 1970s, reprinted c1988) - 16 year old Carole-Anne enrolls at St Desmond's school in the guise of a wheelchair-bound 13 year old, just so she can systematically bring down the school from the inside. I think she blamed it for her mother's death or something. She was super-bitter and manipulative, it was ace.


Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:28 pm
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Heh, i scanned in a picture of M'lani and tagged one of my friends on it on facebook. She thought it was a picture of "a hula girl" XD.

Anyway i "recently" finished reading a serial from the Girls' Crystal in 1938 called "Secret Leader of the Rebel Four" which was decent though a bit 'circular' in the middle to keep it going. Also the "secret leader" is actually revealed several instalments from the end. I've been meaning to do a blog about it for ages.

In a 1970's Girls' Crystal annual there was long comic strip that i think was possibly a European reprint. It was so different from all the other stories in the annual (uniform square panels as opposed to 'jagged', varied sized ones) and had a kind of heavy, opressive atmosphere to it.

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Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:05 pm
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Tonibunny wrote:
I only got Bunty weekly, and then only between 1987 (from the merger with Suzy) to 1898 (just after the merger with Nikki)
I think you must mean 1989, as the first amalgamated Bunty and Nikki was on September 9th 1989.


Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:41 pm
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Hahahah yes, obviously I do mean 1989 :D


Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:46 pm
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Tonibunny wrote:
Catch the Cat (Bunty annuals in the 1970s and early 1980s) - a schoolgirl Resistance fighter in occupied Paris during WW2! I've no idea how those "suction cups at knee and wrist" worked when climbing up rough stonework, but she was a strong character (even if - sniff! - everyone thought she was a collaborator).
Down With St Desmonds! (Bunty 1970s, reprinted c1988) - 16 year old Carole-Anne enrolls at St Desmond's school in the guise of a wheelchair-bound 13 year old, just so she can systematically bring down the school from the inside. I think she blamed it for her mother's death or something. She was super-bitter and manipulative, it was ace.
You may be interested to learn, Tonibunny, that there were actually several series of Catch The Cat! in Bunty itself, one of which was reprinted in issue 25 of Lucky Charm. Down With St. Desmond's had previously had its reprint in issue 10 of Lucky Charm, under the revised title Out To Ruin St. Roslyn's. Cover art attached.


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Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:59 pm
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Oooh! I've never come across Lucky Charm libraries before, how fab :D Thanks for the pics Phoenix!


Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:48 pm
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I've just seen (from Ebay) that one of my fave ever stories from Bunty was published in one of those Lucky Charm volumes! And I never got to read the whole thing, because the serial was already halfway through at the time of the Bunty merger with Suzy when I started to read it! I lent my copies of Bunty to my best friend so she could read them too and she also agreed that she liked that story best. I'd looooove to get hold of that, but someone else is bidding and I'm broke so I won't get my hopes up.

The story was The Taming of the Tearaway :D When I saw it in 1987 it must have been a reprint because the Lucky Charm edition is from 1983.


Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:28 pm
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http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LUCKY-CHARM-GIRLS ... 0394126679

One bid at £1? You never know, £1.20 might be enough...

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Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:11 pm
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On that Catch the Cat cover the Germans are saying "It starts off Achtung and then some dumkopf has written the rest in English, shweinhund! Ve vill nezzer know what eet says" "Come on lets go and get some liverwurst" "What do you mean I reverted to Italian for a second there? Pigdog! You wouldn't catch me getting shot on page seven of a Commando comic" "I had a bad agent then"


Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:08 pm
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MANDY in the very early 70s had a mystical strip called VALDA that especially stuck in my memory. She was a dark-haired beauty with a magical pendant that allowed her to indulge in magical exploits.


here's the mysterious Valda in the only image I have been able to attain thus far on the web:

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I love that illustration above for CATCH the CAT: it's very similar in concept to a recent test drawing I done for my own strip: 'catch the cat' came first by a long chalk, obviously....it just goes to show how nothing is truly original out there.


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Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:04 pm
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