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Women Making Girls' Comics. 
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I've started this thread because I can't figure out how to post an illustration in a PM. The message is really for comixminx but it will not do any harm if I first flag up the presentation on the subject of this thread, which is being given by comixminx and Dr. Mel Gibson, a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies at Northumbria University, on Saturday 16 April starting at 3pm at the House Of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King's Cross, London, N1C 4BH. Ticket prices are very reasonable, and can be booked on line. Mine only cost £7.70.

So to the message, which relates to a letter in today's issue of The Guardian. See below. For those who can't be bothered to read it, it is written by Mary Hooper, a lady author unknown to me, and perhaps unknown to Dr. Mel and comixminx as well, who cut her writing teeth on Jackie, and who seems to have been with Thomsons for some considerable time, writing all sorts of stories for that paper as well as producing more fiction with her Readers' True Experiences!! It strikes me that if comixminx and/or Dr. Mel can get in touch with her, they may be able to persuade her to provide them with a comprehensive list of her work on Jackie over the years, and on anything that she might have produced for younger readers who had not made the traditional move upwards from Bunty to Jackie, or from any other title for the 8 to 13 demographic.


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Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:09 am
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Many thanks Phoenix - and apologies for the slow reply! I have added a link to this on the Jinty blog under a post about female writers, and will try to search for Mary Hooper to see if it is possible to gather any further memories directly from her.

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Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:59 pm
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Mr Valeera
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Does the news that Claire Roe, the artist on Saltire has now been tapped to draw Batgirl count?

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Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:23 am
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colcool007 wrote:
Does the news that Claire Roe, the artist on Saltire has now been tapped to draw Batgirl count?

It is certainly good news, but not directly relevant to a discussion on 70s / 80s girls comics :)

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Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:24 pm
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Mr Valeera
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comixminx wrote:
colcool007 wrote:
Does the news that Claire Roe, the artist on Saltire has now been tapped to draw Batgirl count?

It is certainly good news, but not directly relevant to a discussion on 70s / 80s girls comics :)
I know, but I just had to share the news that a local artist had done good.

Back to the topic at hand, the only creator/contributor that I can add is Annie Parkhouse (nee Halfacree) as Annie is one of the few contributors that has worked across the board and it would be interesting to get her take on how comics have changed for her over the last 30 years.

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Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:07 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
comixminx wrote:
colcool007 wrote:
Does the news that Claire Roe, the artist on Saltire has now been tapped to draw Batgirl count?

It is certainly good news, but not directly relevant to a discussion on 70s / 80s girls comics :)
I know, but I just had to share the news that a local artist had done good.

Back to the topic at hand, the only creator/contributor that I can add is Annie Parkhouse (nee Halfacree) as Annie is one of the few contributors that has worked across the board and it would be interesting to get her take on how comics have changed for her over the last 30 years.

Good idea! She is someone I'd be interested in talking to at some point. I wonder who would have contact details for her?

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Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:30 pm
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comixminx wrote:
colcool007 wrote:
Back to the topic at hand, the only creator/contributor that I can add is Annie Parkhouse (nee Halfacree) as Annie is one of the few contributors that has worked across the board and it would be interesting to get her take on how comics have changed for her over the last 30 years.

Good idea! She is someone I'd be interested in talking to at some point. I wonder who would have contact details for her?
I'll see what I can do minx.

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Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:56 pm
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Personally I'd love to know more about Doris White - the 'chain smoking, hard faced artists agent' who ran Link Studios for years as well as being an artist herself. Presumably she's long gone by now but I'm sure there are still plenty of artists around who remember her - many of them like John Burns having got their first break through her agency.


Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:34 pm
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I went to this presentation yesterday, and I was very impressed. The event was held in a smallish room in the House Of Illustration near King's Cross, and the room was comfortably full. I had only expected the two experts I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread but Mel and Jenni were joined by comic book artist and writer David Roach. They all made fairly frequent use of the overhead projector, crucial really so that the audience could see the detail on the various pieces of artwork being referred to. When I was teaching Spanish I found that the audiovisual method really forced the pupils to focus on the overhead images projected, and this was definitely successful yesterday. Mel was in charge of the overhead but there was a technical expert available in the room throughout in case of need. Mel also introduced the session by presenting her co-hosts.

The emphasis was heavily placed on the content of IPC/Fleetway comics/story papers such as Princess Tina although Thomsons' output did get a mention from time to time, the cover of an issue of Debbie being a case in point. The illustrations used were usually single pages, either a front cover or one page of an episode of The Happy Days for example. David was particularly enthusiastic when talking about Spanish artists, some of whose work in Spanish publications of the 70s and 80s, the period under discussion, was projected.

The delivery wasn't how I had expected it to be, that being each of the experts speaking in turn. In truth it was much better. Mel and Jenni did have notes but they weren't crib sheets, just reminders that they consulted infrequently in order to maintain control of a fairly loose structure that presumably had been agreed in advance. There was a mutual appreciation of the expertise of the other speakers, clearly evident in the way that whoever was speaking would immediately defer if one of the other two wanted to intervene, either to clarify something or to link the point being made to some other relevant matter. At these times there was no discernible gap in information when the original speaker again took up his/her narrative. Occasional interventions from the audience were accepted as normal procedure, and indeed responded to, giving the afternoon a refreshingly informal feel.

The presentation lasted almost exactly two hours at which point Mel invited questions. These were interesting and extended proceedings by at least a quarter of an hour. Afterwards I spoke first to Mel and then to Jenni, who I was meeting for the first time, mainly to congratulate them on their excellent achievement. I didn't get to speak to David as there were several people who would have been before me. I was introduced though to the guy who had sat next to me, and who had made quite a few interventions during the presentation. He turned out to be Paul Gravett so we talked about our various enthusiasms, our published work and our future plans. I told him that I have all his key works although it is only recently that I bought his 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die. He gave me his card. I then left to go and meet Andrew, Aurora and Kelsey in Starbucks outside Embankment tube station. They were a bit late getting there so although I only had three quarters of an hour with them before I had to go back to Euston it was a quality day all round.


Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:13 pm
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Phoenix wrote:
I went to this presentation yesterday, and I was very impressed.


Great to see you there, Phoenix, and of course great to know you thought so well of it!

Phoenix wrote:
The emphasis was heavily placed on the content of IPC/Fleetway comics/story papers such as Princess Tina although Thomsons' output did get a mention from time to time, the cover of an issue of Debbie being a case in point. The illustrations used were usually single pages, either a front cover or one page of an episode of The Happy Days for example. David was particularly enthusiastic when talking about Spanish artists, some of whose work in Spanish publications of the 70s and 80s, the period under discussion, was projected.

Come to think of it, which I didn't at the time, the emphasis was coincidentally skewed towards IPC / Fleetway because of my interest in Jinty (and Misty and Tammy), and in particular because of David's experience in cataloguing 40,000 pages of old IPC artwork (from the 40s - 60s I think he said). We did have an issue of Bunty and one of Debbie on display as you say. Also come to think of it, did DCT use Spanish artists all that much? The Spanish artist connection is a strong area of David's knowledge via his acquaintance with Barry Coker (I think it was?). In all the back and forth, I can't remember if David said whether DCTs did or didn't use many Spanish artists, but if they didn't then again that would explain the fact we ended up unconsciously focusing more on IPC Fleetway titles.

Phoenix wrote:
The delivery wasn't how I had expected it to be, that being each of the experts speaking in turn. In truth it was much better. Mel and Jenni did have notes but they weren't crib sheets, just reminders that they consulted infrequently in order to maintain control of a fairly loose structure that presumably had been agreed in advance. There was a mutual appreciation of the expertise of the other speakers, clearly evident in the way that whoever was speaking would immediately defer if one of the other two wanted to intervene, either to clarify something or to link the point being made to some other relevant matter. At these times there was no discernible gap in information when the original speaker again took up his/her narrative. Occasional interventions from the audience were accepted as normal procedure, and indeed responded to, giving the afternoon a refreshingly informal feel.

I do definitely think that informality is a virtue in these events - this isn't an academic session where we're trying to prove a certain point after all. We hadn't nailed down that much of the structure in advance actually, but we'd talked over the sorts of points we wanted to cover both on site before the session started and in emails in advance of the event, so we had a pretty good sense of what each other wanted to make sure to include. Still plenty of surprises for all, in the details of what was mentioned by each!

Phoenix wrote:
The presentation lasted almost exactly two hours at which point Mel invited questions. These were interesting and extended proceedings by at least a quarter of an hour. Afterwards I spoke first to Mel and then to Jenni, who I was meeting for the first time, mainly to congratulate them on their excellent achievement. I didn't get to speak to David as there were several people who would have been before me. I was introduced though to the guy who had sat next to me, and who had made quite a few interventions during the presentation. He turned out to be Paul Gravett so we talked about our various enthusiasms, our published work and our future plans. I told him that I have all his key works although it is only recently that I bought his 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die. He gave me his card. I then left to go and meet Andrew, Aurora and Kelsey in Starbucks outside Embankment tube station. They were a bit late getting there so although I only had three quarters of an hour with them before I had to go back to Euston it was a quality day all round.

Really good that you are now in contact with Paul - he is such a central hub and it means that he will remember and draw on your expertise another time. I don't think he knows the UK comics / story papers in anything like as much detail as you and Kashgar.

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Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:31 pm
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comixminx wrote:
...We did have an issue of Bunty and one of Debbie on display as you say. Also come to think of it, did DCT use Spanish artists all that much? The Spanish artist connection is a strong area of David's knowledge via his acquaintance with Barry Coker (I think it was?). In all the back and forth, I can't remember if David said whether DCTs did or didn't use many Spanish artists, but if they didn't then again that would explain the fact we ended up unconsciously focusing more on IPC Fleetway titles....

Can I add that I am really annoyed that I missed this, but all things have their season and I will get to see the presentation online at some point.

On the point of DCT using Spanish artists, I can offer Josep Marti on Eleven Little Soccer Boys, Juan Ripoll on art duties for The Amazing Wilson in The Hornet and Hotspur, Matias Alonso for his work in the Victor and Commando, Edmund Ripoll did some girl's comics in the late 70s/early 80's and we also have Enrique Badía Romero for his work on Supercats for Spellbound and Carlos Ezquerra on Chained to His Sword, He Was Only A Private Soldier and others. I am sure that I have overlooked quite a few artists, but I hope that gives a small flavour of the Spanish artists used by DC Thomson.

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Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:59 pm
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comixminx wrote:
Also come to think of it, did DCT use Spanish artists all that much?
I know there were some but can I please defer to Kashgar on this question, comixminx? After all, it's what I always do where DCT artists are concerned.
comixminx wrote:
I do definitely think that informality is a virtue in these events
Yes. I think the mood was established very early in Mel's introduction when she asked the audience why they were there! My reply you will recall was that I know nothing about artwork in comics.
comixminx wrote:
Really good that you are now in contact with Paul - he is such a central hub and it means that he will remember and draw on your expertise another time.
I will be following up this contact in the near future. I'll have to check but I'm pretty sure I have all his published books. I'll reread the ones I have got first. I'm a quick reader. :)


Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:15 pm
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colcool007 wrote:
I will get to see the presentation online at some point
I didn't see anyone recording the proceedings, Col, but as I was on the front row and didn't really look round it's possible that the technician at the back that I mentioned earlier was doing so.


Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:26 pm
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Phoenix wrote:
colcool007 wrote:
I will get to see the presentation online at some point
I didn't see anyone recording the proceedings, Col, but as I was on the front row and didn't really look round it's possible that the technician at the back that I mentioned earlier was doing so.

They did say at the House of Illos that it was going to be recorded, and I have asked them for further information on that which I will give out as and when I know more.

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Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:31 pm
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Hot off the press - here is the link to download the audio of the proceedings. The link is valid only until 26 April - I will see what the possibilities are to upload the talk, or elements of it, onto the Jinty blog.

The file is a 220 megabyte file by the way.

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Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:11 pm
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