Tammy saved me from eternal boredom when visiting cousins homes every weekend in the 70’s. I’m not afraid to admit I devoured anything from Jackie to Sally to Bunty to Jinty and I know I bought Misty. Everyone analyses what happened to girls comics and my answer (from my experience of several female cousins) is ‘Just 17’ happened (possibly with a bit of Smash Hits for good measure). So it’s great to see the return of Tammy and Jinty.
This time there is some nods to the past and two complete stories. First up is ‘Boarding School’ by Rachael Smith and Yishan Li which has all the elements of a good girls comic story. A school, clashing cultures, an element of time displacement, a mystery mixed with science and danger.
The second story is the return of the once very popular ‘Cat Girl’ by Ramzee and Elkys Nova. An origin story of sorts, with a nod to the past, this brings this character smack back into the 21st century. Reading it you wonder if it’s not time for the UK TV industry to start ploughing in to the U.K. comic back catalogue to help jolly along fresh stories on the telly box and our homegrown comic industry. Cat Girl would be perfect or, er, purrfect?!?
There’s a nice retro article piece from comic writer Alison Fitt and one of her stories Ping-Pong Paula, illustrated by Jim Baikie. I was instantly transported to my 7 year old self reading these densely plotted two tone stories and hoping to come back to my cousins the following weekend to find out what happened to Paula’s quarrelling mum and dad.
It’s difficult to see how the Rebellion Treasury of British Comics titles will do with footfall in newsagents down even after lockdown but I hope we will see more in the future. It’s great to see Tammy and Jinty style stories being explored as many of the girls comics were far more imaginative and interesting than the boys titles that outlived them. But then ‘Just 17’ wasn’t for us – far too immature for that!