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Comics UK - View topic - Belle of the Ballet-Lyndy of Latymer Grange

 




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Belle of the Ballet-Lyndy of Latymer Grange 
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Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:37
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I have never really been interested in many ballet stories but as ballet was mentioned recently on the 'Judy comic required' thread it reminded me of these two strips.

They both have good stories and lovely artwork. Can anyone tell me if the two are related as some of the characters look similar, especially the Madame, who in 'Belle' is called Madame Arenska, and in 'Lyndy' is called Madame Petrova. Is the Lyndy strip also by Stanley Houghton?

How long did 'Belle of the Ballet' run for and how many artists worked on it?

Thanks!


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16 Feb 2013, 09:46
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'Lyndy' is an example of IPC's odd habit of renaming strips and the characters featured in them when they were reprinted during the 1960s and 1970s. Coincidentally, I acquired the original version of that debut strip only yesterday and, as you can see, Lyndy did indeed start out as Belle.



This appeared in Girl vol.2, no.4 (19th Nov. 1952) illustrated by John Worsley who, though an excellent artist, had a tendency to make his female characters - and Belle in particular - look alarmingly anorexic. Thereafter Belle and her friend Mamie became a regular fixture in Girl with artistic chores passing in turn to Chris Garvey (in reality, the painter June Mendoza), Stanley Houghton, and Harry Lindfield. Fortunately the emaciated waif of 1952 learned to eat more healthily over the years until she blossomed into the vivacious young woman depicted in Lindfield's 1962 header shown below.



- Phil Rushton

(...Incidentally, it's interesting to see Doctor Who joining the hunt for the missing Princess in the second strip posted by Matrix! :) )


17 Feb 2013, 18:32
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Thank you for the reply Phil and all the info. That is a coincidence picking that copy up only recently.

It was the changing of the characters names that had me confused, I know they changed the Titles etc but never knew they changed the names of the characters in the stories.

I understand why you think it was a good idea that the female characters were not portrayed for too long as skinny dancers, but I do like his version it gave it a sort of mysterious feel to it, if that makes sense?

Do you have an extensive 'Girl' comic collection Phil? If you do not mind me asking, it seems a very underated comic of which I am just dicovering in more detail some of the stories from it.

In respect to 'Dr Who' I wonder if his assistant was a 'Girl' comic reader and persuaded the doctor to help out!! Has she ever been seen reading 'Girl'?


Last edited by matrix on 19 Feb 2013, 15:19, edited 1 time in total.



18 Feb 2013, 04:31
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: Documenting the classic British girls' comic, one serial at a time.


19 Feb 2013, 08:46
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Though I have all 52 issues of Volume One I'm afraid my collection of Girl thereafter is pretty sporadic. Generally speaking the title has tended to be dismissed as rather lame and pedestrian when compared to Eagle (on occasion by girls who actually preferred their brothers' comic to the one that was supposedly aimed at them!). Even worse, it was seen as stultifyingly middle class and 'worthy' by readers of APs School Friend (which had been revived as a comic some eighteen months earlier), not to mention those who eagerly plunked down their fourpences for DC Thomson's cheap and cheerful Bunty when it was launched in 1958.

Personally I find Girl to be surprisingly well-written and drawn for the most part and, while the endless royal portraits of the early years tend to be somewhat tedious, odd issues can be all the more interesting by virtue of the fact that their contents are virtually unknown by modern collectors - this applies especially to copies from the 1960s when declining print runs ensured that they have since become quite rare.

Also, it's worth noting that the title's later reputation for class and gender-stereotypical stories about ponies, ballet and Public Schools is somewhat unfair as many of these elements were only introduced in response to the readers' own preferences. Thus, the initial action-packed cover feature 'Kitty Hawke and her all-girl air crew' was replaced by the traditional school story 'Wendy and Jinx', while 'Belle of the Ballet' actually took over from the adventures of a female freedom fighter called 'Captain Starling'!

On the subject of Doctor Who's companions one has to remember that Girl was swallowed by Princess in October 1964 - less than a year after the Doctor's debut in November 1963 - which leaves very little time for any contemporary references (though it's intriguing to speculate on what Susan might have made of some of the comic's biographical strips about famous women of History - many of whom she could have known personally).

Within the 'parallel' timeline of Hammer's two Doctor Who films, however, it's entirely likely that the Doctor's two granddaughters Susan and Barbara would have come across Girl at some time - particularly as Peter Cushing is himself shown reading a copy of Eagle during 'Doctor Who and the Daleks'!

As for Ace, I'm not wholly sure about the period in which she was supposed to have grown up but it seems to me that she'd have been far more likely to read Misty or Tammy - if not the anarchic boys' comic Action - before moving on to Love & Rockets and Deadline.

- Phil Rushton


19 Feb 2013, 10:51
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Thanks again Phil. It really is the forgotten comic, there is not a lot on the internet either, a couple of write ups about some of the annuals. I see Denis Gifford has a book about 'Girl' has anyone read that?


19 Feb 2013, 15:19
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19 Feb 2013, 16:46
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Incidentally, there was also a 'Best of Girl' book with a similar cover published by Prion in 2006, though Denis had no connection with it:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Best-of-Girl/dp/1853756113

This includes some nice runs of strips like 'Belle of the Ballet' and 'Angela Air hostess', as well as a selection of factual articles such as 'Mother Tells You How'. It also has an excellent introduction by comics historian, publisher and instigator of the website 'Bear Alley', Steve Holland.

- Phil R.


19 Feb 2013, 19:18
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Thanks for the link Phil. Yes, that is the one Pheonix. I should probably invest in at least one of them, especially as it ran for such a long time.


20 Feb 2013, 01:17
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20 Feb 2013, 02:37
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13 Jun 2013, 09:10
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13 Jun 2013, 18:06
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