The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

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peace355
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The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by peace355 »

The Comp was a long running school strip that mostly revolved around 4 friends Laura, Roz and twins Becky and Hayley, though there was lots of other prominent characters.
I am familiar with the story from seeing it in Bunty but I also knew it originally came from the comic Nikki.

I recently got a copy of the first time The Comp appeared in Bunty and had a few questions about it. Having never read any Nikki comics I was wondering when the Comp came to Bunty was it reprinting the Nikki stories from the beginning as it doesn't seem to be a continuation? If that's the case how long did the reprints last before new storylines were introduced?

Also in its first appearance the story is shown from new girl Nikki's perspective, I never realised the connection before but was this Nikki meant to be the comic's ("Nikki") protagonist i.e. like "Bunty-a girl like you" was Bunty's namesake.

Just curious, as I said I am not familiar with the Nikki comics so if anyone is familiar it would be interesting to know :)

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helsbels
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by helsbels »

As far as I can remember (without having to dig out the Buntys and Nikkis!), the "Nikki" story in Bunty started two weeks or so before Nikki comic merged with Bunty and the story was separate from "The Comp" stories in Nikki printed at the same time.

I think the "Nikki" story was just a way of introducing "The Comp" to Bunty readers prior to the merger. The story just carried on from Nikki comic and the "Nikki" character served as a link and was also a nod to the story's origins.

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peace355
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by peace355 »

Okay that makes sense, to have a link between them before continuing on! Thanks for the reply :)

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philcom55
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by philcom55 »

Here is the final, pre-merger installment of The Comp as it appeared in the last-ever issue of Nikki (no.237, dated September 2nd 1989). As you can see the storyline leads quite naturally into the combined issue of Bunty & Nikki which made its debut the following week.

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To be honest I hadn't realized the series was already being previewed in Bunty so I'm not sure how the two versions dove-tailed together, though I don't think either would have been a reprint. I'm pretty certain the artist is Ron Lumsden.

The Comp wasn't by any means the best strip to appear in Nikki but it was certainly the most successful, running in extra long episodes from the very first to the last issue and, while it didn't make it right up to the final weekly issue of Bunty, it did go on to feature in many of the subsequent Annuals and Specials almost as prominently as the Four Marys.

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Hope this is of some help Peace 355. By the way, congratulations on your excellent Girls' Comics of Yesterday website - a new and very welcome addition to the select list of sites about this sadly neglected topic! (please feel free to reproduce any of these scans there if you think you can find a use for them)

- Phil Rushton :)

(...Incidentally, Dandy and Beano fans might be interested in checking out 'Sooty' Cole's impressive Bananaman costume in the strip shown above - an unusual example of a funny series crossing over with a realistic one!)

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peace355
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by peace355 »

Thanks for the site feedback and for these scans :) It's interesting to see how they set up the crossing over to a new comic.

I have the scans from the Bunty which are told from Nikki's perspective.
Attachments
Nikki_at_the_comp.jpg
nikki_at_the_comp2.jpg
nikki_at_the_comp3.jpg

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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by Phoenix »

philcom55 wrote:I hadn't realized the series was already being previewed in Bunty so I'm not sure how the two versions dove-tailed together
To clarify, Phil. The first instalment of Nikki appears in Bunty 1650 (Aug. 26 1989). One theme is the possibility of Bensted Glass closing down and therefore Nikki Johnson's father losing his job. The other theme is the activities and attitudes of the two bullies, Pippa (Phillipa) and Morag. In this instalment they try, unsuccessfully, to force Nikki to hand over her French homework so that they can copy it. As a direct result they get suspended for repeated failures to deliver homework. They are terrified of their parents' reaction, but the surprising news about Bensted's comes to their rescue. Instead of closing down, the company is relocating 200 miles to Redvale. By no means all of the workers and their families are prepared to uproot, but Nikki's, Pippa's and Morag's do.

The final instalment of The Comp in Nikki 237 (Sep. 2 1989), the episode posted by Phil, eventually shows Nikki travelling by bus to Redvale Comp, along with Pippa and Morag. They are thrown off the bus for smoking, the incident being witnessed by pupils sitting at the back of the bus.

The second instalment of Nikki, in Bunty 1651 (Sep. 2 1989), backtracks in time from the instalment mentioned in the previous paragraph in order to follow the Johnson family's preparations for their move. The two bullies inform Nikki that they will be going to Redvale Comp as well. Nikki gets thrown off the bus with the smoking bullies because she is wearing the same uniform. This time the reader's focus is on the area of the bus carrying the three girls.

In Bunty 1652 (Sep. 9 1989) the title changes to Nikki At The Comp, but only for one week. The following week the title becomes The Comp, at which point Nikki Johnson is just another pupil there. Pippa and Morag will henceforth also be integrated naturally into the main story. Job done!
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philcom55
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by philcom55 »

Thanks for showing the other side of the story Peace and Phoenix!

Quite apart from the clever use of the 'Nikki' character it's fascinating to see the way in which the same scene was shown from two different perspectives prior to the two titles joining together. Off hand I can't think of this technique being used in any other merger I've heard of.

Presumably 'The Comp' was Thomson's answer to TV's 'Grange Hill', which goes a long way to explaining its longevity. Even so, it's a shame that none of Nikki's other features survived more than a few weeks - particularly Paul Grist's cover stars Lucy and Liz who announced the merger with such enthusiasm on the centre pages of the final issue!

- Phil Rushton

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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by Tammyfan »

The Comp was first drawn by Ron Lumsden and then by Peter Wilkes. When The Comp ended in Bunty I knew that was the beginning of the end for Bunty herself. I had a feeling the end of Bunty was coming for some time, but closing down The Comp definitely confirmed it.

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philcom55
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by philcom55 »

Personally I thought Peter Wilkes' later artwork in Bunty looked a bit bland, though The Comp did at least make it into the 21st century - just! (the final episode appeared in the issue dated January 6th 2001). As a matter of interest, does anyone know if the continuing adventures of Laura, Roz, Becky and Hayley at their new school Merton High were ever featured in subsequent Bunty Annuals?

It's interesting how British comics of the past anticipated some of the most popular TV series of the present day. For example it's hard to see 'Waterloo Road' without thinking of 'The Comp', while the department store setting of 'The Paradise' could easily be seen as a period version of Mirabelle's 'The Store'. (In fact I remember an issue of Eagle from the 1980s where the editor went out of his way to single out 'The Bill' as a perfect model for aspiring comic strip writers).

- Phil Rushton

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Digifiend
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by Digifiend »

Waterloo Road's inspiration is more likely to be Grange Hill, I think. The Comp will itself have been a response to Grange Hill.

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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by felneymike »

I haven't seen much of either, but doesn't Waterloo Road also concentrate on the teachers a lot more than Grange Hill ever did? Well, I suppose it does also come on much later.

In the Bunty's I have, The Comp is an ongoing "soap like" story with the reader moving between different characters and incidents, by contrast the older Four Mary's is arranged into stories with a definite beginning and ending, like the series in The Magnet.

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philcom55
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by philcom55 »

I think the influences between television and comics can work both ways. For example, Tammy writer Jenny McDade subsequently went on to become a successful scripter for children's TV, while several of John Wagner's comic scripts have been adapted into screenplays for the big and small screens.

- Phil Rushton

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philcom55
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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by philcom55 »

Incidentally, here is the final episode of 'The Comp' for anyone who's never seen it before:

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- Phil Rushton

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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by Digifiend »

felneymike wrote:I haven't seen much of either, but doesn't Waterloo Road also concentrate on the teachers a lot more than Grange Hill ever did? Well, I suppose it does also come on much later.
The teachers get just as much focus as the pupils, yes. As you say, this is because of the later timeslot, it's a family show rather than a kids one.

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Re: The Comp in Bunty and in Nikki

Post by Tammyfan »

The Comp was first illustrated by Ron Lumsden and then by Peter Wilkes.

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