Two Mandy stories I want to find

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Phoenix
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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by Phoenix »

Tammyfan wrote:At the Jinty blog we are trying to find a story called "Blind Bettina", which was mentioned in the new publication, "Remembered Reading" by Mel Gibson. We don't know if it appeared in Mandy or another title. it was about an orphaned pop singer whose only friend was her guide dog, and her cruel uncle & aunt were her theatrical agents. Information about “Hateful Heather” and “Cathy’s Friend From Yesterday”, two Mandy stories written by Benita Brown and also mentioned in the publication, would be most appreciated as well.
Here is the basic information for you, Bryony. The serial you refer to as Blind Bettina is presumably intended to be The Dark Secret Of Blind Bettina, which appeared in Mandy 491 (Jun. 12 1976) - 503 (Sep. 4 1976). However, the problem is that your plot doesn't match it. The serial that it does match is Blind Belinda, which had already appeared in Mandy 428 (Mar. 29 1975) - 444 (Jul. 19 1975). Furthermore, the theatrical agents weren't relatives. They were a couple of crooked chancers, Keith and Gloria Foxton by name, who had had plenty of experience booking acts into shows, and no doubt taking financial advantage of them to boot. In this case they promised Belinda Stewart (and her dog Kim) that they would make her a star, and pay for an expensive operation that would restore her sight. You can guess the rest!

Hateful Heather appears in Mandy 907 (Jun. 2 1984) - 920 (Sep. 1 1984). I don't have to hand any information on Cathy's Friend From Yesterday, which means that I must have the whole serial, but without so far having logged its details. Unfortunately, I know I won't have enough time in the foreseeable future to look for it. And what's more, although I have already acquired plenty of Dr Gibson's earlier work, I will now have to buy and read her new book. There's no rest for the wicked. :)

Tammyfan
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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by Tammyfan »

Thank you Phoenix. It sounds like someone's memory got muddled over Blind Bettina. I had wondered if it was The Dark Secret of Blind Bettina aka The Lying Eyes of Linda Lee, but I was told the plot didn't match.
Last edited by Tammyfan on 18 Aug 2015, 06:32, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

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Phoenix wrote:I have already acquired plenty of Dr Gibson's earlier work
Apropos of the above comment, I looked out my printouts of Dr. Gibson's earlier research at the University of Sunderland, and discovered that I have the article that she has expanded into her new book. It runs to eight pages of text with a one-and-a-half-page bibliography. Presumably It's still available on line. I haven't checked.

Apologies for misspelling your Christian name, Briony. I'm blaming tiredness after the six-hour drive I had just made from a little town near Penzance in Cornwall where I had been staying for a fortnight's holiday with my younger son and his family.

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by comixminx »

Thank you, Phoenix. As Tammyfan says, clearly someone's memory has got muddled in discussing the stories - we found with Alison Christie that her memory wasn't 100% accurate on all the details of the stories that she wrote, not that this is surprising given the time gap!
jintycomic.wordpress.com/ Excellent and weird stories from the past - with amazing art to boot.

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by Tammyfan »

I wonder what Hateful Heather was about and why she was so hateful. Is she like "Hateful Harriet" from Bunty, where Harriet is a bully and a blackmailer? Or is Heather pretending to be a despicable character so she can secretly help oppressed people, like "Callous Cassie" from Nikki? Or is Heather dubbed "Hateful Heather" because a series of misunderstandings makes her unpopular, like "Lara the Loner" from Tammy?

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

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Tammyfan wrote:I wonder what Hateful Heather was about and why she was so hateful. Is she like "Hateful Harriet" from Bunty, where Harriet is a bully and a blackmailer? Or is Heather pretending to be a despicable character so she can secretly help oppressed people, like "Callous Cassie" from Nikki?
Neither, Briony. Hateful Heather is an interesting take on the difference between fantasy and reality. Sally Hill is an orphan living with her grandparents, very grateful for the sacrifices they have made for her, and hoping to be able to make it up to them one day. She is an aspiring actress in her local drama school, and she auditions for the part of Heather Ross, a nasty character in a new television serial to be called The Ross Family, hopeful but not expectant because she is well aware just how talented all the other children in the drama school are. She is chosen. Her grandparents are impressed with the generous terms in the contract that the producer personally discusses with them. Sally will be very well paid, and as she will not have time to go to school, she will be educated privately.

The essence of the opening episode is the news that Heather's father, Mr Ross, discovers he has won the pools, and the life of this working class family is about to be transformed.

When the first episode is to be screened, Sally's grandparents invite the neighbours in to watch it. One scene shows Heather's grandmother having dropped her chocolates on the floor when she nodded off, and Heather picking them up and eating them, saying She's so forgetful I can tell her she ate them all herself. Coincidentally, when Sally goes down to the corner shop to collect her mother's groceries, Ted the grocer gives her a box of chocolates that her gran had won in the coffee morning raffle, but takes them back when his assistant/wife? tells him that she will deliver the box herself. As Sally is leaving the shop with the groceries she overhears the assistant/wife? saying to Ted You saw what she's like on television. The old lady would never have got those chocolates.

The reality/fantasy issue is brought home to Sally in a lighthearted way when the actress playing Heather's gran tells her that earlier in her career she had had a regular role in a radio serial, and when the character she played got married, listeners sent in wedding gifts. Outside is a different kettle of fish as a hate campaign takes off. The producer is delighted because as soon as Sally started getting bad publicity the viewing figures shot right up. Things get so bad for Sally though that the producer is ultimately forced to apologise privately to her, and publicly by placing a statement in the press, accompanied by a photograph of the other actors, stating that Sally Hill is a kind and caring girl who is extremely popular with the entire cast.

N.B. Regarding the question of Sally not having time to go to school, it is interesting that roughly a year later in real life, Justine Kerrigan, a third year girl (aged 13/14) in the school where I was a modern languages teacher, won the role of Tracy Corkhill in the soap Brookside. The agreement between the school and Mersey Television was that she would attend school normally, but when she was going to be required on set during school hours they would ring up, and a senior teacher would extract her from whatever lesson she was being taught, and drive her out to Brookside Close. This could happen several times a week.

Tammyfan
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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by Tammyfan »

Thank you, Phoenix!

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

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Phoenix wrote:I don't have to hand any information on Cathy's Friend From Yesterday, which means that I must have the whole serial, but without so far having logged its details.
Over the last few days, Briony, I've spent a good few hours looking for this serial in my issues of Mandy, and I've come to the conclusion that the title doesn't exist. The story does, the title doesn't. It would appear to be another example of a writer genuinely forgetting the title she originally gave it, or the one it was changed to by the editor, presumably with her agreement.

The serial that appears to match the implication inherent in the title is Gateway To The Past, which first appeared in Mandy 415 (Dec. 28 1974) - 423 (Feb. 22 1975). It would be repeated, with the same title, in Mandy 762 (Aug. 22 1981) - 770 (Oct. 17 1981).

The initial blurb tells us that eleven-year-old Cathy Brown lived in an old part of town. Cathy's father was ill, and her mother had to work, so Cathy spent a lot of time helping at home. She had no real friends, but sometimes went to the nearby park where many children played. There one day she meets a young girl called Emma Seymour, who seems to be dressed in period costume, and has no idea where she is, even though she has come into the park through the North Gate, as she does every day. She sees a derelict building where she thinks her house should be, but when the two girls go together through the gateway, during which Cathy feels strange and thinks the gateway is shimmery, she sees that the derelict building is a beautiful house. It is where Emma lives. Cathy is amazed to learn that she is now in 1910, a mere eleven years after Emma's grandfather had had the house built in 1899. While they are in the house Emma's grandfather and her governess, Miss Angers, send her to her schoolroom to do some sums, but they don't see Cathy, who is invisible to them. Emma tells Cathy not to worry as ''only I can see my friend from the future.''

Emma is living with her grandfather who has told her that she is an orphan. However, the truth of the matter is that he had sent Emma's mother away, and would not let her return until she paid back the £100 that she owed him. He is unable to forgive her for running off with a penniless artist who died and left Emma and her mother starving. He is now about to send Emma away to a boarding school. Cathy witnesses the return of Emma's mother who hands over the £100, acquired by selling her late husband's pictures, and takes Emma away with her. When the grandfather goes up to his study he looks at his will, which leaves everything to Emma, and decides to resist the temptation to alter it. That same day the grandfather goes abroad, but not before writing a letter to Emma's mother enclosing his will. He asks Miss Angers to post it but she opens it. When she sees that he is leaving everything to Emma she throws the will in the fire. The invisible Cathy pulls it out before it catches fire, knowing that she could not get burnt, making the governess think the house is haunted.

Emma's new home with her mother in 1910 is the same house where Cathy would live in 1975. Cathy puts the will on the mantlepiece in Emma's (and later Cathy's) bedroom so that Emma will see it the following morning, and leaves. Unusually, Cathy experiences the shimmering while in the bedroom, so without moving, or needing the gateway, she ends up in her own bedroom in 1975. Her parents only believe her time-travelling story when her father recalls that his mother was called Emma, and that she and his father lived in the house with Emma's mother. According to Cathy's father no will had ever been mentioned so he suggests it may have slipped down the back of the mantlepiece. It had, so the derelict building, which once had been a beautiful house, now belongs to Cathy's father, who points out to Cathy that she had been helping her grandmother. The implication is that once the property and land is sold, Cathy's family will be able to live much more comfortably.

I have added the above two paragraphs today (14. 11. 2015) because yesterday I read in Dr Mel Gibson's book Remembered Reading part of Benita Brown's comment on her own serial that she said was called Cathy's Friend From Yesterday, and that I said was called Gateway To The Past, because it was the only serial that matched her plot. Here is Gibson's comment. Brown's first story for DC Thomson in Mandy in 1972 featured a magical helper, but was actually about the need to solve family, personal and emotional problems. Brown described Cathy's Friend From Yesterday as,
all about a little girl who was playing in the park, who went through a gate that was hardly ever used and found herself solving family problems, 'cos the little girl she met was her grandmother' (Interviews 9/8/99).

The serial didn't appear in 1972, as claimed by Gibson. See above for the actual starting and finishing issues and dates.
Last edited by Phoenix on 14 Nov 2015, 13:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by Phoenix »

Please note that I have significantly updated my post on the Benita Brown serial in Mandy that she said was called Cathy's Friend From Yesterday, and that I said didn't exist under that title, but did appear as Gateway To The Past.

Tammyfan
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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by Tammyfan »

Thank you, Phoenix!

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by comixminx »

Phoenix wrote:Please note that I have significantly updated my post on the Benita Brown serial in Mandy that she said was called Cathy's Friend From Yesterday, and that I said didn't exist under that title, but did appear as Gateway To The Past.
Thanks from me too, Phoenix. it really highlights how much memory is fallible: even with an interview with the author you're not guaranteed to get the correct facts, unless they have really good files or similar.
jintycomic.wordpress.com/ Excellent and weird stories from the past - with amazing art to boot.

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

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I need to find episodes of a Mandy serial called "I'll Take Care of Tina!", Mandy 605-616. I already have the final episode in #616, but need more, particularly the first episode and penultimate episode. And I need to have actual scans of the episodes, not episode summaries. Can anyone help please?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

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Tammyfan wrote:I need to find episodes of a Mandy serial called "I'll Take Care of Tina!", Mandy 605-616. I already have the final episode in #616, but need more, particularly the first episode and penultimate episode. And I need to have actual scans of the episodes, not episode summaries. Can anyone help please?
As you need 11 of the 12 instalments, Briony, rather than just two or three, and as that would involve my creating 11 Comics UK posts at three pages per instalment in which to accommodate them, after resizing them, I'm forced to conclude that it would take far too much time out of my busy schedule. The best I can offer, given that I do have every instalment, is what I assume will be 33 full-page scans, which I could post to you. So, if that will suit you, please PM me your address. I realise that you have sent it to me on two previous occasions but unfortunately I didn't transfer it to my address book either time. I will almost certainly be able to do the scans within the next week or so.

Tammyfan
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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by Tammyfan »

Phoenix wrote:
Tammyfan wrote:I need to find episodes of a Mandy serial called "I'll Take Care of Tina!", Mandy 605-616. I already have the final episode in #616, but need more, particularly the first episode and penultimate episode. And I need to have actual scans of the episodes, not episode summaries. Can anyone help please?
As you need 11 of the 12 instalments, Briony, rather than just two or three, and as that would involve my creating 11 Comics UK posts at three pages per instalment in which to accommodate them, after resizing them, I'm forced to conclude that it would take far too much time out of my busy schedule. The best I can offer, given that I do have every instalment, is what I assume will be 33 full-page scans, which I could post to you. So, if that will suit you, please PM me your address. I realise that you have sent it to me on two previous occasions but unfortunately I didn't transfer it to my address book either time. I will almost certainly be able to do the scans within the next week or so.
Thank you, Phoenix. I've sent the address. I'll let you know if anyone else sends scans ahead of you, so there will be less for you to do.

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Re: Two Mandy stories I want to find

Post by peace355 »

I've emailed you on the first 2 episodes, I am missing issue 607 but have the rest I can send on.

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