If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls comics

Discuss all the girls comics that have appeared over the years. Excellent titles like Bunty, Misty, Spellbound, Tammy and June, amongst many others, can all be remembered here.

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Phoenix
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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Phoenix » 25 Nov 2013, 20:06

Tammyfan wrote:Hmm, competition on the top 100 is getting extremely fierce.
So OTT, Tammyfan. Your three serials can only be challenging the three weakest, so 97 are not under any threat whatsoever.
Tammyfan wrote:Perhaps you're right and we need to take a pause soon and reflect on what to do.
If you take a pause now, you could answer my questions in peace, rather than conveniently ignoring them in the hope that I will forget I asked them. Unless I was taught anatomy functions very badly at school, I think I'm on safe ground in asserting that I do not use my tonsils to read your posts. So, come on, answers please. There's nothing wrong with my eyes.
Tammyfan wrote:As for Pat Milks, I haven't even heard back from him yet.
Have you any idea how disconcerting it is to be replying to a post, only to discover that further comment has been added in the meantime? Who is this Pat Milks anyway? Has he got a Jinty collection as well?

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 25 Nov 2013, 20:30

Sorry, it was a typo. I meant Pat Mills.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 25 Nov 2013, 21:43

In your own words, Phoenix:
Phoenix wrote: As you realise, over time quite a number of story titles have occurred to us all that were thought possibly worthy of inclusion in the Top 100, like your suggestion this morning. There will surely be a lot more.
This was one of the inspirations for me to revisit some of these Jinty classics. But I might take a break for a bit as I have other stuff, such as making Christmas chocolates.

Now, how about you when you're better? You said you could think of at least 50 for honourable mention.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Phoenix » 25 Nov 2013, 22:43

Tammyfan wrote:Sorry, it was a typo. I meant Pat Mills.
I knew that. I thought the general lighthearted tone of my comment would suffice without a smilie.
Tammyfan wrote:This was one of the inspirations for me to revisit some of these Jinty classics.
I've been your inspiration?!! I'll have to go and lie down in a darkened room.
Tammyfan wrote:I might take a break for a bit as I have other stuff.
Now I like the sound of that. I also have stuff. A project I have been working on with Ray Moore for rather a long time is complete, I just need to finish writing the Introduction before December 19th. Oh, and I would still like the answer to Question 3, please.
Tammyfan wrote:You said you could think of at least 50 for honourable mention.
I will certainly be able to do just that, but time is a factor, and perhaps it will suit us all if we postpone the next stage until the New Year. Given that we are going to be writing individual summaries for our suggestions, we could look on the next few weeks as thinking time.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 25 Nov 2013, 23:20

Yes, the weeks of December are going to be busy while those of January will be quiet, so we could look at the next stage in earnest then. One of my projects will be to go through my Tammy collection and sort through the comics. But if someone wants to discuss something in the interim, they are, of course, free to do so.

Question 3: Here are the links so you can see for yourself. You will have to excuse the slightly blurry JPGs that go with the text. They didn't come out as well as we hoped.

http://www.booksmonthly.co.uk/jinty.html

http://www.booksmonthly.co.uk/tammy.html

Some titles, such as Sue's Daily Dozen, were chosen for the top ten itself as representations of Jinty's spooky/sports stories. Others missed out. For example, I badly wanted Dracula's Daughter in the top ten, but had to settle for honourable mention because competition was too fierce. I also wanted to include Thursday's Child in the Tammy honourable mentions, but we didn't have the publication dates and I had lost my original copies.

By the way, there is one story in the Tammy top 10, Little Miss Nothing, that is there because it set the template for Tammy's Cinderella stories and therefore considered pivotal to Tammy's history. But I would not nominate it here because here it would probably be just another Cinderella story, even if it was good.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Phoenix » 26 Nov 2013, 02:05

Thank you for those links, Tammyfan. I haven't time at the moment to read the summaries in detail, but I did notice that your recent trio of serials are not there. MInd you, I haven't read those either. Actually, I'll probably print them off when I get a minute or two, and read them at my leisure. My key project apart, I think I'm now mothballing myself until the New Year.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 26 Nov 2013, 02:14

Phoenix wrote:Thank you for those links, Tammyfan. I haven't time at the moment to read the summaries in detail, but I did notice that your recent trio of serials are not there. MInd you, I haven't read those either. Actually, I'll probably print them off when I get a minute or two, and read them at my leisure. My key project apart, I think I'm now mothballing myself until the New Year.
I think a couple of them were in the honourable mentions in the Jinty top 10. I put of Village of Fame to see what people would think as it seemed to be popular in Jinty discussions. I don't know how far it would get in a top 100 list.

Please understand that not every contender with potential could get a mention in those top 10s. In some cases, such as Thursday's Child, it was because of missing information or gaps in our collections. Also, we had to work within a word count if I remember right.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Phoenix » 26 Nov 2013, 09:48

Tammyfan wrote:In some cases, such as Thursday's Child, it was because of missing information or gaps in our collections.
Gaps in a collection are the bane of researchers. I'm actively filling mine all the time, and I will have my DCT Wants List with me at London's biggest comic fair of the year at the Royal National Hotel in Bloomsbury on Sunday afternoon (12 to 4). It will be just my luck to be presented with lots of juicy piles of Jinty, Tammy, Misty, Tina and the like, with no Thomson girls' papers anywhere in sight. I'm not attempting to get every issue, of course, just enough to know enough.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 27 Nov 2013, 06:33

@ Phoenix: I find it's great to go back through the collections for the list. I have enjoyed some stories over again and reappraised others that I did not take much notice of before. You might find yourself reappraising some strips when you go back through yours. :)

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Phoenix » 27 Nov 2013, 09:29

Tammyfan wrote:Phoenix: I find it's great to go back through the collections for the list. I have enjoyed some stories over again and reappraised others that I did not take much notice of before. You might find yourself reappraising some strips when you go back through yours.
My decision to get involved in the selection process for your Top 100, Tammyfan, has certainly provided a refreshing change from my more routine work on DCT's boys' papers. I don't think it has led to any reappraisals so far, but it has got me reading my girls' papers again. The main advantage to me will come when I start to update my story records. Prior to the Top 100 it didn't seem that important. I have never stopped acquiring the papers, but in the last few years, apart from checking to see that all the pages were present, I have simply fed them into their relevant positions in my collection without first adding the information about their story content to my database. Big mistake! I should have that rectified by the end of March.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by philcom55 » 27 Nov 2013, 12:41

Tammyfan wrote:...I find it's great to go back through the collections for the list. I have enjoyed some stories over again and reappraised others that I did not take much notice of before. You might find yourself reappraising some strips when you go back through yours. :)
I've had the same experience Tammyfan, and there are other strips I intend to look through in more detail when I get chance - for example 'Runaways with the Secret Box' and 'Spaceship in our Kitchen' from Diana.

Another nice thing about this thread is that, whether or not one agrees with all the choices for the Top 100, it already provides an excellent cross-section of British girl's comics. Hopefully this will allow many visitors to this site to reacquaint themselves with some childhood favourites for years to come, while others will be able to explore the rich history of those vanished titles for the first time (especially as Comics UK is back on open access again!) - and in that respect the honourable mentions and runners-up are likely to be just as valuable as the finalists. In fact it occurs to me that it'd be really nice if every one of the series mentioned on the lists could eventually be provided with a link which directed viewers to some sample pages and a plot outline (anybody want to take a crack at the Life & Times of the Four Marys?). Ultimately you might even want to think about spinning it all off into a separate website of your own - it certainly has the potential!

- Phil Rushton

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Phoenix » 27 Nov 2013, 19:41

philcom55 wrote:I've had the same experience Tammyfan, and there are other strips I intend to look through in more detail when I get chance - for example 'Runaways with the Secret Box' and 'Spaceship in our Kitchen' from Diana.
I doubt whether you will be convinced by the 1966 serial Runaways With The Secret Box, Phil, when you investigate it further. It is very repetitive. Two girls are entrusted with a casket, they lose the casket, they get it back, it's stolen, they recover it, it disappears, they.......!! On the other hand, The Spaceship In our Kitchen in 1969 is very unusual, and has a lot to recommend it. You will enjoy that one. I have it pencilled in as one of the fifty I shall be putting forward to Tammyfan in the New Year. It has the added advantage of a sequel the following year when the little space travellers return to Sue Huggett's house in The Trouble With Those Jinjees.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 27 Nov 2013, 19:46

Phoenix wrote:
Tammyfan wrote:Phoenix: I find it's great to go back through the collections for the list. I have enjoyed some stories over again and reappraised others that I did not take much notice of before. You might find yourself reappraising some strips when you go back through yours.
My decision to get involved in the selection process for your Top 100, Tammyfan, has certainly provided a refreshing change from my more routine work on DCT's boys' papers. I don't think it has led to any reappraisals so far, but it has got me reading my girls' papers again. The main advantage to me will come when I start to update my story records. Prior to the Top 100 it didn't seem that important. I have never stopped acquiring the papers, but in the last few years, apart from checking to see that all the pages were present, I have simply fed them into their relevant positions in my collection without first adding the information about their story content to my database. Big mistake! I should have that rectified by the end of March.
Some stories that have been mentioned here are ones that proved to be ahead of their time, such as Mouse and Fran of the Floods. Another great reason for going back through collections and refreshing ourselves on serials. :) You never know what else could be ahead of its time or tackle an issue that would still be relevant today.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 28 Nov 2013, 10:59

Pat Mills has replied! Here is what he has to say.

Email one:

Thanks for all the info. My thoughts: there were two styles of girls comics. In simplistic terms Group One: Tina, Judy, June, Sally, Penny, Diana etc.

Group Two: Tammy, Misty, Jinty, Pink etc and most of Bunty

The differences between them were very apparent. Once again, in crudely simplistic terms Group One was middle class, Group Two was working class.

The two groups were definitely in opposition to one another, editorially and I believe with readers, too, and it was the strong belief of Group Two editorial that Group One had had its day and almost caused the death of Girls Comics. Basically Group One - by the 70s - was becoming old hat, although there would have been exceptions.

So I was disappointed to see these old style "middle class" stories topping the list when it's my recollection that many of them - or the comics they were in - were commercial disasters or had run out of road. I could have understood if it was an old school classic like the Four Marys, but not the ones I saw.

Also there were some utterly brilliant Bunty stories that I didn't see there on a quick scan... Like Netta Knowall and a school mystery story whose name escapes me. "School of xxxxx" (Not "No Escape)

There were far too many of the light and frothy serials that I recall readers hated at the time. And an emphasis on adventure serials which readers generally didn't like as much of the hard, gritty, emotional stuff. And Little Miss Nothing which - commercially - revolutionised girls comics by Pat Davidson I think was missing.

That said I'm flattered there are so many of mine there, but Pat was the number one writer. Hopefully there are some of her other stories there.

Email 2 with new comments (and after clarification that the entries were alphabetical and not ranked).

On a quick look-over, there seems to be - IMHO - too many "middle class" stories from the middle class comics which didn't sell as well as the "working class" stories in comics like Tammy and Bunty. Often the middle class comics crashed: Princess Tina, Sally and probably Diana.

By middle class I guess I mean, "nice" stories, light and frothy, and pure adventure, as opposed to hard, gritty, realistic and emotional.

Don't think Pat Davidson is there. Her Little Miss Nothing and similar stories revolutionised girls comics and were a major commercial success. Netta Knowall from Bunty was also a classic. But I'm flattered that some of my own are included, like Sugar Jones.

Potentially that should have been a really hot story but the self-contained format meant i had to cram it in, it was tough to write and it led to forced writing style, and the artwork wasn't as hip as it should have been. But I still enjoyed it.

Her fraudulent character has echoes of various TV personalities and a touch of Ab Fab. The predecessor Aunt Aggie in Tammy, which I also wrote (rather badly) was definitely based on Jimmy Saville. And I recall us talking about what a fake and a known (legal) lecher Saville was when we were planning Sugar Jones. (Originally Honey Jones)

I'd love to write that today!
Last edited by Tammyfan on 28 Nov 2013, 20:48, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: If we had a list of the 100 greatest serials in girls co

Post by Tammyfan » 28 Nov 2013, 11:08

For those who don't know, Pat Davidson is the real name of Anne Digby, a writer who is famous for the Trebizon series. She wrote A Horse Called September and Olympia Jones, which are on our list.

Anyone know about Netta Knowall and School of xxxx? I don't, but we've got plenty of experience in pinning down serials from obscure-sounding references and clues.

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