Request for a Strange Story

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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Tammyfan
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Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

I am trying to find a Strange Story in Tammy called "In Her Mother's Shoes...". It was about a girl called Elena Howarth who was being pushed by her father into being a ballet star although she had two left feet. Then, when Elena tries her mother's ballet shoes, they give her the power to do brilliant ballet. But then her new puppy chews up the shoes - on the night of her debut! It was drawn by Shirley Bellwood as I recall, or maybe Phil Townsend; I don't quite remember. I think it was in early 1980.

Can anyone help, please? Thanks.

Phoenix
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Phoenix »

The complete story In Her Mother's Shoes appears in Tammy 1 December 1979.
Attachments
IHMothersShoes1.jpg
IMMothersShoes2.jpg

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

Thank you, Phoenix!

comixminx
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by comixminx »

Nice! It does look like Shirley Bellwood to me as you thought. Am quite glad that the obvious answer didn't happen - ie that all she lacked was confidence and so she'd be able to dance perfectly well without the shoes.
jintycomic.wordpress.com/ Excellent and weird stories from the past - with amazing art to boot.

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

comixminx wrote:Nice! It does look like Shirley Bellwood to me as you thought. Am quite glad that the obvious answer didn't happen - ie that all she lacked was confidence and so she'd be able to dance perfectly well without the shoes.
That was what happened with another Tammy story,"Dancer Entranced", except that it was a hypnotist (who turned out to be a charlatan) and his metronome.

The mother's ambition was strong enough to reach Elena through the shoes and Elena really enjoyed dancing once she finally had the ability, though artificially. But it was not strong enough to give Elena the talent altogether. But then, you don't want to give the tyrannical father the satisfaction; you want him punished and to realise how much he has blighted his daughter's life.

Phoenix
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Phoenix »

Tammyfan wrote:But then, you don't want to give the tyrannical father the satisfaction; you want him punished and to realise how much he has blighted his daughter's life.
I prefer events to be less predictable, more nuanced. I suppose that's why I'm not really that keen on completes. You just can't get that in two pages.

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

Phoenix wrote:
Tammyfan wrote:But then, you don't want to give the tyrannical father the satisfaction; you want him punished and to realise how much he has blighted his daughter's life.
I prefer events to be less predictable, more nuanced. I suppose that's why I'm not really that keen on completes. You just can't get that in two pages.
Yes, a lot to squeeze into two pages, isn't it? Shirley does a pretty good job of it, though it does make some panels understandably small.

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

Some months earlier in Tammy there was another Strange Story, "The Trysting Tree", which had some similarities with "In Her Mother's Shoes". It included a mother hell-bent on making her daughter Adele a dancer although Adele had no talent for ballet (clumsy and tripped over her feet, just like Elena). Mum just wouldn't listen when the ballet teacher said Adele was not cut out for a ballet career, or Adele saying she didn't want to be a dancer. Added to that, Dad began pushing Adele into the career he wanted for her, which was to be a secretary. (Geez, don't they realise that the days when parents decided on their children's careers are long gone?) This led to quarrelling with his wife, with both pushing what they wanted for Adele and neither asking what she wanted. It got to the point of divorce and Adele running off because of their bickering - which nearly got her killed when she fell into a river. She and the marriage were saved by the parents' trysting tree, which had been logged and was floating downstream. The parents finally asked Adele what she wanted - something she had been urging them to do all along - which was to go into forestry.

I wonder if "The Trysting Tree" and "In Her Mothers Shoes" had the same writer.

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

It's bad enough when a serial features a parent who keeps pushing the protagonist into a career she doesn't want. When the protagonist just doesn't have any aptitude (or sufficient aptitude) for it either, it's the limit. "The Goose Girl" from Jinty and "The Silver Ballerina" from Dreamer are two serials where this happened.

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philcom55
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by philcom55 »

Writers must face something of a conflict with stories like this. On the one hand they need to impress on children that no goal is unattainable - yet they also have to avoid unrealistic expectations and the frustration that can ensue. In the same way stories that deal with body image have to choose between promoting a more healthy lifestyle and teaching people to be content with themselves as they are. I know I always disliked the sort of plot which encouraged me to identify with the realistic problems of a hero/heroine, only to see them get adopted by a kindly millionaire in the last episode - what sort of message did that send?
Last edited by philcom55 on 24 May 2016, 18:41, edited 1 time in total.

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

philcom55 wrote:Writers must face something of a conflict with stories like this. On the one hand they need to impress on children that no goal is unattainable - yet they also have to avoid unrealistic expectations and the frustration that can ensue. In the same way stories that deal with body image have to choose between promoting a more healthy lifestyle and teaching people to be content with themselves as they are. I know I always disliked the sort of plot which encouraged me to identify with the realistic problems of a hero/heroine, only to see them get adopted by a kindly millionaire in the last episode!
The goal is portrayed as obtainable, no matter how impossible it seems to be, when it is the protagonist pursuing it. They end up achieving it or settling for a goal that is more realistic, such as in Jinty's "Willa on Wheels", where a nurse is determined to return to nursing after a back injury, but eventually settles on a different branch of medicine when further injuries put a definite lid on her first goal. When it is the parent or guardian pushing them towards an unwanted or unrealistic goal, the goal stays out of reach and the protagonist gets what they want in the end.

Occasionally there could be a story where the protagonist has set an unrealistic goal for herself, but does find happiness in the end. One is a Button Box story where Nina has her heart set on being a nurse. But she is turned down because she is not strong enough physically, and she is devastated. Her parents advise her to settle on something else, but she cannot. Then when she repairs a boy's teddy, it opens up a type of nursing for her - at the dolls' hospital.
Last edited by Tammyfan on 26 May 2016, 00:11, edited 1 time in total.

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philcom55
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by philcom55 »

It does make you wonder whether editors ever took advice from child psychologists when deciding how to deal with some of these issues - especially for girls' comics.

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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Phoenix »

philcom55 wrote:It does make you wonder whether editors ever took advice from child psychologists when deciding how to deal with some of these issues - especially for girls' comics.
I suspect that all writers will have been alerted by their editors to the taboo issues before they ever started to construct their serials. Child psychologists will have been nowhere in sight.

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

Phoenix wrote:
philcom55 wrote:It does make you wonder whether editors ever took advice from child psychologists when deciding how to deal with some of these issues - especially for girls' comics.
I suspect that all writers will have been alerted by their editors to the taboo issues before they ever started to construct their serials. Child psychologists will have been nowhere in sight.
A lot would have been drawn from their own experiences or what they had seen in real life. I sometimes wonder if writers and editors were offloading demons from the past (say, bully teachers) through their serials. I do recall one Bunty story, "April Fool", which actually said the protagonist April Mason (who would believe anything, anything!) was based on a real person they were still trying to forget.

Tammyfan
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Re: Request for a Strange Story

Post by Tammyfan »

There was a story in a Mandy annual (don't remember what it was called, something with "Castle Grimm" in it) where failure to take lack of talent into account had more sinister consequences. A woman was set to inherit a fortune if she could turn a girl into an ice skating star. Realising the girl lacked the talent for it (something the person who made the will did not foresee, just like Mrs Howarth), she held the girl prisoner while trying to find a look-alike who did have the talent.
Last edited by Tammyfan on 25 May 2016, 09:34, edited 1 time in total.

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