Possession in British 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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Tammyfan
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Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

The Mystery of Martine from Jinty is definitely a brilliant possession story. We're not even sure just what is doing the possessing, which makes it even better, and it makes a change from ghosts, witches and spells. There is actually a hint of a demon, a most unusual thing for a girls' story to use https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2014/0 ... e-1976-77/
Last edited by Tammyfan on 11 Mar 2021, 02:39, edited 1 time in total.

Tammyfan
Posts: 1939
Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 10:41

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

Spell of Fog from Tammy is also a very unusual possession story. Villagers become possessed by ghosts, who force them to re-enact the persecution of a girl for witchcraft. But the ghosts do it because they want to teach people a lesson that witch hunting is not a thing of the past - it's a thing anyone is capable of given the right circumstances, and there are types out there ready to take advantage https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2018/1 ... -fog-1983/

Tammyfan
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Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

Misty's "Journey into Fear..." could be described as a blend of possession/evil influence. An evil car, which once belonged to "The Kid", the male half of a brother and sister gangster duo, has the power to seize control of any male who owns it, and make him act like The Kid and re-enact The Kid's crime sprees. One unfortunate ended up in prison and disowned by his father because of this. The latest victims, Kevin and Janice Fraser, end up on the lam because of the same influence. Kevin is acting so much like The Kid that we have to wonder if he is actually possessed by The Kid. The car can't control Jan the way it controls Kevin (making him act like The Kid) but it can still pull Jan into its net. However, Janice still has control over her mind and is desperate to find a way to break the car's influence while keeping ahead of the pursuing policemen.

Come to think of it, this is the only "evil influence" serial in Misty. The theme appeared more often in Misty's complete stories. Misty had "Cult of the Cat", where Nicola Scott, you could say, is being possessed by cat traits. But the force turns out to be benign, and she's being recruited for a cat cult dedicated to fighting evil.

hypnojoo
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Joined: 23 Feb 2018, 09:45

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by hypnojoo »

Children of Stepford is great and fits with some other examples that name check existing horror books/films too! Thanks!

hypnojoo
Posts: 28
Joined: 23 Feb 2018, 09:45

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by hypnojoo »

Tammyfan wrote:
10 Mar 2021, 23:14
Misty's "Journey into Fear..." could be described as a blend of possession/evil influence. An evil car, which once belonged to "The Kid", the male half of a brother and sister gangster duo, has the power to seize control of any male who owns it, and make him act like The Kid and re-enact The Kid's crime sprees. One unfortunate ended up in prison and disowned by his father because of this. The latest victims, Kevin and Janice Fraser, end up on the lam because of the same influence. Kevin is acting so much like The Kid that we have to wonder if he is actually possessed by The Kid. The car can't control Jan the way it controls Kevin (making him act like The Kid) but it can still pull Jan into its net. However, Janice still has control over her mind and is desperate to find a way to break the car's influence while keeping ahead of the pursuing policemen.

Come to think of it, this is the only "evil influence" serial in Misty. The theme appeared more often in Misty's complete stories. Misty had "Cult of the Cat", where Nicola Scott, you could say, is being possessed by cat traits. But the force turns out to be benign, and she's being recruited for a cat cult dedicated to fighting evil.
Great eg! - but it’s not the only evil influence story in Misty - eg of the serials, there’s The Loving Cup, Black Widow, Hangman’s Alley - all have someone hypnotised by an object or possessed by a ghost. (And for my wider definition of possession - which doesn’t have to be evil - then I think stories like Paint it Black, Silver Racerback, Sweet Rachel also qualify - and House of Horrors has mind-controlled waxwork/zombies...
And there’s about 20 one-shots where someone’s will is enslaved in some way (whether by an object or a person)

Goof
Posts: 153
Joined: 15 May 2018, 19:43

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Goof »

Another kind of evil influence theme which may be worth looking at is the doppelgänger story. This isn’t strictly possession, but it has a similar effect, in that the heroine is acting evilly (in the person of her double) without being aware of it or able to control it. There are probably quite a few examples over the years. One or two which occur to me:

“Who is Astra?” Mandy Picture Story Library #62
http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2019/ ... stra-1983/

“The Secret Enemy” Tammy Annual 1979

“Who…?” Mandy Annual 1985 (a particularly creepy example)
https://comicsuk.co.uk/forum/viewtopic. ... 6&start=15 (includes a scan of the story in case you don't have it)

Tammyfan
Posts: 1939
Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 10:41

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

I'm not sure if the doppelgänger story quite falls under the label of possession, but their influence can be evil. Astra, the evil double in "Who Is Astra?", seemed to have an evil influence on other people and also induce nightmares in our protagonist. More often though, the double just causes trouble that the protagonist gets the blame for.

"Double Trouble" was a popular title with the doppelgänger story. Judy, Bunty and M&J all had their doppelgänger stories with this title.

Tammyfan
Posts: 1939
Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 10:41

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

What about objects that are possessed? Here is one possibility, "Little Dolly Demon", from Judy PSL #220. http://girlscomicsofyesterday.com/2016/ ... emon-1981/

We never find out why the doll in the story is evil, but there are a lot of true-life stories about dolls being possessed by demons and evil spirits.

Other serials with possessed objects include "Little Lord Percival" and "Mary's Moneybank", both from Mandy.
Last edited by Tammyfan on 16 Mar 2021, 00:57, edited 2 times in total.

Goof
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Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Goof »

What I had in mind was not so much stories about mischievous trouble-maker doubles as those where the double tries to replace the heroine, taking over her life and depriving her of her identity. The Mandy Annual story is one example of this. This situation is still not strictly possession, but can have a similar effect.

Tammyfan
Posts: 1939
Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 10:41

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

In "The House Mouse" (Tammy & Misty, 9-16 August 1980) we have a possessed mouse. The mouse is "the eyes and ears" of Albert de Quincy, a (we gather) horrible man who was so obsessed about his house never leaving his family that he entombed himself inside it and uses the mouse to drive off potential buyers, which it does through "accidents" and outright attacks. It's also capable of murder, which it makes clear in a letter it writes to a girl who tries to fight it.

Are there other stories about possessed animals?
Last edited by Tammyfan on 16 Mar 2021, 05:39, edited 2 times in total.

Tammyfan
Posts: 1939
Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 10:41

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

Goof wrote:
15 Mar 2021, 23:56
What I had in mind was not so much stories about mischievous trouble-maker doubles as those where the double tries to replace the heroine, taking over her life and depriving her of her identity. The Mandy Annual story is one example of this. This situation is still not strictly possession, but can have a similar effect.
"The Image of Iris" from Judy was another one. The double, Siri, actually succeeds in what it is doing by the end of the story, trapping Iris in a mirror and taking over her life. Readers howled in protest and a sequel was published to liberate Iris (but there is some speculation this sequel was planned in advance or in fact unused episodes, and the editor was testing readers' reactions before using them).

Tammyfan
Posts: 1939
Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 10:41

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

I think "Sit It Out, Sheri" from Tammy could be called a possession story. It looks like Sheri is being possessed by the spirit of Marie Antoinette through her chair, and the story depicts Marie Antoinette as the haughty, heartless woman who single-handedly started the French Revolution with her cruel treatment of low-class people (now regarded as a myth and Antoinette was in fact a much kinder person than that). Strangely, the story never mentions "let them eat cake". The story also implies Antoinette was a teenage queen, no more than a mere girl. Come on, Antoinette was 47 when she died and a mother with children!

Tammyfan
Posts: 1939
Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 10:41

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by Tammyfan »

hypnojoo wrote:
10 Mar 2021, 12:07
Tammyfan wrote:
05 Mar 2021, 23:08
Goof wrote:
05 Mar 2021, 21:05
This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but possession/hypnosis was a fairly regular theme in ballet stories – evil Svengalis who hypnotise dancers for their own ends, shoes which won’t let the wearer stop dancing and so on. I’m struggling to come up with a really distinctive early example, but I know that Judy’s Sandra Wilson ballet series used this idea once or twice. There was a hypnosis story in the Judy 1967 Annual “Sandra and the Vengeance Ballet” about a man who hypnotises a team of dancers into performing better than they really can, in order to win an audition. A later example in the 1974 Annual involved a plot to hypnotise Sandra into killing another dancer during a Macbeth ballet, using a black cat as the trigger. I’ll have a hunt around, but hopefully others can come up with some better examples.
Don't forget "Slave of the Clock" from Tammy. https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2016/0 ... lock-1982/. Princess (second series) also had "The Ghostly Ballerina", where the ghost of a frustrated dancer can make mediocre dancers brilliant - but at a terrible price https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2020/0 ... na-1983-4/
Great examples thanks both - I'll def dig into Sandra Wilson. Interesting it's so often linked to dancing - Misty def picks up on this eg The Monkey (#80) although that's not exactly ballet! - and sometimes adds a fairytale vibe, e.g. Danse Macabre (#52) which is basically 'The Red Shoes'...
You realise that Misty never had a ballet serial? She had two completes featuring ballet, "Two Left Feet" and "Danse Macabre", but no ballet serial. A bit remiss for a girls' title. Even the short-lived Princess (second series) managed one.

hypnojoo
Posts: 28
Joined: 23 Feb 2018, 09:45

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by hypnojoo »

Tammyfan wrote:
25 Mar 2021, 09:36
hypnojoo wrote:
10 Mar 2021, 12:07
Tammyfan wrote:
05 Mar 2021, 23:08


Don't forget "Slave of the Clock" from Tammy. https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2016/0 ... lock-1982/. Princess (second series) also had "The Ghostly Ballerina", where the ghost of a frustrated dancer can make mediocre dancers brilliant - but at a terrible price https://jintycomic.wordpress.com/2020/0 ... na-1983-4/
Great examples thanks both - I'll def dig into Sandra Wilson. Interesting it's so often linked to dancing - Misty def picks up on this eg The Monkey (#80) although that's not exactly ballet! - and sometimes adds a fairytale vibe, e.g. Danse Macabre (#52) which is basically 'The Red Shoes'...
You realise that Misty never had a ballet serial? She had two completes featuring ballet, "Two Left Feet" and "Danse Macabre", but no ballet serial. A bit remiss for a girls' title. Even the short-lived Princess (second series) managed one.
That's a really interesting point! All the other usual suspects are there (horseriding, boarding schools, swimming...) maybe part of an attempt to mark itself out as 'different'?

hypnojoo
Posts: 28
Joined: 23 Feb 2018, 09:45

Re: Possession in British Girls' Comics

Post by hypnojoo »

Thanks so much to everyone for all the story suggestions here. I've been doing a lot of date checking etc and reading up on those I can access. I'm wondering if anyone has any images from The Doll of Terror from Diana c.1968? I think this might be the first supernatural possession (everything I've checked before it has a sf/alien type explanation) and would really love to have a look at it (but only have a handful of actual Dianas and scans from much earlier/later)...

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